Saturday, March 24, 2007


It was a wild, wild, night: Tornado slams Clovis. But no one was killed, Thank God.

The worst tornado in Clovis’ history struck the city’s southeast side Friday night, leaving more than a dozen injured and possibly hundreds of homes damaged.

No deaths were reported, but officials said at least three patients at Plains Regional Medical Center were listed in critical condition.

Rescue workers were still searching storm-ravaged homes early this morning in search of injured or trapped residents. Details related to damage were not immediately available.

“We don’t know what we’re dealing with until the sun comes up and the lights come on,” said Clovis police spokesman Jim Schoeffel at a news conference late Friday night.

The tornado, wrapped in heavy rains, hit the city at 7:54 p.m., the National Weather Service reported, about 20 minutes after tornado sirens warned of danger. Debris was strewn across U.S. Highway 70 and officials quickly closed the road and urged sightseers to stay away. It remained closed early this morning.


At least five tornadoes were spotted in the area before Clovis was hit, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Chuck Jones. Jason Boggs, a storm spotter from Amarillo, said he saw the twister that likely hit Clovis while it was still in Roosevelt County. He estimated it was one-half mile, but said he believes it was not that wide when it struck Clovis.


Portales received heavy rain, but no injuries were reported and no ambulance calls were made related to the weather, Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said.

It could have been worse, as it’s said.

This morning dawned clear and cool, with bright blue skies and lots of puddles. We DID get some rain last evening, and lots of it. I think the next time we have a weather episode like this I’m gonna head over to the hospital with a book. It was very stupid of me to just stay put last evening. You’d think I would have learned by now, eh?

The Weather Channel and several local (i.e., Albuquerque) stations are still AWOL on the cable system as I write (1000 hrs). I noted in the comments to “Look What’s Headed…” that the WX Channel went belly-up last evening just as the second wave of storms moved through the area. I’m still pretty pi$$ed that the management at Cox Cable couldn’t be bothered to call someone out last evening and restore the satellite feed that’s (obviously) gone bad. The WX Channel is not just a luxury during severe weather, it’s a necessity. Shame on Cox Cable.

(Note: WX Channel restored sometime after 1100 hrs. That means it was out for well over 12 hours. And I pay $50.00 per month for this?)

Words that will fall on deaf ears:

If the goal of peace demonstrators is to influence public opinion and encourage an end to the war, the activists must connect with their fellow citizens — not repel them.

Most of the people who marched on Sunday fully understand this. And by singling out the few who didn’t, we don’t intend to place thousands of demonstrators under one label. But the actions of a few do create a public perception that at least some advocates for peace are anti-American, anti-police and far out of step with mainstream values.

The anti-war demonstrators who behaved responsibly this past weekend have an obligation to denounce — and distance themselves from — those protesters who purposefully offend others and consequently destroy the intended message of peace.

This from the Portland, OR Tribune. Portland isn’t exactly a conservative hotbed, but then again, it ain’t SFO, either. There are some truly disgusting details in this op-ed, details I won’t quote here.

From the Guardian (UK)… Supreme court ban on liberal party wipes out opposition to Putin.

Russia's next parliament is likely to have no genuine opposition after a court in Moscow yesterday banned a leading liberal party from standing in elections.

Russia's supreme court announced that it had liquidated the small Republican party, claiming that it had violated electoral law by having too few members. The party is one of very few left in Russia that criticises President Vladimir Putin.

The move against Russia's opposition came as pro-democracy activists prepared for the latest in a series of anti-government rallies that have infuriated Russia's hardline authorities.


The Kremlin argues that its new electoral law - which says that all political parties must have 50,000 members and be represented in half of Russia's provinces - is meant to streamline Russia's untidy political scene. Critics say the legislation is designed to kill off smaller parties that oppose the Kremlin.

Captain Ed is calling Putin “Tsar Vlad I.” Appropriate, I’d say. Putin’s outspoken opponents die mysteriously worldwide, the government shuts down independent media, and opposition parties are outlawed…things are looking pretty dark in Russia. I’m just not ready for Cold War Redux, yanno? But it looks like that’s what we’re gonna get.

Krauthammer on Gonzales:

Alberto Gonzales has to go. I say this with no pleasure — he’s a decent and honorable man — and without the slightest expectation that his departure will blunt the Democratic assault on the Bush administration over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. In fact, it will probably inflame their bloodlust, which is why the president might want to hang on to Gonzales at least through this crisis. That might be tactically wise. But in time, and the sooner the better, Gonzales must resign.

It’s not a question of probity, but of competence. Gonzales has allowed a scandal to be created where there was none. That is quite an achievement. He had a two-foot putt and he muffed it.

The linked article was published yesterday in National Review Online. The story gets even worse today, what with “new” documentation indicating Gonzales was deliberately deceptive about his role in the US attorney firings.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales met with senior aides on Nov. 27 to review a plan to fire a group of U.S. attorneys, according to documents released last night, a disclosure that contradicts Gonzales's previous statement that he was not involved in "any discussions" about the dismissals.


Documents detailing the previously undisclosed meeting appear to conflict with remarks by Gonzales at a March 13 news conference in which he portrayed himself as a CEO who had delegated to Sampson responsibility for the particulars of firing eight U.S. attorneys.

"I was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on," Gonzales said.

Perhaps I’m being hyperbolic when I say AG Gonzales was “deliberately deceptive,” but what else can one think? Can one even entertain the notion the Attorney General of the United States’ memory is so bad that he can’t recall sitting in a conference room for an hour with his staff in a meeting whose subject appears to be these firings? Well, you could believe his memory is that bad, but if that’s the case the man needs medical attention.

Once again, I’ll defer to Mr. Morrissey:

Have we had enough yet? I understand the argument that if we allow the Democrats to bounce Gonzales, they'll just aim for more, but Gonzales made himself the target here with what looks like blatant deception. I don't think we do ourselves any good by defending the serially changing stories coming out of Gonzales' inept administration at Justice. One cannot support an Attorney General who misleads Congress, allows his staffers to mislead Congress, and deceives the American people, regardless of whether an R or a D follows his name or the majority control of Congress.

When the story broke about the NSA terrorist surveillance program, Bush did not hide behind a morphable definition of "is" or "involved". He stood at the podium and told the press that he damned well did order the surveillance program and that he broke no laws in doing so. In that manner, he turned the leak into a net positive, showing that he had the courage of his convictions and that he intended nothing more than the security of the nation.

What he said.

Deceptive, inept, and incompetent. Time to go, Al.

Today’s Pic: SN3 and Grandson Sean at a Texas rest area just across the TX-LA state line. Kids just love to pose, God Bless 'em.

April, 2004.


  1. That is wild! Having lived most of my life in Tornado Alley, I can sympathize. I don't normally think of Portales and Clovis as being tornado sites. Wild is the word. Glad you are safe.

    The whole Gonzles thing is odd. It certainly reeks of incompetency and lack of integrity.

    Gotta go plant more trees that we bought today. I am sure I deserve some sort of Gore award.

  2. Glad you are safe and sound. Been listening to the radio and the djs (Rooney and Moon) have been flying over the area looking at the damage. Sounds incredible! Can't believe it happened here. My husband doesn't ever remember having a tornado nearby like that (I grew up in Georgia, I know and respect them).

  3. I'm glad you made it through ok, as well.

    Just were exactly was that picture taken? That looks suspiciously like the rest area/visitor's center in my home town. If you were travelling I-10, it is the one in my home town.

  4. Lou said: Gotta go plant more trees that we bought today. I am sure I deserve some sort of Gore award.

    You DO! Want me to nominate ya?

    Jenny said: My husband doesn't ever remember having a tornado nearby like that (I grew up in Georgia, I know and respect them).

    I'm glad you mentioned that, Jenny. I was very tempted to write something in the same vein but didn't. First off, because I only have four years of history in P-Town. Second, my memory is"bad." Yeah, that's it: Bad.

    And...I respect tornadoes, too. Two years living in OKC taught me GREAT respect. Not enough to head out to a shelter last evening, tho.

    Becky: That rest stop is on I-10, and it has a large and very well done visitor center. The name of the town nearby? Beats me...
    (That memory thing. Again.)

  5. Glad you're okay. I haven't witnessed any real severe storm like that. Sure we get a lot of snow and an occasional blizzard, but you just stay inside, you generally don't have to worry about your roof being torn off or a car being blown through the side of it. Yeah, next time, please go for "high ground" or whatever passes for it in a tornado situation.

  6. Yup, that is the one in my home town--Orange. I recognized the building in the background. My dad used to take us there all the time. I believe I even climbed on that same sign. Small world, isn't it?

  7. Becky said: I believe I even climbed on that same sign.

    Dang, I didn't realize the boys were calmbering around on an antique!


  8. calmbering = clambering. Typos 'R' Us.

  9. P.S. Don't you have a son my age?

  10. I have a picture of my kids clambering on the Texas/New Mexico sign outside of Clovis (Farwell to be exact)from our days of attending the big horse sales in Clovis.

  11. Becky said: Don't you have a son my age?

    The ten-year-old? Yeah, I DO! :-)

  12. Lou said: I have a picture of my kids clambering on the Texas/New Mexico sign...

    And you spelled it right, the first time, too!! :-)


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