—Hurricane News, Iraq News, Berger Fined, Palestinians Celebrate, Shuttle Out For a Year, and Other Stories


Hurricane Aftermath, Continued:
Astoundingly, some people in New Orleans, despite the danger to themselves and the would-be rescuers who apparently feel obligated to try to help them, still refuse to leave their homes [FOXNews.com]. Elsewhere, the political squabbling has set in [FOXNews.com], and is not confined to allocating blame for the wretched failures of the government relief effort. If Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco had been nearly as fervent in her pursuit of the welfare of the people of her state as in jealously guarding the prerogatives of her office, a lot of this misery might have been avoided.
The effort to attribute the blame for the hurricane itself to U.S. Executive policies continues as well. The Boston Globe editorial, cited here earlier, is also referenced in Milloy’s “Junk Science” column [FOXNews.com].

Malaria may manipulate host to improve infection rates[TheStar.com]
[ found on BlogsNow] The Toronto Star article makes an unattributed reference to somebody’s (“a team of French and Kenyan scientists ”) questionable medical study suggesting that the malarial parasite can manipulate the host’s body chemistry to make the unfortunate victim more appetizing to mosquitoes. If remotely accurate, this would be adequate material for sci-fi stories.

Report on Oil-for-Food Scandal Embarrasses Annan[FOXNews.com ]
The report of the independent investigating committee of the U.N. Security Council criticized Annan, the Council, and others, citing “illicit, unethical and corrupt behavior” . Annan called the report “deeply embarrassing”, but is still in his accustomed position of authority.

Iraq Closes Border with Syria[FOXNews.com ]
Now why didn’t anyone else think of that—several years ago?

Berger Fined [FOXNews.com ]
Sandy Berger, former national security adviser to the Clinton administration, has admitted that he improperly removed classified documents from the National Archives, took them home, and destroyed some of them. The implication of “Pants-Gate”—so named because Berger smuggled the documents out by stuffing them down his trousers— is that Berger found documents which would have implicated former President Clinton in the massive intelligence failures leading up to the devastating September 11, 2000 terrorist attacks, removed, and eliminated them. As his punishment, Berger was fined $50,000 and excluded from access to sensitive documents for three years—apparently some kind of “tough love” application to government or something. I personally will feel much better when Berger can finally resume his presence at the National Archives—you know, closure, and all.

Palestinians Celebrate Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza[FOXNews.com]
by burning the abandoned synagogues. They further presaged the legitimacy of the coming Palestinian administration of Gaza by storming the Egyptian border, which was supposed to be secured by the Egyptians against infiltrators, and dancing with flags of Hammas and “Islamic Jihad”.

Shuttle Probably Out for a Year [Oberg, MSNBC.com]
RTF was in serious trouble before Katrina hit an area which includes both the Michoud External Tank facilities and Stennis Space Center. In addition to the failure of two and a half years of RTF effort to resolve the critical safety problems which destroyed Colombia, NASA is now faced with relocation of a homeless work force, and reallocation of the ET production to other facilities. One of the tanks was damaged at Michoud by the hurricane, and the rest will have to be moved somewhere else. Wayne Hale concludes: that “Launch dates before the fall of 2006 may not be credible.”

Sci Fi Udates:
StarGate” is settling back to business as usual with all-new enemies and cast members. “Atlantis” is foundering in a series of predictable genetic mishap stories and a few episodes which were essentially unwatchable. “Galactica” continues to make good command-and-control crisis intrigues, but it isn’t clear how long it’s going to hold up after the “big story” becomes more evident. Meanwhile, at Unofficial Battlestar Galactica Blogs, an arguement rages over whether the monotheistic Cylons are Lutherans or Muslims.

State of the Blog, Update
I swear, I’m not making this up. The sophistication of web-crawling ‘bots is now officially in question. I made a reference several weeks back to a FoxNews.com story about a bad literature contest, in which the “winner” likened the Indian subcontinent to a wet washcloth “hanging from the towel rack of Asia”. Now, I find that this weblog has been cited as a reviewer of wholesale paper towel accessories.

“Gilligan” dies[FOXNews.com]
Bob Denver, who starred in the sappy ‘60’s comedy “Gilligan’s Island”, has died at 70. I watched this fluffy-headed foolishness back in elementary school. My first reaction to the news was, “Bob Denver was 70”?!

Shirley Temple Black Honored by SGA[FOXNews.com]
The Screen Actors Guild has awarded the former child star with its Life Achievement Award. Since her legendary career in film, Shirley Temple Black has gone on to a distinguished diplomatic career as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. It was her later career that inspired Lorraine Newman’s comedic rendition on “Saturday Night Live”, which for some inexplicable reason is my all-time favorite SNL skit.

Alec Baldwin Honored by PETA[FOXNews.com]
Baldwin, on the other hand, has apparently taken a break from his interminable film career to harrass Burger King and push PETA’s veggie burgers.

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