Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Love That Bomb

A rather curious subject for an opera, dontcha think - from the same guy who brought you Nixon In China (now why doesn't that surprise me)...

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

And you thought Day Of The Dolphin was just fiction:

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's a joke, right? Sorry to say it isn't.

Ya gotta love that Pentagon...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

It's Official: I'm Twisted...

Just in case you ever wondered how Bob Newhart might handle The Aristocrats...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Here They Come To Save The Day (not)...

In case there's anyone who hasn't figured it out by now, we can make it official: FEMA is a joke.

But then again, FEMA always was a joke. It was a joke forty years ago when, as Civil Defense, it told us that crouching under wooden school desks could protect us from a nuclear blast.

Not to sound like one of those survivalist nutcases or anything, but if the shit ever gets really thick, I wouldn't bet the ranch on these clowns riding to the rescue any time soon.

A word to the wise...

Friday, September 16, 2005

Credit Where It's Due, Dept.

A guy I don't like says a few things I do like:

Tancredo Issues Statement on President’s Katrina Request
Congressman Says Offsets, Cost-Savings Must Be Included

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) issued the following statement regarding the President’s budget request for Katrina Hurricane relief:

With a disaster this size, no program is sacrosanct, no cost-cutting is off the table. What Americans know is that we in Congress—like them—need to balance our budget. We need to take a long look at reducing farm subsidies, at hacking pork barrel projects, even at across-the-board cuts.”

I am sorry that I cannot agree with my colleague Leader Delay who said we're running a lean government. Republicans weren’t put in office to be satisfied with the size of our government. If there's any of our '94 fervor left, we’ll do better.”

A few proposals that we should consider are:

Require the Interior Department to sell 10% of all federal land

Eliminate the billions of dollars of corporate farm subsidies

Postpone rolling out the Medicare prescription drug plan

Means-test Social Security and Medicare prescription drug benefits

$200 billion is half of all discretionary, non-defense spending. Conservatives have to come up with creative cuts in government, or liberals will raise our taxes or indebt our great grandkids with their massive spending.”

This has been a horrific natural disaster that has torn apart a large portion of our country and took many lives. But in this disaster, we have a God-given opportunity to finally, permanently reduce the size of government.

Well said, Tom. Now, if you would just get your head out your ass on the immigration issue...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Headline Of The Week

Washed-up celebrities saturate reality TV

Gee...who'da thunk it?

Sunday, September 11, 2005


On this fourth anniversary of you-know-what, here's a classic Dave Barry column on the subject. No jokes here, just a powerful story about the parallels between two pieces of hallowed ground.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Paging Patrick F---ing Leahy...

As Dick Cheney holds forth on CNN, a bystander tells him to be fruitful and multiply...

...but not in those words...

Now, you just know that all those conservative Bushbot websites will be all over this, telling us, in case we didn't know, how gossly offensive it is.

All the bungling and mishandling in the wake of Katrina, all the starvation and misery in the Gulf region...and just look at the kind of stuff the sociocons choose to get worked up over...

Nice to know their priorities are in order...

We're From The Government And We're Here To Help...

"Everything the government touches turns to crap." - Ringo Starr

It's a story we're hearing again and again...

Left to their own devices, private citizens in Katrina-stricken regions band together and start to get a handle on things...

The government steps in to "help"...

...drops the ball...

...and everything goes to hell...

Meanwhile, ABC News asks, "Why isn't the system working"...

...and George W. promises, "the government will be with you for the long haul..."

Now, I'm really worried...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

On The AM Radio

Driving home the other night from work (around 2AM, Central) I caught a little bit of WWL Radio out of New Orleans. The host was talking calls from local folks who were describing their respective situations. Despite the bleak scenario, the host and the callers were quite upbeat and optimistic about dealing with the situation.

Click here and hear for yourself how the medium can rise to the occasion.

To the folks at AM 870, congratulations; I'm convinced the Big Easy will rise again...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The O-o-o-o-o-o-ld Heave-Ho

Pundits left and right, from the generally entertaining Andrew Sullivan to the generally clueless Michelle Malkin, are calling for the head of FEMA honcho Michael Brown, who by most accounts is a minimally-qualified lawyer who got canned from his last job in the private sector for incompetence and landed the FEMA gig by virtue of having picked the right college roommate.

(Reason's Julian Sanchez says since Brown is been lauded by W. for the bang-up job he's doing, he may have to get a Presidential Medal of Freedom before he goes, a-la George Tenet).

Personally, I think it's high time we take the advice of Don Imus (as well as George Carlin) and turn over homeland security to Rudy Giuliani (or, to paraphrase Carlin, if ya wanna get the job done, give it to an Italian from Brooklyn...).

As for the fate of Michael Brown, my guess is that he'll follow in the grand tradition of right-wing screwups and get his own nationally syndicated radio talk show...

UPDATE: In the immortal words of Harry Kalas, Michael Brown is outta-heeeeere...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes, Dept.

A much-needed email from an old friend:

Hi everyone,

(Her daughter) Aaezonah said this today while watching the news with me (Hurricane Katrina). She said that she was going to help all the people who lost their homes by building new ones. She said she was going to get glue and bricks so this way the house won't blow down. Then she is going to give her food to the ones who don't have any so they can eat.And this is all coming from a 4 year old. My little humanitarian.

Thanks, Sally and Aaezonah.

And Don't Forget...

The folks in Biloxi and elsewhere. Some of them feel slighted; ya can't really blame them...

Where's Huey Long When We Need Him?

From Reason Hit & Run comes this gem, via a liberal weblog, by way of the Chicago Sun-Times:

A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck...

Daley said the city offered 36 members of the firefighters' technical rescue teams, eight emergency medical technicians, search-and-rescue equipment, more than 100 police officers as well as police vehicles and two boats, 29 clinical and 117 non-clinical health workers, a mobile clinic and eight trained personnel, 140 Streets and Sanitation workers and 29 trucks, plus other supplies. City personnel are willing to operate self-sufficiently and would not depend on local authorities for food, water, shelter and other supplies, he said.

Last night on Nightline, Ted Koppel interviewed a pissed-off Louisiana congressman who described how he found National Guardsmen sitting on their hands waiting for orders to move out.


Tragically, I fear most people will miss the point, saying "if only we had the right people in charge," instead of realizing that waiting for government to bail you out at anytime is a sucker's bet.

The Ole' Kingfish is long gone, folks. In the long run you can only count on yourselves.

I Hear You, Satchmo

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day
I know I'm not wrong... this feeling's gettin' stronger
The longer, I stay away
Miss them moss covered vines...the tall sugar pines
Where mockin' birds used to sing
And I'd like to see that lazy Mississippi...hurryin' into spring
The moonlight on the bayou.......a Creole tune....
that fills the airI dream... about Magnolias in bloom......
and I'm wishin' I was there
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that's where you left your heart
And there's one thing more...I miss the one I care for
More than I miss New Orleans
The moonlight on the bayou.......a Creole tune....
that fills the airI dream... about Magnolias in bloom......
and I'm wishin' I was there
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that's where you left your heart
And there's one thing more...I miss the one I care forMore.....
more than I miss.......New Orleans

Words and music by Lou Alter and Eddy De Lange

Louis Armstrong first recorded this song as part of a radio broadcast October 19, 1938 on WNEW radio, New York. He also recorded the song in 1946 with his Orchestraand with the All Stars in 1947 and 1956.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Oh, For The Love Of...

Say hello to some people who are going straight to hell:

Online con artists have launched at least a dozen scams preying on people donating to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts or seeking news, federal authorities and anti-spam experts say.

Death by torture is too good for them.

Open Letter To Kanye West

Friday night on NBC you succeeded in doing two things: you made a complete fool of yourself, and made a total mockery of the relief effort.

Congratulations, asshole.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Learning From History

Since we're talking about New Orleans, you should know there is a historical precedent for rebuilding an entire city, making it higher and dryer, in the wake of a devastating storm: Galveston, Texas. It's a fascinating story.