BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED TORNADO WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDIANAPOLIS IN 121 PM EST FRI SEP 20 2002
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN INDIANAPOLIS HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WARNING FOR... NORTHERN JOHNSON COUNTY IN CENTRAL INDIANA MARION COUNTY IN CENTRAL INDIANA THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS
* UNTIL 200 PM EST
* AT 116 PM EST...AMATEUR RADIO WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO JUST SOUTH OF MARTINSVILLE...OR ABOUT 17 MILES NORTH OF BLOOMINGTON...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.
* THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF THE STORM IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR... BARGERSVILLE AT 135 PM EST GREENWOOD AT 140 PM EST HOMECROFT AT 145 PM EST BEECH GROVE AT 150 PM EST INDIANAPOLIS AT 150 PM EST
THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING TORNADO EMERGENCY. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE TORNADO...TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY.
THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. IF NO BASEMENT IS AVAILABLE...GO TO THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM. GET UNDER STURDY FURNITURE OR USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO COVER YOUR BODY.
IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT.
Update: The tornado warning has expired and all is well.
A woman was caught on surveillance camera in Mishawaka, Indiana apparently delivering a savage beating to a four-year-old child. The Mishawaka Police Department are looking for the woman pictured in the linked story, who punched the little girl in the face more than a dozen times during the 25-decond assault. Police also fear the girl may require medical attention. Although the suspect's vehicle was traced, family members were described as "less than helpful," indicating the woman had left the state. The suspect's decription:
5' 6" or 7"
24 or 25 years old
Anyone with any information on their whereabouts is asked to call the Mishawaka Police Department at (574) 258-1684 or you may also contact them via email at Police@Mishawakacity.com.
Update: Police have apparently recieved more than 150 calls in relation to the case, but the woman remains at large. The woman's sister turned herself in and is being held on charges of failing to report child abuse. Police identified the woman as as Madelyne Gorman or Madelyne Toogood and predicted she would be caught.
Have you ever wondered why female game characters are a little, um, less armored than their male counterparts? Ian of the online comic Mac Hall has this explanation: In the fantasy universe, females are immune to damage over most of their anatomy...
"The people who make the movies are scared of silence, so they want to paper and plaster it over," he said. "They're worried the audience will get bored. They might go up and get some popcorn. But just because it's 80 percent intense all the time doesn't mean the kids are going to bless you with their concentration. What really matters is the underlying emotions--that you never let go of those."
Meanwhile, CNN provides this story. (A quibble: the headline, "Something new for Disney: Japanese anime," is redundant; anime is inherentlyJapanese, although you could say "Japanese animation.") CNN also links to the Entertainment Weekly review.)
Update:Spirited Away is Stomp Tokyo's featured review as well, and it links to Stomp Tokyo reviews of several other Studio Ghibli films.
Make no mistake about it--these compounds are sold to aid in the commission of a crime. I am not sanguine about the government's increased search powers after 9/11--I feel they carry enormous potential for abuse that deserves rigid scrutiny--but in this case I think there's ample justification to have the dealers' sales records are tracked down. I hope such a search results in arrests of the perpetrators of these noxious crimes.
Having water does not mean other planets will be teeming with life but if the discovery is confirmed it will fuel speculation that it could be possible.
News of this nature never ceases to thrill me. When I was a youngster, I watched the last few Apollo moon landings and wanted to be an astronaut. Back then, we had no evidence at all of planets outside the solar system, although astronomers widely believed they must exist, as Carl Sagan noted in the Cosmos TV series. .
Heck, 100 years ago we didn't even know about all the planets in our own Solar System.
Our current ability to gather such vast amounts of information about distant planets will only narrow down the possible candidates for interstellar probes--rather than taking a non-cost-effective scattersot approach, we can send probes to solar systems deemed most likely to support life.
This CNN story reminds us that in Afghanistan, the Taliban--and the conditions that led to their rise to power--haven't entirely gone away.
In Kabul, the Afghan capital, which attracts most of the world's attention, money and foreign visitors, Afghan and international officials speak of a new era in this war-ravaged country now that the Taliban are ousted and their al Qaeda allies routed.
But in the countryside, especially in impoverished southern provinces dominated by ethnic Pashtuns, the new Afghanistan has been one of disillusionment. In some areas, the old ways are returning.
If the Vietnam experience teaches us anything, it's that securing the capital city alone is not enough.
Many people assumed better times would follow the collapse of the Taliban. But nearly a year after the regime fell, children in Zabul and surrounding provinces are still malnourished. ..."today we have nothing, no food, no money, no work for our young people," [a village elder] said. "We thought the foreigners were going to help us, but they haven't."
Personal safety is paramount in the minds of people here. The Taliban's harsh rules all but put an end to banditry, clan wars and other acts of violence. Freedom has brought that violence back.
"People don't want the Taliban, but they want security and help from the international community," Abdul Bari, a government commander in Qalat, said. "Until now, they haven't received either."
As I've said, I'd feel a lot better about the Bush Administration's obsession with "regime change" if I had more confidence the hawks have anything other than optimistic pronouncements about what'll happen after Saddam is gone. Shrugging the task off on the UN does not seem like a particularly good idea, but then again, I'd imagine that robust UN support--including the vocal and enthusiastic support of neighboring Arab countries--might help diminish the perception of a post-Saddam regime as a US puppet. Then again, is such support from such non-democratic regimes as Saudi Arabia and Egypt likely to be forthcoming? Might they see a democratic Iraq as more of a threat than a weakened Saddam?
And of course, establishing a true democracy entails a serious commitment of US resources and personnel--think of Japan and Germany. if the US overthrows Saddam, I think it's essential . However, the Afghanistan precedent--where we know what can happen in a power vacuum, and yet seem to be enabling one again--is not exactly encouraging. I couldn't agree more that what the world desperately needs are working Muslim democracies, but we should be establishing one in Afghanistan, and I simply don't see that happening.
I've always wanted to use that headline! Anyway, the Recording Artists' Coalition--which includes a number of prominent musicians, such as Bruce Springsteen, Sting, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Billy Joel, Elton John, Linkin Park, Aimee Mann, and No Doubt--have been challenging the record industry on a number of fronts. Among the record industry's complaints about most forms of digital music, from MP3s to Internet radio, are that they are unfair to musicians. Now prominent musicians are, in part, using their leverage over contract terms to challenge some of the industry's own practices. Among the group's complaints:
Contract length--standard multi-album contracts bind performers to companies for excessive lengths of time, they say
Better audit practices--musicians contend record companies short them on foyalty payments as a matter of course.
Copyright reforms--record companies frequently own an artist's work in perpetuity and can repackage it at will, even when the costs of recording the music have been repaid
Payola reforms--The practice is alive and well thanks to "independent promoters"
Industry sources countered that the vast majority of record contracts prove unprofitable and that most musicians have legal advicewhen signing a contract.
Wired News had an interesting article on conspiracy-oriented Web sites, such as The Black Vault, said to be "the largest archive of government documents of its kind outside of the American government." The Black Vault's pet obsession is documenting the US Government's involvement with UFOs--and at the very least, its archives indicate that the giovernment's story has been far from consistent over the years--but founder John Greenewald Jr. probably isn't the subject of an X-Files-style conspiracy. When he obtained his own FBI file under the Freedom of Information Act, it proved to be empty.
If you're like me (or Teleport City's Keith Allison), you might be thoroughly sick of L4m3 marketers using pop music to give an instant hook to commercials. The marketing folks at Mars Australia came up with a different solution: rather than rip off existing pop songs, they manufactured a pop group of their own, whose single "Get Your Juices Going" (which debuted at Number 37 with a bullet) sings the praises of Starburst candy.
A producer is attempting to launch a 24-hour martial-arts cable TV network that'll show chop socky flicks, tournaments, cartoons and old episodes of Kung Fu. "We want to do the same thing for the martial arts that MTV did for music," the producer said. He has secured international rights to about 15,000 hours of programming for "Blackbelt TV" so far.
This is cool: Scientists had previously demonstrated that energy waves could be transmitted at faster than the speed of light, but they used complicated and expensive equitpment to manage the feat. Now a pair of Middle Tennessee State University physicists have managed the same trick with $500 worth of commonly available gear.
As you can tell, this has been another busy day for me, with little opportunity to post. However, The Dodd at Ipse Dixit has been doing a lot of pondering lately that has resulted in a pair of first-rate posts.
I wonder sometimes if my own weblog isn't too relentlessly negative in its discussion of politics. It seems that way to me on occasion. Perhaps that's because the items I find most interesting and worthy of comment are the ones that make me mad. Or perhaps I am just too prone to viewing the actions of the Loyal Opposition in terms of pure partisan politics while not tending to be so cynical about the actions of people from my own side of the aisle.
Dodd then goes on to describe his reaction to the announcement that Congress would likely vote on giving Bush authority to take military action agaisnt Iraq. Dodd acknowledged seeing Daschle's acquiesence to hold a vote as nothing more than raw politics.
Well, since I had that conversation today I'm a little more aware of such reactions. I feel an obligation to question them. So, call me naive if you like, but this time at least I will eschew sniping at him and giving in to my usual suspicions about his motives. Daschle has now changed his position to one I believed he should take up. In doing so, he explictly ackowledged that Bush had in fact responded to the calls from himself and others for "seek U.N. backing, work with Congress and make his case for why Saddam poses a threat with weapons of mass destruction." That being the case, he said, "Congress should co-operate with him." That kind of comity is what we all hope for from our elected leaders and deserves a positive reponse; Daschle has earned some credit for doing the right thing no matter what his reasons truly are.
I haven't had much chance to comment on Bush's recent UN speech, but my reaction tends to be to acknowledge the need for action of some kind--not necessarily military, or a full-scale invasion--against Iraq while welcoming the efforts to involve the UN. Frankly, the cynical part of me tends to believe that Bush plans to invade no matter what--inspections, Security Council, Congressional vote or no. But like Dodd, I believe it's for the best to give the other side the benefit of the doubt. I do plan to expand more on these ideas...eventually.
Today I choose to believe that this will happen because Daschle and the Democrats have come to realize that that's the right thing to do, not because they want to diffuse the issue before the election. I will endeavour from here on out to remember that 9/11 shocked the conscience of Democrats as much as Republicans and that, while I may frequently find them to be misguided or flat-out wrong, their basic motivation is the same as mine: They believe their policies are the best thing for the country. So, while I will not hesitate to disagree or debunk as I see fit, I will try to improve the tone around here somewhat.
As far as Dodd's debunking and disagreeing, I wouldn't have it any other way. Despite my own disagreeing with Dodd fairly regularly, he often impresses me with his ability to make an argument and dissect others. But that's good; when I post a response, whether here or in his comments, I am challenged to state my case as strongly as possible.
On the other hand, I think Dodd has gone too far with his rhetoric at times. When that happens, reasoned argument changes to partisan rant, and I don't feel such is worth my time to challenge.
I feel one of the strengths of democracy is the necessity to challenge ideas. Iraq is a mess because no one who would suggest to Saddam that his policies are not in the national interest lives very long. But Dodd points out that the end result might be something quite different from the unilateralist invasion scenario:
I will hazard a prediction: There will be a vote before the end of October and unless something changes dramatically - and soon - Congress will approve the use of force against Iraq. So, there will certainly be caveats applied (IOW, they will not issue carte blanche authority to go in regardless of circumstances). Some sort of UN approval (which may well already be in hand by the time they vote, the ways things are going) will almost assuredly be required, for instance. But Daschle has already indicated that Saddam's expressed willingness to allow inspectors back in was woefully unconvincing, so whatever comes out of Congress will be real, something Saddam will have no choice but to take seriously.
While I still have my doubts about the threat Iraq poses, the Administration's plans for dealing with it, and yes, the motives of Bush and his advisors in making Iraq the focal point of their attentions, the events Dodd foresees are ones I could definitely sign on to. In any case, Dodd's introspection is most admirable.
The Dodd and I are engaged in a mightily civil discussion on the validity of claims of ties between Iraq and al Qaeda, and the merits of the Administration's case on Iraq, in a discussion thread in response to one of his posts.
Update:Stephen den Beste wonders, "Why is it that those on the antiwar left can't disagree with someone without at least one ad hominem?" I point to this very thread as an example of mutually respectful discourse.
Talking Points Memo has a post that voices my thoughts on the disturbing questions raised by the Administrations' contradictory multi-faceted approach
The rule of law is principally a matter of there being rules. What the rules are is often much less important than that there be rules and that they be followed. Thus far war on terrorism jurisprudence hasn't so much been draconian or lax as it has been a rather comical make-it-up-as-you-go-along affair.
John Walker Lindh, a US citizen, gets a straightforward civilian trial. Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen, gets a straightforward civilian trial. Jose Padilla, a US citizen, is held indefinitely and without counsel as an enemy combatant. Yasir Hamdi, another US citizen, is also an enemy combatant being held indefinitely, but he may get a lawyer. The folks down in Guantanamo, well, who knows?
A military tribunal, civilian trials, various sorts of detention -- cases can be made for each method of proceeding. But the essence of the rule of law is having rules in place for how you're going to deal with people before you catch them, not making them up afterwards.
I'll go a bit further: One of my concerns about the, er, varied apporach the US seems to be taking toward the suspects it nabs is the perception it leaves that suspects get a civilian trial if the authorities have evidence but that they're declared "enemy comabatants" with fewer rights if the evidence is scant (as certainly seems to be the case with Jose Padilla--is there any doubt Ashcroft jumped the gun by declaring him an imminent threat?). Of course, the catch-22 is that by declaring suspects enemy combatants with fewer rights, the government asserts it bears less of a burden, if any, to provide evidence of its claims. The problem is, this is exactly the threat to civil liberties we need to be vigilant about. Such power carries enormous potential for abuse, which is why the Framers were careful to codify rights defendants were presumed to have and place the burden of proof on the government.
Alas, a Blog (thanks for the mention the other day!) links to this funny article describing the tendency of comic book writers to give their heroes more and more powers until the charcters become nigh-omnipotent, at which point they usually have to be killed and brought back in a more humble form. As Ampersand points out, if you read comix back in the '80s, you'll recognize the trend.
I have a lot going on this morning, so posting--now that I've updated y'all on my weekend doings--will ikely remain sparse until later today at the earliest. In the meantime, check out the fine bloggers on my blogroll.
As should be obvious by now, I took the weekend off. It was a delightful and restful experience. For those of you who can't get enough of the Continuing Adventures of Gregory, here's a brief recap:
Friday, Sept. 13
My three-year-old loves going downtown, and this afternoon, as my wife and girls were running errands, she suggested they drive by and meet me after work. We walked up to the fountain at Monument Circle and wandered around. We dropped into Borders, where I picked up a copy of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue for eight bucks (!). Then, since it was getting close to six, we decided to go ahead and eat downtown. When we got home, I was pleased to find a birthday package containing a nice card and a DVD of the Hong Kong flick Shaolin Soccer. After getting home and getting the girls to bed, we watched the new DVD, after which I stayed up until 1:30 am playing Resident Evil 2.
Saturday, Sept. 14
I spent a lot of time with the girls Saturday. After Saturday morning cartoons (when I was a kid, cartoons only came on Saturday mornings; these days kids with cable can get 'em on Nickelodeon or Disney Channel every day) and Godzilla vs Megalon, I took the girls to the Children's Museum while my lovely wife was teaching. After lunch and a nap, my wife had to go out again for a choir performance, and I took the girls to the park. After feeding and bathing them, I had no trouble getting them to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the same held true for me; sitting down on the couch to (re)read The Lord of the Rings, I dozed off at about 8:30. And I was so deeply in the throes of Morpheus that when my wife woke me, I apparently told her I wanted to go back to sleep, so I stayed there on the couch until about 5 in the morning.
Sunday morning began with the ritual coffee and morning paper. While my wife and oldest girl were at church, I took The Baby to run a few errands. I picked up my anime cel, which we'd had framed. I then went looking for a Gozilla toy for my three-year-old, who adores the Big G. I was unsuccessful, but I did fins a trio of cheapo DVDs that I had to have. They were double-feature discs, which means six movies for fifteen bucks!
I was a little apprehensive about the Night of the Living Dead DVD. There are numerous versions of the flick floating around, and while some are quite high-quality, others are the total opposite. Of course, when I'm spending five bucks for a movie I have a certain tolderance for spotty picture quality. So I popped it in directly I got home, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the picture quality was quite decent. I havent' watched it all the way thru yet, so I can't comment on the sound quality or whether there are a bunch of egregious edits, but so far, so good.
After lunch I took my oldest girl to visit her friend Joe, who lived next door to us until a few weeks ago. Upon our return I put her down for a nap and cleaned house, as we were having company for dinner. Our friend Lifang, her husband Qing and son George came over about 5, and I served barbecued ribs, along with kale and garlic mashed potatoes. After dinner we adults had coffee and pie and watched Strictly Ballroom, while Cecilia and George watched a dinosaur movie upstairs. Cecilia stayed up late, on account of her friends' visit, but fell asleep almost as soon as they had left, and I pretty much followed suit.