damnum absque injuria

December 28, 2005

The Never-ending War On Christmas

Filed under:   by Cardinal Martini @ 11:14 pm

Even electricity, no doubt in concert with the ACLU, is trying to stomp out Christmas. Here’s a report of a burned-down Christmas Tree at a moderately known California attraction:

The fire at Disney’s Grand California Hotel in the 1600 block of South Disneyland Drive was reported at about 3 a.m., according to Anaheim Fire Department spokeswoman Maria Sabol.

She called the fire “electrical in nature,” saying it started after employees changed some lightbulbs on the tree and turned the lights back on.

The blaze was contained by the emergency sprinkler system in the lobby, Sabol said, and 18 firefighters were able to put it out quickly when they arrived.

Clearly, sprinkler water is on John Gibson’s side of the fight over Christmas. But the real question is, did the hotel’s guests enjoy the sound emitted by the fire alarms?

Guests said the alarm was deafening.

“The noise was from hell,” said guest Lee Krize. “And we all get up. I look at the people out the window, and I can see flames in the lobby. We all get dressed, trying to get a head count because there are 11 of us all together, including a 3-month-old baby.”

“You know how it is: You’re sleeping and you hear that beeping,” said guest Joseph LaFrance. “It kind of wakes you up. But you get through it. And it’s better to save lives than to be stuck in a building like this.”

Better to wake up and leave the building than to stay in bed and die. I hear ya, man.

October 1, 2005

Saving Pets, and Their Owners

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:12 pm

Via Tammy Bruce, H.R. 3858 would require state and local authorities to include pets and service animals in their disaster evacuation plans. The bill reads in its entirety:


This Act may be cited as the ‘Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2005’.


Section 613 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5196b) is amended–

(1) by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection (h); and

(2) by inserting after subsection (f) the following:

‘(g) Standards for State and Local Emergency Preparedness Operational Plans- In approving standards for State and local emergency preparedness operational plans pursuant to subsection (b)(3), the Director shall ensure that such plans take into account the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency.’.

This one’s a no-brainer. Call your Congresscritter and tell him to support it.

UPDATE: All this comes not a minute too soon.

UPDATE x2: For those would-be Cruella de Villes who can’t bear the thought of one taxpayer dime going to pay for anyone’s pet or service dog, bear in mind that 42 U.S.C. § 5196b is a federal funding statute, not a direct mandate. If Louisiana wants to retain its policy of screwing pet owners, and soaking the taxpayers twice on service dogs that will need to be replaced, they can still do it; they just won’t be able to ask the rest of the country to help pay for it.

September 19, 2005

Another Gubernatorial Recall?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:47 pm

The Puppy Blender doubts it will succeed, but he wasn’t an early believer in California’s 2003 recall, either, and I think at least as good a case can be made to recall Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco as could ever have been made to impeach that guy whose term Arnold Schwarzenegger is finishing out. However, to succeed they’ll have to have a plan, and nailing down the difference between an impeachment and a recall would be a good place to start.

Cops Looting Firearms

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:59 pm

The NRA was a bit slow on the draw when the city of New Orleans began illegally confiscating everyone’s weapons, but they are hot on the case (h/t: Matt Rustler) now. If you are a New Orleans resident who has had a firearm confiscated stolen by the NOPD, call (888) 414-6333.

September 10, 2005

Katrina Returns, Sans Waves

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:38 pm

Tomorrow’s New York Times reports that Katrina Leskanich, the former lead singer of Katrina and the Waves, has a solo album coming out next month. The release date was originally set for September 5, which would have been really crappy timing.

The article also quotes a few other non-hurricanes named Katrina (though it missed my sister in law), and there seems to be a consensus among them that naming hurricanes after people is a bad idea. At the risk of sounding like a naive foreigner, I must confess that I agree. When California’s disasters strike, usually in the form of earthquakes, we name the damned things after the location of their epicenter, not after any individuals who did nothing to cause them. I take some comfort in the fact that when a nasty earthquake struck Northridge in 1994, it didn’t occur to anyone to name it “Earthquake Xrlq,” and I think I can safely assume Aphrael, Doc Rampage (or maybe not) and Bill Quick are similarly pleased that there was never any danger of the Loma Prieta earthquake being named after them, either. And it’s not just earthquakes that don’t get human names; it’s just about everything but hurricanes. We all remember the mudslides that trashed a few homes in Laguna Beach and pretty much wiped out La Conchita last year, but did we really need to call them Mudslide Richard and Mudslide Alex? I don’t think so. If the September 11 attacks had occurred on a date whose numbers don’t coincide with the number we dial in emergencies (or if we’re idiots upset that we didn’t “have it our way” at Burger King), we might not call that dreadful day “9-11,” but we sure as hell wouldn’t call it “Terrorist Attack Noam,” tempting though that may be. So why name hurricanes?

September 8, 2005

FEMA and Pets

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:50 pm

What he said.

September 7, 2005

Houston-Galveston Relief

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:05 am

Via reader TTyler, here is a link to a clearinghouse for volunteers in the Houston-Galveston area and the public. It is intended to help match up volunteers with places to volunteer and donors with places to drop stuff off. If you are in the greater Houston area, be sure to check it out.

September 1, 2005

Katrina Donations

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:51 pm

It’s not too late to get your donations in, and don’t forget to log them when you do. I ended up donating to Mercy Corps, Salvation Army and the Humane Society.

Katrina Relief

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:26 am

Today’s the day. I don’t recommend any particular charity, just that you donate to a reputable one, and use your company if they’ll match some or all of it.


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