Random Blogging and Linking

Random Blogging and Linking

Blackout Reports

The two Blackout Reports posted here were the beneficiaries of a ton of links and prompted a great deal of off-blog e-mail. The referrer logs show Google, Yahoo, Jeeves, et al linking to the DeanLand Blackout coverage, in some cases toward --or even at-- the top of the list. Here are the permalinks to those entries:

Blackout 2003: (written and posted That Same Night)


Backout 2003 ñ The Recap (The Next Day)

Tony Pierce

I recently discovered Tony Pierceís blog. Tony posted a link to my initial Blackout 2003 blog entry. We traded e-mails, and I found myself reading all sorts of items in and on his site, and a bunch of other links thereabouts. Of particular note: on the sidebar (where there are more links than any other blog or site Iíve ever seen!) Tony has a link called a day in my life. This is a photoblog with captions. Very entertaining, and it gives a brief, yet extremely insightful glimpse into Tony. One real highlight for me in the a day in my life photobog: the shots and captions at the Dodgers game. And it would appear that Tony is a Cubs fan. The more I read the blog and various links, the better I like this guy! Check it out.

The UK Blogger Strikes Again

Look!  It must be the Union Jackmobile!Will wonders never cease?! After much cajoling on my part, our buddy Keith Povall from the Black Country in the UK has updated his blog. Only took him just shy of a year! We will be visiting Keith and all our other Black Country & Wales friends in December. Keith, he of the broadband connection, promises me I can use his facilities to update the DeanLand blog while abroad. Read Keithís blog, send him e-mail, get him to post more than every year or so!!

Ruminations ñand a petition-- on the FCC

Common Cause uses this graphic as a link to the page where readers can sign their petition to prevent Dubya from using his veto, and thus enabling FCC Chairman Michael Powell's Big Media Giveaway.Lisa English, she who authors Ruminate This (an excellent blog), urges her readers to sign the Common Cause petition. Read it. Sign it. And read the Ruminate This blog, full of good stuff. Readers of this space will recall our urging them to sign both the Common Cause petition and the Media Reform petition. Blogs urging visitors to make their voices heard are carrying an urgent message. Click over to the Common Cause petition and sign it! Click over to the Media Reform petition and sign it! Then check out the rest of Ruminate This, good stuff all throughout.

Fox News: They Fake It, You Decide.

Take a look at this picture FOX News Channel ran, showing NYC during the Blackout.

. . . . hmm, how did they get the World Trade Center Twin Towers back to NY?  Was this some trick they pulled off for the Blackout?!?!?

Yes, those magicians at FOX summoned the Gods and managed to get the Twin Towers to return, just for the Blackout. Gee, I drove by Ground Zero 3 or so hours after the power went out, and about an hour before the sun set. The Twin Towers hadnít reappeared when I went by. Must have happened later. After all, the earnest and conservative news gatherers at FOX wouldnít sink so low as to fake a story, would they?

Yep, we know the motto: Fair and Balanced. And, of course, Fake.

Thanks to John Rook for the heads-up on this.

The Old Gray Lady Hugs Mayor Mike

The NY Times in a Sunday editorial, praises the Mayor for a job well done during the Blackout. I guess they read my blog and decided to follow up on the concept. Maybe now theyíll pay close attention to whatís written here, and stop charging (or attempting to do so, anyway) readers for access to older stories. They just are clueless as to how this Fishwrapper Fee alienates the users. But they donít see them as users, they see them as customers.

The marketing geniuses over there are steeped in yesteryear. And, oh, by the way, thereís no use linking to this editorial, because if you are reading this after the fact, the Times might try to bilk you out of a few bucks to read it. Surely no reader of this space would be foolish enough to throw money away in this manner!

Hereís the bottom line: they agree with me (and stories from the Times, The News, The Post, et al) that ran Saturday: Mayor Michael Bloomberg did a great job as mayor, as City Patriarch, as Our Man In Charge, and as the Communicator-In-Chief and the Man of The Hour. Kudos to Mayor Mike!

Ok, ok, I saved it as a picture. You can see it here.

Losing Her Religion

Imagine the folly of someone taking the advice of this self-righteous opportunistic blowhard!  She posed nude and years later it ended up on the web.  She was aghast that the feller who took the pictures (oh, yeah, it seems she was married to someone else at the time, but what's a little nude photography among mature adults who can help you in the business?) actually made them public.  How sinful of him! </p />
</p><p>She fired her mother, but claims that family is the most important thing in the world.  </p>
<p>She claims to have converted to Orthodox Judaism, but a few years down the road says it never gave her any fulfillment, and renounces the Orthodox claims.  </p>
<p>Rumor has it her son is gay.  How will she reckon that with her new-found lord?  After all, Dr. Laura tells us that being gay is a sin.  </p>
<p>And she, of course, has never sinned.  Except for those little sins way back then in the day.</p>
<p>What a crock of Sheiss, er Schlessinger, she is!Is that REM we hear in the background? No, it is the shrill whine and judgmental tone of hack radio advice-giver Laura Schlessinger. It seems the righteous and religious holier-than-thou ìDr.î Schlessinger has renounced her Orthodox Judaism. Oh, you ask, whatís that sound now? Thatís the sound of Jews all over the place cheering at her defection. And, for what its worth, since her father was a Jew, but not her mother, according to Jewish Law, she was not really a Member of The Tribe to begin with. She decided to convert to Orthodox Judaism some years back, making a big deal of her fundamentalist right-wing purportedly Old-Testament-based views. Well, sheís thrown that baby out with the bath water, despite being opposed to anything that might get in the way of a baby being born. Found this story (and this link) in Natalie Davisí ALL FACTS AND OPINIONS. Natalie found the story about Dr. Laura on the WorldNet Daily site.

Oh, the coda to the Dr. Laura no=longer-Orthodox story is two-fold:

1. She still ìconsidersî herself a Jew. In a free country, who can stop her?

2. She envies her Christian friends their closeness with their God.

Hmmm, should we start a pool, guess when Dr, Laura will get saved, meet the Messiah, cross over to the New Testament?

Hereís a link to an excellent Dr. Laura parody. If nothing else, it shows that Dr. Laura is good for a chuckle.

Back when the nude pictures of Dr. Laura were made public on the web, some jumped to the conclusion that people would pay to see her in the buff. My initial reaction to this was that Iíd rather pay NOT to see her, naked or clothed. Or hear her, either. Thereís enough self-righteousness to be found without looking for it.

The REAL TRUTH re What Caused The Blackout

Ken Lay, former chairman of bankrupt energy giant Enron Corp., often sought President Bush's support for business projects and legislation when Bush was governor of Texas, according to correspondence released on February 15, 2002. The documents, which include a number of notes and letters released by state archivists, show a close personal relationship between the two men as well as an alliance built on common political and business interests. Bush and Lay are shown with Nancy Lazar, executive vice president of International Strategy and Investments at an economic forum January 3, 2001. Photo by Jeff Mitchell/ReutersOr should that headline read, **who** caused the blackout? It all goes back to, yes, you guessed it, Kenneth Lay and Dubya. In a manner of speaking, anyhow.

Check out this link, to Greg Palastís article on the topic. Palast is the author --as he puts it on his site-- of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" (Penguin USA) and the worstseller, "Democracy and Regulation," a guide to electricity deregulation published by the United Nations (written with T. MacGregor and J. Oppenheim).

His very thorough investigations clarify the realities of the Enron Scam, the Niagara-Mohawk theft of taxpayersí money with the Nine Mile Point nuclear plant, and how LILCO scammed its customers, cooked the books and ended up paying a fine of $4.3 billion with a B, and eventually had to go out of business. Yes, a utility going under, due to the financial hijinks it pulled on its customers.

The bottom line is that Dubya enabled events such as the Blackout of 2003 to happen. From Palastís article:

The power elite first moved on England because they knew Americans wouldn't swallow the deregulation snake oil easily. The USA had gotten used to cheap power available at the flick of switch. This was the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt who, in 1933, caged the man he thought to be the last of the power pirates, Samuel Insull. Wall Street wheeler-dealer Insull created the Power Trust, and six decades before Ken Lay, faked account books and ripped off consumers. To frustrate Insull and his ilk, FDR gave us the Federal Power Commission and the Public Utilities Holding Company Act which told electricity companies where to stand and salute. Detailed regulations limited charges to real expenditures plus a government-set profit. The laws banned power "trading" and required companies to keep the lights on under threat of arrest -- no blackout blackmail to hike rates.

Of particular significance as I write here in the dark, regulators told utilities exactly how much they had to spend to insure the system stayed in repair and the lights stayed on. Bureaucrats crawled along the wire and, like me, crawled through the account books, to make sure the power execs spent customers' money on parts and labor. If they didn't, we'd whack'm over the head with our thick rule books. Did we get in the way of these businessmen's entrepreneurial spirit? Damn right we did.

Most important, FDR banned political contributions from utility companies -- no 'soft' money, no 'hard' money, no money PERIOD.

But then came George the First. In 1992, just prior to his departure from the White House, President Bush Senior gave the power industry one long deep-through-the-teeth kiss good-bye: federal deregulation of electricity. It was a legacy he wanted to leave for his son, the gratitude of power companies which ponied up $16 million for the Republican campaign of 2000, seven times the sum they gave Democrats.

When Al Gore and/or Wesley Clark enter the White House for the coming Presidential term, they should appoint Palast as a Special Energy Consultant.

Woodstock Nation

34 years ago today, in the bucolic town of Bethel, NY, right by White Lake and not too far from Monticello, the Woodstock Festival came to an end. Hereís a little perspective: Donnie Wahlberg is celebrating birthday number 34 today. Hurricane Camille devastated the Gulf Coast 34 years ago. Nixon was in the White House 34 years ago. It was the Summer of 1969.  Woodstock Nation emerged as a reality.  Suddenly there was unity and a common these among a group of people who had been somewhat disenfranchised.  The gathering at Woodstock gave a sense of community, of belonging, of no longer being out of touch or out of step.  Woodstock legitimized and brought into focus the fact that there were hundred of thousands of peace-loving, music loving, so-called hippie types.  And Woodstock was without violent incident.   Even in the rain and the mayhem of the weather, peace was the order of the day.</p />
<p>To many of us, this was as important an event as some other days of historic note.  We all remember where we were during Woodstock, who we knew that went, and how it felt to us.</p>
<p>How, to some degree, it still feels to us.Back in the days of Woodstock a popular phrase was, îdonít trust anyone over thirty.î Now it is thirty plus four years hence. Jimi, Janice and Jerry are dead. Woodstockers with first names starting with a J did not fare so well. There have been two somewhat ìofficialî follow-up Woodstocks, but neither came anywhere near capturing anything remotely resembling the essence of the original. For a number of years many of us went to Bethel on the anniversary of Woodstock. It was one big happy gathering. As the 30th anniversary grew closer the mood changed; the locals got wary, and after some unpleasantness and silliness, another farmer on the main road decided to use his land for the annual pilgrimage to Bethel on the yearly anniversary. I had spent the Summer of í69 in that part of The Catskills, playing in a band. The short and funny story is that I had Woodstock tickets, but sold them because I had a better offer: to go to the Isle of Jamaica for two weeks. Yeah, mon.

Jamaica! Iíd been to Central Park concerts for years, had seen some of the groups appearing on the bill, and wasnít necessarily that interested in seeing all of the acts on the program. Plus, I had been playing in a Rock band all Summer, and the idea of cooling out in Jamaica (Jamaica!) was much more appealing.
Imagine my surprise, sitting on the beach in Montego Bay, reading the International Herald Tribune, and seeing that Woodstock had become a veritable nation. The gathering at Bethel was larger than the population of many American cities. And Iíd gotten rid of my tickets! The friend with whom Iíd go to the reunions at Bethel had a similar story. He was so turned off by the stopped-to-a-dead-halt traffic that he just turned around and went home. We found many kindred souls attending the reunions, with similar experiences. All, of course, members of the Woodstock Nation, whether weíd been there in attendance or not.