Water, Water, Everywhere.

Happy Fourth of Junew Years!

We’re having a bit of rain here. Hmm, Oregon…winter…rain. Go figure.

The creeks are rising and the roads are sinking. We affirmed today that sheep can’t swim and they are too stupid to live. We have a flock out in a flooded field along I-5. Of course, everyone on I-5 has a cell phone and are deeply concerned about the fate of the poor meadow maggots. The sheep owner has been out there since early this morning trying to get them out of there. But they aren’t cooperating.

There’s something about bad weather. I’ve posted about it before. It affects people badly. You would think that your typical high school student would have learned enough English to be able to decipher a sign that says “R-o-a-d C-l-o-s-e-d” and “H-i-g-h W-a-t-e-r”. You would be wrong.

Right now I have the Fire Dept out with their Zodiac rescuing two people that failed to heed a “Road Closed” sign and are now perched on their vehicle in about 3-4 feet of water.

The police are down there stopping gawkers that are interfering with the rescue operations.

Back in 1996 we had to get a National Guard helicopter to rescue a guy off the top of his car when he drove around the barricades. Hopefully we won’t have a repeat of that.

It’s still early enough and light enough that the newspaper ought to be able to get some pictures for tomorrow’s paper. They can publish a picture and the names of the dummies so that people can point at them and heap scorn and ridicule upon them.

Great! As we’re pulling people out of the water in one place, they’re driving around barricades in another. We don’t have enough people to put guards on the barricades. One road that is closed is a major “shortcut” coming into Albany. People just can’t be bothered to drive another 2 miles to take another route. They’d rather take a chance of being stranded in the water. Seems to me that having to wait for someone to rescue you would probably take longer than just taking the longer route.

Meanwhile, back at the scene of the first rescue, the gate to the park is closed, but people keep doing their Homer Simpson impressions by opening it and driving into the water. Somehow, lemmings come to mind.

Our newspaper made it a front page story on Sunday. They were nice enough to publish the names of the people in the pickup so that they can be ridiculed.

What Would Be Different?

I hear protestations from Liberal Democrats and the news media (if there’s a difference) that they are not on the other side; that they are not working for our defeat in Iraq and elsewhere; that the news media is not purposely accentuating the negative and minimizing the positive news in order to undermine Bush and America.

OK, for the sake of argument, I’ll accept that they’re telling the truth.

But if they were doing all these things, what would they be doing differently than they are now?

This Is News?

Officials Want to Expand Review of Domestic Spying – New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 – Congressional officials said Saturday that they wanted to investigate the disclosure that the National Security Agency had gained access to some of the country’s main telephone arteries to glean data on possible terrorists.

“As far as Congressional investigations are concerned,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, “these new revelations can only multiply and intensify the growing list of questions and concerns about the warrantless surveillance of Americans.”
Members of the Judiciary Committee have already indicated that they intend to conduct oversight hearings into the president’s legal authority to order domestic eavesdropping on terrorist suspects without a warrant.

But Congressional officials said Saturday that they would probably seek to expand the review to include the disclosure that the security agency, using its access to giant phone “switches,” had also traced and analyzed phone and Internet traffic in much larger volumes than what the Bush administration had acknowledged.

To anyone in the phone business this has to make them think WTF? It has been common knowledge that the NSA monitored all international phone calls for years. They started doing that as soon as it became technically feasible, long before Bush was President. I remember reading an Insight magazine article in the 1990s detailing how the Echelon system was gathering all this data and mining it for mentions of “bombs” and other key words. The article talked about how the restrictions on spying on American were evaded by having the Canadian Intelligence do the monitoring of U.S. citizens and vice versa. This was during the period that Clinton was President. None of the “mainstream” media seemed to be interested at that time.

Hmm Spying On Innocent Terrorists Doesn’t Seem To Be Hurting Him

President Bush Job Approval

Friday December 23, 2005–Fifty percent (50%) of American adults approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. That’s up six points since the President’s speech on Sunday night.

But the other half disapprove.

But it’s unlikely to make any difference. He’s going to be President until 2007 regardless. Unless the Democrats take back Congress in 2006 and try to impeach him. You all remember the success that the Republicans had with that impeachment thing.

Of course the Democrats have an advantage the Republicans didn’t, control of most of the news media. I mean, having one of the guys that successfully covered up illegal spying by the Clinton White House in charge of political reporting at ABC is pretty impressive, as is having the staff of the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN as their private intelligence network. That was an advantage against the impeachment of Clinton, but that predated the Internet, bloags and Fox News.

But I don’t know that that along with a campaign stressing surrender in Iraq, protection for terrorist accomplices and approval of leaks of classified ops is what is going to do it for them.

Manhunt!

This is what I was dealing with yesterday instead of posting.

Ex-con sought in woman’s murder

A suspect being sought by Linn County officials was released from prison earlier this year after serving 12 years for attempted murder.

Kenneth Charles McPhail, 39, of Lebanon is wanted for the murder of Melissa Dawn Bauer, 20, also of Lebanon, whose body was found Tuesday at Larwood County Park.

We thought we had him when he carjacked the pickup, but no such luck. What I was doing during the time we were searching for the pickup and combing the area points up the need for interoperability between different agencies and dispatch centers. Since there was more than on agency involved I spent a couple of hours listening to the radio with one ear and the other with an open telephone line to another dispatch center. Our officers were both out there, but I couldn’t hear their radio. My other dispatcher (there were only two of us at the time)had to handle all the phone calls as well as the fire and medical. As always, while we’re scrambling to cover everything, someone has to call on 911 to complain that their neighbor’s dog barked all night long. You want to reach through the telephone and rip their lips off, but you can’t. You have to be nice and treat them like their silly-assed complaint really matters to you. One of the side benefits of being funded by serial levies. We can’t afford to be jackbooted thugs.

The rest of the days we were getting calls from people with tips. I know we put out requests for any information, but the fact that you saw him in Fred Meyers a month ago doesn’t really help much.

One of the people that called was one of those that make you wonder how they survive at all. She was so terrified that she sobbed the whole time, she had gone to school with the suspect thirty years ago and had not seen him since, but she was scared that he was going to get her anyhow. You have to wonder what kind of life they live when something that remote sends them into such a state. At least we finally ID’d the victim so we quit getting calls from everyone who hadn’t seen a friend or relative for the last three days.

I wonder if we’re going to start getting grief from the perpetually aggrieved community. He is described as a White male, but judging from his tattoos, he considers himself to be Indian…er Native American. From his history it is pretty plain that he is a waste of human skin, but when he is caught, I’m sure there will be supporters coming out of the woodwork.

If you should happen to run across Mr. McPhail, he is armed and he has no compunctions at all about killing. Without giving away any information, the murder was very brutal. Call the cops immediately. You can always complain about them later.