Countdown

Today, Keith Olbermann of Countdown had a great little editorial piece about the way the Bush administration has handled the unfurling crisis in New Orleans. The full editorial can be viewed here.

… But now, at least, it is has stopped getting exponentially worse in Mississippi and Alabama and New Orleans and Louisiana (the state, not the city). And, having given our leaders what we know now is the week or so they need to get their act together, that period of editorial silence I mentioned, should come to an end.

No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

… And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Definitely worth 10 minutes of your time to read.

Update: Video of Keith's editorial here

The “Good Old Boy” Network

Loads of news stations are now reporting on the outstanding r{e'}sum{e'} of the current FEMA director, Michael Brown. His r{e'}sum{e'} is outstanding – if you're a fan of Arabian Horses. Seems that prior to joining FEMA, Michael Brown was a commisioner of the International Arabian Horse Association. For nine years. I'd say that makes him perfectly capable of running FEMA. Of course, he did score a great position as legal counsel to FEMA after leaving the IAHA, “following a dispute over a contribution to the group's legal defense fund.” Seems his way in was by knowing people:

Brown's ticket to FEMA was Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's 2000 campaign manager and an old friend of Brown's in Oklahoma. Brown told several horse association officials that if Bush were elected, he'd be in line for a good job.

In his nine years as a commissioner with the International Arabian Horse Association, which has since changed its name, Brown oversaw judges in the often-controversial and high-priced world of Arabian horse competitions.

Former association board member Karl V. Hart of Florida alleges that in 2000 Brown improperly accepted a check for nearly $50,000 from a prominent breeder and put it toward his own legal defense for his work as commissioner. Board members thought this was improper because Brown already had protection, from the association's legal team, Hart said.

Because of the money dispute, Brown was asked to resign, Hart said.

The Denver Post has coverage here.

Titles

In life, I've had many titles: Son, Brother, Grandson, Cousin, Nephew, Husband, Graduate, Geek, Network Administrator, Systems Administrator, and most recently IT Auditor. (I'm sure there's other, less mentionable, titles for me out there in the world)

I'm pleased to announce, that as of September 2, 2005, at 6:07PM Central Time, I have a new title: Uncle. Jacqueline Rose entered the world today, to the joy of my brother-in-law & sister-in-law, Michael and Christine. She weighed 7 lbs, 13.5 ounces, and is 19.25″ long (funny that we say long instead of tall!)

Congrats to the proud parents, Michael & Christine! And Jacqueline has officially entered the online world for the first time ever!

Boeing Machinists Going on Strike

So, the Boeing Machinists' Union has voted (overwhelmingly) today to go on strike. This really bothers me for a few reasons; I understand that the concept of a labor union is to bring employers on par with employees at the negotiating table. But honestly, with the thousands upon thousands of people displaced on the Gulf Coast, I bet there's a ton of people in the US that would be very thankful to have an opportunity at a job and a stable life at this point.

Even before the hurricane struck, this strike looming drove me nuts; most machinists I've heard claim that they're unhappy with the pension plan upgrades that Boeing is offering. Give me a break! I'd be happy to have a pension plan, and so would a ton of other people I know. Everyone should be so lucky to get anything per month after retiring from their employer.

In my opinion, the Machinists' Union is a selfish bunch.