Quotes, Damned Quotes, and Statistics

October 2, 2011

Over at Ace of Spades, they’ve created an absolutely magnificent infographic reflecting a then-and-now look at what President (or Candidate) Obama said and what, in the real world, has actually been happening. Sadly for Obama, the two don’t correlate very well. Judge for yourself.

Remember all this. Vote accordingly in 2012.



Hell In Haiti – How You Can Help

January 13, 2010

“Complete And Utter Chaos!”  – Eyewitness

Update: According to a Red Cross official, Haiti’s devastating earthquake has left an estimated 3 million people in need of emergency aid. Much of the world is putting aside political differences and rushing to help. Countries pledging their immediate support in terms of personnel, cash and supplies to Haiti include the United States, Iceland, Britain, France, Canada, Germany, China, Mexico and Venezuela. 

The Face Of Haiti - Source: AP

Once again, natural disaster has brought its wrath to Planet Earth; this time it is Haiti that must bear the brunt of nature’s fury. An earthquake registering 7.0+ on the Richter scale has devastated the tiny Caribbean country. Once again, America’s heart opens to the victims. We will respond as we always do: with compassion and utter disregard for politics.

As demonstrated by the diverse countries responding, this is no time for politics. These are innocent people who are suffering now.  Children, babies. Parents, the elderly. Hospitals and clinics where they might seek medical treatment have vanished into the debris.

The call has gone out to the world for help. As is usually the case in times of turmoil, America will lead the way in aid to Haiti. And President Obama has stepped up to pledge assistance from the American Government.

Still, it is often the private sector from which much of the aid comes. We are Americans… it’s what we do.

If you’re asking, “How can I help?” the following is a list of various organizations whose charters are to provide aid and comfort. I would advise you to look at each one before determining, for yourself which organization is likely to have the most direct impact on the people in Haiti who can only turn to the outside world in this time of utter need.

Click on the following links for more information on each organization:

International Medical Corps
Direct Relief International
World Vision
International Relief Teams
Yéle Haiti
American Red Cross
Operation USA
Catholic Relief Services
World Food Programme
World Concern
Save the Children

List source: CNN.com

Keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers in this time of need and desperation.

Gerry Ashley

Breaking: Major Earthquake Hits Mexico City

May 22, 2009

3:36 pm EST, 5/22/2009…

Fox News is reporting that Mexico City has been rocked by a 5.7 earthquake strong enough to sway tall buildings. At this time the USGS has no relevant  info on their Web site.

This follows the 4.7 magnitude that hit L.A. last Monday, and the 6.5 that struck Kermadec Islands on May 16, ’09.

Details to follow…

Alan Speakman

Godzilla Emerges From TN Disaster!

January 4, 2009


Yup, there he is – Godzilla, the product of a mind numbing one billion gallon coal ash pond dam collapse. To get a better sense of the disaster, check out this ABC piece.

“The irony is that the sludge that soiled this area was part of an effort to make burning coal more environmentally friendly.”

Obviously, we joke about Godzilla, but not by much. We’re talking stuff like:

  • 2.5 million pounds of barium
  • 3,400 pounds of arsenic
  • 80 pounds of mercury
  • Tons of other happy metals like lead, manganese, and thallium

You know what? If the choice was between Godzilla and who knows what disease, I might even opt for Godzilla.

Alan Speakman

P.S. And the people on Cape Cod whine about a wind farm. Deep sigh…

Skeeter Economics

September 22, 2008


Remember those terrible “Skeeter Movies” from back in the early ’90s? They were campy little low-budget flicks meant to suspend reason and, in general, be goofy in an upbeat sort of way (though predicting long-term disaster). Usually they entailed an eeevil government/military/corporation plot gone awry and an optimistic neophyte with the perfect idea to save the world!

In a very real sense, what we’re facing today is a form of that genre.  Call it Skeeter Economics. The markets probably won’t auger in, and all the talking heads will say that two and a half pages from the White House will have saved the day. Gotta love them last-moment skeeter scientists/economists.

Wait, wait, wait… Let’s backtrack for a moment.  Just to give you (and me) some hope of understanding the lingo (DDT if you will) that will be gushing from the news channels, here’s a quick BBC link that offers thumbnail descriptions of some of the terms likely to be used. Using that link in conjunction with one of our earlier rants we might just have a prayer of understanding most of the details that are about to unravel. Good luck.

Back in the bigger (pecuniary) swamp (you may want to fasten your seat belts and return your seat backs and tray tables into their full, upright positions): We’re $9 trillion in the hole and that does not include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Add those in, and we’re talking something along the lines of $50 trillion. Our GDP is only $12 trillion. China and Russia are larvae just being born. Listen: Can you hear the buzzing?

Look. Our economy is just plain “skeeter crazy.” It would be harmlessly goofy if it weren’t all so world-crushing. Put another way: Our economy is spinning out of control faster than  that underground science experiment in France and Switzerland. And it just became more likely to create a black hole.

Alan Speakman

Disaster Preparedness (Including Tropical Storm(?) Fay)

August 18, 2008


For the most part, this site is dedicated to political science and social issues. Granted, you never know what we’ll post (so long as it’s rated “G”), but usually it’s the “Washington/Moscow/London Ramifications Ramble” sort of thing.

Anyway, seeing how tropical storm(?) Fay is bearing down on Florida (where contributor Gerry Ashley lives by the way), it seemed appropriate to toss out info on general emergency preparedness. Thankfully, I’ve already published all that stuff for another blog here. (The Cape Cod Emergency Preparedness Handbook is one of the finest publications I’ve seen concerning this subject matter.)

Be safe all, and come back to rant ASAP!

Alan Speakman