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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Oh to hell with politics

And a bigger to hell with gardening, Peak Oil and TEOTWAWKI.

This is the best dish I've read in months. Get 'em, go get 'em!!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fall is here

The storms yesterday were caused by a cold front colliding with our absurdly hot weather. Temps last night dropped into the 50s.

But that's not how i know fall's here.

I know fall's here because the fellow who pastures his horses here showed up after the storms yesterday to brushhog my place. And i know fall's here because I pulled the air conditioner out of the window and spread straw all around the baby trees and bushes. And I started digging up all the iris. And I pulled the heater out of the closet.

It's been summer here since February. Bout time it was over.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A bit of advice

Should you decide Day After Tomorrow is just the DVD you want to see, make sure you don't start watching it a few minutes before a giant thunderstorm with torrential rains and straightline winds moves through.

Let me tell you, I about had a heart attack.

If you've always suspected the wingnuts are --- well, nuts

... here's your proof
In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. Youth suicide is an exception to the general trend because there is not a significant relationship between it and religious or secular factors. No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of evolution with high rates of societal health. Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction, and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional. None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction. In some cases the highly religious U.S. is an outlier in terms of societal dysfunction from less theistic but otherwise socially comparable secular developing democracies. In other cases, the correlations are strongly graded, sometimes outstandingly so.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The White House, FEMA and Homeland Security take care of business

Gleefully kyped from Progressive Blog Digest, who got it from someone else.

Monarchs are here

They began showing up last week, but it now appears official, at least t my amateur eyes --- the migration is on! I'm trying to get pictures of them.

It's such a trite thing to say, but those monarchs are just the cheeriest creatures!

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I can't believe it --- I finally got pics of a hummingbird! They're not the best, but they're a start.

Mind you, this also convinces me to plant lion's ear next year. I'd pretty well decided against it --- the plants are just huge, with one or two nearly 9'. Ridiculous! But I've never seen the hummingbirds so crazy for any flower. They're positively bonkers. So the lion's ear stays.

Look for the blur. :-) Not only is the hummer frantically winging, it's quite windy out, so the plants are swaying. The blur is the giveaway.




I’d never seen a man so broken. He had watched his wife drown and then floated for 14 hours in polluted floodwaters on a piece of driftwood.

The extraordinary Times Picayune put New York Times and the rest of the bunch to shame.

Via Making Light:

The Saturday after Hurricane Katrina drowned my city, I sat alone in a rented Jeep in front of the latest headquarters of the Times-Picayune’s “New Orleans bureau”—our fifth in as many days—pounding furiously on a laptop, taking belts of Johnnie Walker Red to beat back tears. I was locked out of the staff’s uptown house, awaiting the return of the tiny team of colleagues that now represented the entirety of the paper’s presence in the city we once dominated. …


My crying bout that morning had been hardly unique, for myself or for the rest of the New Orleans-based crew. I had watched a woman die on the street. Arkansas National Guardsmen had carted her body away to put with the others inside the food service entrance at the rear of the Convention Center. They’d been murdered, or they’d perished, like the woman in front of me, from simple lack of food, water and medicine—here in America, here in my hometown.

What broke me wasn’t the horror but the beauty of the sight just a few feet away, of refugee Anita Roach defiantly belting out gospel standards, leading a chorus of family members and complete strangers. We locked eyes, a poor black woman who had barely escaped death in the Lower 9th Ward and a relatively well-fed white reporter with a dry Uptown house and a rented SUV.

I lost it. My notebook and pen fell to my sides in my limp arms. I mouthed the words “Thank you” as she finished. She smiled and nodded. I walked to her through the filth, and she wrapped me in a bear hug. I sat her down and bled her and her family of the details of their suffering and the strength that now poured out of them in song. I knew then I’d never forget the privilege.


Even before we’d stared the devil in the face, we knew Katrina had unleashed hell when Publisher Ashton Phelps, clearly distraught, announced the evacuation Tuesday morning.

Normally unshakably composed, Phelps, from the old-money family that has run the Picayune for generations, bounced from department to department in the three-story building shouting: “Get out of the building—now! You can not stay in the building!”


A few of us started grumbling immediately. We can’t just leave the world’s biggest story in our own hometown, we griped in hushed conversations. Sports Editor David Meeks, formerly the suburban editor and the man who hired me in 1998, harnessed the unrest. He made the pitch to Editor Jim Amoss: Give me a delivery truck and a small group of writers. We’ll go back.

“How are you going to eat?” Amoss asked him. “How are you going to file?”

I love that part.

It’s a long piece. I’m going to have to skip over the part about the Wal-Mart. Other stuff, too. This is an amazing story. Onward to:


McCusker, Pompilio and I pulled up to the St. Claude Avenue Bridge in our truck, stinking of swamp water and the cigarettes I had been chain-smoking. The bridge over the Industrial Canal marked the dividing line between deluged and merely flooded.


Returning from St. Bernard with a deadline looming, we rode on a boat full of rescued people, a dog and a duffel bag full of cats one woman had smuggled onto the boat without the captain’s knowledge. The memory that sticks out most: We had to duck to avoid hitting stoplights that had towered over the street.

Now on Tuesday, refugees, many elderly and handicapped, hobbled and wheeled themselves across the bridge to the corner of Poland and St. Claude Avenues, the dry side of the bridge that had become a rescue boat launch. We found hundreds of people who had been rescued, then abandoned into a whole new struggle for survival. Filthy, soaked and stinking, they lined up behind three National Guard trucks that couldn’t begin to make a dent in the growing crowd. Those that did get taken out would end up in the Superdome or at the Convention Center downtown, which would become their own dark scenes of terror and suffering.

People mobbed us, competing to tell us their stories, hoping to let relatives know they were alive and authorities know they might still die without help. Pompilio and I interviewed a weeping Daniel Weber, a rotund man perched on a black barrel in the muck. I’d never seen a man so broken. He had watched his wife drown and then floated for 14 hours in polluted floodwaters on a piece of driftwood.

“I’m not going to make it,” he told us. “I know I’m not.”


Click on photo to see larger size and read captions.

All's well ...

... family safe from Rita --- in fact, I probably got more rain from Rita than they did. And I am hugely relieved and now just want everyone to leave the coasts and move here, where they only have to deal with tornadoes and Tom Coburn. Although Inhofe might be reason to just leave the country. Gad, could anyone be more corrupt? In any case, thanks to you worryworts out there. It's a tremendous relief to know I'm not the only person who gets nervous about these things.

Now, for news from the Cookie Ranch: there isn't much. We began getting the remnants of Rita yesterday around four or five p.m., and she moved out maybe three a.m. We desperately needed the rain. Now, though, I fear we're back to square one atmospherically speaking --- it's six a.m. and already a heaty muggy swamp out there.

Come on, weather gods, cut this shit out! It's almost October! Enough of the 90+, almost 100 degree nonsense! Enough already!

I began ordering trees yesterday. I got three small shagbark hickories, an Indian currant and some more lilac. Found this great place just a few miles northwest of me which sells a huge variety of oaks, including live oaks --- Imagine backyard Trees. See, I have the remnants of oak-hickory forest here and there are some areas around me which are still relatively pristine oak-hickory forest. So I'm trying to plant, keeping that in mind. I've got some ornamentals going, mostly crepe myrtles I get on sale, and i will be putting up maybe two privacy/windbreaks. For the most part, though, I'm trying to restrict my tree planting to good native trees. Specifically oak and hickory. Although I'll also be planting pecan. Which is also native.

The fall garden is a joke. I'm having to really hammer the students this semester, and it's taking up all my time and energy. So I've gotten nothing but some more basil planted, although I do still have tomatoes coming in. Some other things are finally coming in, though ...

like the loofah ...

and the lion's ear ...

and the moonflowers ...

It's amazing that with all this, it's still such a huge mess here. I wish I would have had the good sense to take pictures when I first moved here. The place was completely trashed. I mean, a foot or so of trash everywhere. So the improvement here is enormous. Still, I look around sometimes and think that this is impossible. But I just have to keep at it, I suppose.

I really wish i would have taken pics before I got started, though. Then I could go back to them and see how very different it already looks here. This is a downright rural reclamation project.