Hurricane Ida is bearing down on Louisiana on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Fortunately, the seawall protections are better now and Joe Biden is president instead of George W. Bush.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida struck Cuba on Friday and threatened to slam into Louisiana with devastating force over the weekend, prompting evacuations in New Orleans and across the coastal region.
Ida intensified rapidly Friday from a tropical storm to a hurricane with top winds of 80 mph (128 kph) as it crossed western Cuba and entered the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center predicted Ida would strengthen into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with top winds of 140 mph (225 kph) before making landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sunday.
“This will be a life-altering storm for those who aren’t prepared,” National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Schott said during a Friday news conference with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The governor urged residents to quickly prepare, saying: “By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you intend to be to ride out the storm.”
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered a mandatory evacuation for a small area of the city outside the levee system. But with the storm intensifying so much over a short time, she said it wasn’t possible to do so for the entire city. That generally calls for using all lanes of some highways to leave the city.
“The city cannot order a mandatory evacuation because we don’t have the time,” Cantrell said.
City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city’s emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours.
Other areas across the coastal region were under a mix of voluntary and mandatory evacuations. The storm is expected to make landfall on the exact date Hurricane Katrina devastated a large swath of the Gulf Coast exactly 16 years earlier.
Ida is anticipated to reach at least Category 4 strength before landfall, the National Hurricane Center said, maintaining its earlier forecast.
“Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday,” National Hurricane Center forecasters said Saturday morning. At 8 a.m. ET, the storm sustained winds of 85 mph.
Officials throughout the state implored people to evacuate, with some issuing mandatory orders to do so.
A dangerous storm surge of 10 to 15 feet is expected from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the mouth of the Mississippi River on Sunday as Ida makes landfall, the NHC said.
Hurricane conditions are likely in areas along the northern Gulf Coast beginning Sunday, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin by late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. These conditions will spread inland over portions of Louisiana and Mississippi Sunday night and Monday.
Rainfall can amount to 8 to 16 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 20 inches possible across southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi through Monday– which will likely lead to significant flash and river flooding impacts.
A hurricane warning remains in effect from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the mouth of the Pearl River and includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.
In Louisiana, a hurricane watch is in effect from Cameron to west of Intracoastal City and the mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi-Alabama border. Tropical storm warnings and watches are also issued stretching east to the Alabama-Florida border.
The city is anticipating impacts from damaging winds of up to 110 mph, according to Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
I found this article at Yahoo News interesting: EXPLAINER: Is New Orleans protected from a hurricane?
New Orleans finds itself in the path of Hurricane Ida 16 years to the day after floodwalls collapsed and levees were overtopped by a storm surge driven by Hurricane Katrina. That flooding killed more than 1,000 people and caused billions in damage. But Ida arrives at the doorstep of a region transformed since 2005 by a giant civil works project and closer attention to flood control.
The system already has been tested by multiple storms, including 2012’s Isaac, with little damage to the areas it protects….
The federal government spent $14.5 billion on levees, pumps, seawalls, floodgates and drainage that provides enhanced protection from storm surge and flooding in New Orleans and surrounding suburbs south of Lake Pontchartrain. With the exception of three drainage projects, that work is complete.
“The post-Katrina system is so different than what was in place before,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Matt Roe.
Starting with a giant surge barrier east of the city, the system is a 130-mile (210-kilometer) ring built to hold out storm surge of about 30 feet (9 meters). The National Hurricane Center on Friday projected Ida would bring a surge of 10 feet to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) on the west bank.
At that level, it could come over the levees in some areas, said emergency manager Heath Jones of the Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans District.
“They’re designed to overtop in places” with protections against worse damage, including armoring, splash pads and pumps with backup generators, he said.
“We’ve built all that since Katrina,” and they’re designed for a worse storm than the Ida is expected to be, he said.
Governments as of Friday were not ordering people protected by the levees to evacuate, showing their confidence in the system.
A number of floodgates are being closed as the storm approaches. That includes massive gates that ships can normally sail through, such as ones that close off the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal near the Lower 9th Ward. That has reduced the risk of flooding in an area long viewed as among the city’s most exposed. At least one smaller floodgate on land has been removed for maintenance, though, with officials planning to close the gap with sandbags.
Read more at the Yahoo link.
The US drone strike in Afghanistan targeted a mid-level “planner” from the Islamic State’s local affiliate who was travelling in a car with one other person near the eastern city of Jalalabad, US official sources said on Saturday.
The strike came two days after Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside Kabul airport, as western forces running the airlift braced for more attacks.
The US president, Joe Biden, has promised to hunt down those responsible, striking in a place and time of his choosing.
The drone strike is likely to be in part aimed at reassuring a shaken US public that its government’s counter-terrorist capabilities in Afghanistan remain intact despite the chaotic withdrawal.
There is no indication that the target of the drone was involved in Thursday’s blast, which killed around 180 people, including 13 US marines.
The attack focused attention on ISKP, which had previously been seen as only a minor actor in Afghanistan and one of the weaker IS affiliates around the world.
The group was founded in 2014 by a few dozen disaffected Taliban commanders and defectors from other militants from the region and made early gains in districts close to the border with Pakistan in the eastern Nangarhar province, where the drone strike occurred around midnight on Friday night. The name Khorasan was given by medieval Islamic imperial rulers to a region including modern Afghanistan.
Read more about ISKP at the Guardian link.
The Washington Post: The 13 U.S. service members killed in the Kabul airport attack: What we know so far.
What’s happening in your neck of the woods? If you’re in the path of Ida, please stay safe!
It’s difficult to believe, but today is kind of slow news day, compared to most of the days we’ve lived through in the past four years. Naturally, what news there is today is mostly awful.
The story getting the most attention right now is the bomb blast in Nashville. Here’s the latest:
Nashville police officers were first called to a report of shots fired, police said. There was no evidence of shots fired, but “there were announcements coming” from an RV saying a potential bomb would detonate within 15 minutes, police said.
The recording only began playing a short time after police reported to the scene, a law enforcement official told ABC News.
Officers were working to evacuate nearby buildings when, around 6:30 a.m., the RV exploded, blowing out the windows of nearby buildings.
Human remains have been found at the scene of the explosion in downtown Nashville, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.
The remains have not been identified and it’s unclear whether they’re identifiable.
“We found tissue that we believe could be human remains,” Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said at a press conference Friday evening. “We’ll have that examined and we’ll be able to tell you from that point.”
A woman’s voice warned downtown residents to evacuate before the Christmas morning explosion that rocked Nashville, according to witness who described hearing the chilling message before fleeing with her family.
Betsy Williams, who owns the Melting Pot building on Second Avenue, lived in a loft apartment on the third floor of the building near the center of the blast.
Williams said she left the area after she heard the recording play a countdown to the explosion.
At least three people were injured in the explosion, according to authorities. A police officer in the area, who was responding to reports of suspicious activity in the area, was knocked to the ground by the blast.
Police said the explosion came from an RV that was parked on Second Avenue, in the midst of a business and entertainment district. Police spokesman Don Aaron confirmed the warning came from the RV.
The blast sent black smoke and flames billowing from the heart of downtown Nashville’s tourist scene, an area packed with honky-tonks, restaurants and shops. Buildings shook and windows shattered streets away from the explosion near a building owned by AT&T that lies one block from the company’s office tower, a landmark in downtown.
“We do not know if that was a coincidence, or if that was the intention,” police spokesman Don Aaron said. He said earlier that some people were taken to the department’s central precinct for questioning but declined to give details.
AT&T said the affected building is the central office of a telephone exchange, with network equipment in it. The blast interrupted service, but the company declined to say how widespread outages were.
The AT&T outages site showed service issues in middle Tennessee and Kentucky. Several police agencies reported that their 911 systems were down because of the outage, including Knox County, home to Knoxville about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Nashville.
AT&T said that it was bringing in portable cell sites and was working with law enforcement to get access to make repairs to its equipment. The company noted that “power is essential to restoring” service.
The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily halted flights out of Nashville International Airport because of telecommunications issues associated with the explosion. Later Friday, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority said most flights were resuming but advised passengers to check with their airline for updates due to possible delays.
The FBI will be taking the lead in the investigation, agency spokesman Joel Siskovic said. Federal investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene. The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating federal crimes, such as explosives violations and acts of terrorism.
Trump is busy shirking his responsibilities, playing golf and tweeting as Americans die or go hungry and jobless, while facing evictions.
Expanded unemployment benefits were set to lapse for millions of struggling Americans on Saturday, a day after President Trump expressed more criticism of a $900 billion pandemic relief bill that was awaiting his signature and would extend them.
The sprawling economic relief package that Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support would extend the amount of time that people can collect unemployment benefits until March and revive supplemental unemployment benefits for millions of Americans at $300 a week on top of the usual state benefit.
If Mr. Trump signs the bill on Saturday, states will still need time to reprogram their computer systems to account for the new law, according to Michele Evermore of the National Employment Law Project, but unemployed workers would still be able to claim the benefits.
Further delays could prove more costly. States cannot pay out benefits for weeks that begin before the bill is signed, meaning that if the president does not sign the bill by Saturday, benefits will not restart until the first week of January. But they will still end in mid-March, effectively trimming the extension to 10 weeks from 11.
Mr. Trump blindsided lawmakers on Tuesday when he hinted he may veto the measure, which he decided at the last minute was unsatisfactory. The most pressing issue prompted by the president’s delay was the fate of unemployment benefits. At least a temporary lapse in those benefits is now inevitable.
The country is also facing a looming government shutdown on Tuesday and the expiration of a moratorium on evictions at the end of the year because of the president’s refusal to sign the bill.
Here’s what Trump is stewing about at the moment. Raw Story: Trump buried for whining Melania didn’t get enough fashion magazine covers — as he sits on COVID aid bill.
With all that is going on in the U.S. during Christmas week — COVID-19 infections on the rise, a desperately needed COVID-related aid package being held hostage by the president, extended unemployment insurance about to run out, families facing evictions — Donald Trump took time out from his busy holiday vacation at Mar-a-Lago to complain that his wife Melania didn’t get fashion magazine cover stories he feels she deserves.
Linking to a tweet from right-wing Breitbart, that read, “The elitist snobs in the fashion press have kept the most elegant First Lady in American history off the covers of their magazines for 4 consecutive years,” the preside t added “The greatest of all time” by which he presumably meant the first lady, before adding the requisite “Fake news!”
Commenters who were already criticizing the president for two days of golfing while they hunker down in their homes over fears of the spreading pandemic, piled on the president for his bizarre sense of priorities.
Maybe it’s because Melania is ugly inside and out? Click the link to read sample tweets.
Trump is also planning to try to pardon himself and push for inappropriate investigations, according to The Guardian:
William Barr’s abrupt move to leave his post as attorney general this week has spurred fears among Department of Justice veterans that Donald Trump will put new pressures on Barr’s successor to do him big and potentially risky political and legal favors.
Former justice department officials say they are worried Trump will lean on Barr’s less experienced successor, the acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, to push policies which Trump has suggested he backs, including naming special counsels to investigate President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and using the DoJ to investigate Trump’s baseless charges of widespread election fraud.
Critics also fear Rosen could face pressure from Trump to help obtain a legal opinion that would allow Trump to pardon himself by reversing a justice department opinion that dates back to the Nixon era and bars a presidential self-pardon. Such a move would probably trigger widespread outrage.
Mounting concerns that Trump will try to squeeze favors from Rosen, who became Barr’s deputy AG in early 2019 without previous DoJ experience, stem partly from Trump’s post-election anger at Barr, despite being arguably his strongest cabinet ally in the run-up to the November election.
And what if Trump tries to stay in the White House after Biden’s inauguration? Eric Lutz at Vanity Fair: No One Knows How to Get Trump to Leave the White House in January.
Donald Trump was soundly defeated by Joe Biden, his efforts to overturn the results have been wildly unsuccessful, and the electoral college has made his loss official. In two weeks, lawmakers will meet to certify Biden’s win—and a longshot challenge Trump’s allies in the House are planning is unlikely to stop the inevitable. Constitutionally and legally, Trump will have no constitutional or legal claim to the White House.
But what if, after all that, he just…refuses to leave? What if he refuses to pack his shit and go back to Mar-a-Lago? What if he chains himself to the Resolute Desk? That prospect may sound comically outlandish, and is indeed unlikely to come to pass. But it’s hardly as far-fetched as it might seem, as Trump refuses to concede and continues to insist he won last month’s election in a “landslide.” In fact, he has actually raised the idea with aides recently, as CNN reported. And while few advisers think he’ll actually go through with it, no one really knows what would happen if he does try to overstay his welcome.
According to the Daily Beast on Wednesday, the Secret Service isn’t so sure what it would do, either. One former agent suggested he’d get dragged out like any other civilian would be if they were in the Oval Office unauthorized. “I guess by law he would be a trespasser,” the former agent told the outlet. “We’d have to escort him out.” But the Secret Service and the military may be reluctant to take part in what would be such a dramatic scene, and could take more subtle action, like pressing his inner circle or Republican officials and family members to make him leave. “The Service and the military would just not want to get involved,” another former official said. “It’s not our role.” It could also simply do the equivalent of changing the locks: “When the staff leaves on January 19, don’t let them back into the complex the next day,” an ex-agent said. “He can’t do anything without his staff.”
Again, this is all (thankfully) hypothetical at this point, and the chances of it becoming more than that are still likely remote. But it’s hard to avoid engaging with the prospect as Trump goes to greater and greater lengths in his effort to remain in power, even though a record number of American voters told him to get lost and the electoral college formalized his loss. “It’s scary,” an administration official told CNN.
More at the link.
A few more reads to check out:
Ed Pilkington at The Guardian: How real is the threat of prosecution for Donald Trump post-presidency?
The Daily Beast: Three Paths This Coronavirus Nightmare Could Take.
The New York Times: One Vaccine Side Effect: Global Economic Inequality.
The New York Times: A ‘Great Cultural Depression’ Looms for Legions of Unemployed Performers
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you had a nice, relaxing day yesterday. Take care and stay safe!
Sunday is here, and I am just going to dive into today’s post because I have so much to share with you.
Well, lets start off here in the US…
Summertime in Florida is a lot like being in hell, the heat is unbearable and if you ever try to cool off in some fresh water lake or river, there are dangerous alligators and snakes that can come at you so fast in the murky water, you never know they are there until it is too late. Well, it looks like there is another deadly organism that lurks in the fresh water in Florida.
Central Florida’s fresh water lakes and rivers offer swimmers a natural, scenic and cool respite from the summer’s scorching heat.
But beneath those sparkling waters lurks a microscopic single-celled parasite that thrives in the hot summer months and, if disturbed, can infect and kill an unsuspecting swimmer in less than a week.
State health officials Friday issued an alert about the deadly amoeba Naegleria fowleri, found in the silt at the bottom of most Florida lakes and rivers, after suspecting it infected 16-year-old Brevard County resident Courtney Nash.
Courtney went swimming with her family in the St. John’s River and after a couple of days, she began showing symptoms of similar to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) A infection caused by waterborne amoebas when they enter the human body through the nose, mouth or ears. For people who become infected with the parasite, death comes within seven days.
The Naegleria fowleri amoeba lives in many Florida lakes and, when water temperatures rise as they have in recent weeks, health experts warn swimmers to stay out of fresh water.
Experts also caution swimmers to avoid lakes when the water temperature rises above 80 degrees because that’s when they think amoebas are most active.
It sounds like some sort of horror movie. I just wanted to bring it to your attention.
When we lived in Manhattan, and later moved to Connecticut, the Twin Towers were more than the place my husband worked at. No matter where you were in the city, they seemed to stand tall and act like protectors. Especially, since we lived down in Hanover Square, and spent most of our time in Lower Manhattan. It wasn’t until I went back to Manhattan after they fell that I realized just what a comfort those buildings were to me. Twin Towers photographer reflects on new Trade Center – CNN.com
“When the Twin Towers were gone I felt disoriented in the city for a long time,” said Brian Rose, an architectural photographer with a degree in Urban Planning. He started taking pictures of the Towers from just about every angle imaginable in the late 1970s. Some of those photographs appear in his self-published book titled WTC.“I started photographing the Lower East Side and I saw distant views from the Lower East Side where the Twin Towers were there,” said Rose. “Then, I photographed Lower Manhattan as part of a project. … The Twin Towers became very present in those pictures.”
It was hard not to include the towers. Rose would see them as he drove toward the city on the New Jersey Turnpike. There was the view from Kennedy Airport of the buildings rising above the New York skyline way off in the distance. But he most liked the glimpses that he would catch of the Twin Towers rising between smaller buildings as he looked downtown on many of the city’s streets.
“The buildings were really signposts. If you came out of the subway anywhere in the city and you were a little bit disoriented at first you could always look one way or the other and see the Twin Towers,” Rose said. “It was almost like a needle of a compass for me.”
Give that CNN link a click and look at some of the images Rose has taken over the years. The tenth anniversary is coming up a month from now. It is unbelievable to me that so many years have passed.
We have experienced a horrible summer here on the eastern side of the country, but over in the Northwestern US, the weather conditions have been colder than usual. A Long, Cold Summer at Mount Rainier – NYTimes.com
Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times
Usually by August, most of the snow on Mount Rainier, the sleeping volcanic giant here, has long since melted. The meadows of wildflowers are abloom, and hikers galore are tramping along the trails.
But this year, temperatures have been colder than usual, keeping record mounds of old snow lying around. This has discouraged everyone, from the most rigorous climbers to backpackers, hikers and Sunday drivers.
The amount of snow still on the ground, as measured at Paradise, the park’s main visitor area, is setting records. Last Sunday, it set a record of 44 inches, said Stefan Lofgren, the park’s mountaineering district ranger. The previous record for Aug. 7 was 40 inches, set in 1974.
Another record was set Tuesday, when 43 inches remained on the ground. Mr. Lofgren said he expected records for another couple of weeks. At this elevation (5,400 feet), Paradise normally gets about 630 inches of snow a year, but this year it received a whopping 907 inches.
Heading over to some updates in World News, Tribal Rifts Threaten to Undermine Libya Uprising – NYTimes.com
Saddled with infighting and undermined by the occasionally ruthless and undisciplined behavior of its fighters, the six-month-old rebel uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi is showing signs of sliding from a struggle to overthrow an autocrat into a murkier contest between factions and tribes.
The increase in discord and factionalism is undermining the effort to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi, and it comes immediately after recognition of the rebel government by the Western powers, including the United States, potentially giving the rebels access to billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets, and the chance to purchase more modern weaponry.
The infighting could also erode support for the rebels among members of the NATO alliance, which faces a September deadline for renewing its air campaign amid growing unease about the war’s costs and direction.
I really wonder how long Gaddafi is going to linger over there, and will the Rebel forces actually come together and put Libya back on track.
In Somalia, the people are dealing with famine, rape, violence and now cholera. WHO: Cholera on the Rise in Somali Capital « VOA Breaking News
The World Heath Organization says Somalia has seen a spike in cholera in the Mogadishu area.
WHO said Friday more than 4,000 cases of diarrheal disease have been reported in Mogadishu’s Banadir hospital this year.
It says children under five account for 75 percent of those cases.
We’ll leave Africa and head north to England. This past week Boston Boomer wrote one hell of a post about the riots in London. She discussed the social and political issues that have brought about the anger that was key within the scope of violence at the hands of young Londoners. According to one controversial historian, Black Culture is to blame for the riots. English Historian Blames Black Culture for Riots – NYTimes.com
During a televised discussion of the past week’s riots in England on Friday night, a prominent English historian sparked outrage by insisting that black, Afro-Caribbean culture was to blame for the mayhem and looting, even when the rioters were white.
David Starkey, who has presented several documentaries on the Tudor period, said during a BBC debate: “the problem is that the whites have become black — a particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion — and black and white, boy and girl, operate in this language together; this language, which is wholly false, which is a Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded in England, and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.”
Asked if he was saying that the prophecy of Enoch Powell — an English politician who claimed in a speech in 1968 that immigration would eventually mean, “the black man will have the whip hand over the white man” in Britain — had come true, Mr. Starkey replied: “That’s not true.” He added, “it’s not skin color, it’s cultural.”
At least the other people on the show spoke up…
The other participants in the debate quickly objected to Mr. Starkey’s remarks. Owen Jones, the author of a book about working class culture in Britain, told the historian: “It’s utterly outrageous, obviously, what you’re saying. What you’re doing is you’re equating black culture with criminality.”
A short time later, Emily Maitlis, the BBC journalist who was moderating the discussion, told Mr. Starkey that he was using the terms black culture and white culture as synonyms for bad and good.
Wow…Be sure to read the entire article. There is also video to the BBC debate.
One of the things that Boston Boomer mentioned in her post, was the possibility that the powers that be would take this opportunity to put the last remaining nails in the proverbial coffin of the poor and “social welfare” class. Families of London Rioters to Be Evicted, and Denied Welfare. | MyFDL
According to BBC radio : Prime Minister David Cameron has gone back to court to obtain actions that will be served to convicted rioters. These actions will cause the eviction of the rioters families as well as the termination of welfare payments.
Prime Minister Cameron says “They should have thought of this before they were caught burgling”.
Refresh my memory if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall “social welfare” being increased for the banks after having been caught red handed committing the largest theft known to recorded history.
One such eviction action has already been served as of this evening, against the single mother and sibling of a minor convicted in the riots. Don’t know for certain, but the rioter’s juvenile status seems to have facilitated the speed of the justice exacted.
For more on the evictions and the reactions of this decision by Cameron that is sure to evoke more riots and violence. England riots: coalition row grows over ‘kneejerk’ response | Politics | The Observer
Coalition efforts to present a united front over the riots have come under strain as senior Liberal Democrats call for an end to “kneejerk” reactions by politicians and warn that stripping those involved of their benefits could worsen crime on the streets.
In a clear sign of tensions between the governing parties, the Lib Dems’ deputy leader, Simon Hughes, insists that long-term solutions lie in supporting communities by offering opportunities and redistributing wealth, not slashing help from the state and cutting taxes for the rich.
This is how the process works:
With the support of David Cameron, Conservative Wandsworth council was the first to attempt to evict tenants who had been caught up in the rioting. The prime minister also pledged to support “zero tolerance” policing where minor offences are prosecuted and said a series of tough measures would be unveiled in coming months to fight crime and reclaim the streets. “We haven’t talked the language of zero tolerance enough but the message is getting through,” he said.
Wandsworth announced on Friday that the first eviction notice had been served – to the mother of an 18-year-old boy accused of violent disorder and attempted theft. The teenager has not yet been convicted but has appeared in court in connection with disturbances on Monday at Clapham Junction.
Other authorities, including Westminster, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Nottingham and Salford, are also considering evicting those found to have taken part in the unrest.
It really is disturbing to see governments and countries, like the US and Great Britain, doing these things to their own people. Wait, their own poor and middle class people.
From Minx’s Missing Link File: While Romans burn: Italian sunbathers sizzle on Sicily beach as Mount Etna erupts | Mail Online
Relaxing: These sunbathers on a beach in Sicily seems unbothered by the eruption of Mt Etna in the distance
These Italian sunbathers seem to be making the most of their summer holidays
So determined are they to enjoy their time on the beach, they don’t even turn their heads to the sight of Europe’s largest volcano erupting behind them.
Or perhaps it’s just volcano fatigue – after all, this is the sixth time Mt Etna has erupted in the last month.
Hey, Sicilians have grown up with the Mafia, an erupting volcano is not going to scare them.
Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week: Here are a couple of links for you. I am curious if anyone has ever seen The Goat Man when he traveled the Dixie Highway, or any of the other back roads across the continental U.S. and Canada. My father remembers seeing the Goat Man when he was a child in Tampa, FL. Imagine his surprise to see a picture of the same man and his goats in a Cherokee County, NC history book. This made my dad check out the Circle Box, and when he Googled “The Goat Man” he found out that memory he had of a smelly man, with a wagon full of clanking metal being pulled by a herd of goats was one he shared with many people across the country. The Goat Man was even inspiration for some famous authors, like Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy, who based characters on him in their novels and stories.
The New York Times wrote this obituary about The Goat Man in 1998: Charles McCartney, Known for Travels With Goats, Dies at 97 – New York Times
Whatever the scope of his travels, Mr. McCartney, who averaged seven miles a day and had a regular route between Iowa and Georgia, spent most of his time creating traffic jams throughout the South, primarily along the old Dixie Highway running through Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.
As many who grew up in the South in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s could attest, when the Goat Man came to town it was an event, one that inevitably produced a story and a photograph in the local paper.
So please enjoy these websites that highlight The Goat Man, America’s Legend
Charles “Ches” McCartney, the legendary “Goat Man”, was a wanderer, who spent decades traveling across the country while guiding a massive iron-wheeled wagon loaded with pots and pans, pails, bails of hay, car tags lead by a team of goats. “The Goat Man” entwined himself in the folklore of rural America for more than six decades.
The Goat Man lead a very colorful life. At age 14, having a reputation as an eccentric, his left his hometown in Iowa for New York. There he married a Spanish maiden and became a target for her knife-tossing act for two years. In the 1930’s McCartney hit the road with his wife and son. His wife later tired of the travels and returned home to Iowa while McCartney traveled on with his son.
The Goat Man and the Goat Boy, as his son Albert Gene was known as, would travel the roads together.
Albert Gene stayed in Iowa to attend school, rejoining Ches on his vacations. But Ches traveled on, gaining notoriety across the country as the “Goat Man.” His goat skin outfit eventually gave way to several layers of greasy, sooty clothes, which he would peel off depending on the weather. He never shaved or bathed, and it was said that his smell would roll into town long before he did. “[The goats] don’t care how I smell or how I look,” he later wrote. “They trust me and have faith in me, and this is more than I can say about a lot of people.”
At its height, the Goat Man’s junk-filled “goatvoy” consisted of two wagons pulled by a team of over thirty goats. The larger billies were hitched to the front of the wagon with homemade leather leads. Nannies were tied to the back with a couple of strong billies that served as the “brakes” on steep hills. The Goat Man also collected stray and neglected goats that he found during his travels, including a three-legged goat that rode in a special box on the front wagon. He referred to the goats as his “babies,” and called each of them by name as he walked beside them.
The Goat Man traveled over 100,000 miles, and covered 49 states, the only state he missed was Hawaii. He even has his own Wikipedia page.
So check out these links and if any of you have ever come across The Goat Man please let me know…
That is all I have for you today, what else are you reading about today?