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September 10, 2005
Presents For Me

Present season (otherwise known to many as "Hanukah" or "Christmas" is coming! Yes, it is, a mere 3-plus-a-bit months away. The Federal government is letting us all down, the middle class is getting squeezed out of existence, and the plight of the poor is measurably worse than it was three weeks ago. We have the homeless, the unemployed, and the uninsured.

Maybe we should give each other slips of paper for the holidays?

You know the kind. "$50 was donated to Habitat For Humanity in your name." That kind of thing, whether for Katrina's victims or otherwise.

What do you think?

Posted by AnneZook at 08:01 AM | Comments (1)
September 09, 2005
Still Katrina Season

Dr. Fallon has a couple of clips from stories that illustrate the racism in our national media. Black "looters." White "finders." I think it's time and past time that we enrolled the national media in the lists of those being held accountable for misdeeds and omissions.

And Raw Story (via Neiwert) has another racist (or at least "classist") story.

Via, via, via...who knows how I got there, but I finally found the skinny behind Disaster Brown's parting-of-the-ways with the Arabian Horse Association. And, for those of us like myself who have poor memories, a refresher on how FEMA's performance was under fire (couldn't resist) in 2003, when California was burning.

And, in case you're still feeling kindly inclined toward Disaster Brown, take a look at this ThinkProgress entry.

Starting to get the picture?

And let's all remember that Disaster Brown slid into FEMA on the strength of his friendship with a guy named Joe Allbaugh, then-head of FEMA and a man with a long political history with Bush.

And now, let's contemplate the fact that Allbaugh's client, Shaw Group, just snagged a nifty $100,000,000 rebuilding contract for post-Katrina damage. (Via Josh Marshall)

The. Mind. Boggles. "Incestuous nepotism" doesn't even begin to describe these people and the inbreeding is producing some monstrous results.

Degeneration of the (presumed) intellect is just the start of it. We should have known (well, some of us said it) that when a man like Bush saw himself as "compassionate" that there was something seriously wrong in someone's brain.

If you read this and you're not torn between rage and tears....

I say we impeach Bush. And get Cheney while we're at it, and the rest of the cabal.

Grounds? They murdered Aaron's mother.

They murdered her and others with indifference, with neglect, with misplaced priorities, and with class contempt. They took the "national" guard and set them to killing people in another nation. They took the disaster relief agency and turned it into a refuge for out-of-work political operatives and campaign workers.

Let's ride Disaster Brown out of town (New Orleans and DC) on a rail, strip him of his license to practice law, and have a judge ban him from making money on his criminal, negligent stupidity.

We need people with brains and experience to prevent this kind of thing. And, not incidentally, to save lives and insure that the people neglected, displaced, and dissed, will eventually be able to return home.

Dead in New Orleans.

Eugene Robinson's No Longer Invisible is today's Must-Read.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)
September 08, 2005
Thursday's Stories

Drug-resistant tuberculosis South Africa.

In India a bridge collapse is reported to have killed 33 soldiers.

Two hurricanes and a tropical storm are out there. Remember...there's two months left in this year's "hurricane season."

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who thinks it's the job of the courts to legislate, not the legislative body, has decided to veto gay marriage legislation in California. (To tell the truth, I'm of two minds about this. Yes, the fabled "will of the people" should probably be the court of final resort, but people can be stupid and short-sighted. I mean, how many of us think that a popular vote on the Civil Rights Act in the 60s would have passed?)

Because it's worth repeating until we're all sure we remember it, more on the "faith-based" nature of the "charities" featured on FEMA's home page, with a sideswipe at FEMA's incompetent blocking of the people trying to get into New Orleans to deliver aid.

Canada is a cool place. And, it turns out, they've mastered the art of transportation. For instance, their search-and-rescue team made it from Canada to St. Bernard Parish, east of New Orleans, before our own troops managed the feat.

Eric Alterman warms my heart by discussing the heart-warming story of the USofA's national news media re-locating their backbones.

And Newsday warms my heart with this headline: Texas grand jury indicts committee connected to House Majority Leader DeLay

That's pretty much all I can take today.

More on Deep Impact, the comet-buster. Seems that theories that a passing comet helped to seed life on this planet just got a boost.

Those of you using the office's expensive color laser copier to photograph your body parts may be interested to know that they know. Having said that, let me point out that any government relying upon Finko's organization and efficiency is in trouble. (Also...couldn't you foil the dastardly plan by using yellow paper? You could certainly foil it by printing your seditious flyers in black-and-white.)

Sonofagun. You are what you eat? (Well, yes, of course.) What lunatic doesn't know that the best way to trash out your body chemistry, and that includes your brain chemistry, is sugar?)

Posted by AnneZook at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)
September 07, 2005
And Outside of the Deep South?

Guantanamo detainees are on a hunger strike while two detainees, cleared of any charges of wrongdoing, are still imprisoned two years later. (On the same topic, what does John Roberts have to do with the Bybee "torture" memo?)

In Northern Sumatra, another earthquake panics tsunami survivors.

A typhoon slammed into Japan on Monday. At least 16 people reported dead so far.

There were floods in the Swiss capitol and along the River Aare.

At least five people are dead in Basra as a result of a car bombing. (Later reports say 10.)

Oh, heck, let's just take a look at the Iraq situation overall, shall we? Armed militias providing the security we can't, gasoline rationing in a country that sits atop significant oil reserves, and constitutional talks have ended, producing a draft that...may, or may not, be acceptable to the Iraqi people.

Deep Impact reached its destination comet and plowed in headfirst, providing some interesting scientific information.

And, as I face the possibility of unemployment in the near future, I sure am sorry to hear that the Bush Administration may not be able to provide more tax cuts for rich folks.

And I feel at least a little empathy with the previous holders of those 400,000 jobs that could be lost as a result of fallout from Hurricane Katrina.

Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America), has a new book coming out. This one is Bait and Switch and it's about the plight of the unemployed white-collar worker. No Help Wanted.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:25 PM | Comments (2)
Hurricane Fallout

Welcome to Denver! Now, get behind the fence.

Rescue 100 civilians, get a reprimand.

Okay, just how low can the Bush Administration go? Could they get lower than this? Preying on disaster victims to provide cannon fodder for the slaughter in Iraq.

The world is watching what happens in New Orleans and they see clearly where to point the finger.

And, as usual, the Bush Administration is more interested in spinning the story than in telling the truth.

I have noticed, with some amazement, how our national media continues to yap at the Administration's heels. I spend my odd moments wondering what in the heck happened to them...and in wondering if there's any, single, one of them who now regrets the incomplete and misleading pre-election coverage of the presidential candidates...either last November, or four years before.

Let's hope this is true. The national news media needs to lay aside their ADD and keep the spotlight squarely on this story. (Although it seems pretty clear that at least 38% of the people (69% of Republicans) in this country haven't followed the story closely enough to even understand what's going on.)

It's good to see David Brock kick WaPo in the teeth for blandly publishing an easily debunked lie attributed to an "anonymous" source. If anyone in the Bush Administration says, "hello" it's attributed to an "anonymous source." This is out of control.

And again with Bush's "legacy." Under water.

From The Onion:

Louisiana National Guard Offers Help By Phone From Iraq

Government Relief Workers Mosey In To Help

With the headline: Area Man Drives Food There His Goddamned Self

Posted by AnneZook at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)
Katrina Refugees United

Katrina Refugees United - A site to let refugees contact the world, each other, and their missing family members. Or, leave a message if you're a storm victim. Anyone calling your number will hear it.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:58 AM | Comments (0)
September 06, 2005
So, what's news?

I largely avoided Hurricane Katrina news this weekend, feeling that it wouldn't take much to burn me out again, but I did think of the victims as I enjoyed my indoor plumbing and electricity. And water, food, police protection, etc.

On the way in this morning, I heard that Northrup's ship-building facility is paying workers 2 weeks' salary whether they're able to work...or have anywhere to go to report to work...or not. Harrah, owner of the casinos in the area, is paying workers for 90 days. Wal-Mart, the multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporation, is paying workers for...three days.

And, of course, the Bush Administration's policies continue to prevent aid from reaching those who need it most while Bush himself's message seems to be, big surprise, it was everyone but his people who screwed up. No sign of him admitting that gutting FEMA's budget and driving out all of the experienced, qualified people who used to run the place had anything to do with the disaster. (And yet another staged photo-op.)

New Orleans is worried that the media's attention might drift away when the dramatic scenes of helicopter rescues disappear. They have cause to worry. The Bush Administration would, I am sure, love to have something else...anything else to discuss than their abysmal failure to serve the people of this country well. (I notice that it took Bush less than 24 hours to move on the Roberts' nomination. I'm not saying that one, dead white guy is more important to Bush than several thousand dead brown people, but....)

I was going to blog other topics, certainly Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and a host of other countries and issues are worthy of attention, but all I can think about is still the criminal inadequacy of our government's so-called 'response' to this catastrophe. It suggests a poverty of spirit and compassion that saddens me more than I can express.

On the other hand, the outpouring of aid from around the world is heart-warming and not just because the world's last remaining 'superpower' seems to be unable to take care of its own citizens. We are...not who we thought we were, are we?

Let's take a moment to mourn Paul Accardo.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)