Tuesday, September 20, 2005

So Busy

Number one Son was just visiting from New York for a glorious week. Number one Granddaughter just had her fourth birthday party chez nous and tomorrow we head off on our hols for almost three weeks. We'll be spending time in England, Wales and Italy and while typing this, I've got several lists growing to my right...things like...what to do if the power goes off and the fountain stops spurting, but it's wee little motor keeps ticking and a million and one other bits of minutae that crowd our everyday lives. I'll have my computer with me and I've got the UK and Italy plugs and adaptors and phone converters and please god let me find an internet cafe and finally figure out just exactly how to connect my wireless to their service. Himself needs to keep connected for biz reasons and I need to keep connected for purely silly reasons so it's important for both of us to have at least dial-up connections sometimes. arghhhhhhhhhh...I'm sure to make it tougher than it needs be.

Toodles for now and I'll try to send postcards but if I don't, well I'm sure you'll understand.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Here's an address. If you'd like to do one small thing for the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina, how about sending some NEW underwear to the address below. I'm sure all of these refugees are thankful for the used clothing sent their way, but you know they'd appreciate underwear that hasn't previously been worn. Underwear is easy to mail. Send for men, women, children...all sizes. Thanks xoxo

Geeks for Hire
Katrina Underwear Drive
5868A1 Westheimer, Box# 621
Houston, TX 77057

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sad, but Mad: September 11, 2005

What do you say on an anniversary such as this? If you're me, you say little and you hand the mike over to someone who says it so well. Here's what Michael Moore has to say to all of you people who voted for G.W. Bush. I'm always looking for the right words and it's good to know that today I didn't have to find them. Someone else said them for me.

To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush:

On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel?

How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows?

That's right. Horse shows.

I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.

Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer?

When you look at Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, a man with little experience in national security, do you feel secure?

When men who never served in the military and have never seen young men die in battle send our young people off to war, do you think they know how to conduct a war? Do they know what it means to have your legs blown off for a threat that was never there?

Do you really believe that turning over important government services to private corporations has resulted in better services for the people?

Why do you hate our federal government so much? You have voted for politicians for the past 25 years whose main goal has been to de-fund the federal government. Do you think that cutting federal programs like FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been good or bad for America? GOOD OR BAD?

With the nation's debt at an all-time high, do you think tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea? Will you give yours back so hundreds of thousands of homeless in New Orleans can have a home?

Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us? Hurricane Katrina came in and blew off the facade that we were a nation with liberty and justice for all. The wind howled and the water rose and what was revealed was that the poor in America shall be left to suffer and die while the President of the United States fiddles and tells them to eat cake.

That's not a joke. The day the hurricane hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water.

It would take ANOTHER day before the President would do a flyover in his jumbo jet, peeking out the widow at the misery 2500 feet below him as he flew back to his second home in DC. It would then be TWO MORE DAYS before a trickle of federal aid and troops would arrive. This was no seven minutes in a sitting trance while children read "My Pet Goat" to him. This was FOUR DAYS of doing nothing other than saying "Brownie (FEMA director Michael Brown), you're doing a heck of a job!"

My Republican friends, does it bother you that we are the laughing stock of the world?

And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain?

Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters. We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together. The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever.

Are we safe? Do you really feel safe? You can only move so far out and build so many gated communities before the fruit of what you've sown will be crashing through your walls and demanding retribution. Do you really want to wait until that happens? Or is it your hope that if they are left alone long enough to soil themselves and shoot themselves and drown in the filth that fills the street that maybe the problem will somehow go away?

I know you know better. You gave the country and the world a man who wasn't up for the job and all he does is hire people who aren't up for the job. You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans. Please fix it. Bush is yours. And you know, for our peace and safety and security, this has to be fixed. What do you propose?

I have an idea, and it isn't a horse show.

Michael Moore

Thursday, September 08, 2005

So You Don't Like the Blame Game, Mr. President?

Could that possibly be because you don't like where the finger is being pointed? You and your people would be the first to assign blame if you weren't so guilty.

Just now NPR quoted the per diem dollars the feds are spending in the Gulf region...TWO BILLION. Yep, two billion per day. Makes those monies the Army Corps of Engineers had been asking for seem mighty small.

"Gone with the Water," by Joel K. Bourne, Jr., National Geographic, October, 2004.

This is well worth a read.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Why Should She Change her Spots

I was one of the majority who voted the first Bush out of office. I couldn't wait to see the back of his grandmotherly-looking wife, either. She is capable of withering sarcasm and an indifference to suffering which belies her sweet granny appearance. She is a hard-hearted woman and anyone who cares to disagree with me is delusional.

Here are her latest bon mots (after her visit to the Astrodome in Houston)...

"Almost everyone I've talked to says we're going to move to Houston."

Then she added: "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underpriveleged anyway, so this--(she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."

I read that and just thought, "Bitch." And then I remembered her comments many years ago before we first went into Iraq, under the watch of the first President Bush. I had to look this one up. The context is she was asked if she and the President watched much television, particularly the news.

She responded, "I watch none. He (former President Bush) sits and listens and I read books, because I know perfectly well that, don't take offense, that 90% of what I hear on television is supposition, when we're talking about the news." And he's not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him [the president] suffer?"

Well, America, the first time wasn't enough and you wanted more and now we've all gotten a double-dose of the Bush family. Tell me when you're ready to scream uncle.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Bush Admits Relief Efforts Not Enough, Trent Lott Seems to Disagree and The Mayor of New Orleans Lets Them Know Just What He Thinks

Just saw an interview on CNN with Trent Lott. Apparently his publicist didn't tell him what the President said because he rates the federal reponse to this disaster as good. What a moron. More importantly, though, here's an excerpt from an interview today with Mayor Ray Nagin...

The constant pictures on tv are making my blood boil. How is it that we can stage 100,000 troops across the globe ready to pounce on a moment's notice to take over an entire country, yet we couldn't figure out how to put the resources in place to respond to an obvious disaster in the waiting in our own backyard?

Congress had no trouble cancelling vacations to come back to pass special unconstitutional) legislation to "save" the "life" of a brain-dead woman (Teri Schiavo), but only a few Congressmen could be bothered to appear in Congress to vote for the appropriations bill to start funneling some money to the Gulf states? (It was done by voice vote.) Every last one of the those stinking politicians should be rattling the cages of their sleeping public servants and figuring out what they can do to help immediately. I am no fan of Texas (and my wife is from Houston), but I honestly have been impressed with the Texas response. But where's everyone else? Lots of individual institutions are kicking in to help, but there surely are more resources that can be brought to bear. I keep seeing fires breaking out on tv, and I can't figure out why there aren't airplanes and helicopters coming in to address these issues. (I've surely seen forest fires fought from the air.)"

I know there's more to the speech, but I just can't find it.

Rebuilding is a Helluva Lot More Expensive than Investing in the Infrastructure of a Region

I hope we remember the epic proportions of this horror in New Orleans for all our lives and because we remember, I hope that we then will make sure that our elected officials recognize global warming, the fundamental importance of a sound infrastructure and how to care for the less fortunate. All of this costs lots of money and those of us who have more should be prepared, through taxation and donation, to give more.

Michael Moore's Letter to the President

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot.
Man, was that a drag.
Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?
Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was
on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!
I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?
And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!
On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.
There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.
No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!
You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.
Michael Moore
P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Size of Britain

To give friends abroad an idea of the total area of devastation in the U.S. Gulf States, the damage covers an area the size of Britain.