Daily Archives: January 17, 2010

Those brave UN folks

In a repeat of their stellar behavior in Africa, Canadian and Belgian medical teams abandoned their patients in a hospital in Haiti, fearing the mob. The only doctor left was CNN’s medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta who was unable to to much since the fleeing UN doctors took all their supplies with them.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who led relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said the evacuation of the clinic’s medical staff was unforgivable.

“Search and rescue must trump security,” Honoré said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. They need to man up and get back in there.”

Honoré drew parallels between the tragedy in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in Port-au-Prince. But even in the chaos of Katrina, he said, he had never seen medical staff walk away.

“I find this astonishing these doctors left,” he said. “People are scared of the poor.”


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Pay to read the New York Times online?

I understand the economics of their pending announcement, but there isn’t enough there to persuade me to buy it. We still get the paper edition at home because my mother likes it but, while I do pay for Wall Street Journal, I can’t see paying to raise my blood pressure. I suspect that, like Rupert Murdoch (who of course, does own the Journal), the Times publishers have an overly-optimistic opinion of the value of their product. I would never pay to read the New York Post, and I won’t pay to read the Times. See ya, guys.


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If Tuesday’s special election turnout depends on enthusiasm, Coakley’s cooked

She’s drawing no one today, in contrast to Brown’s rallies. Yesterday the Democrats had to bus in union supporters from out of state because all the in-state union members were attending – and cheering – at the Brown campaign stops.

UPDATE: For a similar view from a slightly more liberal source, try this NYT article, just posted.


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I’ll believe it when I (don’t) see it

LORAN system to be discontinued, again. Every five years or so the federal government announces that it’s going to pull the plug on the LORAN system, a radio navigation service that served as a bridge between charts and compasses and GPS. It worked, and was quite useful but when GPS became available in, I think, 1990, I and almost everyone else switched over and never looked back.

Almost, but not everyone else. The old fishing guides in Montauk spent years compiling notebooks with their favorite fishing spots located via LORAN coordinates and, notwithstanding that it’s an easy translation, have fiercely resisted LORAN’s abandonment. Their congressmen, together with representatives of lobstermen in Maine and a few other outposts of old technology have defeated all previous attempts to close it down. Will the government succeed this time? Maybe; it cost millions to maintain, which probably translates to tens of thousands of dollars for each of the handful of users, but I’m not counting on it.


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Bad news for Connecticut’s budget

I missed this story last week but the NYT’s Peter Applebome reported January 10th on a problem at the Foxwoods Casino: a $2 billion debt that it can’t pay. Our legislature has been balancing the budget on its share of casino earnings since Weiker slipped gambling inside our borders. If there are no earnings, that’s going to be another $100 million plus hole for our out-of-control spenders to fill. And with casinos spreading up and down the Northeast, the future does not look bright.


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You could have toured Gilliam Lane for free back in the sixties

$65 tours of gangland in Los Angeles. Hell, you could have been terrified at no cost back in the day – drive by Cobra’s place, continue past the Fountain Boyz and maybe swing up to Jones Park to watch Mike Hannaffee do his stuff. Missed an opportunity there, Pilgrim.


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More desperation in Massachusetts

A lawyer looks at Coakley’s view of religious freedom (“you can have religious freedom but can’t work in a hospital emergency room”) and is not impressed. Not to be deterred, the lady sent this mailer out over the weekend.

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Greenwich YMCA – how does a $10 million project get to $40 million and counting?

Very quickly, according to this GT article. The reporter covers the obvious facts but ignores the deeper story: the director brought in from California who had previously bankrupted a Y there and been fired – he did the same thing here and quit; the eviction of “the Old Guard”, men who had long supported the Y, now told that this was no longer a place for them. The Director destroyed their locker room (which they paid an extra fee for) and stuck them in with the swarms of kids who were to represent the new institution, etc.

So alienation of members, bad leadership, and a grandiose, unaffordable vision. That’s the story of the Greenwich YMCA.


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Those Himalayian glaciers that will all melt by 2035?

Never mind. Our bad. Our bad science, too.

UPDATE: UN Science panel will formally withdraw its claim. Turns out they read a ten-year-old article in New Scientist in which the author, with no scientific basis to work on, speculate that “some” glaciers could melt. Our UN employees took that, did no research of their own, and expanded it to “all”. When Al Gore says that the debate is over, he means that until now, there has been no debate. Now there is, and these frauds are being exposed every day.

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