Saturday, April 29, 2006

First Draft - The Dawnzer

Make sure you read this and bookmark it, save it, link it., live it:
I passed by this billboard all the time on my way up to Wisconsin in September and October. It was blue and in white letters it read, "One Nation. Under God." In the corner was the Bush/Cheney logo. That billboard is the story of the Republican party's campaign and public image strategy, right there. It tells you Bush is for God. You vote for Bush and you vote for God. Because, unspoken in that billboard is the message that the other guy, Kerry somebody? Shot God in Reno just to watch him die. God wasn't on the ballot that November. God wasn't anywhere near any of the issues that were in fact important. Just as "should the national anthem be English-only" isn't anywhere near anything we need to worry about. But people will, and damn it if you ignore that, you ignore the political reality that for most people the thought process is: You ain't got a job and you ain't got no savings and your neighbor's kid just got his ass shot off in Fallujah, but damn it, you can fix this national anthem thing right quick.

Heroes, and others

The big dogs come out to sing the praises of their betters at a banquet to honor employees of Acadian Ambulance.
I have no love for Acadian; they use strong-arm business tactics and ruthlessly drive out competition, and Zuschlag has long kept the Daily Advertiser in his back pocket, but they did step up to the plate and evacuated many people -- I don't have numbers, unfortunately, but certainly hundreds -- including critically ill patients and infants from hospitals. Those pilots and other Acadian employees should rightly be honored.
But there's a little problem: this story keeps coming up:
But the ambulance service in charge of taking the sick and injured from the Superdome suspended flights after a shot was reported fired at a military helicopter. Richard Zuschlag, chief of Acadian Ambulance, said it had become too dangerous for his pilots.
The military, which was overseeing the removal of the able-bodied by buses, continued the ground evacuation without interruption, said National Guard Lt Col Pete Schneider.
The government had no immediate confirmation of whether a military helicopter was fired on.
The problem, of course, is that there were no shots fired:
The only helicopter airlifts stopped were those by a single private company, Acadian Ambulance, from a single location: the Superdome. And Acadian officials, who had one of the only functional communications systems in all of New Orleans during those first days, were taking every opportunity to lobby for a massive military response.
More important, there has been no official confirmation that a single military helicopter over New Orleans—let alone a National Guard Chinook in the pre-dawn hours of September 1—was fired upon. “I was at the Superdome for eight days, and I don’t remember hearing anything about a helicopter getting shot at,” says Maj. Ed Bush, public affairs officer for the Louisiana Air National Guard. With hundreds of Guard troops always on duty inside and outside the Superdome before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina, if there had been gunfire, “we would have heard it,” Bush maintains. “The instant reaction over the radio would have been overwhelming.”
The Air Force, to which the Air National Guard reports, also has zero record of helicopter sniping. “We investigated one incident and it turned out to have been shooting on the ground, not at the helicopter,” Air Force Maj. Mike Young told The New York Times on September 29.
Aside from the local National Guard, the other government agency with scores of helicopters over New Orleans was the U.S. Coast Guard, which rescued more than 33,000 people. “Coast Guard helicopters,” says spokeswoman Jolie Shifflet, “were not fired on during Hurricane Katrina rescue operations.”
On Wednesday, August 31, Zuschlag was warning the Acadian would pull out of New Orleans unless the U.S. Military took control of the city.
On September 1, Acadian "abruptly suspended" the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome, because of that single mythical shot.
I realize it must seem supremely cynical to insinuate that Acadian planned to pull out of evacuation operations and seized upon the first flimsy pretext to do so. I'm not in any way slighting the courage or dedication of Acadian's pilots, who did perform heroically throughout the evacuation.
I think Zuschlag wanted out. He went so far as to claim that the military refused to fly out of the Superdome because of gunfire and demanded 1000 military police. Even as Acadian's pilots were battling the FEMA bureaucracy and landing on hospital roofs to rescue the dying, 25,000 people trapped at the Superdome were abandoned because of a rumor that neatly matches conditions made the same before. I suppose it is cynical, but if you've watched Acadian's business dealings in the past, it would be obvious that hardball is Zuschlag's preferred game. Ordering operations stopped becuase desperate, angry, frightened black people scared him or his employees? Not out of the question.
Interestingly, the owners of the notorious St. Rita's Nursing home had a contract with Acadian to move residents in the event of an evacuation:
He said the owners had plenty of opportunity to move their charges out of the facility. The Manganos were asked if they wanted to evacuate the building and were offered buses; in addition, they had signed last April a contract with Acadian Ambulance to provide transportation in the event an evacuation was needed, Foti said, but "they were never called."
The Mangano's are swine, of course, but man, what a sweet contract. "Sure, there was a hurricane, and an evacuation was called for, but hey, YOU didn't pick up the phone, so ..." Oh, and regarding this graph from that first Daily Advertiser story:
Prior to the event, Blanco called the Senate report released Thursday, which harshly criticized the White House's Katrina response, "armchair quarterbacking at its best."
May I just say pfffft. EDIT: Let me make it clear once again that I have nothing but respect and praise for the pilots and staff of Acadian Ambulance; as Shane points out in the comments, they rescued many people, and the pilots in particular acted heroically in those first few days. My beef has always been with Acadian's predatory pubiness practices -- and as Kevin notes, "always" goes back to 1998, when I created a Suspect Device comic for the Times of Acadiana (back when it was a newspaper) which led to a massive uproar and the resignation of both myself and the newly hired editor.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Not only did nursing home patients get left behind...

... they left the kids behind too: "The only juveniles not sent to Jetson prior to the hurricane were those in the New Orleans detention centers. Instead of evacuating, the city shipped them to Orleans Parish Prison. Mayor C. Ray Nagin%u2019s office refused repeated requests for comment for this story.

According to eyewitnesses quoted in a Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, the 100 juveniles transferred to OPP spent as many as four days in rising floodwaters with little food or water as the adult facility descended into violence and chaos."

What the fuck are ten-year-olds doing in prison anyhow?

Loyalty Day, 2006: Stehen Sie auf! Schnell! SINGEN SIE LOUDER!

Get a room

SCHHHHHHHHADENfreud!

We've worn out our welcome

This is an American city:
"It's hard not to look away. It's hard to know what to compare this to. It's seldom that a music that once thrilled you now repulses you.
We move on to the Industrial Canal and beyond. There's the grainy, long-ago newsreels of WWII Stalingrad, bombed-out, shelled-out buildings, block after block, fallen or even more, half-fallen where they stood, ruined but not yet destroyed, shattered but not yet abandoned. Along St. Claude Avenue, some of the shells are again occupied by a half-hidden army, moving in the inside shadows of generator light, sniping at the enemy. They'll have to be rooted out of the rubble, house by house. ..."

These were American citizens. Two thousand of them died.

And you're bored with it, and us.

New Orleans has been a major city for almost three hundred years. It's the birthplace of American culture, period. Despite the crime, despite the poverty, despite everything, New orleans bred a fierce bond with its people. They loved New Orleans like a lover, a physical being so deeply tied to their souls that they could never give her up, even if she was bad for them.

The citizens of New Orleans had families, jobs (they really did), dreams, tragedies, hard times. They were alive, more alive than any of the zombies you see walking the streets of Atlanta or the ghosts hiding in the corners of Detroit. Despite the crime, despite the poverty. They were living in the truest sense of the word.

And then the hurricane came and took it all away. Took away the homes, the lives, the dignity, the dreams, everything. You'd really have to see it to understand: it's not just water damage. It's not a ruined house here and there. It's bad. People died, people fled, the proudest and most vibrant and most alive city in America was hammered, knocked to its knees and left for dead.

But you're bored.

People are coming back. The city is slowly being rebuilt by people who can't live anywhere else or do anything else, who won't abandon their lover when she's hurt and sick, maybe dying. No one knows if it will work, if New Orleans will live again. Or if Cameron parish or Vermilion parish, blown to smithereens by Hurricane Rita, will live again. But we haven't given up.

You've given up on us.

You've given up on us because we're poor, black, southern. We're clowns, partying all day, drinking all night, and running a banana republic government on graft and free drink tickets. Deep in your hard little hearts, you think we deserve this. Had it coming, carrying on like that. Its as if we had been daring God to put a stop to the nonsense, and he finally did.

Besides, black people, poor people -- do we really want to build new nests for them? Shouldn't we accept their dispersal as a gift, a way of diluting the concentrated oil slick of beastly black faces and exasperatingly poor white ones? Mostly Democrats, too, if I recall. Maybe if they're far apart they won't breed. If they're scattered, they can't organize, either, so its win-win, right?

See, it's all worked out, so will you whiners just drop it?

We're not going to go away. We are going to keep staggering along, demanding attention, pulling on your sleeve like some scabby beggar who knows you from another life. We're going to come to all your functions and introduce ourselves, the legless one-eyed veteran, the black sheep of the family who mortifies the guests, even as they can't stop gazing into that sightless, empty socket, at the red, raw stumps where legs used to be.

We are not going away. And if we go down, we're going to take you down with us.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

We ARE American people, you BITCH

"I think Katrina has worn its welcome - I think the American people are tired of it." Bay Buchanan on CNN. From her Wikipedia entry:
Angela Marie "Bay" Buchanan served as Treasurer of the United States under President Ronald Reagan and was the youngest person to serve in this post when she became Treasurer at the age of 32. She held that post from March 17, 1981 to July 5, 1983. She is the sister of Patrick J. Buchanan and managed his three campaigns for President of the United States. Currently, she is a commentator for CNN's The Situation Room, and previously for Inside Politics. She is also chair of Team America, a political action committee founded by Tom Tancredo in order to collect contributions for congressional representatives and candidates who support immigration reduction.
Tancredo. How about that. Company you keep and all, you know. I'm so sorry we've been boring you. http://www.deridderdailynews.com/articles/2006/04/25/news/news5.txt http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/2641146.html http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/suburban/2561091.html http://www.first-draft.com//modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5770 http://images14.fotki.com/v250/photos/1/106083/2666299/6921bw-vi.jpg http://images15.fotki.com/v234/photos/1/106083/2666299/mack_truck-vi.jpg http://operationeden.blogspot.com/2005/11/mckain-street.html http://www.2theadvocate.com/features/People/2633276.html Robert Green lifted NaiNai to the roof of the more-stable 1617 Tennessee St. house and had turned around to grab Muffin and Shaniya when Jonathan Green yelled to him that NaiNai had fallen off the roof. The water was too treacherous to attempt a rescue. Robert Green had the girls to worry about while Jonathan Green was attending to Joyce Green and Sheppard. “All I could do is yell, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!’ I couldn’t deal with it,” Robert Green said. “I was Paw-Paw. I was the person she would look to. I knew she knew I would pull her up out of that water.” Then Shaniya, the 5-year-old, also fell off the roof. I'll let more articulate persons deal with this rationally. I am tired, and weary in my soul. I have no further patience with trifles nor any desire to reason with the unreasonable or look for compassion in the predatory pigs who make up the American right wing. Don't you ever come to my state, you cunt. Ever. I will light you up and piss you out.

Republicans: I thought you guys were the grown-ups?

ParrotLine: Malkin and 'themole'

The huge leftist plot to harass Michelle Malkin in retalliation for her posting the Santa Cruz protestors' personal contact info? One guy.

Yikes

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chickenshits

Your President speaks

Idiot: "I tried to solve the problem diplomatically to the max..."

Monday, April 24, 2006

The real Katrina Kids

They aren't on the White House lawn: "Some kids _ like 6-year-old Michael Watts, Jasmine's next-door neighbor _ are taking matters into their own hands. As the storm approached, he did what his parents told him: Pack a single bag. Don't take more than a few day's worth of clothes. He returned to find his toys caked in mud. That's when he asked his parents for a suitcase, one with wheels and a handle. In it, he began storing every new toy he was given since the storm. Now, he doesn't let the suitcase out of his sight, lugging it behind him on errands, to the store, to restaurants and to sleep-overs. Inside are his treasures." Via First Draft.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Goddamned Typos

Sorry. I think I need glasses.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

How stupid do you think stupid can get?

Really? That's all? You don't think it can get any stupider? Want to make a wager?

But hey, don't take my word for it. Check out these Amazon tags:
bad fanfic (5), the stupid it burns (4), copyright infringement (4), only living brain donor (3), weapons-grade stupidity (2), Lucas is so going to kill you (2), a Chernobyl-esque mistake (2), Very Very Very Illegal (2), stupid in_deep_doodoo (1), fan fiction for sale (1), copyright violation (1), stupid people doing stupid things (1), crazy like a fox (1), profiting illegally from fanfic (1), a neuron short of a synapse (1)


Just in case you're scared to click: a "professional editor" writes a Star Wars fan fiction novel and publishes it (through her own publishing concern) and then lists it for sale on Amazon, all the while insisting that she's not violating anyone's copyright. Personally, I think writing fanfic at all is grounds for institutionalization, if not forced sterilization. Of course, I doubt anyone has to worry about fanfic writers having opportunities for reproduction.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Oh, snap

Shantytowns

I don't even know what to say:
To be sure, the shantytowns could bring socioeconomic costs. Yet crime, lack of safety, and racial tension were all features of New Orleans ex ante. The city has long thrived as more dangerous than average, more multicultural than average, and more precarious than average for the United States. And people who decide the cheap housing isn't safe enough will be free to look elsewhere—or remain in Utah with their insurance checks. Shantytowns might well be more creative than a dead city core. Some of the best Brazilian music came from the favelas of Salvador and Rio. The slums of Kingston, Jamaica, bred reggae. New Orleans experienced its greatest cultural blossoming in the early 20th century, when it was full of shanties. Low rents make it possible to live on a shoestring, while the population density blends cultural influences. Cheap real estate could make the city a desirable place for struggling artists to live. The cultural heyday of New Orleans lies in the past. Katrina rebuilding gives the city a chance to become an innovator once again.
I really hope this person isn't serious. If this is serious, if this is what is passing for what the rest of the country -- for what intellectuals -- think is best for New Orleans, then I will be consumed with incandescent rage brighter than a thousand suns.
Sure, it's okay for niggers and wetbacks low-cost laborers to live in unsafe, unsupported shanteys. Hey, either live there or stay in Utah. Besides, you ethnics always make such great music when you're poor; I heard some at the House of Blues last year. Now, your cultural heyday lies on the past; it's all over for you ethnics, unless the deplorable conditions and the lack of human compassion and understanding make you innovate. Anywho, I'll be up at the Big House -- no spiritual singing after midnight!
I can't even be sarcastic about it without getting sick. You Americans are right to not want Louisiana to be rebuilt, to fear our recovery and mock our halting efforts to right ourselves. Because if we do recover, if we do get strong, if we can be better than we were, then we might just come looking for your classless, racist, condescending hateful pasty fat asses and LIGHT YOU THE FUCK UP.

(Via http://confederacyofduncesusa.com/2006/04/shantytowns.html Confederacy of Dunces USA.)

Catch up on all the latest circus news

Why I am a misanthrope

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Maitri’s VatulBlog sums up the Louisiana legislature in 8 words.

I know who I'm voting for in 2008

Good Night, Moon

Your tax dollars at work:"The women are the problem in history," he said in 2004. "Women who don't want to have children should cut away their breasts, bottoms and love organ because the purpose for those was first for the children. If they don't fulfill that purpose, then they are not needed." "Woman's sexual organ is like the open mouth of a snake filled with poison," he said in 1996. Men don't get off any easier. Keep pliers in your pocket, he says, "and when you go to the bathroom, once a day, pinch your love organ. Cut the skin a little bit as a warning."
The goal of getting involved in politics and social services, say his clerics, is to cleanse Satan from humanity's bloodline. Meanwhile, under George W. Bush's Healthy Marriage Initiative and abstinence-only grants, his pastors have won nearly $1 million in public funding. Moon's abstinence-only education group Free Teens USA, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, instructs school kids in New Jersey: "It's not just your body, it's your whole lineage forever." In a lesson plan featured online, a "family tree" exercise appears to be inspired by Moon's teachings. And to teach that loving carelessly is vile, youths are asked to drink from a cup of spit.

No one takes Louisiana seriously

Not outside of our borders, anyway. Case in point: " 20-Ring Political Circus" in today's Washington Post. All the colorful, wacky candidates are trotted out and displayed to the sopisticates. It's not really so bizarre an assortment, by Louisiana standards. But the NOLA mayoral cadidates are still presented as a head-shaking freakshow and an example of why right-thinking people do not and have never taken South Louisiana seriously. Cartoons don't have problems! You can drop a safe on cartoon people and they get right back up! So, Get Up, New Orleans! The political elites of Washington will read that article over their morning martinis and our chances, already slim, will get a just a little bit worse.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

For Pete's Sake

Times of Acadiana - www.timesofacadiana.com -: "Chad Fouquier, 307's entertainment coordinator, received calls from the real management company of Rose -- who is in a bit of seclusion -- pointing out that the band would be playing in Spain the day after the supposed 307 concert." PORTUGAL, you fucking DUMBASS!

A little window into life with the Values-Based Bigwigs

Times of Acadiana: Letters

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Michelle will discuss the death threats that she has received due to her publication of the activities of Students Against War.

You mean that the same thing that you did to those students happened to you? That's barbaric.

Useless. "Musing on the reasons for the existence of such hatred for her, Michelle surmises that the Left feels a sense of betrayal with her; many feel that she should be on their side because they believe that is where all women and non-whites should be." No, honey. We dislike you because you're a hateful, hypocritical liar and a coward. I'm going to get right down at eye level here, so you know I'm sincere: we really don't want you on our side.

A Christian Can Be a Christian or a Liberal, But He Can't Be Both

Stand By For Decider

I am the DECIDER! Why do I have this in my head? Other than the brain damage, I mean?

Tom Cruise 'to eat afterbirth'

yay Of course, now he says he was just joking, but I think he's lying either way. I also think he's going to suck out all the cord blood, gargle it, then spit it up toward the ceiling and let it wash over his upturned face, while the exhausted and nearly hysterical Katie watches with terrified, helpless eyes. "We're going to have a wonderful life, Kate," he'll whisper, blood dripping from his chin. "It's going to be ... extraordinary."

Daily Kos: Cheney's shady charitable contributions net $2 million refund

Creeeeeeepy

Purity Balls:
... This is what that little girl is reading to her father: I pledge to remain sexually pure...until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. ... I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me. and that he will reward me for my faithfulness. And this is what Daddy says in turn: I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.

Who Is Killing New Orleans?

The Nation: Who Is Killing New Orleans?
The Republican hostility to New Orleans, of course, runs deeper and is nastier than mere concern with civic probity (America's most corrupt city, after all, is located on the Potomac, not the Mississippi). Underlying all the circumlocutions are the same antediluvian prejudices and stereotypes that were used to justify the violent overthrow of Reconstruction 130 years ago. Usually it is the poor who are invisible in the aftermath of urban disasters, but in the case of New Orleans it has been the African-American professional middle class and skilled working class. In the confusion and suffering of Katrina--a Rorschach test of the American racial unconscious--most white politicians and media pundits have chosen to see only the demons of their prejudices. The city's complex history and social geography have been reduced to a cartoon of a vast slum inhabited by an alternately criminal or helpless underclass, whose salvation is the kindness of strangers in other, whiter cities. Inconvenient realities like Gentilly's red-brick normalcy--or, for that matter, the pride of homeownership and the exuberance of civic activism in the blue-collar Lower Ninth Ward--have not been allowed to interfere with the belief, embraced by New Democrats as well as old Republicans, that black urban culture is inherently pathological.
Ow. Please read this.

suspect-device.com

Has been updated.

Glorious People's Revolutionary Children's Choir Sings the Praises of Beloved Leader in Spontaneous Outburst of Patriotism

In other good news, sorghum production has risen by nearly seven percent! This is how the world (or at least Canada) sees America. I'm not sure about the "state sponsor of terrorism" bit, but even without it, we're a long way from being the country everyone looks up to:
have to tell you, that from a foreigner’s point of view, and this is true even in your closest allies (the majority of Britains, for example) you are a rogue nation. You invade people based on lies. You have no credibility on Iran. You are the boy who cried Wolf. You don’t obey the Geneva conventions. You have secret prisons. You torture people, including the citizens of your allies. You have abolished habeas corpus for classes of people. You kidnap foreigners and secretly ship them off to be tortured. You have endorsed Bush’s war crimes – crimes for which Americans hung Nazis who had been in no way involved the with the Holocaust. You could produce pictures of nukes and missiles and half the world wouldn’t believe you. Even if we did believe you, we don’t care enough to endorse going to war with Iran.. There are only two nations in the world who constantly talk about how they’re willing to nuke people without even being attacked first: The North Koreans - and the UNITED STATES. You gave up the ability to stop countries like Iran from getting nukes when you invaded a country like Iraq which had no nukes and no real possibility of getting them. That was your wad, and you blew it. You chose to be weak. At this point, for you to stop Iran would involve you in a war you cannot win – or at least no victory worth having. You can’t occupy Iran, so are you going to really glass Tehran or the entire country? Do you know what the world reaction would be? Do you know what would happen to the dollar? Are you out of your minds?

Ezra Klein on Malkin.
Want to know who works in the Office of the Vice President? Sorry. Speaking of Dick, does anybody in Louisiana still feel he's on our side? Really? How about now?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Patriotic Values Voters Respond to Peaceful Protesters

Yup.

This is my position, perfectly stated with more eloquence than I could master:
Yes, I worry about the possible miscarraige of justice against a wrongly convicted person. The evidence supporting a death penalty cannot be questionable — but there is nothing extenuating enough to explain or defend these types of crimes; even insanity will not do.
Was the murderer was abused as a child? I don’t care.
Was he a good boy in school? Had a good job and lots of friends? No prior record?
I don’t care.

I see no reason why society cannot take steps to rid itself of persons who are clear and present dangers to others. If that child's father had caught the murderer in the act, he would have been perfectly justified in shooting him dead. But since he was captured after he murdered a ten year old girl, society must resist the urge to execute him, as that would be barbaric. Why?

A stunning development

By Saturday afternoon, the song and dance came to a halt: following a front-page story in the Saturday Daily Advertiser, Rose’s booking and management company was e-mailing them, asking why they were disseminating false information.

“We both came to the conclusion that it (the booking) was fraudulent,” said Chad Fouquier, 307’s entertainment coordinator.
I'm shocked at this unexpected turn of events. You know, 307 should have known better, but they're young, and anyone can get taken advantage of. It's the Daily Advertiser that disgusts me; their coverage of this "story" is an object lesson in the grand failure of that paper: no research, no news judgement, no skepticism or drive to get the facts. Nobody over there seems to give a shit, and it shows.

Michelle Malkin prints protesters' private phone numbers

Death threats, other hilarity ensues. She says:
SAW has removed the contact information from its press release and is now lying about the fact that it made the info publicly available on the Internet. I am leaving it up. If you are contacting them, I do not condone death threats or foul language. As for SAW, my message is this: You are responsible for your individual actions. Other individuals are responsible for theirs. Grow up and take responsibility.
Well, they put their information on a press release, not something designed to go to the general public, but that's not important. What's important is the priceless illustration of what wingnuts think "individual responsibility" means. Malkin demonizes the protesters and then prints private information (not the first time she's done so, either), enabling her hordes to start non-stop death threats, and then lies about the availability of the information, tries to wash her hands of responsibility for the phone harassment, and finally lectures the protesters about taking responsibility for their actions. Why does this woman have a job? Via C&L.

No comment

Humor

Here's the latest bit of wit circulating around the email lists. Notice the subtle coding, the fact that "Black" is never used, but race is implied by the clumsy attempt at dialect and words like "bling." Note that republicans are specifically excluded, along with other "productive" members of society. Whoever came up with this has to be one of the republican right's best and brightest satirists. I hope he burns.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hmmm

FOXNews.com - Ga. Fans Disappointed by Axl's No-Show. This is obviously not the most important thing I could be spending my time on, but it amuses me. I want to be the first to catch the Daily with its pants down over a front page story so full of shit that a child could spot it. I need a break from the real news. So, Axl it is!

The plot thickens

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I call bullshit

Axl Rose on May 26, hah? It looks like the Guns N' Roses European tour starts May 27 in Lisbon. That's Portugal. Something tells me the night before a major tour kicks off is not going to be spent doing a solo show in a small-town Louisiana bar without the band. I think someone has sold either 307 or the Daily or both a line of crap, and the Daily, being the Daily, just slapped that shit on the press without a moment's hesitation. I could be wrong. It's possible. But I'm not.

I knew there was something I didn't like about Ron Forman

Ashley Morris nails it:
If part-time New Orleans resident Lenny Kravitz wanted to be a deputy mayor, would he have to be a white deputy mayor or a black deputy mayor? What utter fucking nonsense. I guess next, he’ll tell us how having 2 Blacks and 2 Whites will prove that he’s a uniter, not a divider. Having 4 deputy mayors will “free him up to travel the nation to solicit aid for the city.” Bullshit. I want my mayor to be here, not soliciting aid in Jamaica, or Vegas, or whatever other boondoggle he wants to pull on my dime. I want my public servant to be here, serving; not pawning off the work on one of four new highly paid executives for whom I did not vote.

Irony

Der Pope: "'Lord, we have lost our sense of sin,' he said. 'Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.'

Heh hey yeah that's pretty good anyway refresh my memory dere, faddah: tell me again how much you mooks paid out so far to settle them child molestation cases

A mayoral candidate I can get behind:

Oh Goody

A visit from Axl is always just the thing to take one's mind off of one's troubles. Anyone drunk or damaged enough to make a small wager regarding this performance is advised to contact me immediately, before you sober up or the attendents arrive to bring you back to Pineville.


Notable sentences: "Guns N' Roses exploded onto the heavy metal, hard rock, popular and other music scenes with a vengeance in 1986 backed by the ferocious attack of its debut single, Welcome to the Jungle, a little ditty about drug addiction."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Never Can Say Dubai

TPM Muckraker April 14, 2006: "Here's a scenario straight out of NBC's The West Wing: Following a recommendation to allow the takeover by a Dubai-based company of a British defense firm with plants in the United States, the president now has 15 days to decide if he will hold up the deal. Plants owned by the British Doncaster company help make Abrams tanks, so this takeover is more security-sensitive than the DP World ports merger two months ago. He let the last one through and vigorously defended the deal, only to face a firestorm of criticism afterwards. Think, George: what would Josiah Bartlett do?"

And then there's this:
Just outside the main gate of the huge U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan, shopkeepers at a bazaar peddle a range of goods, including computer drives with sensitive — even secret information — stolen from the base.

"This week, an NBC News producer, using a hidden camera, visited the bazaar and bought a half dozen of the memory drives the size of a thumb known as flash drives. On them, NBC News found highly sensitive military information, some which NBC will not reveal." Earlier, the Los Angeles Times had published what indeed appeared to be sensitive material.
Just remember, you red state retards: It's All Clinton's Fault. It's All Clinton's Fault. It's All ...

$1 Billion Plus Down The Terlet

Waste in Katrina Response Is Cited: "As the Federal Emergency Management Agency wraps up the initial phase of its temporary housing program -- ending reliance on cruise ships and hotels for people sent fleeing by the Aug. 29 storm -- the toll of false starts and missed opportunities appears likely to top $1 billion and perhaps much more, according to a series of after-action studies and Department of Homeland Security reports, including one due for release today."

$190,000 a day

Think Progress » In 2005, Exxon CEO Raked in 190K a Day. Hey, you fat bastard! Why don't you fund the Gulf Coast rebuilding all on your own?

What's that? No?

Well ...

... How about we just come and take it, then?

My friend Mark "Zompist" Rosenfelder has said that this blog has become "a clatter of outraged dyspepsia" these days, and that's fair enough; we're living in a bizzaro world of forcible idiocy and despair, and we have to put up with shit like this. I think I know how all those Dickensian orphans must have felt, bearing great loss while being tossed into the callous care of ignorant, greedy, and sadistic keepers.

Anyway.

This series is well worth reading, summing up what a loathsome den of hatred and bigotry the American right wing has become. I cuss and spit at wingnuts in terms almost as nasty, but I'm tired of being pushed around by these mudpies. I'm tired of having values shoved at me, of having my patriotism questioned, and most of all, at having to countenance the ascendency of ignorance, superstition and stupidity into the dominant form of political discourse. I'm tired of trying to work out solutions with people who think god is on their side. I'm tired of being rolled by a juggernaut of lobbyist graft and personal gain. I'm tired of "liberal" being a dirty word. I'm fucking sick to death of watching right-wing xtian republicans destroy and deface everything this country was founded to protect, to criminalize the people, rape the land, soil the air and piss in the water. I'm tired of watching democrats sidle up to villains in the name of "compromise".

Starting now, starting yesterday, staring on August 29, 2005: no more compromise. Ever. On anything. If it's the right thing to do, do it, and if not, don't do it. No lobbyists, no xtian fundamentalists, no howls of outrage from the superstitious. No compromise.

The next three years are critical: what the country needs, what the world needs, what I want to see, is not a change in the party in power: we need a sea change, a complete 180-degree turn in attitude, a complete, total, uncompromising rejection of the politics of self-interest and store bought values. We need a return to progressive social change as the dominant political metaphor, and we need to immediately discount to influence of fundamentalist conservative xtians and racist right-wing apologists. People like Malkin and Coulter and Podhoretz and Goldberg and O'Reilly and Savage and all the rest: stop going to them for opinion. Stop treating them as experts. Stop watching, stop reading, stop listening. Stop listening to that fucking talk radio; it makes you stupid and sours your juices.

Reject "traditional moral values" as a political platform. Practice all the traditional values you want, but vote on pragmatics. Learn, Listen. See with clear eyes and a working brain.

And just so I don't alienate my core audience, and so I might put this in terms that the fundie right can understand: smoke them from their holes, fuck them, break them, drive them across the land and into the sea. No more theocrats. EVER. Not just until the next election cycle: never again. Never let the reactionary hateful repressed religious coven of ignorance have any influence on public policy. No more Haliburton government. No more torture, no more spying, no more leaking, no more lies. No more compromise.

Am I fomenting revolution? Yes, I goddamn well am. Revolution NOW.

How much pain can you take? How much of someone else's pain can you take?

Find out here.

If you're not here, you don't know. If you don't know, if you aren't here, listen: stop talking. Send help, send money, but please, stop talking.

It just keeps getting better

Kimbery Williamson Butler has a new campaign photo on her website. Sort of. Kimbo appears to be standing in -- or at least have been photoshopped into -- a picture of the French Quarter. Except that it's not.

It's Disneyland.

In other news, a New Orleans neighborhood dedicated to cleaning itself and rebuidling gets a hand from the state DEQ. Oh sugar. Did I say hand? I meant a boot to the balls. A landfill is a sure way to attract residents and help build a tax base. I mean, if you're really going to designate a place to mound up garbage, the choice is obvious.

The Outbursts of Everett True

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Transcript of Flight 93 Voice Recorder

Daily Advertiser: Proud Publishers of Canned Crap Agitprop

This letter to the editor-- slugged as coming from a "nutritionist" -- is a mass-mailed piece of misleading propaganda from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a radical animal rights group with ties to PETA and a notorious font of medical disinformation. Fewer than 5% of its members are physicians. The study referred to in the letter is mildly controversial; one large study with findings contrary to the majority of previous studies pushed the results toward neutral, a fact admitted by the study's authors, and, despite claims to the contrary by our "nutritionist", no reputable health authority has suggested that fish is by definition unhealthy or unsafe. Now here's the thing: it took me fifteen minutes, tops, on my lunch hour, to read the letter, Google the information, and write this blog entry. What sort of excuse do Advertiser editors have for not vetting the canned crap they print? Maybe they're too busy proofreading. Or maybe not. See how many spelling, grammar, and usage errors YOU can find in Pascal Robin's post! I counted nine. Of course, while I busy myself with trifles, life for New Orleanians gets hard and harder.

There Is No Blog: A Memorial for what we have Lost

St. Bernard chases off former FEMA director

St. Bernard chases off former FEMA director:
"'If we hired him, we would complete the cycle of insanity that hit this parish on Aug. 29,' council member Judy Hoffmeister said. 'Anyone who votes for him needs to be committed,' she said. 'My vote would not only be 'no' but 'hell, no.' ' Councilman Mark Madary agreed.'It would be like me asking Michael Jackson to run a child care center.'"

The Daily Advertiser: The Best Goddamned Letters Page East of the Brazos

Facts led Democrat to vote for Bush
In response to Kenny Liner's letter calling President Bush a joke, that is called an opinion. Almost 60 million voters had a different opinion. Here are some facts.
Bill Clinton was offered bin Laden twice and refused. Hello, Sept. 11. I guess he was too busy with Monica.
Al Gore went around the country saying he invented the Internet. John Kerry said he was in certain places in Vietnam when records show he was actually somewhere else at the same time. I guess he just got confused like when he said "I voted for it before I voted against it."
Howard Dean was running around the country hollering and screaming like a lunatic.
Here is another fact. I am a Democrat who voted for Bush because of facts!
It's puzzling to me why someone who chooses to boast that he or she votes on the facts chooses also to list "facts" which are all patently false, ranging from exaggerations to outright scurrilous lies. I suppose I could be assuming ill intent when ignorance is really at fault, but it is early and I have not had my coffee yet. So fuck it, ill intent it is. Oh, and a general message to the editors at the Daily: Please get someone to proofread the copy on your website. And learn the difference between its and it's, for fuck's sake.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Shorter Dan Simmons

William Sloane Coffin

William Sloane Coffin died today. The number of decent people in the world grows ever smaller. "Hope criticizes what is, hopelessness rationalizes it. Hope resists, hopelessness adapts." Hope resists. Hope resists. Remember that.

The new flood maps are here! The new flood maps are here!

Somebody call the whaaaaaaaaaambulance

Boo fucking hoo. "Though some may take issue with my position as General Manager of The Times and a perceived conflict of interest..." No, dude. No one perceives any conflict of interest on your part. It's obvious that your one and only interest is sucking corporate cock. Always has been. Don't bump your head on the desk when you get up, Champ.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This is how you lay a smackdown on someone

Ashley Morris

Daily Kos: Only in New Orleans: I couldn't have made these events up myself

Daily Kos: Only in New Orleans: I couldn't have made these events up myself: "Yes, we have inequality and incompetence. Yes we have graft, apathy, and seemingly immoveable inertia. Yes we are ridiculously close to sea level and we are at risk from the encroaching Gulf of Mexico. But we also have the key to life."

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Raw Story | Bush admits declassifying Iraq intelligence after question from student, not reporter

Yeeeeipe

Morning in America

Saturday, April 08, 2006

"Contractors delaying agony for thousands

Brownie to consult for St. Bernard Parish

Cough cough cough cough. Uhm. I can only assume that this is a ruse for getting him to phsyically enter St. Bernard Parish, where he will be lured into a dark room by a trail of empty Nordstrom's boxes and there be met be a citizen's committee (cough) who will take up certain MATTERS with Mr. Brown, aided by their attorneys, Black & Decker.

Friday, April 07, 2006

People suck, part 35,673

Oh Goody.

Say Hello to the Future

Meet Kalypso -- 10 years old, from NOLA, and a better journalist than anyone the Washington Post has been fielding. And a little child shall lead them ... Via Humid City.

Another outstanding Advertiser letter

DOD gets in on the act

DOD IPv6 director arrested for possession of child porn In case you've lost count, that's four federal government officials, either in security or defense, who have been nabbed for digital kiddie diddling this year. Let us also note that Father Doyle -- I'm sorry, force of habit -- Mr. Doyle had been caught looking at dirty pictures back when he was still at Time Magazine. This apparently did not come up on his top-secret clearance background check or was ignored. Next up: Department of Agriculture staffer found to have eleven newsboys in a pit in the backyard of his Silver Springs home.

Welcome to the Intellectual Equivalent of Knott's Berry Farm

Here's a fine idea. Let school boards go into secret sessions before public meetings for "prayer." Okay, a) no. b) keep the fucking prayers out of the fucking schools I THOUGHT THIS HAD BEEN MADE CLEAR SOMETIME DURING THE PAST 40 YEARS DURING WHICH IT HAS BEEN RULED AGAIN AND AGAIN BY THE HIGHEST COURTS IN THE LAND THAT BRINGING RELIGION INTO THE FUNCTIONING OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SO **STOP FUCKING DOING IT*** and c) no. Do not violate the open meetings law to allow for magical invocations, which, in true modern Xtian style, will be co-opted and corrupted for the purpose of conducting secret business, without the slightest shadow of a single doubt at the very first meeting at which a "secret closed door prayer" is tried. Who the fuck do you people think you're fooling at this late date? "What are you guys doing in there?" "Uhm... uh ... [bump bonk shhh shhhh] ... uhm, praying!"
Overseas donations for Katrina aid just LOST VANISHED POOF! Can this administration do anything right? Anything at all?
The GAO said in remarks prepared for delivery before the committee, "Given that the U.S. government had never before received such substantial amounts of international disaster assistance, ad hoc procedures were developed to manage the acceptance and distribution of the cash and in-kind assistance."
So it's like giving a kid a couple thousand in cash and urging him to spend it wisely. Immature beings just can't handle large sums of money. Wait, tell me again how Louisiana shouldn't get its hands on relief cash because we can't be trusted with it?
I think Carville is an idiot, but he has a point: every port in the world is below sea level.
Another hall-of-fame letter to the editor, chosen for publication by the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

First Draft - Your President Speaks!

America's Most Aptly Named Company

Darrell L. Darnell

IEM, of Hurricane Pam fame, in January named Darrell L. Darnell as its new Director of Urban Areas and Exercise Programs. Darnell was one of five defendants -- along with John Ashcroft, Van Harp, Tracy Henke, and Timothy Beres-- in a suit filed by Stephen Hatfill, former LSU researcher and government hounded anthrax "person of interest." Darnell has been mentioned as one of the persons who directed LSU to fire Hatfill. What an interesting group of people. IEM hiring former government and/or military personell is not unusual; hiring an Ashcroft crony who had a part in the disgraceful Hatfill affair is ... interesting.

Mr. Let's-Drag-Your-Cancer-Victim-Child-Into-The-Campaign is ...

a) a Moonie (or at least a wannabe) and b) a Qadhafi apologist. I'll say this for republican freakshows: you get your money's worth.

That good Xtian DeLay fellow

da po' blog: Insurance Companies: Save Us from Our Profits

Preach it. Do not even get me started on insurance companies.

A small personal amazement

APSAC was the first place I did any real professional graphic design, redoing their logo (not the kids, the type treatment) and the appearance of their publications. That was in 1994-95. I had no idea what I was doing. They're still using them, unchanged for over ten years. Yo, I'll do you guys a whole new ID package! I'm better at it now! (Still kind of pricey, though. Caveat and all that.)

The new DHS Kids Page

13

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ten feet below sea level?

No.

More Republican Family Values

Atrios pulls it together:
The Hill: Sitting in the oncology ward at Children’s National Medical Center on Jan. 19, retired Adm. Joe Sestak and his wife, Susan, awaited the doctors’ verdict about the condition of their 5-year-old daughter, Alexandra. She had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last summer and given three to nine months to live. The Sestaks lived for four months in the ward. They watched as their daughter survived three surgeries, and as she endured chemotherapy. But that winter day, doctors told the Sestaks that Alexandra had done remarkably well and that, although the cancer could reemerge, she could resume living like a healthy girl. Relieved and grateful, Sestak, who retired as a three-star admiral Jan. 1, after 31 years in the Navy, began thinking about what he wanted to do next. What does Crazy Curt Weldon say about it? Weldon attacked Sestak’s decision to continue owning a home in Virginia while only renting in Pennsylvania and questioned why Sestak did not move back to Pennsylvania when he was working at the Pentagon. Weldon commutes from Pennsylvania each day. Weldon also suggested Sestak should have sent his daughter to a hospital in Philadelphia or Delaware, rather than the Washington hospital. Sestak said that as soon as doctors give his daughter the all-clear, he’ll buy in Pennsylvania. Here's Sestak's response: Congressman Weldon's remarks to the Hill magazine in a story published this morning regarding my daughter Alex's treatment are inappropriate. To imply, that I should have sent my daughter to a hospital in Delaware or Pennsylvania for political purposes is beyond the pale. I understand the political arena. I knew that this campaign would thrust my family into the media spotlight and we are prepared for that. But I want to make it very clear to Congressman Weldon, that any remarks regarding my daughter, Alexandra's, treatment will not be tolerated.
I hope every one of you pigmen choke on it. Get off my fucking planet.

Art Buchwald, waiting for death

Hey, you guys who voted the whole right-wing republican values ticket?

Good thinking. The hits just keep on coming! Taylor Marsh has more.

Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama

Well, after everyone started seeing angels a few years back, this was probably inevitable. "I THINK IT'S A CRACKHEAD!"

Hmmm

Eminent domain bill has support from Blanco. I despise the idea of eminent domain in principle, but I might have to admit to its usefulness in the aftermath of a crisis. Eminent domain is like a gun; once you have it in your hands, the temptation is to use it. Still ... I have a dream ... ... that Louisiana would invoke emininet domain and sieze every oil and gas processing facility in the state and really put the chokehold on until someone coughs up the rebuilding money. All the rebuilding money. Sell the product ourselves, lease the property back to the oil companies at piratical rates, or maybe just burn it all down while jumping around and hooting. I can dream ...

First Draft: Send your Beads to Bush

Scout has a plan. I'm not convinced of the efficacy of this: I think it might play too much into the "Party State" idea, and I don't think that the White House takes much notice of gimmicks. Still, they don't take much notice of anything, and the accompanying press might carry some weight, so I say go for it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Righteous

Vision America: Tom DeLay's new hangout

You can tell they're fine, upstanding Americans by all of that red, white & blue. Rick Scarborough, the Hammer's best pal, and the "brains" behind this snake oil factory, has a whole book out. You know what kills kids? War. Drugs. Poor nutrition. Disease. Poverty. Neglect. What has Vision America accomplished in the past six years?
2000 * President Rick Scarborough serves on a national panel of religious conservative leaders which interviewed major Presidential candidates * Mobilized thousands of pastors in Texas and Missouri 2002 * Launched the Vision Texas Project * Conducted 24 luncheons around the state for 2500 Pastors including five with Governor Rick Perry * Direct mail contact to over 10,000 Pastors with legal “Do’s and Don’ts” of political involvement * On election day, every state wide office was captured by a pro-life, pro-family candidate for the first time in decades 2003 * Launched a Pastor Awareness Project in Montgomery, Alabama, on behalf of Alabama Chief Justice, Roy Moore, the embattled Ten Commandments Judge * More than 10,000 supporters from across America gathered for the rally organized by Vision America on August 16, 2003, covered by C-SPAN and every major news outlet in the country * President Rick Scarborough and Ambassador Alan Keyes launched a national speaking tour to bring awareness to the growing tyranny of activist judges and the clear and present danger they pose to government…“of the people, by the people, and for the people" 2004 * Launched Pastor mobilization efforts in South Dakota, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri * In every state where Vision America conducted Pastor education and mobilization efforts, pro-life and pro-family candidates received record support and were elected to national offices 2005 * Conducted the Judicial War on Faith National Conference in Washington, DC, in April, ten days after the starvation death of Terri Schiavo * The Conference featured House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Senator Sam Brownback, Judge Roy Moore, Ambassador Alan Keyes, and Schiavo family attorney, David Gibbs, among others * The conference was covered by C-SPAN and 45 press passes were granted * A series of front page stories on the work of Vision America soon appeared in the Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, and numerous other major newspapers * Time Magazine did a feature story on Vision America’s success in mobilizing Pastors and church members into the public policy arena * Took a lead role in passage of the Texas Marriage Amendment, defining marriage in Texas as a union between a man and a woman, and banning civil unions between same-sex couples. Despite record spending by homosexual activists and their allies, Texans passed the amendment by a 76% margin. * Convened a meeting of 40 major conservative organizations in Washington, DC, on November 9th to discuss the necessity of mobilizing Values Voters in 2006. A Servants Committee was formed for which Rick Scarborough is the acting Chairman. The committee was charged with designing a strategy for a collective effort in 2006.
Scarborough and Vision America may not kill kids, but they sure as shit don't save any.

DeLay's resignation doesn't mean clean hands for all

No, sir. And let's put the squeeze on any media outlet that continues to run with Corruplican talking points as legitimate news. The usual right-wing talking heads can no longer be considered legitimate sources and should NEVER be sole sources for news spin. Be alert. When it all comes crashing down, the media aren't going to escape penance, or so my cosmic communist overlords tell me. Man I can't belive they sell this cold medicine over the counter hooooooooo

AP Wire | 04/03/2006 | FEMA's Katrina report details failures

AP Wire | 04/03/2006 | FEMA's Katrina report details failures In March of 2005, the Mitre corporation prepared a report on internal FMEA policies, titled "A Vision From The Future." It used to be posted on FEMA's website. but they've yanked it. I want a copy. FLY, MY WINGED MONKEYS, FLY!

First Draft: Don't Let Bush Pull the Plug on New Orleans

Monday, April 03, 2006

Shorter Debbie Schlussel

--

I was looking over these last entries, and thinking about how negative and brutish most of them are. I've been having my own real-life problems (mostly health related) and was thinking that I've let that turn this blog into a tourette's-syndrome-headline-news level of uselessness and that I really need to try and display more insight and express opinions deeper than "people suck." Then along came Jill Carroll's release and the wingnut pile-on, calling her a traitor and a collaborator and a whore, and I thought well, maybe I shouldn't be so hasty. Maybe people really do just suck. This morning, I see this, and realize I was right all along. People are vermin, people suck, and if the comet comes tomorrow, all the better. Anyone remember that NOLA boy who got punched in the face and tossed out a car by his crackhead daddy? Too much trouble for daddy to take care of, told the kid he was going to dump him, actually did it, kid cries daddy please I love you, and daddy hits him full in the face, kicks him out of the moving car, and speeds off with the kid crying for him and trying to catch up? I can't forget it. Three in the morning and I'm up thinking about him, and now this child, and thinking that maybe my attitude is actually going to take a wee little slight turn for the worse. And by the way, if anyone reading this is one of those proud internet "Childfree" types who refers to mothers as "Moos" and kids as "Crotch Droppings," let me go on record here as hoping that when the Thousand-Eyed Black Goat of Hell fucks your smoking, sightless eyesockets during the meet-n-greet portion of your eternal reward, he does so strongly, righteously, and sans condom, so that his viscous and corrosive spunk can drill directly to the portion of your brain that releases pain-masking endorphins and burn it out, in preparation for further festivities.