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If you live on the East Coast, or have a friend on the East Coast, or watch television news, you know that Hurricane Irene is about to rake an area from North Carolina to Massachusetts, and possibly beyond, over the next couple of days. As I write, this, Irene is a Category 3 storm but it may be building up energy to graduate to Category 4 status. She is one huge beast of a storm as well, so a good chunk of the coast will get strong winds and and torrential rain.

If you live in one of the areas likely to take a square hit from the storm, I recommend that you seriously consider going elsewhere for a few days if you can. If evacuation orders go out in New Jersey or New York on Saturday in anticipation of a second (or maybe a first) landfall on Sunday, the roads will be packed, so if you do decide to relocate, please don’t get caught in the rush. Otherwise, stock up on the necessities, including water, paper goods, and stuff you can eat that won’t require much preparation or refrigeration. Melissa Clouthier wrote a very good preparation checklist and Glenn Reynolds has a few good links as well.

I’ve followed several websites over the past two days. You might want to bookmark them and check them occasionally for updates forecasts, storm tracks, and other useful information: Brendan Loy at Pajamas Media, Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground, The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, and the National Hurricane Center.

Do not play with this storm, folks. If you’re in a bad area, take your safety very seriously.

And now, links!

  • I wish I had half of Andrew Klavan’s writing talent or camera presence. You should not miss a single one of his Klavan on the Culture short videos.
  • It must be nice to walk away from your job then turn around and file for unemployment benefits. One of the worst things our Congress did, and I’m including Republicans here, was to extend unemployment benefits seemingly into eternity during this recession. One of the best things Congress can do next year is to roll those extensions back, and drop in a law that striking workers are not eligible to suck from the public teat.
  • Here come the Obama attack dogs (via memeorandum). I have the feeling that Rick Perry has dealt with a few slimy attacks in his time, though, with a pretty good degree of success. But he’s not the only one under attack from the left nowadays.
  • Justin Hart made an excellent point about the ongoing entitlement debate: it’s only happening on the right. Next time you hear the lie that conservatives march in lockstep, remember this post.
  • Joy McCann pointed to an interesting article on the loss of manufacturing in the United States and why it’s important, even if we still keep good-paying jobs here in the United States.
  • In a more just world, the brave protests by the women of Cuba against the brutal tyranny of the Castro brothers would be in front of us nearly every day. But this isn’t a  just world, so we should do whatever we can to draw attention to them.
  • I’ve written about this before, but Dan Mitchell makes the point again (with numbers and everything!) that it would take relatively little for us to get the federal budget and our national debt under control.
  • See, Trog ol’ buddy ol’ pal, progressives continue to launch “new movements” because they honestly believe that anytime democracy works against their utopian fantasies, it’s evidence that our system is broken beyond repair.
  • I’ll know I’ve made it when someone makes a corn maze tribute to me.
  • It’s not every millennium that we get to “see” a black hole swallow a star.
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