Thursday, June 21, 2007

Catskills Flash Flood: More Video, Photos

From the Middletown Times-Herald Record, video taken driving down what's left of Route 206 towards Roscoe. The damage from the storm is almost entirely within the Town of Colchester. It's the town's fourth major flood in the past two years.

I drove to Coach Mom's house today and to avoid all the emergency vehicles going from Route 30 to Holiday Brook and Cat Hollow, I came down 88 instead. I watched horizontal lightning from the exits for Cooperstown until I got off at Oneonta to go to Brooks' BBQ (sorry guys). At Brooks' takeout window they had the Weather Channel on overhead, which had the orange bar at the bottom for a severe thunderstorm warning for Franklin (where I was headed) and a tornado warning for Ithaca. Luckily for me the storms were already passing and stayed ahead of me as I headed south. There are currently at least three people missing from the flash flood in Colchester, and one of them was reportedly swept away in a car. I thought about that all the way home. - The Times Herald-Record, serving New York's Hudson Valley and the Catskills

Photos submitted by THR readers: - Article Photo Zoom

THR: Flash Flood Day Two: - Article Photo Zoom Search continues for missing as damage toll is in the millions

Delaware County 911 Coordinator and Deputy Emergency Services Director Steve Finch told today that early assessment of property damage just to Delaware County exceeds $5 million. That just pertains to county roads, bridges and other infrastructure that was damaged or destroyed. The raging floodwaters were so intense that they tore large slabs of pavement off roadways.

Route 206 is also County Route 7, and is the most traveled road in the county. Bizarrely, in the past few years the county has posted signs designating it as a seasonal road, meaning that it doesn't get priority plowing for snow and that you are at your own risk traveling.

Catskills Flash Flood: Video

The Daily Star has posted a 2 minute video that contains footage shot by Ed and Melissa Blass, who abandoned their Toyota Prius for higher ground. The car is gone but they survived. You can hear and see the hail hitting the windshield hard.

The Daily Star: Flooding in Delaware County

Update: Here's a story from Albany's NewsChannel 9:

My News 9 Cast

The Ageless Wonder

NYTimes: Lilly, Matriarch of U.S. Team, Refuses to Fade to Gray

[Saturday, when the United States plays an exhibition against Brazil at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Lilly is expected to make her 327th international appearance, unsurpassed by any man or woman. Only Hamm, with 158 international goals, has scored more than Lilly’s 122.]

When she began, the American women ate candy bars on the road in China and stayed in a Haitian hotel with no running water. Now Lilly forges on toward her fifth World Cup with a pioneer’s spirit and demand for excellence, even as her teammates jokingly call her Grandma, if not often to her face.


While Chastain got all the attention for twirling her jersey above her head like a lasso after the winning penalty kick in the 1999 Women’s World Cup, there would have been no dramatic, victorious ending against China without Lilly’s fundamental perfection.

In overtime, with 90,000 on hand at the Rose Bowl and 40 million Americans watching on television, Lilly lined up at the near post, followed the indolent trajectory of a corner kick and rebuffed a Chinese shot with her head.

That header is probably the most important individual play in the history of U.S. women's soccer.

Catskills Flash Flood Update: Thursday, June 21, 2007

These photos, taken yesterday show damage to Route 206 in the Delaware County Town of Colchester left by the floods that hit Tuesday night.
Times Herald-Record/TOM BUSHEY

NYTimes: Up to 5 Are Missing in Flooded Catskill Town When this story originally was posted last night, the headline read "Up to 7...".

recordonline: Rains spark killer wave; 6 reported missing in Delaware flood

recordonline: Flood survivors tell tales of escape, express gratitude for saviors

recordonline: Series of storms caused floods in Colchester

Oneonta Daily Star: Cat Hollow Flooding 2007 Photo Gallery P.S., Daily Star, it's Cat Hollow, not Cat Hallow, no cat worshiping going on there.

Oneonta Daily Star: Four missing after flood

Oneonta Daily Star: Local woman escapes flood on Cat Hollow

Oneonta Daily Star: Oneontans stranded

Binghamton Press: Delaware County flooding wipes out roads, homes
4 missing as searches continue

Binghamton Press: Delaware County Flood Photo Gallery (WABC): Search continues for missing flood victims
6 people still missing, including the elderly

Two months worth of rain, up to eight inches pounded down late Tuesday in just two hours. One confirmed dead in flood aftermath

GARY KLINDT photo/Binghamton Press
Aerial view of the damage along Delaware County Route 7 / State Route 206 in the Town of Colchester on Wednesday where a flash flood Tuesday evening caused Spring Brook to wash out roads, bridges and homes, leaving several people missing.

Flooding from the Beaverkill on Tuesday washed away sections of Route 206 in the Delaware County Town of Colchester and caused major damage to the town.
Times Herald-Record/TOM BUSHEY

Rudy's a Dick Cheney Warrior: He Had Other Priorities

Rudy Giuliani, who is running for president on his national security credentials (which are nil) was on the Iraq Study Group, which produced the Baker-Hamilton report (which Bush ignored, but that's another story.) Rudy never showed up for one meeting, and when James Baker called him on it, it quit. What was he doing with his time? Raking in millions, you read that right, millions, as in $11.4 million in four months on the speaker circuit.

Do we really need another Presidential candidate with other priorities? Giuliani quit Iraq panel after missed meetings - but he had time for fundraising

WASHINGTON - Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.

Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit, and a look at his schedule suggests why - the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

Giuliani failed to show up for a pair of two-day sessions that occurred during his tenure, the sources said - and both times, they conflicted with paid public appearances shown on his recent financial disclosure. Giuliani quit the group during his busiest stretch in 2006, when he gave 20 speeches in a single month that brought in $1.7 million.

On one day the panel gathered in Washington - May 18, 2006 - Giuliani delivered a $100,000 speech on leadership at an Atlanta business awards breakfast. Later that day, he attended a $100-a-ticket Atlanta political fundraiser for conservative ally Ralph Reed, whom Giuliani hoped would provide a major boost to his presidential campaign.

The month before, Giuliani skipped the session to give the April 12 keynote speech at an economic conference in South Korea for $200,000, his financial disclosure shows.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Catskills Flash Flood Update: Town of Colchester

Oneonta Daily Star: Four missing after flooding in Colchester

DOWNSVILLE— Four people were missing and at least was one presumed dead after an 8-foot-high wall of water rushed through two valleys in the Delaware County town of Colchester, officials said Wednesday.

Downsville Fire Department First Assistant Chief Mark Mattson said searches had been going on since the storm hit Tuesday night. However, late Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that police were forced to temporarily call off a search, citing darkness and safety. The AP said two people initially unaccounted for were found, and searches were expected to resume in the morning.

In Colchester, Gertrude Melvin, who was visiting her daughter and son-in-law, Elaine and George Finkle, was presumed dead after she was swept away by the water as her son-in-law attempted to rescue her, according to a family friend.

Fred and Marjorie Shutts were also missing after their home was washed away. The Shuttses’ home was next to the Finkles’ home, officials said.

“Holiday Brook Road is basically nonexistent, and county Route 7 is almost as bad,” Mattson said Wednesday.

Hillary's Day

Her campaign released a funny video starring Bill and taking off on the Sopranos finale:

Unfortunately, when she spoke at the Take Back America conference, she blamed the situation in Iraq on the Iraqi government, and that's just ridiculous. Pottery Barn rule and all that. She got booed. Too bad. Can't blame Iraq on the Iraqis. We blew up their country, and it's their problem? Come on.

I'm One of the "Bad Gals"

More Bad Gals

Caption/Headline: Olympic gold medalist in soccer Abby Wambach, left, and singer Sheryl Crow arrive at the Women's Sports Foundation's 27th Annual Salute to Women In Sports Awards Dinner in New York on Monday, October 16, 2006. Each year the Women's Sports Foundation honors the best athletes in women's sports, including the Sportswoman of the Year. (Jim Sulley/Newscast)

And proud to be a winner! A month ago I called Jonah Goldberg's main squeeze Jessica Gavora, the Title IX hater, a right-wing fruitcake. Got a link from NRO Online for my efforts, and a wingnut attack. In this article the (un)fair Jessica calls pro-Title IX women like me "bad gals", "aging, feminist, rent-seeking practitioners of gender politics" (rent-seeking?), "activists, bureaucrats, and trial lawyers", "chick sports luminaries", "Title IX quota advocates", and "the gals from the Women's Sports Foundation". Guilty as charged, ma'am. I'm for equality, see me roar!
Title IX Trickle-Down
National Review Online: Law Now Results In Discrimination Against High School Boys
(National Review Online) This column was written by Jessica Gavora.

Title IX turns 35 this month and the bad gals have officially won. Sex quotas in sports under the anti-discrimination law are de rigeur on college campuses. And the Bush administration's failure to even challenge this perversion of the law — concocted, for the most part, by and during the Clinton administration — means that eliminating men's sports opportunities in the name of "creating" opportunities for women now has bipartisan blessing.


Apart from issuing toothless guidance on using student surveys to comply with Title IX in 2005, the Bush administration has been a crushing disappointment to supporters of endangered men's sports.

Loser. Sore loser. Do not mess with the Chick Sports Luminaries. Do not. We will kick your sorry ass.

Catskills Flash Flood Update: Six Missing, Three Presumed Dead

About the Photo:
Sullivan County Deputy Fire Coordinator Bill Lothrop looks through debris by the foundation of a home that was swept away with an elderly couple inside The couple along with another neighbor who was also swept away with his home are still missing as well as several motorists who were traveling on Rt. 206 in Colchester when an 8-foot wall raged through them.

recordonline: Six missing, three believed dead in flash flood
Homes, bridges washed away

5:30 p.m. - Six people are missing and three are presumed dead after a flash flood washed away several homes and damaged bridges just north of the Sullivan County hamlet of Roscoe last night.

Flood waters swept homes and cars away, ripped up pavement and dumped tons of mud and rocks along an 8-mile stretch of Route 206 from a mile north of Roscoe to Route 30 near the Pepacton Reservoir in the Delaware County Town of Colchester.

An elderly woman is presumed dead after an 8-foot-high wall of water away two trailer homes in Colchester. Gertrude Melvin was visiting her daughter when the storm hit. She was unable to reach a rescue rope and was killed after water swept her away, according to her family.

Melvin’s daughter, Elaine Finkle, is a 19-year employee in Sullivan County’s Office of the Aging. Finkle’s husband, George Finkle, works for New York State Electric & Gas. A trailer belonging to George’s parents, who lived next door, was also washed away. According to one of Elaine Finkle’s co-workers, the family lost their automobiles, their home and everything in it.

Also presumed dead are Fred and Marjorie Shutts, whose home was ripped off its foundation in the same area.

Paul Piatk, the Shutts’ neighbor, saw the couple standing on the porch around 7 p.m. An 8-foot wave swept their home away. Piatk said he saw state Trooper Joe Decker dive into the water, but Decker was forced to swim back to the bank.

“It was just a big, huge wave that swept everything away,” Piatk said. “The wave came down within two minutes; the garage, the car, the motorcycle, the wave just took it.”
recordonline: Photo Gallery: Flooding: Search and Rescue (WABC):
Several missing after flooding
At least one woman confirmed dead

Also, four homes were washed away by the floods. Residents of between 15 and 18 homes in Roscoe, at the Sullivan County border, were evacuated. Drivers along Route 7 had to be rescued from their cars.

A little good news: Elderly couple rescued from flood waters

Roscoe -- When Lajos and Susanna Erdos left a friend’s house in Walton in Delaware County to travel to their home to the Village of Ellenville in Ulster County Tuesday night, they had no idea what they would encounter on a road they have taken many times before.

The elderly Hungarian couple was driving on State Route 206 around 7:30 p.m. when they were met with heavy rain, then hail, then rising waters, all within minutes.

Mrs. Erdos said she told her husband to drive on the left side of the road just because it was rising so much quicker on the right, but within a few minutes, they had to pull over due to the quickly rising rush of water coming down the road. That is where they stayed for over night until being rescued early this morning.

“We sat there for 11 hours with little food or water, and the water was up to our waists,” Mrs. Erdos told while having a bite to eat at a Red Cross Disaster Relief Center setup at the Roscoe Middle School. “It was so terrifying. We didn’t think we were going to come out alive. We both thought that that was it for the both us.”

The two, both in their 80s, were rescued Wednesday morning and taken to the disaster relief center, where they said they would stay until Mrs. Erdos’ daughter who lives locally would pick them up and take them home to Ellenville.

Mr. and Mrs. Erdos discuss their ordeal

One Dead, Five Missing In Catskills Flash Flood

About the Photo:
This area in Colchester was damaged by flooding from the Beaverkill on June 19, 2007. Route 206 is at the top of the frame. Colchester is in Delaware County, just across the county line from Roscoe. June 20, 2007.

recordonline: Elderly woman killed in flash flood
Homes washed away, five residents still missing

recordonline: Aerial Photo Gallery Aerial Video, Roscoe flood damage

NYDailyNews (AP): Breaking News
Search continues for people missing in Catskills flash floods

Another Year of June Flash Floods in the Catskills

About the Photo:
The Beaverkill River in Roscoe flooded on Wednesday, June 20, 2007, causing many locals to evacuate while some were missing within the flood zone. Search and rescue workers from around the county teamed up to search for the missing individuals.

Last summer while Coach Mom & I were in Germany, we were shocked to see video on CNN International of flooding in Hancock, New York.

Last night there was another episode of flash flooding in the Catskills in June. 6 to 8 inches of rain fell in a two-hour period over a small area near Roscoe and homes were swept away by the Beaverkill. Baseball-sized hail was also reported. Coach Mom says that during the rain the air appeared white from the pounding rain.

From reading the articles, it sounds like the flooding is in the area around the old Hodges Furniture store, just on the Rockland/Colchester line. I think the bridge over the Beaverkill that you cross as you drive into Rockland from Colchester is one of those washed out.

As we learned from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, one of the consequences of global warming and climate change is that our weather is more extreme. Floods are an expected consequence of warmer temperatures, as warmer air holds more moisture, and when it finally dumps out, you get floods.

Middletown Times Herald-Record: Elderly woman killed in flash flood
Homes washed away, several residents still missing

Middletown Times-Herald Record: 8 inches of rain fell on flooded area last night - Article Photo Zoom: "Flash flood washes away homes"

recordonline Video: Night activity near Roscoe flash flood scene

Binghamton Press: Colchester area hit hard by storm

Roads closed include Morton Hill, Jug Tavern, Campbell Mountain, Holiday Brook, Berry Brook and Beaver Hill roads, Route 7 from Downsville to Roscoe, and State Route 30 in the area.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Here's Digby

Hullabaloo is one of my favorite blogs. There's always been discussion on the net about exactly who is Digby? Here she is:

hat tip DailyKos

Light Posting Week

The roof of my building is being replaced, so I'll be out and about and away from the computer. At least today they didn't start until after 8:00 a.m.; yesterday it was before 7:00.

Hudson Wins Softball State Championship

Worcester Telegram: WORCESTER— Hudson pitcher Kaitlin Andrews jumps into the arms of catcher Lori D’Arcangelis yesterday as teammates rush to celebrate their 2-1 victory over North Andover at the end of the Division 2 State Championship Game at Worcester State College.

Worcester Telegram: Title town
Hudson captures D2 title

Worcester Telegram: Dearcangelis integral piece of Hawks’ puzzle

Metrowest News: Hudson 2, North Andover 1: Perfect timing

Worth the wait for Hudson
After restart, offense comes out swinging

Boston Herald: Better late than never: Hudson finally finds offense to win title

Lawrence Eagle-Tribune: Storybook ending to Hart era not perfect

Congratulations! I got to see them in the championship game this year; missed it last year because of the World Cup.

You wonder, when you read the right-wing fruitcakes like Jessica Gavora attacking Title IX and equal money for girls sports, whether they have ever actually been to a girls high school or college athletic event? I doubt it. How could you say girls aren't as interested in sports when you see a scene like this?

Boston Globe: D2 > HUDSON 2, NO. ANDOVER 1

Monday, June 18, 2007

'The Earth todays stands in imminent peril'

Terrifying article. Is anyone in power listening?

The Independent (uk): The Earth today stands in imminent peril
and nothing short of a planetary rescue will save it from the environmental cataclysm of dangerous climate change. Those are not the words of eco-warriors but the considered opinion of a group of eminent scientists writing in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The unnatural "forcing" of the climate as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases threatens to generate a "flip" in the climate that could "spark a cataclysm" in the massive ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, the scientists write.

Dramatic flips in the climate have occurred in the past but none has happened since the development of complex human societies and civilisation, which are unlikely to survive the same sort of environmental changes if they occurred now.

"Civilisation developed, and constructed extensive infrastructure, during a period of unusual climate stability, the Holocene, now almost 12,000 years in duration. That period is about to end,"
the scientists warn. Humanity cannot afford to burn the Earth's remaining underground reserves of fossil fuel. "To do so would guarantee dramatic climate change, yielding a different planet from the one on which civilisation developed and for which extensive physical infrastructure has been built," they say.

Dr Hansen said we have about 10 years to put into effect the draconian measures needed to curb CO2 emissions quickly enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperature. Otherwise, the extra heat could trigger the rapid melting of polar ice sheets, made far worse by the "albedo flip" - when the sunlight reflected by white ice is suddenly absorbed as ice melts to become the dark surface of open water.

The glaciers and ice sheets of Greenland in the northern hemisphere, and the western Antarctic ice sheet in the south, both show signs of the rapid changes predicted with rising temperatures."

Independent (uk): Climate change brings early spring in the Arctic

The Arctic spring is coming two weeks ahead of time compared to a decade ago, with birds, butterflies, flowers and small animals all appearing earlier in the year as a result of climate change.

A study of a range of animals and plants living in the high Arctic has revealed that many of them are responding to the earlier spring by flowering or laying their eggs significantly ahead of their normal times of the year.

On average, the breeding and flowering seasons in the Arctic have shifted by 14.5 days but some species of mosquitoes have begun laying their eggs 30 days earlier than in the mid 1990s
, Toke Hoye, of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, said.

"Our study confirms what many people already think, that the seasons are changing and it is not just one or two warm years but a trend seen over a decade," Dr Hoye said. "This is the most extensive study of its kind in the Arctic in terms of the number and variety of species and the replication of the observations."

The Return of Dave Roberts

hat tip to Surviving Grady (again, this gives me blog name envy)

The Steal is on this video; it starts at the 1:00 minute mark.

American Company Inflicts Brain Damage on Peruvian Children
High in the Peruvian Andes, a smokestack rises from the smelter complex in La Oroya, listed by an environment group as among the 10 most polluted places in the world, putting it in the company of Chernobyl, Ukraine. Doe Run Peru, an affiliate of a St. Louis-based company, bought the facility in 1997 and was given 10 years to clean up emissions. Residents say they still face a daily bombardment of fine dust that coats furniture and clothing and penetrates closed doors and windows.
(Liliana Nieto del Rio, xx)
Feb 21, 2007

LATimes: Lead exposure in Peru raises concern
In La Oroya, a U.S.-owned smelter provides livelihoods. But its emissions are said to be stunting children's development.

LATimes Photo Gallery: Poison Town

This LATimes article, on an important topic, is unfortunately wishy-washy corporate journalism. This statement made me gasp:

However, epidemiological and statistical studies definitively linking the emissions to illness are lacking.

This is a bald-faced lie. There is no need for further studies of the toxicity of lead. Unless they are making some racist argument that the brains of Peruvian children react differently to lead than the brains of American children, that is. In this country scientists recognize that there is no safe level of exposure to lead for a child. The Centers for Disease Control states flatly: [T]there is no safe level of lead in blood. The National Safety Council's fact sheet on lead poisoning states: "[] [T]here is in fact no level of lead exposure that can be considered safe."

And epidemiological studies? Do the authors mean that we should continue to allow these children to be brain damaged, so a longitudinal study can be made of them? That's barbaric.

Mother Jones covered the story this winter
, tying the fate of the Peruvian town to the Missouri town of Herculaneum, where state environmental regulators stepped in because of high lead levels from the American Doe Run smelter. The company settled with Missouri regulators by doing a multi-million dollar cleanup and spending $10 million to buy out 160 homeowners within 3/8 of a mile of the smelter.
Since 1994, the St. Louis-based Doe Run has been part of the Renco Group, the private holding company of New York businessman Ira Rennert. Rennert has earned a dubious reputation over his nearly 20 years in the mining business. His magnesium production company in Utah filed for bankruptcy in 2001, shortly after federal officials accused it of illegally disposing of hazardous waste. Another Rennert company, a steel producer in Ohio, paid millions of dollars in environmental penalties even as Rennert paid himself more than $200 million in dividends.

"He has gotten rich off junk bonds issued by metals companies he acquired, paid fines to clean up when he’s had to, stopped interest payments on bonds and bought back assets at pennies on the dollar," a 2002 Forbes magazine story said of Rennert, who owns a 100,000-square-foot home in the Hamptons. "He has done it all within the law--and within plain view of investors."

Doe Run and Doe Run Peru are owned by the Renco Group, which is run by the notorious corporate raider Ira Rennert. He is a classic corporate welfare cheat who runs his businesses in a way that maximizes corporate profits, and leaves the taxpayers to clean up his messes, whether they be from lead, chlorine, coal, or other toxins.

We'll pay for his misdeeds, but he won't, at least not in this life. This is the home of Ira Rennert, the man who profits by causing brain damage in children:

wikipedia: His 100,000 square foot (9,000 m²) home, dubbed Fair Field (named after the adjoining body of water, Fairfield Pond), faces the Atlantic Ocean and is perched on 63 acres. The buildings have an Italianate facade, 29 bedrooms, and 39 bathrooms. A dozen chimneys tower from the Mediterranean-style tile roof. The formal dining room stretches 91 feet in length. That’s three feet shorter than a basketball court—another amenity Fair Field has, along with a bowling alley, a pair each of tennis and squash courts, and a $150,000 hot tub, according to building plans and other documents filed with Southampton town hall. Its property taxes in 2004 were $392,610.24.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

'The Great Sippy Cup Anti-Massacre Movement'

The Pitched Battle in the War on Moisture has metastasized.

TSA was ticked off and posted video of the incident (sans sound) on its website. Great use of those taxpayer dollars to fight terrorism. They claim the Mom whipped out her Secret Service ID and wanted special treatment. Well, you've got to treat those Secret Service agents cleverly carrying toddlers (that kid could totally be an Iraqi IED, or stuffed with C5; heck, he could be Osama bin Laden, shrunken by Talibani scientists) like terrorists. Make sure to rough up the grandmas and grandpas, and the folks in wheelchairs, too. That will keep us all safe.

The Washington Post wrote it up:

WaPo (Sat. 6/16): Sippy Cup Spill Sparks Tiff at National Airport
TSA Uses Web to Counter Mother's Allegation of Improper Detention

Bloggers who still think TSA's War Against Moisture is inane have launched a popular movement:

Albatross!: The Sippy Cup Anti-Massacre Movement

It's simple. Buy a sippy cup. Leave it in its packaging so it is totally harmless and beyond suspicion. Every time you take a commercial flight, carry the cup through security and on to the plane. That's it.

Dohiyi Mir: Sippers Of The World: Unite!

I personally plan to have a sippy cup with me on every flight from now on. The War on Moisture is a huge waste of money and time.

In An Octopus's Garden* (South Korea): Octopus Discovers Koryo Pottery

Kim Yong-chul, a 58-year-old fisherman from Taean, South Chungcheong Province, dreamed of swimming before going to work on May 18, which is believed to bring luck. To catch webfoot octopus, which like to hide in shells, he had scattered hundreds of spiny turban shell bait on the shore the day before. When he pulled in the bait, he found some pottery pieces stuck to the suckers of webfoot octopus. One animal was attached to a plate dating to the Koryo period.

Kim reported the find to authorities, and the National Maritime Museum conducted an urgent excavation. Around the spot where the octopus was caught, they found 30 pieces of 12th century Koryo pottery with chrysanthemum or vine patterns. “It seems that a ship carrying Koryo pottery in 12th century was wrecked there,” a spokesman with National Maritime Museum said on Monday. “The unearthed pottery is not of the highest quality made for royals, but it nonetheless shows the beauty of Koryo pottery.” The museum plans to start a full excavation at the beginning of July and assumes that the wreck will be found nearby.

The title of this post comes from the Beatles song, written by Ringo Starr.

Another General Knifed in the Back by the Chickenhawk Bush Administration

Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker: Annals of National Security
The General’s Report
How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties.

Taguba, watching the hearings, was appalled. He believed that Rumsfeld’s testimony was simply not true. “The photographs were available to him—if he wanted to see them,” Taguba said. Rumsfeld’s lack of knowledge was hard to credit. Taguba later wondered if perhaps Cambone had the photographs and kept them from Rumsfeld because he was reluctant to give his notoriously difficult boss bad news. But Taguba also recalled thinking, “Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There’s no way he’s suffering from C.R.S.—Can’t Remember Shit. He’s trying to acquit himself, and a lot of people are lying to protect themselves.” It distressed Taguba that Rumsfeld was accompanied in his Senate and House appearances by senior military officers who concurred with his denials.

“The whole idea that Rumsfeld projects—‘We’re here to protect the nation from terrorism’—is an oxymoron,” Taguba said. “He and his aides have abused their offices and have no idea of the values and high standards that are expected of them. And they’ve dragged a lot of officers with them.”

Here's the report that killed his career.

Happy Father's Day

Go fishing! That's what Senator Jim Webb and son are doing:

hat tip to Americablog (I'm banned there, so no linky. Big girl that I am.)

Fishing story: A few years back a friend took his son fishing for Father's Day. He came home with a treble hook embedded in his calf. When his wife took him to the emergency room, there was another guy there getting a fish hook taken out! Apparently this is a very common hazard of Father's Day. They also saw a guy with a chainsaw injury. Be careful out there, guys.

And, finally, a list of the fathers who weren't careful. Did you know that Calvin Murphy reportedly has 14 children by 9 women? More sports figures who are busy fathers here:

100% Injury Rate: It should be a busy Father's Day for these guys

First Global Warming Killed The Birds

Northern Bobwhite: Disappearing

Many articles published in the last week detailing the decline of bird populations, based on an alarming report from the Audubon Society. Birds are literally the canaries in our global habitat destruction; whether it is from global warming or the actions we humans take that accelerate global warming: We are the problem. And we need to speak up and stop what's happening to the birds, because we're next. Brings to mind Pastor Martin Niemöller and his famous poem:

First they came for the Socialists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left
to speak up for me.

Across the nation: Baltimore Sun (AP): U.S. populations of 20 common birds fall 50%

For the study, researchers looked at bird populations of more than half a million, which covered a wide range. They compared databases for 550 species from two bird surveys - the Audubon's Christmas bird count and the U.S. Geological Survey's breeding bird survey in June. The numbers of 20 different birds were at least half what they were in 1967.

Today there are 432 million fewer of these bird species, including the northern pintail, greater scaup, boreal chickadee, common tern, loggerhead shrike, field sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, snow bunting, black-throated sparrow, lark sparrow, common grackle, American bittern, horned lark, little blue heron and ruffed grouse.

The northern bobwhite and its familiar wake-up whistle once seemed to be everywhere in the East. Last Christmas, volunteer bird counters could find only three of them and only 18 Eastern meadowlarks in Massachusetts.

The bobwhite had the biggest drop among common birds. In 1967, there were 31 million of this distinctive plump bird. Now they number closer to 5.5 million.

Mid-Atlantic to the Plains: NYTimes: Meadow Birds in Precipitous Decline, Audubon Says

Illinois: Chicago Tribune: Bird numbers plummeting
Audubon study finds 'disturbing' decline in Illinois

Massachusetts: Boston Globe: With development, common birds are losing ground

In Massachusetts, several birds seen regularly three or four decades ago, including the Northern bobwhite and the Eastern meadowlark, have all but disappeared, according to the study.

Michigan: Livinsgton Press & Argus: STATE: Common birds are becoming rare, 40-year study finds
In Michigan, the number of northern bobwhites has dropped 97% since 1966, and purple martin numbers have dropped 95% over the same period. There are also far fewer red-headed woodpeckers, eastern meadowlarks and eastern kingbirds, said Caleb Putnam, a coordinator for the Audubon Society in Grand Rapids.

Montana: Great Falls Tribune: Montana bird species in decline

The state's lingering drought appears to be a major factor behind the declines of all five birds on the Montana list, said Steve Hoffman, executive director of Montana Audubon.

"There is strong belief that much of the drought may be due to global warming," he said. "We should all take steps to reduce that. It's going to affect all wildlife and our own quality of life."
New Mexico: Santa Fe New Mexican: Aububon: N.M. bird species threatened

In New Mexico, the list includes the mountain chickadee (down 83 percent), the horned lark, (81 percent), the loggerhead shrike (74 percent), the Western meadowlark (57 percent) and the pinyon jay (54 percent).

Ohio: Cincinnati Enquirer: 5 common bird species vanishing from Ohio's skies

In Ohio, the five common birds showing the greatest population declines are:

Green heron

Red-headed woodpecker

Eastern meadowlark

Northern flicker

Yellow-breasted chat

"These are not rare or exotic birds we're talking about," said Jerry Tinianow, executive director of Audubon Ohio. "They're birds that visit our feeders or congregate at nearby lakes and seashores and yet they are disappearing day by day."

South Carolina: Birds that once defined rural SC declining, experts say
In South Carolina, the society listed six species whose populations have dropped. They include the eastern meadowlark, northern bobwhite, little blue heron, red-winged blackbir, field sparrow and loggerhead shrike.

Texas: Dallas Morning News: State's mockingbird population falling
Researchers attribute 18 percent decline largely to urban sprawl

Washington: Longview Daily News: Common yard birds taking flight from Portland area

California: LATimes: Number of birds in state declining
Study shows that several California species have declines of 75% to 96%, part of a nationwide trend partly caused by shrinking habitat.

LATimes: Tourists witness a good turn for a baby tern
Boat passengers applaud as lifeguards rescue the drowning seabird next to a barge in Long Beach Harbor.

The steel barge, a former icebreaker named Arctic Challenger, has become a precarious artificial nesting site for an estimated 350 Caspian terns — slim, gull-like seabirds protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


"The fact that these birds have settled on this barge underlines a critical problem: We need more natural habitat for them," said Susan Kaveggia, a biologist with the International Bird Rescue Research Center in San Pedro. "Terns need flat, barren, sandy or pebbly land on which to nest. There's none left in the port complex, so they're moving in desperation from boat to boat to boat."

A year ago, more than 400 Caspian and elegant terns — most too young to fly — plummeted off two privately owned barges anchored not far from the Arctic Challenger. A few hours later, local beaches were littered with baby tern carcasses.

Caspian terns nest within coils of rope on the deck of the Arctic Challenger, a former icebreaker that has become a precarious artificial nesting site for an estimated 350 of the seabirds. The barge’s owner has agreed not to move it until all of the terns have migrated elsewhere for the winter.
(Genaro Molina / LAT)
June 16, 2007