Archive for May 16, 2008

Smoke May Affect Visibility in South Dade County

An Everglades wildfire has burned through 18,691 acres of grassland and turned east toward populated areas, authorities said Friday night.

”Dade County and Broward County could be inundated with thick heavy smoke,” said David McCarty, a duty officer for the state Division of Forestry.

By Friday night, the fire was four miles south of the Chekika day use area, at Southwest 168th Street and 237 Avenue.

But winds out of the west began pushing flames — and smoke — toward homes and roads in Southwest Miami-Dade. Visibility on Krome Avenue, U.S. 41 and Florida’s Turnpike may worsen over the weekend.

Source: Miami Herald

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8-Foot Alligator Bites Sheriff’s Deputy

DELTONA, Fla. — A Volusia County sheriff’s deputy is hospitalized in serious but stable condition after being bitten by an 8-foot-long alligator he was trying to subdue in a parking lot.

Authorities said Deputy Keith Baughman responded to a call late Thursday about an alligator roaming around the Deltona apartment complex. Witnesses said the deputy put a towel over the gator’s head, jumped onto its back and tried to grab its snout.

One witness says the alligator “went crazy,” throwing off Baughman and biting him on the leg.

“His pants ripped up and blood was gushing out and everything,” witness Carlos Martinez said. “He started limping away and the alligator was laughing at him. The dude then shot it twice in the head.”

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said a second officer, Deputy Jason Stickles, shot the alligator repeatedly.

“I said, ‘Don’t shoot it,’” witness Jasmin Harris said. “Just wait until the animal people come out. I don’t know why they shot it in the first place. They shouldn’t have jumped on it. That wasn’t their job.”

The alligator was hit but did not die and continued to roam the apartment complex.

A trapper eventually came out and killed the animal with a bang stick.

Baughman was reported to be in stable condition at a hospital with injuries to his thigh and knee.

Source: News4Jax

If you ain’t a good ol’ boy, leave the gator rasslin’ to professionals.

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I Hope Al Gore is Hanging His Head

I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of Irena Sendler, whose obituary appeared in this morning’s paper. Hers is an awesomely humbling story, even by the standards of her heroic generation.

A Polish Catholic, she spirited some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto, displaying casual and extraordinary courage. She kept a list of the children she had saved, hoping one day to reunite them with their parents – although, in the event, almost all lost their families in Treblinka. In 1943, she was arrested by the Gestapo and tortured. Her legs and feet were broken, but she refused to give up her list. She was sentenced to death, but rescued, whereupon – almost unbelievably – she went back to work.

Here, though, is the sentence that leapt off the page at me: “Last year she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, eventually won by Al Gore.” Al Gore! I mean, nothing against the old lardbutt – it’s nice to see ex-politicians doing something they believe in rather than giving themselves over wholly to the getting of personal wealth – but making a film is not the same thing as donning a yellow star and smuggling babies past enemy soldiers.

Our generation, as Danny Kruger put it in the best tract of 2007, is moralistic rather than moral. We are better at holding opinions about what governments or multi-nationals should do than we are at doing the right thing by our neighbours. Having formed our opinions, we become self-righteous in a way that the Irena Sendlers of the world couldn’t understand.

“We who were rescuing children are not some kind of heroes”, she said towards the end of her life. “That term irritates me greatly. The opposite is true – I continue to have qualms of conscience that I did so little. I could have done more. This regret will follow me to my death.” There is a haunting sincerity to that statement. You can’t imagine Al Gore saying any such thing, can you?

Posted by Daniel Hannan on 13 May 2008 at 23:02

Source: The Telegraph

This was originally in The Telegraph and reposted at Watts Up With That where it came to my attention.

I’m not quite as generous as Daniel Hannan in subscribing Al Gore’s motives to personal beliefs; instead, I think his global warming diatribe is ALL about accumulating personal wealth. Even his self-serving pseudo-religious crusade is okay with me as long as he doesn’t interfere with my life. After all, what do I care if Hollywood-type people with more money than brains are willing to let themselves be fleeced in a carbon trading scheme?

I do think that it is shameful that a real life hero was deliberately overlooked in favor of a charlatan. Unlike Mr. Hannan, I do not hope that Al Gore is hanging his head in shame. I do not expect him to be capable of feeling such an emotion. The persons who should be ashamed are the people that awarded him the Nobel prize which should have gone to Ms. Irena Sendler.

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