[Previous entry: "Liberty and Power"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "Giant Talking Cartoon Penis"]
08/20/2003 Archived Entry: ""
This just in from the Chortler: "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Explains The Great Blackout Of 2003."
To follow up on an earlier blog... John H. Dean has an excellent article on the White House's illegal outing of Valerie Plame Wilson - the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson and the mother of three-year-old twins - as a covert CIA agent. That's how the White House punishes those who speak out, as Wilson did on the Niger-uranium debacle. Why the major media is not all over this story is probably a story in and of itself.
I don't know what to think about Mazen Dana the award-winning Reuters journalist who was shot and killed at close range by American troops in Iraq. The Independent (UK) reports, "The Americans claimed that the soldiers mistook the camera Mr Dana was holding for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher - a claim that was immediately rejected by journalists who witnessed the killing. 'We were all there, for at least half an hour. They knew we were journalists,' said Stephan Breitner of France 2 television. 'After they shot Mazen, they aimed their guns at us. I don't think it was an accident. They are very tense. They are crazy. They are young soldiers and they don't understand what is happening'." To me, that seems the most likely explanation; young, inexperienced, exhausted, heat-racked soldiers panicked or otherwise lost control. The military's muted response to the incident seems to confirm this theory. It is as tho' the authorities don't want to say too much. Meanwhile, Reuters is calling for a "comprehensive inquiry" into Dana's death. I wish I had confidence that the military inquiry underway is it...comprehensive, that is.
Returning to North America.... In the wake of last week's blackout, here are some links of value to people who are planning or updating their emergency supplies and procedures -- and I hope everyone is! (I thank Mary Lou Seymour for collecting this information.) The Coleman Corporation provides a Power Protection page , complete with a Home Wattage Wizard that allows you to determine the wattage consumed by your house and the type of back-up system you'll require. The Disaster Relief organization has an excellent list of preparedness supplies you should have on hand and its free online library is a mountain of valuable information; Captain Dave's Survival Center is also packed with info. For those who prefer to purchase pre-assembled kits-- including one for each vehicle -- the following companies have good reputations: Just In Case, Emergency Preparedness Service, and Quake Secure. Just keep clicking on links and you'll find everything you need to know in one place or another.
Best to all,