Saturday, May 02, 2009

Cowboys Practice Structure Collapses On The Team

The line of thunderstorms that just passed through Dallas left a swath of wind damage in their wake. The most visible damage was the training facility at the Cowboys Valley Ranch facility. The team was on the field during a training exercise as the 60 mph winds tore the walls and cause the entire football-field sized structure to collapse.

Just saw the video from cameramen on the scene as it happened. The whole building began buckling and lights swayed just prior to the collapse. About 10 people are reported to be injured from the falling structure.

Severe storms continue in the area.

Friday, May 01, 2009

N1H1 May Have Started In The US

N1H1 is hardly as catchy as "Swine Flu" but every bit as serious, and contrary to the shouts of the right wing who have tried to make this an "immigration issue", this strain probably started in the US.

The CDC is now saying it looks like the strain began back in 1998 in US hog farms. The cases found in Mexico may have actually paralleled some here, but it's too early to tell.

The CDC is taking this very seriously, and comedians ridiculing the situation aside, the folks in Virology are not amused. The virus is a hybrid of a swine/avain/human influenza and that means it can travel from human to human.

"We're in unprecedented territory really," said Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., which operates a laboratory that works with the World Health Organization. So far, the virus is treatable with antiviral medicines. It appears less deadly than first thought, as long as good medical care is within reach.

The outbreak was detected early in Mexico and that may be a saving grace. A worldwide pandemic on the scale of the Spanish Flu has been expected for a long time. Let's hope this isn't the one.

Hannity Still Silent On Waterboarding Demonstration

Sean Hannity, far-right standard bearer and media whore, has yet to make good on his boast that he would volunteer to be waterboarded for charity. He claimed this would prove it wasn't torture.

Since then Keith Olbermann has posted a $1000 per second prize for Hannity for every second he can endure the torture. So far no word from Hannity.

I'll help out. Since I have experience waterboarding people (albeit in a consensual SM sense as part of an interrogation role-play) I will galdly volunteer to perform the duites. I suspet I will not be taken up on my offer, and it's a good one too. My version of the turture is much milder than the kind indulged in by the CIA and other rogue government agencies. They bring their victim to the verge of drowning, a potentially deadly practice that risks getting water in the victims lungs. That often leads to pnuemonia.

So Mr. Hannity, my offer is this. I will assist in whatever capacity needed to help you raise funds for charity. I assure you that I won't do any permanent damage, but that you will gleefully confess to just about anything to get me to stop.

Sounds sadistic? You betcha.

Danny Gans Dies In Las Vegas

If you have never been to Las Vegas you might not have heard of Danny Gans. Gans was voted entertainer of the year numerous times in Las Vegas and had his own theater at the Wynn Encore Hotel & Casino.

Gans died unexpectedly last night at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 52.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Maine Senate Passes Same Sex Marriage Bill!

Word just came in through Americablog that the Maine Senate has passed the Gay Marriage bill. Same sex marriage in Maine is one step closer to reality. Now it moves to the House where an easier time is expected.

Republican Virginia Foxx - Certified Idiot! - Calls Mathew Sheppard Murder A Hoax?

Republicans love to rewrite history. Take Rep.Virginia Foxx, who tried to tie the swine flu to a democratic administration. She said it's "interesting that it happened before under Carter in 1976."

If she had bothered to look at the dates, she would find it happened under Ford. But let's not let reality get in the way of the GOP agenda. She also blamed the Smooth Hawley act on FDR, an act written by Republicans and enacted under Herbert Hoover! Of course she also called it the "Hoot-Smalley" act. Face it Foxx is an idiot!

Then this walking bag of misinformation went on to call the Mathew Sheppard murder a hoax! Someone needs to put duct tape over her mouth before she says something even more outrageous.

Keith Olbermann has the details!

Swine Flu - Redux?

In 1976 I caught the Swine Flu. It was a real ordeal and I spent a week stuck in a hotel room during my travels getting various medications from a local doctor in Agawam, Massachusetts.

Now I figured I would be naturally immune to the newest strain but the doctors tell me differently. Apparently the crafty virus has mutated into a novel form of the virus and just like everyone else, I am vulnerable.

Living in Texas, the state with the largest border with Mexico, the launching point for this wave of pandemic, does make me a bit nervous. The best consolation comes from people taking precautions seriously and schools closing to avoid spreading the disease. Schools are a breeding ground for diseases. Lots of kids, sneezing, coughing and in close contact spreading whatever they have to each other. Share and share alike?

My hope is that parents who keep their children at home will not decide to bring them to work with them. If they do, the same problem will persist, but this time it will be adults who spread it.

The flu in Mexico seems to be more deadly than other countries, and that is a mystery. The fact that this flu is killing the young and strong is also a mystery. It bears a frightening resemblance to the Spanish Flu epidemic that decimated the worlds youth in 1918. Let's hope that isn't repeated.

So what to do? Listen to the recommendations of the CDC and be reasonable. Avoid close contact with large crowds, but don't hide at home and shiver.

Wash your hands and cover your coughs and sneezes, and just maybe we can nip this in the bud.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Long, Slow Demise Of Michael Steele

It's like watching a slow motion train wreck. Michael Steele, the token minority chairperson of the GOP has steadily had his power extracted by the ultra-conservative faction that runs the party now. The latest slap in Steele's face is a resolution, calling for a new set of checks and balances on the chairman's power to dole out money including new controls on awarding contracts and spending money on outside legal and other services.

Steele is the "dead man walking" of the GOP and apparently he doesn't know it yet.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter Switches Parties!

If I were looking for a real indicator of a "sea change" in American politics, this would be it. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is switching parties. The longtime moderate voice of the GOP has thrown in the towel and says freely that the party has moved away from his beliefs.
"Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."
The GOP is fast becoming a fringe party and none too soon for me. The radical far-right factions that have kidnapped the GOP are pushing it into irrelevance. Once Al Franken is seated as Senator from Minnesota, Specter will give the Democrats a filibusterer proof majority and the real work of rebuilding our country can begin.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Iowa Gay Weddings Start Today

Wedding bells will be ringing in Iowa starting today for same-sex couples. Though there is a three day waiting period after getting a license, a judge can grant an immediate license.

Iowa has not state residency requirements for marriage!