Hurricane Season and the BP Oil Rig Disaster

One thing you don’t hear much mention of in all the coverage of the BP oil rig blowout that is now pouring 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, just a few dozen miles off the coast of Louisiana, is the 2010 hurricane season, which officially starts on June 1, but which can start significantly earlier.

This is, after all, an El Nino year, so storms could be more frequent and stronger than usual. In 2007, recall, the first storm of the season was Tropical Storm Andrea, which reached a size strong enough to merit a name on May 7, just a week later than today.

I'm not Shedding Any Tears for Former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates

The former Los Angeles police chief, Daryl Gates, who died late last month of cancer at his home in California, is being widely credited in mostly laudatory newspaper obituaries as the man who developed the idea of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT)units–those paramilitary police teams so loved by Hollywood filmmakers–who bring the art and weaponry of modern warfare into communities, breaking into houses with faces covered in ski masks, and carrying assault weapons in order to make arrests for often minor offenses, or blowing away people–often innocent people–in what the modern military c