2010 April


I’ve never heard of Nola.com, but when it landed in my google hits this morning I was impressed with the visual coverage they’ve devoted to this one story – the off-shore drilling explosion of 20 April 2010 and it’s consequences to the southern US shoreline.

With  the amount of attention today’s journos have given the idiocy of Arizona’s making it now illegal for illegal aliens to be illegally in the country, on top of ferreting out the nocturnal breeding patterns of golfers, it’s nice to see some paying attention to what is slowly emerging as the biggest environmental crisis to hit our precious oceans since the Exxon Valdez  oil crisis of 21 years ago.

The Washington Post has a four-page spread outlining the federal plans for cleanup of this spill, investigation into the cause of the explosion and Pres. Obama’s measures to prevent future explosions/spills, but Nola.com has the best video footage by far. I’m guessing it will be our best source of up-to-date photos as the spill advances towards the shore.

Bad weather, including high waves and flood waters are predicted for the gulf this coming weekend, and could wreak havoc on the foam barriers already in place. The President has okayed the use of chemical dispersements on the slick, but the weather could change those plans.   

The oil-soaked bird at the top is an omen of things to come and if anyone can empathasize with what the citizens of the gulf coastal states will be facing in the next several weeks, surely it is our friends in Alaska.

If anyone closer to the area has updates I’d love to hear from you.

To comment on this post, please sroll up to the title “Oil In The Gulf” and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

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When his later biographies were written, (and I apologize for not being able to pinpoint which bio holds this bit of info) it came out that the comic Jerry Lewis, in his younger years as TV host during the MDA marathon telethons  (which still raises millions of dollars annually) had on demand and waiting in the wings, daily, a prostitute with whom the star could – umm – unwind between sets. It was rather nonchalantly reported this was the famous comic’s habitual behaviour during any road trip or tour.

If one were to do the math on the number of days per year Jerry Lewis was on tour and hosting these telethons, one could possibly surmise that the Tiger Woods charge of having sexual relations with 120 women all up would only make the golfer look like a rookie.

I’m also going to go out on a limb here and guess that not many of you reading this ever heard this bit of trivia regarding Jerry Lewis before, or if you have, it’s one of those memories so inconsequential it’s going to take more than one tug to bring it to the front of your brain. Because – it used to be – information like this just wasn’t considered newsworthy. It might have been mentioned in a small column after page three, but it never would have made the front line-up.

I don’t know where today’s puritanical reporters get their criteria for stories, but I can tell you that historically, rock stars, muscisians, movie-stars, comics, out-of-town businessmen and politicians all routinely sleep around. When you add their individual incidences up at the end of the year, and then again at the end of a decade, I’m guessing 120 is around – normal.

120 women? Mormons can have that many wives. Shieks can have that many concubines. Hell, during the sixties in California, that was just a good weekend.

Mainstream media needs to stop trying to drum up business where there really isn’t any and start focusing on events which actually affect our lives. It’s not like Tiger Woods is running for president. Although if he did, I’m sure he could count on at least 120 votes.

Stop gawking MSM. Let the man play golf and get back to work.

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Tiger Woods Sleeps With 120 Women (?!?!?!?) and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

As an old friend of mine used to say, “Well this just tears it.” Oz Mudflats has some breaking news for all of you and I hope you’re strong enough to handle it. I’ve been getting tips for months now and am finally ready to uncover the sad, miraculous yet ugly truth behind the Trig-Palin-Who’s-Your-Mommy-Little-Ruffled-Ears birth.

WARNING: Do not operate heavy machinery or sip hot beverages while reading this post.

To begin: Muffy, Buffy and Fluffy, as the triplets names were first meant to be, arrived earlier than anticipated, throwing a proverbial wrench into Sarah’s political plans. But then a stroke of luck; The doctor said the babies had to be a certain weight  before they could be released from the hospital, which gave Sarah another month to prepare for their public debut, and also too gave the family time to talk Sarah out of letting Piper name the boys after the bunny rabbits she’d always wanted but never got.

Trig was the first brother big enough to show off in public. Sarah strapped on the prosthetic belly and dragged Todd all over Washington D.C. and Texas, giving speeches and smiling into cameras proving a woman could fake be eight months pregnant and still wear stilettos and short skirts without falling over or looking haggard. (No water-retention here folks, keep it moving…) She planned a flamboyant escape,  splashy exit from Texas, complete with an unwitnessed car chase in the dead of night on wintry roads, from the airport in Anchorage to the hospital in Mat-Su Valley. There she got a good night’s sleep  endured 10 hours of labour, delivered the little Triglets bub and arranged for her parents to debut the biggest one little guy in front of invited-only press in an unnamed hospital corridor the following day to give the appearance show her fans she’d been too frazzled from childbirth to face the cameras.

But just 72 hours later, bright and early on Monday morning, as if shedding the effects of childbirth were as easy as changing shoes,  Sarah, looking fit and sleek as a runway model, took little Trig to work…  also to the hair dresser after stroller[ing] him up and down Main St. Alaska proving to the lower 48 a wilderness woman can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and still have enough energy left over to delegate diaper duties to a drooling staff, keeping her hands free to handle a latte and play freecell on her blackberry. She even let her co-conspirators friends throw her a baby shower.

It was at this baby shower, however, that one of her *high school adversaries pointed out the little ruffles on Trig’s ear. Hmm. This won’t do.

*It should be noted that not being able to find enough ‘actual friends’ to attend Sarah’s baby shower  meant Ivy Whatshername resorted to inviting women who had been in Sarah’s class, regardless of their relationship with her.  So a couple of women who still bore irrational grudges against Sarah for her unethical  fair and balanced behaviour towards them in high school were there, eager to point out the first flaw they could find in Sarah’s perfect little world. No, the ruffled ears wouldn’t do.

When’s that next baby going to be ready anyway? He better be picture-perfect and cherub-chubby before they go on the road with the McCain campaign.

Sarah got her wish (as Sarah always does) and just before embarking on tour as the V.P. nominee, Trig’s other brother Trig (the one with the pretty, round ears) was finally ready to come out of take his place in the prop closet spotlight.

A few months later, after losing the election but successfully fooling the public, passing her oldest daughter off as the national face of abstinence, an unwed pregnant teen, it was time to unveil the third Triggle Triglet triplet – little Trip. But just to be sure no one put it together that the babies might be closer in age than advertised, Trip was conveniently kept out of the scrutinous,  public eye.

Here’s the thing. Sarah’s been trying to tell us the truth all along. She has. She’s left us clue after clue as to the true parentage of Trig, the other brother Trig and little Trip but we’ve just been too thick to listen or see. We never stepped far enough outside the box to deduce the whole picture. Until now. So step back, take a deep, deep breath – steady yourself. I know once you see all the clues together, you’ll agree with me how obvious it all should have been from the start.

Here were the clues…

**There are no public photos of Sarah and Todd during any of her first four pregnancies.

**In the family photos taken in late 2007, early 2008, Sarah and Todd are always standing behind one or more of their young daughters.

**While there are photos published of the 2008 Texas Big oil, Republican Governors Sommin-Sommin Convention of Sarah with her fake belly, there are none of Todd.

**No one ever saw Todd help Sarah on or off the airplanes, carrying her luggage or helping her in and out of chairs during their wild ride from Texas to Alaska. We assumed this meant Sarah wasn’t pregnant. But…

**Sarah states in her book that each time she was pregnant Todd was always off on the North Slope. Every time.

**Todd spends long periods of time in the snow, dressed in bulky clothing, only appearing in public long enough to grab a trophy.

**Todd goes incommunicado for long periods of time, for  purposes of pretending to be building houses or secret cabins, suspiciously coinciding with the final months of Sarah’s pregnancies.

So there you have it. I invite you to connect the dots yourself. Sarah Palin is not the mother of the Palin Triggles – Todd is.

Our fault Sarah – we should have known you would never have lied to the public without having a darn good reason. I apologize for us all.

*          *          *

This entire post was inspired by the inspirational words of Elstun Lauesen (in his piece at the Mudflats) when he referred to Fox News commentators as the Downer Triplets.  Outstanding, thoughtful piece. I highly recommend using this link.

It’s also inspired another which I’ll be calling The Downer Syndrome – coming soon to a blog near you!

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title The Trouble With Triggles and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

So I was thinking…

This whole deal about Sarah Palin insisting that no one tape, video or otherwise record any of her speeches – and going so far as to order her security team for the upcoming CSU [California State University] dinner to check guests as they enter for cameras, phones etc. These are all people who have paid $250 a plate to attend this shindig. They’ll all be glammed up so… how will this work, exactly?

At most airports, you come fully prepared to go through metal detectors. You try not to wear or be carrying too many things which might set off loud bells and make the nice uniformed folks carrying guns too nervous. Small parcels or bags go through an x-ray conveyor, while you toss keys and other jewelry into a plastic tub which is examined, then given to you on the other side.

On a smaller scale, here in Australia, when you go through a check-out line in most stores, you are asked to open your bag (above a certain size) to show you’ve not got something tucked inside for which you’ve not paid. It’s a redundant policy though, once you realize a person’s very next step is straight through a gizmo that detects if there are any unpaid items in said person’s possession, instantly whirring and clanging and often flashing coloured lights declaring a thief has just been caught.

At sporting events which don’t allow you to take your own food or drink onto the premises, you only need to show you’re not carrying any container big enough to conceal food or drinks, and you’re waved through a door with the briefest of eyeballing examination.

Then there are the metal-detecting wands which have a person standing in place, arms stretched to the side, scarecrow fashion, while a nice gentleman (you hope he’s a gentleman) passes the wand across your body, first one side and then the other.

So I’m trying to work out how the security personnel at a college fund-raising dinner will check for the Palin-defined contraband;  phones, tape recorders, cameras, video equipment – wait – video equipment – have these people never seen a common James Bond movie? Do they not know recording-slash-video equipment can be as small and compact as a pearl earring? Have they never heard of a lipstick cam? How on earth are they going to check for all these gadgets?

Ok, the first picture I have in my head is this really long single-file line of couples, all dressed in eveningwear leading up to the doorway of the event. Two security personnel flank the door, stopping each couple as they approach, asking if they have any photo-taking, audio-recording devices on them.  The guests nod no and they are allowed inside. Hmm. That won’t work.  People lie. Especially people who want to illegally photograph and record things. The women will just have to open their handbags for inspection, while the men empty their pockets and… Hmm. No, that won’t work either.

Ok next picture is the same single-file line of elegantly dressed men and women leading up to the doorway, flanked by two security personnel, but this time they stand on either side of a metal-detecting arch – wait – this is a gala event. Men and women alike will be wearing expensive jewelry. Metal detectors won’t be practical. Can you just see Mrs. Sorority Heights stopping to remove her $10,000 diamond and ruby earrings, necklace and bracelet and tossing them into an “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” tub? I think not.

Can you even expect men and women dressed up for an expensive night out to stand with their arms splayed while someone runs a wand around them? That can’t possibly be the plan. I’m not even sure it would be legal.

I’m also beginning to think that Sarah Palin’s ‘rules of engagement’ more closely resemble the waving of a red flag in front of a bull. The challenge has been made. The gauntlet dropped. Someone out there will be stopping at their local electronics store on their way to this soiree to purchase the perfect accessory for a black suit. Something that will slip neatly into the fold of a silk handkerchief nestled in a top pocket perhaps. Or a nice brooch, passing for a family heirloom, outfitted with a lens and microphone.

On the other hand, maybe a frat house will take up a collection and spring for one of those hi-tech microphones that pick up conversations a block away and sit across the street in a van covered with bumper stickers that say things collegy things like “Honk if you’re horny!” or “My credit is so bad they won’t even take my cash!” or “If it’s true you are what you eat – I could be you by morning…”

But my personal favourite gadget for accessorizing a glamorous cocktail ensemble is the small, sequined evening bag, placed discretely on a table, clasp aimed at the podium, and volume, unnoticed, on full.

If someone truly wants to record one of Sarah’s dinner speeches, there will be no preventing it. They proved that in Canada. And the US has way more Radio Shacks.

How’s that hopey-paranoid thing workin’ out for ya now Sarah?

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Speak Up! My Lapel Can’t hear You and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud

For over a year I’ve been reading, watching and listening to the escalation of violent rhetoric coming from the GOP camp. And despite lack of agreement from the true conservative base, violence ‘is’ the new face of the Republican Party.

Does no one else find it ironic that Sarah Palin, who found her footing in national politics by chastising [then] Senator Barack Obama for “palling around with terrorist” William Ayers, is now in the business of actually creating an entire political party based upon terrorist ideals?

Prior to John McCain’s run for presidency in 2008, before he hired Sarah Palin to stump for him in the old good cop bad cop tradition of having your running mate make the outlandish accusations towards your opponent so you could step in later as the level-headed bastion of common sense and decency to show what a great president you’d make – before this campaign which had so little faith in its issues and policies it needed to rely almost exclusively on creating false allegations about their opponent [such as] not being an American citizen – before November 2008 no responsible politician publically called a sitting president ‘un-American’.  No news agency allowed a politician to refer to a sitting president and his White House Administration as a ‘regime’ without harsh commentary.

What John McCain and the Republicans have brought to the table since losing the 2008 election is a degree of disrespect for the office of President of the United States unprecedented in U.S. history. President Bush was called a lot of things when he waged a war in the Middle East against the wishes of a healthy percentage of American citizens, but I’m pretty sure anti-American wasn’t among them. Not even President Nixon was accused of trying to strip Americans of their basic freedoms, and he was impeached for paranoid behaviour.

(And I might add that no matter how strongly you disagreed with your current president’s policies, prior to the November 2008 election, no president was ever stripped of his title the way today’s Republicans strip President Obama of his presidential title by deliberately and continually referring to him as simply ‘Obama’. )

In fact, before Sarah Palin and John McCain accused [then] Senator Barack Obama of ‘palling around with terrorists’ I don’t recall a single presidential candidate whose U.S. birthright or loyalty to America was ever in question.

Sarah Palin and John McCain are personally responsible for creating a spirit of terroristic fear amongst common citizens of the United States that had previously only been touted by a few paranoid psychotics. They’ve caused ordinary, hard-working, tax-paying Americans to fear for their well-being not for any action taken by the current White House administration, but solely because their side lost one presidential election and immediately began campaigning for the next.

Because after all, running for office isn’t about making a difference any more – it’s about winning and generating huge cash flows. To paraphrase a bumper sticker from the 70’s :

The one with the most PACs – wins!

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Who’s Palin’ Around with Terrorists Now? and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, Ozmud

This just plucked from my mailbag:

Sender: washingtonpost.com
——————–
News Alert: Obama orders hospitals to grant same-sex couples visitation rights
07:34 PM EDT Thursday, April 15, 2010
——————–

President Obama signed an order Thursday night requiring hospitals to allow gays and lesbians to have non-family visitors and to grant their partners medical power of attorney.

The president ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation. The memo is scheduled to be made public Friday morning, according to an administration official and another source familiar with the White House decision.

An official said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding.

For more information, visit washingtonpost.com:
http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/C7I8XW/PQQFK/95C4W9/WANX5I/XVNKS/7V/t

——————–
(Have I mentioned lately how very proud I am of our President?)

To clarify, it seems while the Teabaggers and Republicans are busily monopolizing the news with their inbred fight over which will win the right to run for running the country, President Obama and his Band of Merry Democrats are actually, oh how shall I put this… behind the cameras, busy at work, actually running the country!

Couple this equal rights win with the financial report which shows this years taxes are the lowest they’ve been in 10 years and… I can see Sarah’s head exploding from my house!

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Sarah Palin’s Head Explodes In 5, 4, 3, 2… and click the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

Aerial photos here at Courier Mail.

AFP (Australian Federal police) arrest update here at Qld Times.

Damage to the coral itself has been described as a 250 meter wide, 3 kilometre long scar which will take a minimum of two decades to heal. The oil spill has been described as minimal however it’s already reached and affected two bird and turtle habitats.

Word came yesterday that weather was preventing further assessment of the Shen Neng 1 itself as rolling seas were causing the ship to lurch making it unsafe for our divers. It was thought, however, that the leakage had stopped. Weather delay story here. 

 As is Australian custom, those in the know have been pretty tight-lipped while charges and arrests have been made and damage assessment and spill cleanup has begun, with an aap story appearing on yahoo (just this morning) giving the most information here.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has (yesterday) released photos and a video here. (if the video won’t play for you from this link leave me a note in comments and I’ll try to find an alternate.)

Over the past thirty years or so, our Great Barrier Reef has been deluged with trauma from global warming which exacerbates the effects of any maritime accident. This is a pretty good link if you’re interested in the history and health of the reef. 

Google Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for reef updates.

Off the cuff:  Since I’ve been in Australia, the greatest threats to our coastal waters have been posed by the Japanese fishermen and whalers who disregard maritime law in order to hunt sharks and whales. The whales are hunted for their meat – the sharks for their fins. (In Japan, whale meat is still considered a delicacy and shark fins are thought to contain an aphrodisiac.) But other Asian fishermen break Australian law constantly as well, knowing that our shores are so vast it’s likely they won’t be caught – and if they are, the fines to the boat owners will be less than their profits and employees who might be caught and jailed are a disposable part of the cost of doing business.

Then there are just plain stupid sailors who either fall asleep at the wheel or realize they are near enough to the Great Barrier Reef to have a sticky beak and get too close to safely turn about.  Sort of like “two million years to make – two minutes to destroy”.

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