You know, I was going to write this big long post showing how most of CNN’s reporters just miraculously, spontaneously developed spines, but Jack Shafer over at Slate already did it for me. Go. Read. Has links to real good stuff. Make with the clicky.
Furthering the “We oughtn’t spend money to rebuild NOLA ‘cuz it might flood again” logic: Map of Places you better not live in the US because crazy shit happens.
Outraged readers react to today’s quote from GWB by putting his own words into proper perspective.
Putting that one infamous Grover Norquist quote into new light…
Via John Scalzi (Lurve! Again!): Nick Mamatas posts an essay from a guy who literally just escaped NOLA.
Over at Redstate.org, they’re calling for leadership.
Annnnd, lest anyone think I’m laying the blame for this tragedy of epic proportions solely at the feet of the feds, I give you this entry by the Junkyard Blog.
MICHAEL BROWN, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: Paula, I think it’s so important for the American public to understand exactly how catastrophic this disaster is.
I mean, we have a major American city, a major urban area that has been totally demolished. And what we’re finding is, is that, as we continue to do the evacuation and get people out, people who have completely lost everything, they have no place to go, they have nothing, that we’re finding other people who are literally coming out of second stories of homes, that are suddenly appearing on bridges that are not under water, that people who were unable or chose not to evacuate are suddenly appearing.
And so, this — this catastrophic disaster continues to grow. I will tell you this, though. Every person in that Convention Center, we just learned about that today. And so, I have directed that we have all available resources to get to that Convention Center to make certain that they have the food and water, the medical care that they need…
ZAHN: Sir, you aren’t telling me…
BROWN: … and that we take care of those bodies that are there.
ZAHN: Sir, you aren’t just telling me you just learned that the folks at the Convention Center didn’t have food and water until today, are you? You had no idea they were completely cut off?
BROWN: Paula, the federal government did not even know about the Convention Center people until today.
The live feed for www.wwltv.com has its anchors saying: “Last night, refugees arrived in Houston by the busload, and when the AstroDome filled up, over five hundred Houston families turned up to take people into their homes. If these families in Houston could hear about the refugees, why couldn’t the head of FEMA?”
Oh, and where’s Condi during all this?
Our Secretary of State is shopping for shoes.
And our Vice President?
I hardly know how to respond to this. The entire southern half of the US — the people who elected these clowns — is in turmoil, and they’re out shoe shopping and on vacation?!?
Way to go, leaders of the free world.
Look, kids! Anderson Cooper actually starts reporting like a human being with emotions and outrage instead of like an automaton!
The woman that he’s tearing a new asshole is Louisiana’s Democratic Senator, and she deserves the ripjob, because of her simpering — spending precious airtime on sucking up to politicians.
I’m stunned. Nine-Eleven saw the Big Media giving no argument whatsoever against our leaders — any dissent was unpatriotic — but I guess it takes rat-gnawed corpses on Bourbon Street to wake us up.
Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the vid.
Scroll down to the bit by CNN Anchor Jack Cafferty.
Did I –
– seriously –
– just hear pResident Bush tell his fellow Americans to conserve energy resources?!
Sorry, I’ll post more after I pry my jaw up offen the floor.
George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration: a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end.
Have a spare bedroom? Craigslist is matching up Katrina Refugees with people who have extra space in their homes. If a displaced family had a car, they could drive to a new location, including your house. Think about it.
A very interesting, articulate and sensical rant about why thousands are still in New Orleans.
I agree with everything in the article. I am still of two minds on the looting — I know for a fact that if I were in a similar situation, I would absolutely break into a store for food, water and medicine — but I still can’t help shaking my head at the people stealing guns, electronics and jewelry. Some say it’d be useful for barter. Some say it’s better to have something than nothing. Some say that it’s better to remove it, since everything in the stores would most probably be written off as a loss, anyway.
But still — the image that sticks in my mind is the report of a man with a pallet jack loaded down with cases of booze, with a toddler perched precariously atop. The first thought through my mind is, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit pissed if those were cases of water and diapers. But that much booze — ? Sure: Barter, trade — hell, cleaning wounds. Maybe there was nothing left to eat or drink besides the cases of booze. I wasn’t there. But still, something turns my stomach at that kind of feeding frenzy. The reports of people storming through Wal-mart, carting off electronics when there’s not likely to be electricity for months.
Someone made the very good point that the residents doing the looting would be hard pressed to find any employment and at least might be able to sell a big-screen Teevee for money to feed their families. Good point. But they’re evacuating everyone, and the chances are far greater that the looted booty will still wind up destroyed by the floodwater.
Looters are shooting looters. Store owners are shooting looters. Looters are looting homes. Homeowners are getting carjacked in front of their houses. Can pure survivalism and human decency coexist?
According to this government website, the population of America is 295,734,134.
Over one million people are now homeless because of Katrina.
That means that, on average, one in every three hundred Americans has just lost their home.
Close to three million people lost power because of the storm.
That means that, on average, one in one hundred Americans is now living without power.
Have you donated to American Red Cross yet?
The morning after the disaster of Katrina, here’s where our President places his priorities.
Several cities, including Biloxi and Gulfport, MS, were almost literally wiped off the map. New Orleans will take months to just dry out, let alone restore power, water and security. Apparrently, a catastrophe of these proportions was enough to get Bush to cancel the remaining two days of his vacation, but not enough for him to sacrifice one more grandstanding photo-op.
Interesting article… Just skip all the venomous comments below: Read it.
On a lighter note, I got good news from the kind folks at Wacker Oil — while everyone else’s gasoline gets more expensive, BioDiesel’s going to be getting cheaper because…. the bean harvest’s coming in. The guy ahead of me bought 35 gallons in various jerrycans, stocking up so he wouldn’t have to brave the tangle at the gas pumps. The guy who worked for Wacker also told me that they’re going to move the semi-trailers which have sat in the same spot since I was a kid, and replace them with more self-serve BioDiesel pumps, because the program’s been so successful. He also hinted that the supplier that services the Meijer BioDiesel pumps might be making their B20 with #2 heating oil.
Good lord, I’m glad for businesses like Wacker Oil. Please, if you’re in the area, even if you’re driving a straight gasoline car, give them your business. they’re at the corner of M-52 and Pleasant Lake Road, between Chelsea and Manchester. They’re good folks, a family-run business, and they give a damn about farmers, their neighbors, and the environment.
I’ve been watching the New Orleans coverage off and on all evening. It’s horrifying. Bagus, sure hope you and your family got out safe. I just keep thinking — what if that were my street, my house? What if that were Paul and I, huddled on our roof in 100-degree temperatures and driving rain?
Go donate to the Red Cross if you haven’t already. This is going to make the WTC cleanup look like a cakewalk.
Love and prayers to everyone in the area. Love and prayers and hope. Hang in there.
Car’s officially paid off. Woo!
I did this for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is saving over $600 in interest payments over the course of the next 2 1/2 years. More important, probably, is keeping the monthly outgo down in case of a major shift in either Paul’s or my income. It could happen — could happen very easily — and we’re both battening down the financial hatches in case it does.
Okay, so here’s the next question, for those of you with financial backgrounds — (I’m looking at *you*, Winkler…) Is it more financially prudent to pay off your mortgage or invest that same money? I’ve heard arguments from both sides, the strongest of which is that I’m not really trusting the stock market right now, in either the short or long term. I already have my money in what’s known as a “good samaritan” fund (no alcohol, tobacco, big oil, anti-union, heavy-polluter or firearms stocks) but I’m just a little twitchy about putting that much income in something capable of totally disappearing (my IRA has *still* not recovered from the beating it took between the years of 2001-2004). At the moment, we have the opportunity to start whittling away the smaller of our two mortgages (the mythical “15″ of the 80-15-5) and I’m thinking that paying that off while Paul and I are both still working full time is a better large-scale investment (provided that we are also still putting away savings and other retirment money) than dumping the same amount directly into the stock market. Short-term, we’d save $150 a month; long-term we’d be out of a twenty-year loan. Checking on an amortization calculator, if we paid it off today, we’d save over $12K in interest alone.
The idea, beyond the wonderful peace-of-mind that comes with being completely debt free, as opposed to the debt-free-but-still-with-mortgage that we are right now — not to mention the pride in actually owning our home outright — is to reduce our monthly outgo to the point where two artists could support themselves without two full-time jobs. One of us would have to keep a job that would provide insurance, but beyond that we’d be free to do art without the constraints of a mortgage, or at least a small enough mortgage that we could hit our goals without straining too hard.
Ideas? Articles? Conflicting opinions? Hit me.
Look who’s gettin’ attention from our West Coast buddy, James Sime: http://www.isotopecomics.com
The most exciting, biggest news happened last night. I can’t talk about it till it’s set in stone, but it could be big, really big news for Paul and I. Stay tuned.