Surveying the Damage

I have seen a lot of heartwrenching stories in the last few days and I have a good friend who had to flee her home in NOLA with her four day old baby. That being said, I have to say I found this picture of GWB surveying the damage to be somewhat amusing. I know, I know, this is no worse than a helicopter tour and much better than him actually trying to land there. But to have AF1 do a flyby on his way back from vacation, and offer this up as a photo op, well, I guess there’s a reason I’m not the press secretary.

– The water is everywhere!
– Other side, sir.

A Note to Screamers

“Please help, please help, oh God, somebody help me, help me, help me, please help me” is not a good choice for declaration of the coital denouement.

In a related question, if I burst into somebody’s apartment with golf-club in hand because I believed someone’s life to be in danger, would I be liable for the damage to their window?

Anyone Know How to Create a Checkin Script?

Southwest Airlines has introduced a couple of useful innovations lately, the most useful of which is online checkin. Now you can show up to your flight very very late, and still get a good seat by checking in at midnight the night before and printing your boarding pass at home.

The only problem is that, with an early flight, I don’t necessarily want to be up late at night to checkin, and by morning, the “A’s” may be gone. The Sheraton does this cool thing where the front desk people will check you in and print your boarding pass at midnight. Brilliant customer service idea.

But I was thinking, if spammer bots can force Jeff to change fields in the Jesush comments section, it should possible to create a script to fill in your data and check you in. Anyone have any idea how hard it would be to do that?

Thought Leader

Here’s an important update from the blog of Cindy Sheehan, who is the most important person in the US since we stopped caring about what happened to Natalee Holloway:

George Bush took a 2 hour bike ride on Saturday, and when he got back, he was asked how he could go for a two hour bike ride when he doesn’t have time to meet with me, and he said: “I have to go on with my life.” (Austin Statesman, August 14) WHAT!!!!!????? He has to get on with his life!!! I am so offended by that statement. Every person, war fan, or not, who has had a child killed in this mistake of an occupation should be highly offended by that remark. Who does he think he is? I wish I could EVER be able to get on with my life. Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. Getting on with my life means learning to live with a pain that is so intense that sometimes I feel like throwing up, or screaming until I pass out from sorrow. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life.

I’m sure this tidbit will be the center of Salon’s national news coverage for tomorrow, just as Sheehan’s campaign for a third meeting with President Bush has a hammerlock on their front page today.

I’m pretty comfortable with the idea that the Iraq campaign is being executed without any great competence at this point, but why the fuck is anyone listening to Cindy Sheehan about it? Her credentials, as far as I can tell, read thusly:

  • Kid killed in Iraq

That’s sad, but that doesn’t make her any kind of foreign policy expert, and I’m not sure I’m even comfortable with the idea that it should give her more access to the President than someone like, say, me.

Apparently I’m in the minority on this one. Despite conspicuously little evidence that Sheehan has anything useful to add to the public discourse on the war, every liberal media outlet in the nation has dropped everything and is vigorously using Sheehan as a tool to advance their general position, which is that George Bush is the antichrist. (At, for example, it’s all Sheehan, all the time.)

I’ve never voted for George W. Bush, I disagree with him and his administration on most of their stated policy, and I sure won’t be sorry to see him leave office in 2008. But if by his failure to schedule a meeting with Sheehan he’s saying that it takes more than living through a tragedy to create a thought leader, we’re in agreeance on this issue.

This is Your Life

I was playing around with Technorati – a blog search engine – when I stumbled across a familiar face. Al, if I recall correctly, was a decent friend of my sister’s in high school and a nice enough fellow.

Al and his girlfriend

A blog
A Flickr photostream

After I ran into this completely by accident, it occurred to me that obscurity as the norm is a thing of the past. If you didn’t want to be found or have personal information about yourself available, it would take at least a little effort.

Drug War

From an interesting article on Newsweek’s “The New Drug Epidemic” scare issue on meth:

This critique is no brief in favor of drug use. Nor do I minimize the collateral damage inflicted on others by methamphetamine users. But journalism like this ignores how, to paraphrase Grinspoon and Hedblom, drug-war measures often do more harm to individuals and society than the original “evil” substance the warriors attempted to stamp out. In the mid-1960s, just before the government declared war on amphetamines, the average user swallowed his pills, which were of medicinal purity and potency. Snorting and smoking stimulants was almost unheard of, and very few users injected intravenously.

Today, 40 years later, snorting, smoking, and injecting methamphetamines of unpredictable potency and dubious purity has become the normówith all the dreadful health consequences. If the current scene illustrates how the government is winning the war on drugs, I’d hate to see what losing looks like.

I’m always amazed at how many otherwise rational people can’t reason themselves into something similar to this observation.

Campaign for Real Beauty

I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, and one of the things I noticed while walking around downtown (but forgot to mention when recounting my trip for people later) was these Dove Campaign for Real Beauty bus stop signs. They feature larger-than-normal-models in plain white underwear standing around.

I was reminded of them by this article that ran in Slate today (which provided a pointer to the annoying Flash-based campaign website).

These ads are extremely hot. The curvy chicks featured look like a lot more fun than many of the emaciated coked-up waifs that pass for models. Although I am equally likely (0% before , 0% after) to buy Dove brand products before and after experiencing the ad campaign, I still give them five Pochaccos because they make the world a better place, and hey–isn’t that what all ad campaigns strive to do?