Wednesday, August 31, 2005 LEVEE BREACH SWAMPS CITY FROM LAKE TO RIVER:"As the day wore on, the only dry land was a narrow band from the French Quarter and parts of Uptown, the same small strip that was settled by Bienville amid the swamps. On Tuesday night, it appeared the city was returning to swamp when a daylong effort to shore the levee near the Hammond Highway failed. Mayor Ray Nagin said pumps were being overwhelmed and warned that a new deluge would bury the city in up to 15 feet of water. With solid water from the lake to the French Quarter, the inundation and depopulation of an entire American city was at hand. "Truth to tell, we're not to far from filling in the bowl," said Terry Ebbert, the city's director of homeland security. The waters were still rising at 3 inches per hour, and eventually could move close to the French Quarter levee."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Matador Records | The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

Buy this. Their best so far.
The Brothers Grimm

It's obvious Terry Gilliam's heart was not in this picture. It is comparable to Sleepy Hollow and
The Pirates of the Caribbean except there is no Johnny Depp who might have saved the picture. Monica Bellucci nearly saves the day just by showing up. I have enjoyed nearly all of Gilliam's work except Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and now this one.

One other thing: when I saw it, the picture seemed very dark and grimy. This could have been the theatre's fault as they barely had it aligned properly (some sub-titles were not shown completely) and the colors looked faded. I can't believe Gilliam intended this and chalked it up to poor projector lighting. It would have been a much more enjoyable viewing experience if it had been lit properly. I will re-review it when it comes out on DVD.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Newsday - Roberts meeting 'illegal'
: "The article changed the mind of Hofstra University law professor Monroe Freedman, who at first backed the White House. He said Roberts probably broke the law but that it wasn't enough to disqualify him from the high court."

Certainly not nearly enough for THIS court! In fact, if things go to form, Roberts should be the next Chief Justice because of this!

It must be tough at places like The Onion to keep up with this stuff.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Four in 9/11 Plot Are Called Tied to Qaeda in '00 - New York Times (reg. required): "In a telephone interview from his home in Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon said he was basing his assertions on similar ones by at least three other former intelligence officers with direct knowledge of the project, and said that some had first called the episode to his attention shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The account is the first assertion that Mr. Atta, an Egyptian who became the lead hijacker in the plot, was identified by any American government agency as a potential threat before the Sept. 11 attacks. Among the 19 hijackers, only Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi had been identified as potential threats by the Central Intelligence Agency before the summer of 2000, and information about them was not provided to the F.B.I. until the spring of 2001."

The NY Times article is a bit confusing, but the upshot is military intelligence had some double super secret operation that used data mining techniques and had apparently identified 4 of the 9/11 hijackers, among others not involved, and did not tell the FBI about it until Spring 2001. The article is trying to say that there was some sort of problem with that. Sounds to me like everything was working fine. FBI was given the information well in advance of the attacks. I don't think civil laws/rights were violated. There may have been a breakdown in the FBI itself in using this information though. They may be indifferent to information that comes from outside the bureau. At any rate, this refutes the need for The Patriot Act doesn't it? We were able to gather information to prevent an attack without it weren't we? And the information was shared among military and domestic intelligence. If this report is to be believed then, the FBI fucked up big time. Maybe Richard Clarke is right that a little "shaking of the trees" from the top in the Summer of 2001 may have produced some action from the FBI on this information.

The article says there is no mention of this incident in the 9/11 Commission's report and hints that they did know about it. That in itself is very curious. Yet another commission designed not to get to THE truth, but to give them SOME truth.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Snow isn't so cool on Fillmore / Neighbors unhappy with ski jump plans: "Neighbors are afraid Icer Air 2005 spectators, like bike race enthusiasts, will trample flowers, litter and sit on front steps, rooftops, railings and porches to watch the festivities, Scott said.

'It's strange -- you buy into a quiet residential neighborhood thinking this won't happen,' he said. 'There are people who are less than happy about all this.'"

Now let's be honest here. They didn't move to Pacific Heights to escape hordes of folks watching events from rooftops, railings and porches. They moved there to feel exclusive, above the fray, "special". And when the fray gets a little too close for comfort for half a day, they become "less than happy".

Tough shit.

This is a part of what is known as A SOCIETY. You don't like it? Move to Montana and buy a few thousand acres and you can be as exclusive as you want. But cities involve OTHER PEOPLE and in order to make a city work, not all other people are going to be exactly like YOU. Get over it.