Friday, September 30, 2005

New FDNY Chaplain Doubts Official 9/11 Story

Conspiracy theories about what really happened on September 11th have circulated on the internet and in European newspapers for years, but this is the first time I've seen it as a front page story in a major American newspaper.

The reason it made it here is that the new FDNY chaplain, Imam Intikab Habib, the man who's job it is to provide spiritual guidance to New York's firefighers, has made comments questioning how the Twin Towers could have collapsed from the fire caused by the jets:

"I've heard professionals say that nowhere ever in history did a steel building come down with fire alone," he said. "It takes two or three weeks to demolish a building like that. But it was pulled down in a couple of hours. Was it 19 hijackers who brought it down, or was it a conspiracy?"

Habib is muslim, and was questioned by Newsday whether he anticipated difficulties performing his duties as chaplain when there may be resentment towards muslims because of 9/11.

"I as an individual don't know who did the attacks," said Habib, 30, a soft-spoken man who immigrated to New York in July 2000 after spending six years in Saudi Arabia getting a degree in Islamic theology and law. "There are so many conflicting reports about it. I don't believe it was 19 ... hijackers who did those attacks."

I wonder what the outcome of these comments will be.

Full Story

UPDATE: 12:04 PM: "The Fire Department this morning received the resignation of Imam Intikab Habib from his position of FDNY Chaplain," said FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. "Based on comments he made to Newsday, Imam Intikab Habib would have been unable to effectively serve in the role he was appointed to."

Well, so there you go.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Braves (fans) Stink!

For the last several years, at some point between the end of July and the beginning of September, I've had to switch my alliance from rooting for the Mets, to rooting against the Yankees and Braves. I've had much more success at this part of my fandom, as neither team was won a championship lately.

Who knows what will happen this year, but regardless of the outcome of this years World Series, I do at least have this: Braves fans don't wash their hands after they use the bathroom. In a study done recently, it was reported that at Atlanta's Turner Field, 37 percent of men left the bathroom without washing, while 16 percent of the women did.

Meanwhile, lets go Red Sox and Cardinals!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Gag Gift Of The Year - "The Ex"

This is an actual knife set you can really buy - It's called "The Ex," and it costs $80 bucks here. Maybe this will be as big as those singing fish were a few years back.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Talkin' Baseball

I don't have a strong feeling either way about the nomination of John Roberts for Chief Justice (though the lack of hysteria on the matter coming from the left is comforting), but I was glad to hear his baseball analogy:

"Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules, but it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire."

"...I will fully and fairly analyze the legal arguments that are presented. I will be open to the considered views of my colleagues on the bench. And I will decide every case based on the record according to the rule of law without fear or favor to the best of my ability. And I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat."

There are some MLB umps who could learn a thing or two from this guy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hero Of The Week - George W. Bush (seriously!)

Bush Takes Responsibility for Blunders
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush' said Tuesday that "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq'

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.

The president was asked whether people should be worried about the government's ability to handle another terrorist attack given failures in responding to Katrina.

"Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question and it's in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond," Bush replied.

He said he wanted to know both what went wrong and what went right.

As for blunders in the federal response, "I'm not going to defend the process going in," Bush said. "I am going to defend the people saving lives."

Full Story

This is the first time I've seen anyone accept responsibility for what happened, and it came from the most unlikely of places - a man who's never wanted to admit mistakes. The cynic in me says this is a response to falling poll numbers, but ultimately it was the right thing to do and I applaud him for it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bush On Vacation

I think this Photoshop creation pretty much sums up the country's sentiment towards the President right now.

Katrina damages Bush in two polls
Bush's Approval Rating Is Lowest of His Presidency

Sunday, September 11, 2005

An Ominous Issue

In April's Issue of Popular Science, in a section called When Earth Attacks, the magazine looked at potential disasters we face at the hands of Mother Nature. Volcanoes, Landslides, Tsunami's, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes were all covered. The part on Hurricanes was all about what would happen if a Category 5 hit New Orleans.

Although hurricanes of this magnitude slamming directly into New Orleans are extremely rare—occurring perhaps every 500 to 1,000 years—should one come ashore, the resulting storm surge would swell Lake Pontchartrain (a brackish sea adjoining the Gulf of Mexico), overtop the levees, and submerge the city under up to 40 feet of water. Once this happened, the levees would "serve as a bathtub," explains Harley Winer, chief of coastal engineering for the Army Corps’s New Orleans District. The water would get trapped between the Mississippi levees and the hurricane-protection levees. "This is a highly improbable event," Winer points out, "but within the realm of possibility."

Friday, September 09, 2005

What is America's Worst Airport?

It has been quite a year for me with traveling. I've been lucky enough to experience many of our nation's airports. My least favorite airports to travel through are:

Washington D.C. (Dulles)
Charlotte, NC
Orlando, FL

But what is America's Worst Airport? I'll be posting on this subject occasionally to try and get to the answer. A big part of the hassle at airports is the wait time at the security line.
Check out this chart from USA Today that tracks the longest wait times in security lines. They've ranked America's 100 busiest airports to see how they compare.

Surprisingly, little ol' PTI in Greensboro/High Point has the highest average wait time (almost 8 minutes), and the highest percentage of wait times over 10 minutes (over 23 % of the time). Meanwhile, LAX in Los Angeles has the highest maximum wait time (almost 2 and a half hours!)
Going forward, I'll compare frequency of delays, aesthetic appearance, comfort, and any other way to compare airports to find.... America's Worst Airport. (bump, bum, BUM!!!)

Comments, Please!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mookie Of The Month - September

Happy Labor Day everyone! Drink Up!

P.S. Please don't e-mail me with complaints or call animal protection on me or anything. I assure you, the bottle was empty!