Archive for December, 2008

Silent

December 31, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama works on his golf game in Hawaii while remaining silent about (and therefore tacitly approving) the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, where one observer notes that civilians are paying the price.

[Update: Here is an article further detailing Israeli pilots targeting civilians in Gaza.]

South Carolina Unemployment Benefits Run Out Tomorrow

December 30, 2008

Here’s some unsettling news from my home state of South Carolina: This economic shit storm is just getting rolling and the state’s unemployment benefits will be exhausted TOMORROW!!

Did you know that 30 American states have unemployment insurance trust funds that will run out of cash within the next few months? (Several already have.)

But it’s all good: The federal government “insures” the money, so the states just plan to “borrow” the money from the feds. Indiana and Michigan alone have already “borrowed” nearly One Billion Dollars from the United States and will need more money within days.

South Carolina may also get the money ($146 million for January, February and March 2009) but the governor has refused to ask for it until the state’s Employment Security Commission submits to an audit of its books.

[Update: At the last minute, the governor relented and asked for the federal money. South Carolina will receive $146 million for three months, but rising numbers of layoffs mean the money won’t last that long.]

Arctic Blast 2008™

December 20, 2008

Eight inches of snow fell today as frigid air from Montana blew through the Columbia River Gorge and collided with a sopping wet Pacific storm system right over Portland. Now it is predicted that twelve hours of freezing rain will harden a one-inch crust on top of it all and the whole mess will stick around until at least Tuesday. Live round the clock team coverage of the weather on every TV station has worked people into a frenzy. Weirdly, fifteen hours later, some of the same news people were on the screen when I watched this morning. Little much?

[Update: December 31, 2008:

God, that sucked.

Cabin fever.

A treacherously icy footpath between here and the Plaid Pantry and a nearby greasy restaurant for vittles when my stocks ran out at home.

Other than that it was me and the cat out-lounging each other for most of a week with the heater (and the boredom) on high. I’ve never been more happy to go back to work or see nothing but December rain.]

Cyber Christmas Party

December 20, 2008

I went to a Cyber Christmas Party yesterday. Great drinks and hors d’oeuvre. Things got a little out of hand later in the evening.

He’s Not Too Bright

December 19, 2008

A real live bomb exploded in a bank near Portland last week, killing an Oregon State Police bomb specialist and a Woodburn, Oregon police captain. It also took a leg from the Woodburn police chief and injured a bank employee.

Arrested for the crime in quick succession were Joshua Turnidge, 32, and his father Bruce, 57.

A probable cause affidavit details what led the OSP to Joshua Turnidge after he was alleged to have been seen on a security camera purchasing cell phones and paint used in the bomb. Police quickly arrested the father after searching his farm and finding items they say link him to the crime.

The wife of a friend of the younger Turnidge told the media she doubts he could be responsible. “He’s just a stupid boy,” she said. “It’s certainly hard for me to comprehend him being able to build a bomb. He’s not very bright.”

In a sad twist, bomb experts from around the country have questioned the OSP trooper’s decision to move the bomb after determining that it was a hoax device.

[Update: Click here for a copy of the indictment against the Turnidges.]