This is just wrong

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — A pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" and insured for $1 million is missing from a Grand Rapids museum.

Police Chief Leigh Serfling said the slippers were stolen late Saturday or early Sunday. Someone entered the museum through a window and broke into the small display case holding the slippers.

"There’s not a whole lot of evidence," Serfling said. "We’re hoping that someone in the community has seen something."

Children’s Discovery Museum director John Kelsch said the slippers belong to a Los Angeles man who loaned them to the museum for several weeks this summer.

The children’s museum houses the Judy Garland museum, which displayed the same pair of slippers last year. Garland was born in Grand Rapids in 1922.

"The slippers are a major attraction at our museum," Kelsch said in a news release Monday. "It is our hope that the slippers can be recovered immediately."

To the person(s) who has these slippers: you can return them to me anonymously.  I promise I won’t tell a soul who you are!  I assure you, they will be in good  hands, and I will return them safe and sound to the owners once a substantial dollar amount for compensation is agreed upon emoticon

Hat tip: Brian at Iowa Voice

My Tuesday evening and Katrina updates

This evening after I left work, I made a trip to the emergency room up the street from the house.  It wasn’t actually an "emergency" but I didn’t have time to go to the doctor during the day, so I went to the emergency room with my problem.  Seems *something* (ant, spider – don’t know) got a hold of my left foot Saturday.  I didn’t feel anything when it happened, but I noticed by Saturday evening there were three small bites on my left foot that I knew were not mosquito bites.  I told myself if it didn’t look much different by Tuesday that I would go to the doctor, and so I did.  I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t something that potentially could be serious.

I arrived in the ER around 5:30, filled out the paperwork, and went to take my seat.  I was shocked at how the number of people there waiting to see a doctor.  The room was full, with about 25 people in it.   I asked a nurse who walked by if this was an unusually busy night for them or if it was average.  She informed me that it was average and that there were some nights the numbers were even higher.  There seemed to be a revolving door of patients coming in and out of the ER.  The nurses, assistants, doctors and other staff were busting a move to make sure everyone was taken care of.  I had to wait until about 6:45 but I did get seen. Luckily, the doctor, once she took the first look at my foot, said that the bites on my foot weren’t of the poisonous variety (like a brown recluse spider bite would be, for example) but that they looked liked red ant bites.  I don’t know how that happened if it did, because when something is crawling around on your foot, you usually know it.  The only thing I can think of is that some insect bit me while I was walking around in the grass Saturday with strappy sandals looking at houses.  In any event, the doctor reassured me that everything would be just fine, and that I needed to put some Benadryl cream on it (and/or Neosporin) and that the bites should go away in a few days.    Whew.   My only complaint was that it wasn’t a male doctor because if it was I could have reported back to everyone here that I had a man at my feet earlier this evening emoticon

In any event, my hat is off to the hospital staff there at the hospital I went to.  You guys work hard around the clock to take care of people’s ailments to the best of your ability, and do your best to reassure them that everything is going to be ok.  I can’t tell you what hearing a doctor say "everything is going to be just fine" does to calm my nerves. 

And speaking of hats off, a major hat tip and big time thank you goes out to the rescue agencies and our fine men and women in the military (like the Coast Guard and National Guard) for doing an amazing job of stabilizing the areas affected and for their rescuing stranded residents.  While sitting in the waiting room of the ER, I was watching CNN on the TV there and some of the footage shown of the rescues were quite dramatic and heart-stopping.  I saw one where two small children were airlifted into a helicopter from a wire basket.  The wind was blowing steadily and the basket was not completely steady so there were some harrowing moments there.  CNN was reporting that some 1,200 citizens had been rescued in New Orleans thanks to the heroism of the US Coast Guard and other rescue teams.     Click here to see a video of the USCG rescuing people who were stranded on top of their homes.  It’s amazing.

By now, I’m sure most of you have seen the footage of how devastated La. and Miss. are right now (click here for photos of the area – hat tip: Michelle Malkin).  Those areas are going to need some major help – lots of it is coming, but they will need more.   Click here to find a relief agency you’d like to help via donations of money, food, clothing, etc.  And as always, remember the residents there in your thoughts and prayers.  So many families have lost everything.    It is so heartbreaking to see.

Update: Glenn Reynolds has more relief links.

Update II:


Jeff Parish President. Residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month.

FEMA numbers to begin assistance process 1-800-621-FEMA or

More photos of the devastation (see more here as well) emoticon

Gulf Coast areas: Devastated

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin is saying today that the city of New Orleans has been devastated:

The City of New Orleans Is Devastated.  Those were the words of Mayor C. Ray Nagin and based upon a major breach of a levee system, water is flowing into New Orleans flooding it beyond recognition and could very well destroy New Orleans, Jefferson and the surrounding areas. 

In a most frightening interview with WWL TV, Mayor C. Ray Nagin gave the worse-case scenario of events that anyone could possibly imagine.  In the beginning of the interview, he stated that New Orleans is devastated. 

Of most importance is the breach of the levee between Jefferson and Orleans Parish.    

“We probably have 80 percent of our city under water with some sections of our city the water is as deep as 20 feet”. 

Both airports are underwater

The twin spans are destroyed. 

The Yacht club is burned and destroyed. 

Mayor Nagin also stated he was not sure of the structural soundness of the highrise.  He stated that it is possible that the highrise bridge in east New Orleans could be unstable.


The Mayor also stated that all of Slidell (a city which he has no jurisdiction) is under water. Nagin also stated that there was no clear path in and out of New Orleans, that I-10 is underwater.

The head of FEMA is saying the same thing about several areas at the Gulf Coast:

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s top disaster relief official said Tuesday that Hurricane Katrina wrought "catastrophic" damage to low-lying portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and that additional medical personnel were being moved in to treat evacuated hospital patients.

With at least one New Orleans hospital threatened by Katrina’s floodwaters, patients were being transferred to the Superdome, said Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and medical personnel were being sent in to treat them.

The damage is "very, very sobering," Brown said. "And of course the flooding is just everywhere … New Orleans, all through Mississippi and Alabama. This storm is really having a catastrophic effect," Brown said on CBS’"The Early Show."

FEMA sent medical teams, rescue squads and groups prepared to supply food and water into the disaster areas and Brown said it would be "quite a while" before those displaced by the hurricane can return to damaged areas, especially in those areas near downtown New Orleans.

Please continue to keep the people in the affected areas in your thoughts and prayers.  That part of the country, as we know it, no longer exists.  Michelle Malkin has a Hurricane Katrina link round up here and here, including some stunning pictures and a ‘help the victims of Hurricane Katrina’ link that I hope everyone will visit.

Galloway vs. Hitchens

It’s on!

Internationally acclaimed journalist Amy Goodman, host of the national daily, radio/TV program Democracy Now!, is on a national tour to mark the launch of her first book The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them. Join us for this exciting event. Support independent media. Tell your friends about the event:

New York, NY:

Wednesday, September 14, 7:00 PM

A debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens on Iraq and U.S. and British foreign policy.

Moderated by Amy Goodman

Mason Hall at the Baruch College Performing Arts Center
17 Lexington Ave., enter on 23rd St.
New York, NY

Tickets $12 in advance through Ticket Central, Phone: 212-279-4200 and at the door.

Wow.  If any readers of this blog attend this, please make sure to email me or post your recap here.  That’s gonna be one for the ages.  Methinks Galloway is going to get a verbal thrashing like he’s never heard before.

Related Toldjah So posts:

Iraq veteran killed in hit and run

Tragic story:

SAN DIEGO – The bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run accident Tuesday morning has been identified as Patrick Michael Klokow from Santa Clara, an Iraq war veteran.

The 29-year-old Marine captain was stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot as the commanding officer of the instructional training company, according to Janice Hagar, a base spokeswoman.

Klokow, an artillery officer with the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, served in Kuwait from January 2003 to March 2003 and was then deployed in Iraq until July 2003, Hagar said.

Klokow graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and has been stationed at the recruit depot since September 2003.

Klokow is survived by his wife who is an active duty Marine currently deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. She is based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

He was hit and killed early Tuesday morning while he was riding his bike on Kearny Villa Road near the southbound state Route 163 on-ramp. The driver did not stop. Klowkow was then hit by at least one other vehicle, whose driver did stop.

A Mira Mesa man has pleaded not guilty in the death of Captain Klokow:

SAN DIEGO – A Mira Mesa man pleaded not guilty Monday to manslaughter and hit-and-run-causing-death charges in connection with a crash that claimed the life of a 29-year-old Marine officer bicycling to work.

San Diego police said Jose Luis Cifuentes, 58, confessed Thursday afternoon to driving the vehicle that struck USMC Capt. Patrick Klokow in the 7300 block of Kearny Villa Road Tuesday morning.

I hope Cifuentes is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

(Hat tip: Wizbang)

Rev. Al: Couldn’t get away fast enough?

(Yes, I know I said I was logging off earlier to hit the pillow but I just had to write this one last post emoticon)

On Monday, I linked to a post from Little Green Footballs that had pictures of the Rev. Al Sharpton looking solemn, alongside a very somber looking Cindy Sheehan, while nearby the cameras pressed forward for the best view (see more photos here).

Wellll, it looks like Rev. Sharpton couldn’t get away fast enough:

A car carrying the Rev. Al Sharpton led sheriff’s deputies on a nine- mile chase at speeds up to 110 mph before state troopers stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver, authorities said.

The civil rights activist called the sheriff’s report "ludicrous" and accused the Ellis County officers of "embellishing the story."

"That nine-mile chase is news to me," Sharpton told The Associated Press. "All I know is that the police pulled us over because they wanted to talk to the driver about speeding."

Chief Deputy Charles Sullins said driver Jarrett B. Maupin, 43, was rushing Sharpton to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after Sharpton visited anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Sunday at her camp outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford.

Because the 2005 Lincoln was rented to Maupin, of Phoenix, sheriff’s deputies impounded the car. Maupin posted a $1,000 bond on charges of evading arrest with a vehicle and reckless driving, authorities said.

The car carrying Sharpton and two other passengers was clocked doing 110 mph in a 65 mph zone on the interstate south of Dallas, Sullins said.


Sharpton caught a lift from a passing driver and made his scheduled flight to New York.

Heh! Don’t know why he was so eager to leave. I mean, it’s not like being phony and/or being part of something phony has ever weighed on his conscience before  …

On to another Rev.: This past weekend, I laid a verbal smackdown on the disgusting tactics of Rev. Fred Phelps, the guy who likes to show up with his ‘flock’ (which consists mainly of family members) at GI funerals and claim that those GIs have been "punished" by God because America is so "tolerant" of the homosexual lifestyle.   Several commenters pointed out to me that Phelps, who it’s being implied by the usual suspects in the media as some fanatical right wing conservative Christian, is actually a Democrat.   How much so? Here’s how much:

Phelps remained prominent in state and local politics, working for years as a major organizer for the state’s Democratic Party. (He still calls himself a Democrat, refusing to change just because his party has.) In 1988, Phelps housed campaign workers for Al Gore’s first presidential run; in 1989, his eldest son, Fred Jr., hosted a fundraiser for Gore’s Senate campaign at his home.

Phelps has frequently run for public office — for governor in 1990, ’94, and ’98, for the Senate in ’92 — always losing the primaries by a landslide. Because of their years as loyal Democrats, the Phelpses have even been invited to — and attended — both of Clinton’s inaugurations. They protested at the second one. But Phelps’ campaign against homosexuality actually began in earnest just before the 1992 campaign, when politicians, especially Democrats, began to openly court gay voters.

Well whadda ya know?  Now, before my liberal readers go into a tizzy, I’d just like to point out that I don’t think Fred Phelps is a typical Democrat.  In fact, I think there are only a tiny minority of people on either side of the aisle who share Fred’s warped view of God and homosexuals.  But it should be pointed out that while the media is doing it’s best (on the heels of Pat Robertson’s inappropriate advocation of an assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez) to paint Phelps as just one more nutty, right wing Christian conservative wacko, that he’s actually not.  (hat tip: the always must read everyday blog of Jeff Goldstein)

OK – I really *am* logging off now.  G’nite all.  Time for me to go to emoticon.

Tuesday a.m. update:  Reader Camojack  points to this article at Scrappleface: Sharpton’s Driver Victim of ‘Velocity Profiling’ …. hehe …