As I read it, I became annoyed. Is it just me or does the author of the article have something against Austin? Is all of this Blue America vs. Red America stuff going to people’s heads?
The wettest November on record and I decide to get a new roof and replace some water damaged siding and eaves on my house.
Between this month and May/June of this year, we’re on track to have one of the wettest years ever. Check out this flood history while you’re waiting for the rain to stop. If the meteorologists are right, today is the last of it for a while.
I grabbed this from the National Weather Service:
National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio, TX
2:58 am CST TUE NOV 23 2004
Record monthly rainfall set at Austin/Camp Mabry.
So far this month, 12.99 inches have fallen. This makes November 2004 the wettest November on record. The previous wettest November was back in 2001 when 10.00 inches fell.
So far this year, 50.83 inches have fallen. This currently makes 2004 the 8th wettest year on record. The all-time wettest year is 1919 when 64.68 inches fell.
The wettest years ahead of 2004 follow:
1. 64.68 – 1919
2. 53.99 – 1900
3. 52.21 – 1991
4. 51.97 – 1888
5. 51.73 – 1921
6. 51.30 – 1957
7. 51.24 – 1923
These totals will increase today. Possibly increasing the rank of 2004.
I’ve been here long enough to remember the December, 1991 floods, but the rest are a little too far back for me.
The donated bowls will be available for a $15 donation per bowl (or 2 for $25). There is a purchase limit of two bowls per person. When you buy a bowl, you
Robert Cringley, geek reporter extraordinaire, was one of those people who predicted a win for Kerry because the youth vote was underrepresented in the polls. The reasoning was that the polls weren’t getting the kids with no land line and just a cell phone. Well, we all know he was wrong and he admits it and tries to explain why in this column. But that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is the last half of the column:
Back to the election. If the experts are correct, the 2004 election results mean we now live in a country where morality is apparently the major concern of people. Am I wrong, or is the same thing not true in Iran? And if our morality is in fundamental conflict with their morality, which side will be willing to sacrifice more to obtain what they view as their just end? I can tell you it ain’t us.
Back in 1986 I talked Penthouse magazine into giving me an assignment to write the story: “How to Get a Date in Revolutionary Iran.” The premise was that hormones are hormones, and those wacky kids in Tehran, most of whom could still remember the Shah, had to be finding some way to meet members of the opposite sex. So I headed off to Iran to find out the truth. If you are interested in such stuff, the only time a single man and woman not from the same family could be together in private back then was in a taxi (he being the driver), so all the teenage boys who had or could borrow cars turned them into taxis. This, of course, put all the power in the hands of the woman since she could see him but he had to take pot luck.
I eventually finished the piece and decided to go see the war since I had been in Beirut and Angola, but had never seen trench warfare, which is what I was told they had going in Iran. So I took a taxi to the front, introduced myself to the local commander, who had gone, as I recall, to Iowa State, and spent a couple days waiting for the impending human wave attack. That attack was to be conducted primarily with 11-and 12-year-old boys as troops, nearly all of them unarmed. There were several thousand kids and their job was to rise out of the trench, praising Allah, run across No Man’s Land, be killed by the Iraqi machine gunners, then go directly to Paradise, do not pass GO, do not collect 200 dinars. And that’s exactly what happened in a battle lasting less than 10 minutes. None of the kids fired a shot or made it all the way to the other side. And when I asked the purpose of this exercise, I was told it was to demoralize the cowardly Iraqi soldiers.
It was the most horrific event I have ever seen, and I once covered a cholera epidemic in Bangladesh that killed 40,000 people.
Waiting those two nights for the attack was surreal. Some kids acted as though nothing was wrong while others cried and puked. But when the time came to praise Allah and enter Paradise, not a single boy tried to stay behind.
Now put this in a current context. What effective limit is there to the number of Islamic kids willing to blow themselves to bits? There is no limit, which means that a Bush Doctrine can’t really stand in that part of the world. But of course President Bush, who may think he pulled the switch on a couple hundred Death Row inmates in Texas, has probably never seen a combat death. He doesn’t get it and he’ll proudly NEVER get it.
Welcome to the New Morality.
On a related note, maybe all of those voters worried about moral values, protecting “the sanctity of marriage” by writing discrimination into the Constitution, and promoting abstinence-only sex-ed should start looking for some other things to worry about.
I’ve been trying really hard not to blog so much about politics, but I’m finding it hard to do. A line has been forming at the figurative door of W’s cabinet. I’m surprised that no one has been trampled on the way out.
It appears that Condi Rice will, in fact, be Colin Powell’s replacement. The Washington Post has a take on her appointment which is all but certain to be announced today. Jesse hits another issue with her taking the job. Between her taking the top job at the State Department and the chopping that Porter Goss, the new director of the CIA is perpetrating over there, I think we’re in for a lot more of what we saw over the last four years. While it’s clear that there need to be a shakeup in the intelligence community, it sounds like the people getting the axe are the ones that have tended to disagree with the Bush administration in the past. Once again, the Washington Post has quite a bit to say about Goss and Rice.
EDIT: It’s official. (*shudder*)
Two different businesses charged with caring for Austin youth have gone out of business this year under shady circumstances. Both times, those businesses were run by Dolores Hillyer. First, there was the Texas Academy of Excellence, a charter school whose biggest claim to fame is that it’s the first one in Texas to file for bankruptcy. Now, there’s the Capital City Creative School-Capitol Complex, a daycare for state workers which shut down abruptly last week.
As a parent who has one child in daycare and another in a charter school, this pattern concerns me. We’re trusting that the people running those businesses have the best interests of our children and our families at heart and we’re trusting that they are competent enough to run their business. I don’t know how this woman keeps getting in a position of trust with the track record that she’s had over the past year (and even before that according to the Statesman story on the charter school). Since she already had control of the daycare when the charter school shenanigans came to light, I can understand how this might have been missed until now. I wonder if any parents at the daycare had suspicions once the charter school story broke earlier this year?
Bottom line: If you’re a parent in Austin, you’d do well to check out who’s running your daycare or charter school. If you hear the name Dolores Hillyer, run. Run very far away.
I heard about this story (see my standard Statesman link disclaimer at the bottom of this post) on 101X this morning. I’ll resist the obvious puns about Hold ‘Em and hold-up that The Statesman couldn’t seem to resist.
It’s amazing how much interest in poker and Texas Hold ‘Em in particular has grown over the past couple of years. We’ve got a local blogger, transplanted Aussie JK, who dedicates much of his blog to poker. I’m all for his objective of allowing more legal games around the U.S., especially here in Texas (and close to Austin). It’d certainly cut down on the chance of robberies more informal games like the one mentioned in the story. Of course, the likelihood of legalizing poker gambling in a state that doesn’t allow you to buy beer/wine/liquor before noon on a Sunday, an endlessly irritating law that thwarted my beer buying once again yesterday morning, is probably pretty slim.
Standard Statesman Link Disclaimer: The Statesman’s annoying 7 day archive policy will break the first link in this post a week from today. After that, if you’re an Austin Library card holder, you can get to it from their reference databases.
I was listening to Howard Stern this morning just before I got to work when he mentioned a USA Today article about pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions for religious reasons. DazeReader has a bunch of related stuff today (unfortunately I can’t link directly to the post).
I don’t have time right now to write a decent post about this, so I’ll use abbreviated profanity. WTF? No word in the article about what CVS thinks about the possibility of losing a bunch of business because of this. Are we now going to have to have pharmacies for those who believe in birth control and those who don’t? I think everyone should vote with their wallet. I’m not going to patronize a pharmacy whose pharmacist decides not to sell me something based on their own morals. They’re entitled to them, but if it’s going to make a hassle for me to fill a fucking prescription, then that’s not right. If they don’t want to do it, then find another fucking job.
Beyond just the inconvenience of it all, where is this going to lead? I’m married with two kids. As of now, my wife and I have made the decision not to have any more kids. The reasons for making such a decision are personal and unique to each family. Is that pharmacist going to raise and provide for the extra kids that I have because I can’t get birth control? Some of the women in the article missed days because of the pharmacists decision. They could end up pregnant. It only takes one day. Damn.
Lawrence Lessig points us to a few answers to my last post. I knew that Voter News Service was out of the picture after the 2002 election. Apparently, it’s replacement is National Election Pool. It was those six news organizations (AP, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News) who came up with the questions. I still can’t seem to find the questionnaire. I suspect that you have to pay for the subscription to get it along with the data. Because some of the exit polling was so far off, there’s wild speculation from both sides. Mr. Lessig is right. If Edison/Mitofsky want to maintain their credibility, they may have to open the data to an independent third party for scrutiny.