Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Danger Ahead

Glenn Reynolds points out the dangers of government health care.

We All Need a Laugh

This blog is hilarious.  My daughter sent me the link and I've been laughing myself silly.  The premise?  "A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs"

Take a break from politics and have a giggle.

Pete Stark's Opponent Strikes Back

The Republican candidate opposing Rep. Pete Stark in the CA-13 race this fall has released a statement in response to Stark's mockery of one of the Minutemen asking him about border security.  You will remember that Stark insisted that "our borders are quite secure."  See the video of the exchange here.

Baker responded today:

"To declare that our southern border is secure when $100 billion worth of drugs enters our country from Mexico every year and a civil war is spilling over into the United States … In any such moment there are underlying stupidities that must simply be stopped,” Baker said.   “American civilians are being killed and Congress has not sent troops to the border?” Baker asks.
“The Pete Starks running our government don't seem to understand the concept of sovereignty,” he said. “But it is not because they are old and confused. We are being sold to those who would harm us ... on purpose, and for cash.”

Baker pointed out that Stark has been in Congress for 37 years and has never been seriously challenged.  "That will change this year," he said.

Forest Baker's website is here.  His Facebook page is here.

Who Actually Gets Part of the $20 Billion BP Shakedown Fund?

Confusion continues to abound in the Gulf.  The latest mess is with regard to the $20 billion Shakedown Claims fund which will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg.

Refresh your memory:  there are two escrow funds.  $100 million set up to compensate rig workers idled by the moratorium put in place by Obama.  We'll call that the "Moratorium Fund."  The $20 billion fund is "to help those affected by the disaster" so we'll call that the "Disaster Fund."

According to NOLA, Feinberg says "that individuals and businesses hurt by the drilling moratorium are not eligible for a piece of the $20 billion escrow fund BP set aside to pay all eligible claims."

So if you were hurt by the moratorium, don't come to him.  He thinks.  He's not sure.

If you were hurt by the moratorium and you're a rig worker, you need to talk to the guy handling the The $100 million Moratorium Fund. 

Feinberg makes clear that the $100 million is strictly for "rig worker claims only - no small business claims, no ancillary claims, and it's not going to be replenished."
If you are an individual or own a business that was affected by the oil spill, you would have to file your claim to the "$20 Billion Disaster Fund."  Confused?  Feinberg is.  He doesn't know if he is supposed to be managing that $100 million Moratorium fund as well as the $20 Billion Disaster Fund..  What could go wrong?

Feinberg said it is not yet clear whether the $100 million would be under his jurisdiction or managed separately. That is a decision that belongs with the White House and especially BP, and he said he expected that to be cleared up in the next few days.

The White House is confused, too:

White House spokeswoman Moira Mack has said that, "any individual or business who has a (moratorium-related) claim may submit it to the $100 million foundation or the $20 billion fund. Rig workers impacted by the moratorium will absolutely not be precluded from presenting claims." 
Remember, the $100 million Moratorium fund will not be replenished. When it's gone, it's gone.  And it won't take long.  In addition to that, the IRS will be taking their share of the dough also.

These funds were set up two weeks ago.  There is still no clear policy on how they will be administered, who will be administering what, and what the guidelines will be. 

Meanwhile, folks down on the Gulf are losing money and their livelihood while Washington figures it out.

How About "Liar"?

This one's a knee slapper!

I've got a word or two....

As Jim Geraghty points out, this is the guy who swore on national television, multiple times, he was going to run as a Republican.  No ambivalence about it whatsoever.

And now this is the guy running as an independent and who got sued this week for refusing to return campaign donations from Republican donors who believed him.

I've got a about LIAR?

(Cross posted at Not One Red Cent!)

God, Family & Country Rally This Saturday

Remember, mark your calendar for this Saturday for the God, Family, and Country Rally sponsored by the Red River Tea Party.  We will be on the lawn outside the Bossier Civic Center on Benton Road.

The program kicks off at 10:00 a.m. and runs until about 11:30 with music and picnic following.  I'm excited because the line-up this year is awesome:  Louisiana radio personality Moon Griffon will be there and C.L. Bryant will be making a return engagement.

Go here to see video of C.L. Bryant.  Awesome!

There will, of course, be vendors selling hot dogs and sno cones, among other things.  Bring a chair or a blanket to sit on and plan to hear some great speeches, some good music and to have a good time.

Oily Notes

A couple more notes on the oil spill:

Via Instapundit, and Memeorandum, here's a great list by Heritage Foundation of Obama's Oil Spill To-Do List.  Awesome!

First on the list is to waive the Jones Act.  There are ten items on the list.  Go here to check it out; this is a great resource.

In related news, Obama blasted Senator Lamar Alexander today during a meeting at the White House to discuss climate change legislation:

“The priority should be fixing the oil spill,” Alexander told the President, according to the source. “That’s what any meeting about energy should be about.”

But when Alexander tried to interject the BP leak into the meeting, the source said, the President told the senator, “That’s just your talking point.”

Retorted Alexander, “No, it’s my opinion.”

I guess Obama is getting tired of the criticism.

Elena Kagan's Deal Breaker

I'm listening to the Kagan hearings today because I want to see which Senator asks her about her medical degree empowering her to write language for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Outrageous!  I also want to see who DOESN'T ask her about it.

By now you've read, I hope, Shannen Coffin's report on Kagan's manipulation of science to further her personal political agenda while serving in the Clinton White House.  Shannen Coffin is, of course, a former deputy attorney general who defended the ban on partial birth abortion during the Bush years.  An excerpt:

There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method.

Except that the ACOG didn't decide that partial birth abortion was the best procedure; Kagan did:

The task force’s initial draft statement did not include the statement that the controversial abortion procedure “might be” the best method “in a particular circumstance.” Instead, it said that the select ACOG panel “could identify no circumstances under which this procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”
Notwithstanding its allegedly apolitical nature, ACOG shared this draft statement with the Clinton White House. Miss Kagan, then a deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, already knew ACOG’s stance as a result of a July 1996 meeting at the White House, at which ACOG representatives told administration officials — according to a Kagan memorandum [PDF] — that “in the vast majority of cases, selection of the partial birth procedure is not necessary to avert serious adverse consequences to a woman’s health.”

Upon receiving the task force’s draft statement, Kagan noted in another internal memorandum [PDF] that the draft ACOG formulation “would be a disaster — not the less so (in fact, the more so) because ACOG continues to oppose the legislation.” Any expression of doubt by a leading medical body about the efficacy of the procedure would severely undermine the case against the ban.

And so rather than have the ban undermined, she made up science.  She wrote the language that ended up in the ACOG opinion which was used in future litigation against bans on partial birth abortion.  Coffin's final word:

Miss Kagan’s decision to override a scientific finding with her own calculated distortion in order to protect access to the most despicable of abortion procedures seriously twisted the judicial process. One must question whether her nomination to the Court would have the same effect.


Jennifer Rubin says:

Some senator should have the wherewithal to take this on and require that Kagan explain herself. Not only is it, if accurate, a disqualifying episode for a Supreme Court justice; it is grounds for a solicitor general to step down. And her failure to advise the courts — which believed they were relying on neutral, expert testimony — constitutes a significant ethical breach.
And Pundette:

Thanks in great part to Kagan's apparent fabrication, all state laws banning partial birth abortions were struck down in 2000. No one knows how many children might be alive now if it weren't for Kagan's alleged falsification. Accurate data on partial birth abortions is hard to come by; there are many reasons why a doctor might not want to own up to performing this diabolical "procedure." But low estimates put the number of victims at somewhere between 650 and 2200 babies terminated annually before the ban. I don't know how many were killed in states that had a ban in place before the 2000 decision. But would it be going too far to say, if these charges are true, Kagan lied, babies died?

And so I'm listening to Elena Kagan today to see if she is given the opportunity to explain herself.   Because regardless how you feel on abortion, this is a deal breaker.  She lied.  She used her political position to further her political agenda and fabricated science to do so.  It's a major ethical violation.

Update:  Coffin notes at The Corner that over reaction to this news is not the way to go.  All this actually means for now is that there are certainly questions to be asked of Kagan.  She was not necessarily tampering with evidence.  See his notes here.

Follow today on Memeorandum and at The Other McCain who links a second Kagan lobbying effort on the abortion issue.

And Finally, a Little Good News in the Gulf

There are a couple of positive news items about the Gulf spill this morning, for a change.

First was the announcement last night that the Feds will accept 22 offers of help from 12 countries to deal with the clean up efforts.  Finally.  See Allahpundit's post on that for details; he's got the links to the charts and documents you need to see.  There are still a lot of offers still on the table, but, it's a start.

Also, news in NOLA this morning is that the Coast Guard and the EPA have relaxed a response rule requiring those skimmers to be elsewhere "just in case" they were needed.  This will free some of them up to work in the gulf.  See the NOLA article here.

Sen. George LeMieux puts it best:

Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., a vocal critic of the number of skimmers currently deployed, said the rule should help but comes late in the game.  "After waves of oil, tar and sludge-stained beaches, after families have lost their jobs, their business, and their way of life, we are finally beginning to see a sense of urgency from the federal government," LeMieux said in a statement. "I am glad the rule has been issued, but I wish this determination had been made weeks ago, when the oil could have been skimmed before it hit our coastlines."
But, it's an improvement.  Slow is better than nothing at all.

Check out this video at HoumaToday to see what kind of response a local official got when he called the BP oiled wildlife hotline to report a bird in trouble.  Press 1 2 won't believe it.

And finally, this AP story about how the wetlands and estuaries are faring pretty well, considering.  That's hard to reconcile with the charts of dead fish and wildlife we've been seeing, or the oil covered birds, but there it is.  This report is conditional, however, on no big storm coming through and spreading oil all over creation down there.  That would change things.

But for now, it's nice to be able to report some positive steps so let's hope that pattern holds.

(Photo credit:  Chris Granger, The Times-Picayune)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Obama Gins Up Partisan Division Over Immigration Reform

Obama has been taking "time off from the Gulf oil spill," according to The New York Times.  Well, isn't that special?  The oil gushing out of the ocean floor doesn't take any time off, but it's all good.  Obama has delegated responsibility to dozens of czars, chiefs, and other "important people" to handle this worst environmental disaster in recent memory.

What's he been doing instead?  No!  Not golfing!  He's been rallying the Hispanic caucus against Republicans on the issue of immigration.

Caucus members were summoned to The White House for a 45 minute meeting yesterday (that's about 25 minutes more than he scheduled for Tony Hayward) to discuss his plans for immigration reform.  The bill is being written by Chuck Schumer and isn't expected to gain any traction before the midterm elections.

Obama wants the Caucus to shift their ire from his lagging response on immigration to the Republicans who won't promise any votes for it.  Obama apparently reported that Republicans appeared "determined" not to provide any votes, according to The Caucus at The New York Times.

After meeting with Obama, The Caucus blog reports that many members have indeed shifted their ire from Obama to Republicans.

Of course, what Obama wants is their support for Democratic candidates in the midterm elections, thus holding immigration reform over their heads.  His message is that if they don't turn out in large numbers for the Democratic candidates, and Republicans take over, immigration reform clearly won't happen.

Meanwhile, you have loons like Pete Stark (D-CA) insisting our borders are secure.

In Arizona, even John McCain is backing off of immigration reform somewhat as he faces anti-illegal-immigration candidate J.D. Hayworth in the August primary.

Polls have shown broad support for Arizona's tough stance on immigration and this is certain to be a hot issue in the fall elections, especially with Team Obama ginning up partisan division rather than trying to find a bi-partisan answer.

Pete Stark is Stark Raving Mad if He Thinks the "Borders Are Secure!"

Via FoxNews comes this video of Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) in a town hall last week mocking a Minuteman who asked him about border security.  Stark never gives a straight answer to the man's question and is flip and dismissive, much to the ire of the audience.  At one point the Minuteman even suggests building a wall to which Stark replies he'll start a ladder company and sell a lot of ladders to those who want to go over the wall.  Watch this:

Incredible.   Did you get that?  He said our borders are "quite secure."

Stark has been in Congress for 37 years.  It's time to send him home.

Forest Baker for Congress in CA-13!

(More at Memeorandum)

Carrie Prejean Wedding This Friday

Via WeSmirch comes news that Carrie Prejean and her Oakland Raider, Kyle Boller, are getting married this Friday.

Prejean, you remember, was blasted by Perez Hilton during the 2009 Miss USA pageant for her position in opposition to gay marriage.  And of course, those cranky liberals can't be happy for Miss Prejean, announcing her marriage with the caveat that she's doing something "that gays and lesbians can no longer do in Callifornia."  Perez Hilton snarks that Miss Prejean "won't be wearing white."

The wedding will be in San Diego at the Grand Del Mar Hotel on Friday.

I wonder who is on the guest list.  Pretty sure Perez Hilton isn't.

Seen in New Orleans

Steve is in New Orleans this week and sends along this photo.  Guess they're Saints fans?

BP Purchases Skimmer From Shell and the EPA Rejects the A-Whale

The Nanuq is a 300 foot oil recovery boat sitting idle in Alaska.  It's an American vessel and could be put to work immediately.  No Jones Act issues.  It would, however, take about 25 days to get to the Gulf:

Via KTUU in Alaska on Friday, June 25:

Shell built the ship in 2007, and says it's one of the most advanced skimming vessels of its kind in the world.
"She's definitely the largest that we know of," said Shell Alaska's Susan Moore. "She's got 12,000 barrels of storage, which is above and beyond what most other oil spill response vessels around the world have."

With Shell's offshore drilling plans this year put on hold by the Obama administration, the Nanuq won't be needed in Alaska this year. But all it takes is a look at news headlines to find oil cleanup work.
"I saw the pictures of the wildlife in the gulf. This is terrible, and the company's going to put its full might behind providing every resource it can to stop it, clean it up and restore the gulf," said BP managing director Bob Dudley.

BP expressed interest in using the Nanuq to help clean up the Deepwater Horizon spill, and Shell says it was in the final stages of a deal which would have sent the ship south. But for some reason BP recently backed out, and Shell says it can confirm that BP no longer plans to use the ship.
"I can't tell you why BP decided to pass on the Nanuq," said Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith. "Of course it's our preference that it be working in the gulf, but it will remain available should BP reconsider."

Yesterday we learned that BP has purchased the ship and is disassembling it's containment system in order to install it on another ship:

BP spokesperson Robert Wine confirms that the company purchased an Ocean Buster oil skimmer from Shell Oil. Wine says the company can easily pack the containment boom and ship it to the gulf, where the company plans to install it on a different vessel.
What I'd be interested in knowing is how long did BP know about that ship sitting up in Alaska, now idled by  the Obama administration, and why did they take some 70 days in taking action on it? Did it take as long to complete the sale as it would have taken to move the ship to the Gulf?

Oh, and remember the A-Whale?  Heritage reports on the problem with the giant skimmer (emphasis mine):

The A-Whale is the essence of an international ship—built in South Korea, modified in Portugal, owned by Taiwanese and flagged in Liberia.  And that is part of the problem.  Even if it stays farther offshore than the 3-mile limit of America’s Jones Act, it still requires approval by the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency before BP can hire the A-Whale and put it to work.

The second problem is that the ship would gather spilled oil, separate the water from the oil, and discharge the water back into the ocean so its tanks could be filled with oil.  Our EPA has a problem with that, because the discharge would retain a minor amount of oily residue.  To EPA, any residue greater than 15 parts per million is impermissible.  They elevate perfection above the need for speed.

I'd rather be dealing with a little oily residue than the gunk washing up on the shores and into the wetlands now. 


Previous Gulf Oil Spill Posts:
The Jones Act Red Tape Keeping Skimmers out of the Gulf
C'Mon Obama!  Get Your Hands Dirty!
Day 70:  The Issue of Criminal Negligence
Day 69:  Thad Allen Needs to Go
The Feds Latest Attempt to Kill Louisiana:  Dredging Stopped
Jindal Responds to Moratorium Ruling
Jindal Goes to Court
Protest Rally in Houma While NOLA Calls Moratorium Myopic
Rahm Focuses on Ways to Help the Gulf Region
On the Presidential Image
Corps of Engineers Still Mulling Approval for Jetties
Why Didn't Obama Shut Down the Coal Mines...?
Shocker!  Nothing "Inferior" About Packgen Boom
Bobby Jindal Fighting the War for the Gulf Coast

and much more

The Jones Act Red Tape Keeping Skimmers Out of the Gulf

Just over two weeks ago I posted on a proposed joint venture between The Blue Seals and Ecoceane to put out of work fishermen and vets back to work building Ecoceane skimmer boats to be used in the oil spill cleanup.

Today, NOLA reports that this venture has met with nothing but red tape.  Shocker.

Part of the problem, as I suggested before, lies with the Jones Act.  The Ecoceane boats are French vessels.  They are able to work near the shore which would violate the three mile barrier imposed by the Jones Act.  Some of the boats are larger and can also work farther out which seems to clear them from the Jones Act, but eventually they must hook up with an American port to offload the oil.  Back to square one.


The law prevents foreign crews and foreign ships from transporting goods between U.S. ports; in the Deepwater Horizon case, the "port" would be where the oil is collected offshore. Allen has said that many of the foreign-flagged boats are working the spill more than three miles offshore, meaning they would not be carrying oil to a separate port on shore.

"While we have not seen any need to waive the Jones Act as part of this historic response, we continue to prepare for all possible scenarios," Allen said. "Should any waivers be needed, we are prepared to process them as quickly as possible to allow vital spill response activities being undertaken by foreign-flagged vessels to continue without delay."

But [Chief Exective Eric] Vial of Ecoceane, the French oil spill response company, said the Jones Act and other difficulties getting through to BP prevented his company from putting boats to work sooner. He has boats that could work offshore, but also smaller models that would be best suited in shallower inland waters within the three-mile limit.

What Vial ended up doing was selling nine of his boats to a Florida company in order to circumvent the Jones Act.  He explained that Ecoceane could have sent smaller vessels that can work closer to shore but they could not be assured access.  Vial said, "To respond to the crisis, whether it's BP or the U.S. government, they may have created too many administrative steps and barriers that are making the whole process much lengthier."

Like I said, too many cooks in the kitchen.

Thad Allen continues to insist that no Jones Act waivers have been requested.  NOLA reports that six are pending:

As of last week, no Jones Act waivers had been granted. According to the joint information center for the response, six vessels involved in oil containment have applied for Jones Act waivers that are still pending.



Monday, June 28, 2010

C'mon Obama, Get Your Hands Dirty!

Via WWLTV, here is St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro this afternoon in a press conference on the sorry federal response to the Gulf oil crisis:

By the way, dredging for those berms resumed today around 2 p.m.


I just made the mistake of looking up my Wikio ranking.  This can't be a good thing, at all:

Yeah.  I know that's not very clear (you can see it better when you click on the picture), but I'm 666.  Crap.

Sheryl Crow Just Wants to Have Some Fun, but Not With the Tea Party

Because Sheryl Crow is so superior to everyone else she is now qualified to pass judgment on patriotic Americans expressing, as Crow is, their right to free speech and engagement in political discourse.

Via Newsbusters, Katie Couric asked Crow in a Glamour magazine interview (Glamour?!) what she thought about the activism of the Tea Party movement.  Crow's response:

"I appreciate the fact that those people are out there and that they are fired up," responded Crow, before adding that Tea Partiers "haven't educated themselves...they're just pissed off."

When will celebrities learn to just shut up and do what they are paid to do? Why do so many of them continue to alienate fans and potential customers?  It runs both ways, to be sure.  I'm sure liberals get irritated at Chuck Norris or Ted Nugent when they express their opinions, too.  The difference, it seems to me, however, is that in this case Sheryl Crow sinks to judgmental name calling.

I could be wrong, but I don't recall Nuget, Norris or Janine Turner insulting the other side.  Can't you just express an opinion, if you must, without being insulting?  

When you have nothing else to back up your position, rely on the insult.

Not only are Tea Partiers "angry" but also potentially dangerous; a little too much Janet Napolitano in your reading stack, Sheryl?:

"My main concern is that [the Tea Party is] really fear-based," said Crow, a cancer survivor and environmental activist. "What's coming out of the Tea Party most often, especially if you go onto YouTube, and you see some of the interviews with these people who really don't even know what the issues are, they're just swept up in the fear of it and the anger of it."

"They're not sure what they're angry at," Crow continued. "[T]hey don't understand what's happening on Wall Street."

The singer also worried that the "uneducated" and "angry" Tea Partiers could even become dangerous. "[K]nowledge is power, and anything less than that when it comes to anger can be dangerous," said Crow.

Let me clear it up for you, Sheryl.  I'm educated. I'm angry - you've got that part right.  I'm angry at the big government takeover by the Obama administration.  I'm angry at the generational debt this administration is dragging us in to.  I'm angry at the explosion of social programs and the expansion of the welfare state along with the seemingly endless continuation of unemployment benefits.  99 weeks?  Really?  You can't find some kind of job in two years?!  I'm angry at the refusal of this administration to secure our borders and the sanctuary cities that allow illegals to violate our laws.  I'm angry at the socialization of the health care industry while doing nothing, really, to reign in health care costs.  That's not reform.  I'm angry at the very idea of cap and trade and the refusal to drill in ANWR and other much safer reservoirs than deepwater Gulf drilling;  for that matter, I'm angry at the very mismanagement of the Gulf disaster which YOU, as a self-avowed environmentalist ought to be outraged about.

There's more, but I'm sure you're busy, Miss Crow.

How's that toilet paper rationing thing working out for you?

Here is the entire interview, if you are interested.

(H/T:  Kim Ebey)

Day 70: The Issue of Criminal Negligence

Quin Hillyer has an excellent spot at American Spectator this morning regarding the Gulf oil crisis.  As I asked yesterday, "When does incompetence cross the line and become criminal?", Hillyer has a response:

In short, bad as the Bush response to Katrina has been, Obama's response to the oil spill has been far, far worse -- to the degree where it is, in moral terms, almost criminally negligent. 

And he elaborates (emphasis mine):

This disaster was all BP's fault, and in the long run BP should pay and pay and pay and pay and pay for its numerous violations of basic safety and response rules and practices. But the EFFECT of the disaster on the coasts and in the wetlands, and in the whole Gulf eco-system, could have been so greatly lessened if the administration were competent and caring that the blame for long-term damage must read in the Oval Office, in the person of that cold, detached Alinskyite who sees in this spill nothing more than yet another opportunity to stop other offshore drilling and push cap and trade. The word for his response, in every sense of the word, is "rotten." 

Spot on.

Today's latest delay comes from BP and their decision to delay implementation of a new containment system because of weather concerns.  Why this system isn't already in place 70 days into the disaster isn't clear.

The AP has a report on the psychological toll of the spill, which will only be compounded by continued delays and ineffective management from the federal response team.

By the way, the Taiwanese A-Whale still isn't in the Gulf skimming oil today.  Ed Morrissey wrote about this wrinkle last week.  The skimmer still, STILL, needs clearance from the EPA and probably a Jones Act waiver, although this is not a shore skimming vessel. The A-Whale would  be working much further out from the shore than most skimmers.  Anything outside of three miles from shore is free from Jones Act rules.  But, I'm not clear on the issue of after the oil is collected; should the A-Whale come to American port, or transfer the oil to an American ship, does it need a waiver then? Any Jones Act experts out there, please feel free to clear that up for me.

Why hasn't this ship already been approved?  Because the Coast Guard has to do a study and a report:

Coast Guard inspectors toured the ship for about four hours on Thursday to determine the ship's efficacy and whether it was fit to be deployed, said Capt. Matthew Sisson, commanding officer of the Coast Guard's Research and Development arm in New London, Conn.

"We take all offers of alternative technology very seriously," Sisson said. The ship, he said, is "an impressive engineering feat."

He would not offer a timetable for Coast Guard approval of the vessel, but said he will try to "turn around a report … as soon as humanely possible."

I want to know who is going to have the cojones  to stand up to this administration and finally call foul over this.

Criminal negligence, indeed.

(Oh, and thanks to Jim Geraghty for the link in The Morning Jolt today!)

SCOTUS Smacks Chicago Handgun Ban

I guess it's safe to assume that Elena Kagan isn't happy with the Supreme Court decision on gun rights today.  Another reminder for the future that elections have consequences.

Professor Glenn Reynolds offers his thoughts here.  I find this interesting:

Third, it really is interesting how much emphasis the majority, and Justice Thomas’s concurrence, put on the racist roots of gun control. See this article and this one by Bob Cottrol and Ray Diamond for more background. And isn’t it interesting that this is happening on the same day the Senate’s last Klansman went to his reward?

The Wall Street Journal has an early write-up:

The legal question before the court had much to do with questions of constitutional history. Before the Civil War, courts held that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. After the Union victory, the Reconstruction amendments were adopted to elevate individual rights over state powers and cement the federal role in enforcing them.

The Supreme Court has subsequently held that many constitutional rights considered fundamental to American principles of liberty override state laws. However, more technical provisions—such as the Fifth Amendment requirement that grand juries approve criminal indictments—apply only to the federal government and don't necessarily bind states.

Monday's ruling elevates the Second Amendment right to bear arms to the status of a fundamental right that states can't abridge.

Also, see Mary Katharine Ham's response at Weekly Standard where she points out that the gun ban in Chicago has not actually led to an abatement of violence there but has instead left the innocent unprotected.

You can read the Court's opinion here (PDF / 214 pages)

The Kagan Link Fest

The Elena Kagan dog and pony show begins this week.  The hearings should actually be fairly informative as we just don't know that much about her and she has, by tradition, remained silent since her nomination. 

There are some handy guides to bring us up to speed on her, however, starting with Human Events: A User's Guide to the Kagan Hearings.  This offers a rundown of Kagan's biography and some of the subjects that are likely to come up such as her anti-military views and her judicial philosophy.  There is also a link to the  New York Post article by Professor Glenn Reynolds in which he called Kagan "a wise choice," a backhanded compliment to be sure as he was in fact referring to Obama's weakness in the polls when he picked her.

Elizabeth Meinecke offers Five Red Flags About Elena Kagan.

George Will has some questions for Kagan.

Michelle Malkin has a plethora of links and declares it Kagan Kabuki Theater.

Politico analyzes their perception of the Republican "line of attack."

Stacy McCain has links for the "Kagan Confirmation Circus."

And go back a bit to Legal Insurrection in May, So Why Am I Already Defending Elena Kagan?

And of course, there's always Memeorandum to keep you up to date.

Keep your eyes on the ball, folks.

Rose Van Thyn: 1921-2010 (Updated - Obituary & Editorial Added)

Local Holocaust survivor Rose Van Thyn has passed away.  With apologies to The Shreveport Times, I'm going to quote their entire article here, the reason being, when Louis Van Thyn passed away in 2008, I quoted from and linked their article, only to find it a missing link later on when the article was taken down.  I had lots of people find my blog by doing searches for Louis Van Thyn and surely they were disappointed when they got here to find the article missing.

So, here's the story in The Times, then I'll add a brief comment:

Holocaust survivor and community educator Rose Van Thyn, who spoke to literally thousands of local schoolchildren during her life about the horrors of the Jewish genocide, passed away Sunday at the age of 88.

"Rose was the most remarkable human being you would ever meet in your life," said Ron Nierman, a family friend. "She and (husband) Louis escaped horrors none of us could even imagine."
Van Thyn, originally from Holland, survived internment at the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland and emigrated to the United States in 1956. Both she and her husband, Louis, who passed away in 2008, met after they were liberated in Europe. They were originally married to separate spouses, both of whom died inside Nazi concentration camps.

"My mother was a very determined, very deep, very complex person," said her son, Nico Van Thyn. "She loved to speak at schools and civic clubs for anyone who wanted to hear about her experiences."
For the past 25 years, Rose and Louis were prominent fixtures at numerous community events, reminding children of the pain she and six million others had to endure at the hands of Nazi persecution. In May, she received the Shreveport Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award, given annually to a person or organization for outstanding community service.

"I'm very sad to hear that she has passed away," said Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover. "It is a tremendous loss not just to Shreveport but to the entire world to know that someone who possessed the knowledge and experience and the history that she lived has now passed on."
After World War II, Holocaust survivors could be granted permission to live and work in the United States if sponsored by a family here. The family that brought the Van Thyns to Shreveport was that of Abe Gilbert, who owned the A.A. Gilbert Pipe and Supply company in Shreveport, which still exists today.

Nierman, who is Abe Gilbert's grandson, recalled how when the couple first arrived they could speak only a little English, and originally thought the pipes in question Louis was supposed to be working on were smoking pipes. Learning to convert his measurements from the metric system to English units took a little while, Nierman said.

Though in declining health recently, Van Thyn still obliged as many requests to speak as possible, saying that as more and more Holocaust survivors pass away, remembering each one of their legacies became doubly important so that what they had to endure would never be repeated again.
"She felt like it was her mission to try to educate as many kids and people in general about the Holocaust," Nico Van Thyn said. "She wanted to teach them about why it happened and how it happened, what happened to her, and about racial and religious prejudice."

Van Thyn is survived by five grandchildren, Nico and daughter Elsa, and two great-grandchildren.

I was fortunate enough to hear Rose tell her story about five or six years ago during a Holocaust seminar taught by Lisa Nicoletti at Centenary College.  Rose brought the entire class to tears with her story.  I can only imagine the impression she left on the minds and hearts of the thousands of young people she has spoken to through the years.  She was funny; she told the saddest, most tragic story you can imagine, but she still kept a sense of humor and could make you smile while she talked.

Someone asked her at the end of her story that day if she would ever be able to forgive Hitler for what he did to the Jews.  She said, "It's not up to me to forgive Hitler.  It is up to God." 

In my sophomore English class we always read an excerpt from Elie Wiesel's Night and we also read The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen.  I have three poems Rose gave us at that seminar that I share with the class and I tell them about her.  Some of the students have heard her speak before, but not all of them.  I believe Rose wanted to speak to every young person she came across.

She truly did believe it was her mission to share her experience with young people today.  Never forget.  It can happen again.  And as more and more of these survivors leave us, Rose's words are even more poignant.

She will truly be missed.

You can hear Rose tell her story here.

Update: Via KTBS: A memorial service is set for Sunday, July 11 at 2 p.m. at Brown Chapel on the campus of Centenary College. A reception will be held immediately after the memorial at Kilpatrick Auditorium.

Update:  Again, apologies to The Times, but here's a copy/paste of the obituary:

SHREVEPORT, LA - Rozetta "Rose" Van Thyn, 88, honored often in Shreveport-Bossier and the area for her commitment to educating the public about the Holocaust, passed away Sunday, June 27, 2010.

She was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where she was a prisoner for three years as a young woman. Over the past three decades, she told her story to thousands at area schools, churches and civic groups, and was often a featured speaker at Shreveport-Bossier's annual Holocaust memorial service. As an Attaway Fellow in Civic Culture, she made regular visits to speak to students at Centenary College.

Born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, she lost her parents, sister and first husband in the camps. She met fellow survivor Louis Van Thyn in Amsterdam after the war and they married in 1946. Louis died on Aug. 27, 2008.

Rose was liberated from Auschwitz by American soldiers and vowed to someday live in the United States. In 1956, the Van Thyns and their two children immigrated to Shreveport, with sponsorship from the Shreveport Jewish Federation and the A.A. Gilbert family.

A homemaker, excellent cook and professional seamstress, she was most proud of her family, of becoming a U.S. citizen in May 1961, and of receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Centenary in 2002. In 2003, she and Louis were recognized by the National Conference of Community and Justice for service to the city. Her most recent honor was the Liberty Bell Award from the Shreveport Bar Association.

Survivors are son Nico (wife Bea) of Fort Worth, Texas; daughter Elsa (husband Jim Wellen) of Voorhees, N.J., grandsons Jason Key (wife Ann) of McKinney, Texas, Adam Wellen (fiancee Tania Welker) of Washington, D.C. and Josh Wellen of Baton Rouge; granddaughters Rachel (husband Russell) Smith of Knoxville, Tenn., and Abby Wellen of Pittsburgh, Pa., and great-grandchildren Josephine Smith and Jacob Key.

A memorial service will be Sunday, July 11, at 2 p.m. at Centenary's Brown Memorial Chapel. She will be honored with a plaque in the Centenary rose garden and a bench at LSU-Shreveport. At her request, her body was donated to LSU Medical Center.

Memorial donations may be made to Van Thyn Endowed Professorship Chair at Centenary College and the Rose and Louis Van Thyn Master of Liberal Arts Scholarship at LSUS.

And here is their editorial today:

Rose Van Thyn's survival of the Holocaust meant succeeding generations would hear of humanity's capability for darkness. But her life also illuminated mankind's great capacity to heal, to find hope and purpose in the indelible marks of tragedy.

Just as the passing of each World War II citizen soldier robs us of living reminders of the nobility of sacrifice for a greater good, so does the passing of Holocaust survivors separate us from the eyewitness testimony to horrors we forget at our own peril.

"People tell me I was lucky. That is really not the word," the 88-year-old Auschwitz death camp survivor told attendees at April's Holocaust Remembrance Service. "Lucky is when you win a lottery. I did not win anything. I was given something, the most precious gift, a second chance at life."

We count it fortunate that after Nazi death camps, northwest Louisiana and businessman A.A. Gilbert were able to provide a fresh start to the Dutch couple, Rose and her husband, Louis Van Thyn, who died in 2008. In return, they gave back productive lives and friendship.

More important, they taught any who would listen the value of justice and compassion, having witnessed a society that lost both. The Holocaust claimed 11 million victims, 6 million of whom were Jews.

Despite their passing, the Van Thyns' mission will continue not just in the memories of those they reached but in the halls of academia. The Rose and Louis Van Thyn Endowed Professorship is being established at Centenary College in Shreveport, a chair that will focus on issues related to the Holocaust.

More than a half century after her liberation from Aushwitz, where she was subjected to medical experimentation and beatings, Van Thyn wrote as a survivor of that "hell on earth" that her mission was to speak for those who could not, "to educate as many people as we can so that the truth will be known."

Her work is done. Ours continues.

And finally, The Times has a photo gallery here in commemoration.  I love the one of Rose and Mayor Glover; she was so tiny and anyone who knows Mayor Glover...well, he's not tiny.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Take a Trip to The Norton Art Gallery

I'm feeling very cultured today; we went to the Norton Art Gallery this afternoon and had a nifty time.  We took Steve's visiting New Jersey friend and his family; they'd never been before.  I'd admonished them beforehand - "You can't take pictures there!"  and much to my pleasure, they've changed policy.  You can take pictures but no FLASH photography.

So there I am without my camera.  But I had my handy-dandy cell phone and I'll show you some of my favorite stuff.  That's a sophisticated term I learned in my 18 hours of Art History classes at LSUS - "stuff."

Seriously, the Norton has some beautiful and historically important work.  I'm excited about the Library they're working on which will be open as a research library in several months.  One of the guides told me they have some wonderful things in there.

One of the things Steve really likes at the Norton is all the Remingtons.  I didn't photograph any of those, mostly because I didn't think about it.  They aren't my favorite.  I admire them, but that's not what I go to see.  After a while, one Indian on a horse looks like another, to me.  But there's a painting of George Washington that I like that is believed to be painted by Gilbert Stuart's daughter Mary.  There is also Thomas Sully's portrait of Andrew Jackson dated 1845 and a cool 1794 miniature of George Washington  by Andrew Robertson.

Still in the Early American area, they have a case of Paul Revere Silver and some pieces by Daniel Henchman.  I especially liked this teapot:

Their pieces were beautiful yet functional.  The museum also has a huge Revere cast copper alloy bell.

We came to what Steve called "the cow room" which had bronzes, paintings, and sculptures of cows.  There are two display cases showcasing these nifty Royal Doulton hand-painted cow plates.  Each plate has a different scene:

Showing at the museum until August 1 is a collection of works from artist Alex Dzigurski who painted fabulous seascapes.  He was a Serb and was born in 1911.  He graduated from the School of Art in Belgrade in 1929.  He was drafted into the Yugoslavian army in 1941, was taken prisoner shortly thereafter, escaped, fled to Vienna and worked as a housepainter until the end of the war.  He fled to Italy in 1945 and eventually to Pennsylvania in 1949.  He eventually settled in California and died in 1995.  The paintings at the Norton are from his wife's collection and they're gorgeous.  I took this picture, but it doesn't do it justice:

Here are a couple of other paintings I liked, both by Martin Johnson Heade:

I could totally see that one hanging in my house.  I love magnolias.

I liked this one, too:

All in all, it was a nice afternoon.  We walked the grounds out back afterward and it was hot but still very pretty.  It's prettier in the spring when all the azaleas are blooming but it's still very peaceful and nice back there.

If you live around here, put the Norton on your list of places to go.  It's a wonderful way to waste away the afternoon.  The Norton is known for its collection of Hudson River School paintings. The Bierstadts are gorgeous.  There is a Mary Cassatt there that I love but that wasn't out today.  There's a room of collectible firearms and a room of dolls (they kind of creep me out but some people are into that sort of thing.)  There's also a huge painting by Lloyd Hawthorne of Captain Henry Miller Shreve clearing the great raft from the Red River.  And finally, don't miss the tapestries that date from 1541-1546.  Most of them depict images from Plutarch's epic, Africa. 

Coming up August 17 through the end of the year will be Ansel Adams:  The Masterworks.

Below:  A brown pelican sculpture on the back grounds.  Bonus points if you can tell me what kind of flower that is.

Day 69: Thad Allen Needs to Go

Update:  Thanks to Jim Geraghty for the link!

The federal response to the Gulf crisis has not improved this week as far as I can tell.  Admiral Thad Allen's Friday briefing makes that abundantly clear.

This man need to be replaced.

At issue is the question of skimmers in the Gulf.  Karen Nelson of the Biloxi Sun Herald reported on the anger and frustration along the Gulf at the lack of skimmers along the Mississippi Gulf coast.  U.S. Representative Gene Taylor was apoplectic and beginning to sound like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal:

Back on land in Gulfport, Taylor let loose.

“A lot of people are getting paid to say, ‘Look! There’s oil’ and not doing anything about it,” Taylor said. “There shouldn’t be a drop of oil in the Sound. There are enough boats running around.

“Nobody’s in charge,” Taylor said. “Everybody’s in charge, so no one’s in charge."  "If the president can’t find anyone who can do this job,” he said, “let me do it.”

Admiral Allen was asked about the lack of skimmers by Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald.  His response?

The discussions we are having with the Navy and other folks right now is the availability of skimmers that are on standby because they might be needed for a spill someplace else and how we might go about assessing the availability of those resources. So I would separate out the resources that the Navy had that they've already given to us and the discussions we're having across the entire country where we have equipment that's out there as a requirement—legal requirement to cover spill response of those areas and how we might free those up, and that's a work in progress inside the administration right now.

Got that?  We've got skimmers on standby but can't use them because they might be needed somewhere else. Her next question was whether or not the Jones Act has been waived.  Allen's response:

Oh, there are a lot of foreign vessels operating offshore, Carol. The Jones Act—we have had no request for Jones Act waivers. If the vessels are operating outside state waters, which is three miles and beyond, they don't require a waiver. All that we require is an Affirmation of Reciprocity, so if there ever was a spill in those countries and we want to send skimming equipment, that we would be allowed to do that, as well, and that hasn't become an issue yet, either.

Allen should check his mail more often.  One request was made on June 17.  John Cornyn sent a request on June 22.  On June 18, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison filed a bill requesting waiver of the Jones Act.  Florida Senator LeMieux and Rep. Jeff Miller requested a waiver two weeks ago.

Allen's excuse that foreign vessels are working the spill three miles and more offshore is lame.  A waiver of the Jones Act would get foreign skimmers near the shore where they could protect the fragile coast.

Overall there are just too many cooks in the kitchen.  What is needed is take-charge leadership to make the tough calls and get the job done.  There's just no excuse for the lack of skimmers in the Gulf.  Every available asset should be utilized.

When does incompetence cross the line and become criminal?

(More at Memeorandum)

(Cross posted at Potluck)

I At Least Agree With the "Absurd" Part

I'm trying to read Politico's lead story today but I have to stop and bang my head against the wall every now and then.  About the only thing I agree with so far is the title; in referring to Obama's presidency, the article is "Theater of the Absurd."  That much, I get, sort of.  More on that label in a moment.

I had this conversation with my mother just yesterday.  She lamented the fact that "all the news is bad."  She said every time she picks up the newspaper there's nothing but bad news in it at every turn.  Then she said, "I think most people are starting to see that Obama was just a mistake, that he's not qualified to do the job."

I disagreed with her.  I think the same people that thought he was unqualified in the beginning are even more convinced of that now, but many of the die hard Hope 'n Changers still believe in him and think he's doing great.  I've talked to them and I see their comments in various social media.  They love him.  They think he's saving the world.

They are wrong.

Back to Politico.  This article is such a fawning love fest that you'd think it was in The New York Times.  Written by Mike Allen and Glenn Thrush, the thesis seems to be that Obama's presidency has been rocked by more absurd, unexpected catastrophes than is fair to expect and he's responded with aplomb, dealing with each skillfully and accomplishing splendid major legislation along the way, such as financial reform, health care, and soon, cap and trade.

Don't you just love this line:

"But privately, Obama advisers talk of being prisoners to uncontrollable events and deeply uncertain about how all of this will play out."

Seriously?  "Prisoners to uncontrollable events"?  Which president ever got the luxury of avoiding that one?

And another head banging moment - Rahm Emanuel praising Obama for saving the day:

“If you take a wide-lens view of the domestic and international accomplishments, he has brought America back,” Emanuel said. “We have righted the ship on the crises we inherited, and laid a new foundation for long-term economic competitiveness.”

"Brought America back"?  From what?  Prosperity?  Democracy?  Hauling out that old "inherited" meme again, they've "righted the ship," he says.  If he'd take off those rose colored glasses and look ahead at the coming crisis brought on by Obamacare his opinion might be more reality based.  There's no getting around the reality that Obamacare is going to force people out of their current insurance policies, ration medical care, and raise premium costs, just for openers.

One more head banging moment, if you can stand it:

Yet, the landscape remains befuddling: an angry country, a stubborn economy, and a pair of wars where victory can’t be defined, perhaps much less achieved.
First this "angry country" comment.  Why is the country "angry" if the savior Obama has "righted the ship" and saved the day?  What's to be angry about?

But what galls me is the insinuation that victory in Afghanistan or Iraq can't be achieved.  Have Thrush and Allen not seen the success in Iraq?  You've got to love that support for the troops, don't you?  They've all but said in this piece that our troops are fighting for nothing.

Thrush and Allen point out that the White House is pleased with the progress and accomplishments of the Obama presidency:

Nonetheless, West Wing officials are feeling very good about how the BP and McChrystal crises turned out -– and believe that their response may help the president pivot to the offensive. In each case, Obama did little second-guessing and acted decisively, according to participants in presidential meetings.

There is debate in some circles as to whether McChrystal should have been fired or not; some think he should have been retained.  And as far as the BP crises, I don't know anybody who is happy with that outcome; in fact, flash to the White House, but it's still ongoing.  Oil is still gushing, the Jones Act is still in place, beaches are closing and tourism is over for the year, at least.  Thousands of Louisianians are out of work because of the closed fishing areas and the moratorium.  And lots of folks agree with Joe Barton that the $20 billion shakedown is just that - a shakedown.  It is unconstitutional to confiscate a private company's assets.  Period.

In fact, Thrush and Allen report that the White House was jubilant when Barton offered that apology to Tony Hayward, sending Team Obama back "into campaign mode" to "push back" on Republicans.  Some would suggest that Team Obama has been "in campaign mode" ever since Obama was elected; they've never left it.  All Obama does is campaign.

No, about the only thing Thrush and Allen accurately state in this piece is the title.  Obama's presidency has indeed been absurd.  Indeed, in its literal meaning, the theater of the absurd is of a man threatened or controlled by outside forces.  True presidents and leaders harness those threats and use them to their advantage.  They grasp them and they lead.  They are not buffeted about by these complications.  They act, not react.   Obama stumbles through, making gaffes and getting petulant when things don't go his way.

Most plays in the "theater of the absurd" are trajicomedies and so far, there is nothing funny about Obama's presidency. 

What is actually absurd is what Obama is doing to this country.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Veggie Heaven

The dog days of summer continue.  We ran down to Coushatta today and loaded up on veggies, some of which you can see here.  We bought lots of sweet corn, 1/2 bushel of speckled butter beans, 1/2 bushel of green butter beans, 1 bushel of purple hulls, a bag full of new potatoes, four Armistead sweet onions, some freestone peaches, lots of tomatoes, two cucumbers, and one zucchini.

Steve begged me to get the peas already shelled this time, so we did.  He's kind of over pea shelling this summer!  We've spent the afternoon putting up corn, peas and butter beans so we are good to go for the winter!  I'm like a squirrel when it comes to putting up food for the winter.  Love my fresh veggies!

They are really praying for rain down there.  As we drove and looked at the corn fields along the highway you can tell who irrigates and who doesn't.  Lots of the corn is burning up in the fields.  At Lester's, they said they'll have two more weeks of corn unless there is rain.  They'll be down to peas, peaches and some tomatoes before too long.

We're just chillin' here in the AC now, watching baseball and playing with dogs.  Might fire up the grill in a bit for some burgers.

How's your Saturday going?

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Storm is Brewing Edition

It's time for the FMJRA again; this one short and sweet as we're on our way to Coushatta again to get veggies.  No side stops this time, though.  It's hard to believe, but Ed Lester's will be shutting down in another month for the summer.  Where has the time gone!  So, we've got to get while the gettin's good, as they say.  I'm hoping to get a bunch of peas to put up in the freezer for the winter.  Last year, we had purple hulls all winter long, which was great!

There's a storm brewing in the Gulf, if you haven't heard.  And another potential one right behind it.  In Louisiana, we've had our eye on the system all week, and sure enough, here it comes.  How strong it will be is still at issue, but any storm will be bad enough as all cleanup efforts will have to cease for two weeks before the storm blows through. There are a lot of vessels out in the Gulf working on this thing and they'll all have to seek safe harbor.  A total disaster.

Let's get right to the links as I've got to pull out of here shortly:

Speaking of storms, Doug Ross explains the implications of this one.

No Sheeples Here has a reminder about the Korean War.

Don't anyone tell Little Miss Attila that I paid $6.00 for a 2 lb. bag of Louisiana Popcorn Rice this week.

The Other McCain has been all over the Dave Wiegel story.

Pirate's Cove has your stupid liberal story of the week.  Bride of Rove adds her two cents.

Camp of the Saints has your stupid Barney Frank statement of the week.

Legal Insurrection brings you up to speed on the "heartless" Republicans who are out to deliberately wreck the economy.

Caught Him With a Corndog reports on yet another tragedy because of the BP oil crisis.

For your musical interlude, check out Reaganite Republican and classic Eric Clapton!

Another Black Conservative is watching for that Executive Order on Amnesty.

A Cop's Watch reports that off duty police officers in Arizona are being told to carry guns.

Pundette posts on the administration's promotion of illegal immigration.

Okay, I've got to stop here.  I'll update later in the day.  My ride to the veggie stand will be here soon and I've got to hit the showers!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

It's the dog days of summer around here to be sure.  My blogging has been kind of slow over the past couple of days, too.  Everything slows down.

We got a little rain yesterday for the first time in weeks.  The grass turned green again overnight so I got out and did the yard this morning before we hit triple digits again.  It always looks so nice when it has just been mowed. 

Even the dogs are feeling the heat; the lab thinks he wants to go outside and chase the tennis ball, but after four or five throws his tongue is hanging out and he's ready to go back inside.  Both of them have rejected the carpet and spend the afternoons on the tile floor in the bathroom or the Pergo in the kitchen, and that's with the AC cranked down meat locker temps.

My mother has read every single book in the local library that remotely holds her interest.  I spent an hour, literally, in there yesterday trying to find something she would read and walked out empty handed.  I'm headed to Barnes & Noble today and maybe some used book shops.  She's heavy into memoirs and biographies. Some fiction but she prefers female authors and nothing racy or "obscene."  Think Rosamunde Pilcher.

I'm reading the latest Abigail Adams biography (in sidebar) and it's really good.  Very "readable," whatever that means.  I love the purity of the language and the way they spoke then.  It was just beautiful.  We've mangled the English language through the decades.  Seriously.  My teenager says things to me I can't even deciper. "Man!  That car is FIRE!"  Hunh?  "He's stuntin' on me."  ?????  Okay.

So things are slow but I think back to the school year when my stress level was off the charts and I had too much to do and too few hours in the day and I would have given anything for a few quiet hours to read and write and work on my blog.  My goal for the summer, as it always is, is to try and get my stats up and increase readership.  I'm still plugging along about where I always was with hits.  I missed some major part of Stacy McCain's How to Get a Million Hits lesson, apparently. 

Life is slow, but it's okay.  It's summer!  I still have some interior painting to do and a couple of closets to clean out.  Then I'll feel like I've accomplished something around this place.

I'm going to hit the showers and get the yard sweat off of me and see what the day holds.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Abita Sends an SOS

Abita beer is sending out an SOS for the Gulf shores.  The company has announced a new beer which will hit the shelves of 41 states in mid-July brewed specifically for the purpose of raising money for "the rescue and restoration of the environment, industry and individuals fighting to survive this disastrous oil spill." 

The company previously raised a half a million dollars for Katrina recovery with the marketing of a specially brewed Restoration Pale Ale.

From the SOS.Abita webpage:

This Abita Beer is a message in a bottle...a distress signal for the troubled waters of our Gulf Coast. For every bottle sold Abita will donate 75¢ to the rescue and restoration of the environment, industry and individuals fighting to survive this disastrous oil spill. This unfiltered Weizen Pils is made with Pilsner and Wheat malts. It is hopped and dry hopped with Sterling and German Perle hops. It has a brilliant gold color, a sweet malt flavor, and a pleasant bitterness and aroma.

Side note:  the SOS webpage is adorable; mouse over all the flying and swimming creatures and they all have a message.  Very cute.

The SOS (Save our Shores) bottles are etched with pelicans, fish and other creatures spelling out SOS.

There will also be a line of merchandise with the SOS logo: shirts, caps, pins, magnets, etc.