Against complacency

Ugh.

Does the headline on the post below look awful to anyone else, with erratic spacing between the letters? It seems to be a problem that shows up using my Firefox browser, but not using Internet Explorer. I don’t know why it suddenly happened, because I haven’t changed or updated my browser recently. It’s very ugly!

UPDATE: Now it seems to be back to normal. Weird! Maybe the WordPress people were fiddling with something behind the scenes. Since they host the blog on their servers and provide the software as-is, I have somewhat limited powers when it comes to fine-tuning the design and layout.

Living in a gated community (involuntarily, and without a key to the gate…)

From the LA Times:

Maria Freyre could not believe her eyes last week when she pulled onto the Lincoln Heights street where she has lived for 45 years.

A neighbor had erected a steel gate across Forest Park Drive, blocking 18 residents’ access to their homes.

A simmering neighborhood dispute had prompted Gardner Compton’s barricade. Forest Park Drive crosses private property, Compton said — his. He was willing to let his neighbors walk on foot along the narrow dirt road, but cars were no longer allowed.

Angry residents called Los Angeles authorities, who pledged that they would move quickly to resolve the dispute and have the gate removed from the street, which has been in use since 1924.

But the street remained blocked Wednesday morning when Freyre, 61, and her 30-year-old daughter, Norma Enriquez, squeezed past the gate to get to the car they had parked outside it overnight.

Residents say they are lugging groceries past the gate and using miner-style flashlights to hike back and forth at night to their cars.

“This is unbelievable,” said Freyre, who was worried what would happen later in the day when her son planned to bring his prematurely born child home from the hospital for the first time.

She glanced past the gate to the quarter-mile walk that David Freyre would face while carrying the infant and his breathing monitor and oxygen tank.

The street standoff, on an isolated hillside above Lincoln High School and the busy intersection of North Broadway and North Mission Road, was causing ripples Wednesday three miles away at Los Angeles City Hall.

“This is a unique situation. I’ve never seen this level of animosity,” said City Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents Lincoln Heights. “It’s a tough situation. We’re trying to maintain public safety for all residents. It’s a delicate issue between residents’ rights.”

Reyes’ staff was scurrying to find temporary housing for 5-month-old Aiden Freyre and his father and mother, Ruth Shafer.

“That’s a priority. We’re working for housing so an ambulance could get to them easily,” Reyes said.

Back on Forest Park Drive, Compton was pleased that the city was taking notice of the situation.

“This is a little test of property rights,” he said . “It’s got everyone’s attention.”

Those damn socialists are everywhere these days — today they want to share a road, and tomorrow they’ll want to sleep in your guest bedroom and eat the food in your fridge. Vote Republican to stop the socialists before they take over!

100,000

That’s a lot of people turning out to see Barack Obama. In Missouri, no less.

Can someone remind me, Does Sarah Palin consider Missouri one of the“pro-America areas of this great nation”? Maybe she would argue that St. Louis doesn’t count, because it isn’t one of “these small towns that we get to visit…these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America.”

Home for sale

I’ve had my eye on this little place at 107th and Riverside ever since I used to walk past it nearly every day. I went to a party once in the 5-story mansion next door (the home of Soros’s old investment partner), and it was pretty nice, but I think prefer this one. Luckily for me, it’s now on the market! What with the real estate and financial industry downturn in NY, I figure this is a great time to scoop it up — maybe I can get it for less than the listing price.

So, anyone have about $30 million they can lend me?

Traffic jam

This, from Editor & Publisher, is a list of the 30 most-trafficked news websites’ in September, with percentage change from a year ago. Regardless of whether she helped or hindered John McCain’s campaign, it looks his choice of Sarah Palin was a boon for someone:

Add three zeroes to give you totals in millions.

NYTimes.com — 20,068 — 37%
washingtonpost.com — 12,956 — 43%
USATODAY.com — 11,439 — 33%
LA Times — 10,022 — 102%
Wall Street Journal Online — 9,047 — 94%

Boston.com — 8,610 — 122%
SFGate.com/San Francisco Chronicle — 5,129 — 18%
New York Post — 4,815 — 98%
Politico — 4,605 — 219%
Chicago Tribune — 4,558 — 46%

Daily News Online Edition — 4,439 — 56%
DallasNews.com – The Dallas Morning News — 3,777 — 115%
Chicago Sun-Times — 3,676 — 64%
The Houston Chronicle — 3,396 — 51%
Newsday — 3,051 — 13%

International Herald Tribune — 2,940 — 121%
The Washington Times — 2,410 — 78%
Philly.com — 2,332 — 73%
The Seattle Times — 2,256 — 22%
Anchorage Daily News* — 2,190 — 928%

Atlanta Journal-Constitution — 2,180 — 14%
Boston Herald — 2,153 — 118%
Baltimore Sun — 2,136 — 30%
Star Tribune — 2,134 — 50%
NJ.com — 2,086 — 70%

Seattle Post-Intelligencer — 2,070 — 17%
Detroit Free Press — 1,994 — 62%
MercuryNews.com — 1,964 — 64%
MiamiHerald.com — 1,895 — 64%
Village Voice Media — 1,745 — (-13%)

*Estimate percent change calculated on small sample size; subject to increased statistical variability.

Powell to endorse Obama?

That’s the rumor du jour, and Lawrence O’Donnell for some reason thinks it is “beyond doubt” that he’ll do it (because Powell is so inclined to stick his neck out or make waves, right? Sure, whatever you say, Larry…). Tomorrow would be a dandy day to do it, in my opinion, especially if McCain has any decent press coming out of tonight’s debate…