Friday, September 30, 2005

Sad, irritated, frustrated....

I think I'm feeling them all today. My ex-husband, though I don't care for him too much, had to put 2 puppies down last night with 2 others sure to follow. The 5th puppy, their hopeful, has been isolated so as not to get anyone else sick and hopefully not get sick himself. Somehow the puppies contracted the Parvovirus which can be deadly to younger and older dogs/cats. So I feel for him because it's got to be very hard to essentially place a puppy into eternal sleep because you know what the virus can do to them if you don't. And to have to do it with all 5 is crushing.

But he won't let me tell Peanut. Instead, he says he'll "make something up" but he "doesn't think the little boy should have to deal with that." I believe in telling the truth and death is a part of life; it happens, even to puppies. So I've decided to tell him about the one, but give my ex-husband a chance because it is the respectful thing to do and I would not like it if my ex-husband went against something I feel strongly about (even though he does that often, 2 wrongs don't make a right).

So I'm not much in the mood to comment on what I was going to blog about. But I think they'll mostly speak for themselves anyway.

I think this has been around in the blog world already, but I felt it needed to be said again since the new round of finger pointing has begun.

Bush's talk of conservation just flat out pissed me off. He knows we have the technologies to build hybrid vehicles or to set up alternative forms of energy sources, yet he only asks that "We [can] all pitch being better conservers of energy," Bush said after hearing a briefing at the Energy Department. "I mean, people just need to recognize that the storms have caused disruption and that if they're able to maybe not drive...on a trip that's not essential, that would be helpful."

I won't dissect his lack of orator (oration?) skills at the moment, but damn, can the man form a coherent sentence?

High gas prices also have emboldened pro-production lawmakers to make a push to open up coastal waters to new drilling.

Yes, because this is the answer, eh? Argh, I wish they'd listen, just once. Many americans don't just want lower gas prices, but alternatives that aren't going to cost them an arm and a leg to acquire as well.

But on to the last point, though it's not really much of a point as it is a HA HA HA! You thought you'd get away with it! After all, it's not who they are, it's what they accomplish while there (in the Senate). Right, that's why 2 of you are under investigation for screwing with other peoples money, kinda sorta.
Keep reading....

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A sign of worse things to come?

Iraq's first female suicide bomber killed 6 people today.

Could this be a sign they are getting desperate?
Keep reading....

He's guilty!

DeLay has finally been indicted!!

A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.

Now what will happen with Bill Frist I wonder?
Keep reading....

FEMA to reimburse churches

There are some tough guidelines and not every church/synagogue will be eligible, but it's a controversial subject nonetheless.

When I first read this, I was against the idea simply because it appeared to create an even bigger blur between the separation of church and state.

However, when you consider that many churches depend largely upon contributions (on a monthly basis) from its parishioners, shelling out mass amounts of money without any coming in to replace it could cause many to go under. Several churchs/synagogues were ruined in LA and MI and many members of the churches/synagogues being used as shelters have lost their homes and everything in them, too. With no job to make money, how are they to continue paying their churches and/or synagogues?

So perhaps it is in this way I wouldn't mind a church/synagogue being reimbursed. For the churches who will be able to recoup these funds without FEMA's help, I think they should abstain. After all, and I can't believe I'm agreeing with him, "Volunteer labor is just that: volunteer," said the Rev. Robert E. Reccord, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board. "We would never ask the government to pay for it."
Keep reading....


They were on campus this afternoon and yep, they brought kids and pictures with them. With one guy yelling into a portable megaphone assembly thing and others passing out literature, I walked right passed them. On the other side of the library the Komer Foundation's College Tour was trying to spread factual information about a woman's breasts and I wanted to go there instead.

On my way back, since the bus stop was right where they were standing, I again had to pass them but this time a young woman and some of her friends had stopped to engage the young man in a verbal sparring match. I so badly wanted to tell her that engaging the assholes would do nothing since she believed one way and they believed in another. A common ground wasn't going to be found. And they get what they want: a dialogue.

So talk about a shitty way to move into the rest of my afternoon. I hate those pictures of distorted fetuses that are not entirely accurate portrayals of what an abortion really does. Unfortunately they have the right to a peaceful assembly.
Keep reading....

Monday, September 26, 2005

there's this person....

in my SOCY class....that's driving me nuts.

Today we disussed the double-bind of feminity. Then we moved on to Flat Broke with Children where this person suggested that the Personal Responsibility Act was really doing good for the mom's on welfare because it was making them realize the consequences. Meaning: a woman has a 3rd kid, the state takes welfare benefits away from not only the child but also the mother and this is good because it's helping her. But it's not regulation, it's help.

Prof then said but no, it's regulation because it's telling her what she has to do to get that money, what rules she has to follow to keep that money and most importantly, regulating her sexuality. Being that this sort of "reform" comes from repub's, it's a direct contradiction to the distaste for Big Government. Right?

So anyway, we quickly move on when this same person states that the US Government doesn't force people to not have kids like China - or something. Because this is when both Prof and I said, OH yes they have! Eugenics was big in these United States and it was huge in Virginia. And it's not that it was targeted at all poor women, it was only targeted at poor black/African women.

It has been driving me nuts the way some of these people have been responding to these sort of issues but hell, I'm 30 and most of them are 18-21. It's a maturity thing I'm sure, but it's also an education thing. I didn't realize Virginia had such deep roots in eugenics 'til about 2 or 3 years ago when I got curious and looked it up myself. I wasn't surprised because we seem to have a long history on only setting a precedent when it comes to bigotry and hatred, not where it actually counts toward human rights.

It was only fitting that, when I got back to work after said class, I had this waiting for me in my email in-box: Get Hitched, Young Woman. It seems Bush is taking up the "it's those black women who aren't married that are causing all our poverty issues" debate. Again. Are any of us really surprised?

The fact is, women’s lives have dramatically changed during the last 40 years, but neither our government nor our society have made the necessary changes that should have accompanied the entry of such huge numbers of women into the labor force.

I can only say here we go again, blaming the largest group affected by poverty instead of trying to fix the actual problem itself.
Keep reading....

Friday, September 23, 2005

Update on L's Emergency

Hi everyone in Blog Land. The Nut is off in Va Beach checking on her friend L. I am Nut's friend T. Or you can call me the NASCAR Nut. Nut asked me to update everyone on L's condition. L is still in the hospital, but she is no longer in the ICU. She is awake and getting better. Most likely she will be going home tomorrow. Nut did determine that this was an accidental overdose. From what she has told me, it seems L's doctor didn't pay very much attention to the various drugs he prescribed to L. The interactions between the meds are pretty much what caused this whole situation. Hopefully the doc is paying more attention now.

Keep reading....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

messing with Mother Nature

I had read, a while back, about Army Engineers and various geologists who attempted to create human-made earthquakes to try and release pressure of the Earth's core in order to stifle severe earthquakes.

Quickly they realized they were only screwing things up so they stopped.

Imagine my surprise when I read this just a little while ago.

Jesus Fucking Christ. Will we ever learn to just leave things be?
Keep reading....


I got a call from my ex husband about an hour ago. My good friend L. has OD'd but I don't know if it was by accident or not just yet. My ex had the foresight to know that L. not waking up when prompted was not a good sign so he called the EMT's. They rushed her to the hospital to get the stuff out of her system and who knows what else.

Most of you don't believe in a god, but pray to something will ya? She's been severely depressed lately because of her Chrohn's and having to depend on people too much who don't like her or her illness.

I'm leaving in the morning, early. Falling asleep at the wheel right now wouldn't accomplish anything and there's nothing I can do for her but wait and hope.

But god damnit I wish there was something more that I could fucking do. Like take her away from all that bullshit for one.


Update: friend okay so far. She's intubated and knocked out while the dr.'s try and figure out what exactly she took in order to treat it. I found out through my ex that they are either treating her with methadone or she was taking it (the latter makes no sense but he sucks at relaying accurate information). I still leave tomorrow morning so I'll find out for myself.

Something my ex said though is making me wonder even more who this person is. He told me of an incident where she made up a story about some men trying to take her into a van and rape her, talking to the police but then calling the whole thing off. She has never told me about such an incident. This is also not the first time someone has told me something like this that she has done. Who knows. It's entirely possible I don't know her as well as I thought I did.

He also thinks she's addicted to her regular meds, which is entirely possible since it's heavy narcotics, but it doesn't fit the usual addictive habits.

I guess I'm just going to have to confront her and get it over with.

Keep reading....

custody and court

I went to court this morning to amend the custody arrangement between me and my ex husband. Whew! Let's just say I'm glad that's over with.

In the end, the 2 week increments still stand and I get Peanut for the first full week out of school and the 2 weeks before schools starts (this part isn't completely clear but I think that's what he said). The middle part is us sharing in 2 week intervals but both the judge and I recognized that it's never going to work out perfectly. Heh.

Then the xmas schedule was figured out. In previous years, I was driving to Virginia Beach, 2 hours of my time with Peanut, to get him to his dad by 1pm on xmas day. I'm not doing that anymore and I knew that he wouldn't be happy which is why I brought it up in front of the judge only. We figured it out though with relative ease. At one point though, my ex told the judge we needed "more time" since it was new information, etc. Hah! The judge said what I was thinking, "We're here now to decide this. You don't get more time." duh.

So all that was relatively painless. When we left, I realized I had forgotten to bring up my other issues. What I decided to do instead was tell my ex about my concerns one more time. If this time he does not buy any clothes for Peanut or get Peanut his own bed, we'll be back in court. 'Cause you see, his response is, "Just do what you gotta do Nut." If he would just do what he's supposed to do, I wouldn't have to petition the court to amend in the first place.

Oh, this court date came out of his extreme inability to figure out an arrangement this past summer. Ex thought since he missed a few days he'd just take some extras but without talking to me about it first. He waited 'til he had Peanut and told me he was keeping him 2 extra days. Period.

After that, I filed a Petition to Amend at the JD court where I live because I didn't want to go through this every fucking summer. And now it's done. Now we both have to follow the order with no if's and's or but's. Honestly, I'm so relieved because now I won't have to worry about it anymore.
Keep reading....


As we all watch in horror (those with empathetic souls anyway) as Rita literally crashes into Texas, we skeptics can't help but wonder why Global Warming isn't a more accepted theory. I can't remember ever getting to the R's in the list of Hurricane names, can you?

Texas is responding very different than LA did, but TX has also learned from LA mistakes. Over 1million people were told to evacuate and this time, buses were used to take people out of Galveston and other parts of lower TX. Go figure.

NO and other cities effected by Katrina in LA cannot stand the reaching effects of Rita. They are going to be devastated yet again.

It heartwrenching to watch as Rita bounces between a Cat4 and Cat5. We can only hope that the Weather Service is right: it will decrease to a Cat3 before the eye hits land. Of course this does nothing for the areas who have been through the first half of her power. I'm also saddened when I imagine the number of animals that will die or be affected by Rita because their owners can't/won't take their pets with them.

Of course, at the rate the evacuation is going, there might still be a line of cars sitting on the interstate by the time the outermost reaches of Rita will be felt. What people are being told is the storm is still 48 hours out and there is plenty of time to get out before then. What do you tell the idot's who have turned around and headed home then?

Mayor White of Houston has said there will be no shelters open in the city, which means all those in the Astrodome had to evacuate also. He also reiterated that there will be no central place to go in the city and that 911 services will be inoperable for quite some time, even after the storm passes.

I've been through a Cat2 and seen what such a little storm, comparatively speaking, can do to a shoreline. When I used to live in Virginia Beach, northeasters and Cat2's were the norm. After the last Cat2, I decided that if a hurricane larger than a 2 headed our way, I was leaving. Even here, 150 miles inland, I'd have to leave if a 4 or 5 hit us. Hell, when tropical storm Gaston dumped nearly 12" of rain in just 1 hour, traffic here halted because downtown Richmond flooded so bad. It took me 3 hours to get just 5 miles because so many ways out were flooded completely.

Back to Global Warming. Here in Virginia we used to have very distinct seasons and periods of extreme weather conditions. We haven't had that in at least 5 years which worries me. April/May used to be our months were we worked into spring. Through the end of May/June we started working toward summer. In July we got lots of rain and heat. August has usually been our cooling off month and by the end colors were beginning to change. Hardly ever do I remember September having 95 degree days like today and tomorrow. And we're no longer at the beginning of the month either. Halloween, for the last 3 years, has been in the mid-70's.

Every once in a while we had the weeks of 75-80 degree heat in December, but not consistently.

Over the past 2 or 3 years I've noticed our seasons coming later. Not by a lot mind you, but noticebly different for those who've payed attention. Take this week for instance: we've set record highs everyday (I think).

The thought of not having an earth worth living on in Peanut's generation gives me the chills and sends out giant red flags. The thought of our current administrations reluctance to sign on with Kyoto and to actively work toward a greener earth ('cause you know they are doing just the oppoite) infuriates me. I think it's been painfully obvious that the Earth won't be here forever. It's about damn time we all start paying attention to what she's trying to tell us.

I had to make myself stop reading/watching news on Katrina because I wasn't getting any sleep. Now I read updates on blogs and a few articles here and there. I don't know about you, but my head and heart can't handle another reaction such as that to Katrina.
Keep reading....

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

damn, where'd the time go?

Between knitting a beanie for my sister, reading for classes, doing actual work related stuff while at work and raising a kid, I keep running out of time to blog. Agh!

You see, it takes me an hour or more to compose a meaningful post so I like to do it when my head is totally with it. It's not been that way lately so that's why you all get quick links. ;)

But, I did hear this on the news radio station this morning, but I don't remember why. It's an old article, but I'm figuring it might actually be in court this week or something.

Debra Hobbs quit her job at the sheriff's office in NC after eing told to either marry her boyfriend, move out or quit. The not-so-bright sheriff stated, for the press even, that "he tries to avoid hiring people who openly live together but does not send out deputies to enforce the law." Yikes. Nnow I know why the ACLU was so eager to pick this case up.

The noncohabitation law has been on NC's books since 1805 (so has no premarital sex but I don't see them enforcing that one). Do they really think a 200 year old statute is gonna hold up in today's society? No, you say? Well, there always seems to be a Family Policy Council member on hand to add their ignorance into the mix:

"We think that it's good to have a law against cohabitation because the studies show that couples that cohabitate before they're married, that their marriages are more prone to break up, there's less stability in the marriage," said Bill Brooks, executive director of the conservative North Carolina Family Policy Council.

I can't say much because I know for a fact Virginia has this same law on our books (and I knew that without being told in the article). For heavens sakes, it's illegal almost everywhere to burn the American flag which is about 200 years old as well but yet we don't enforce it. Just a few years ago it was decided that flag burning was protected under the 1st Amendment. Of course it's under attack again, but I'm hoping even in today's political climate it will remain protected.

The difference between NC and VA is that the cohabitation law is actually enforced (3 dozen cases the article says) and the only one being challenged currently. I'm sure we'll be striking ours if NC does since we're neighbors and tend to follow the trend, not set it.
Keep reading....

Saturday, September 17, 2005


I had no idea I hadn't posted since Wednesday. I've been lookin for stuff to blog, too, but I've been overwhelmed with the confirmation hearings, the Katrina efforts which will make it the first time (that I can recall anyway) Bush has taken responsibility for anything that has gone wrong, my friend going into the ER Thursday and Friday night due to massive dehydration in connection with a flare-up (she has Crohn's), Non-Friend S doing some weird "trying to be friends again" crap and of course, my classes.

Thursday morning, after fighting with Peanut for the hundreth to comb his hair, as it was a tad knotty, we decided to get it cut. So that afternoon, that's exactly what we did.

1st haircut 9.15.05 004

While the woman was cutting his hair, Peanut grew ever more excited. First he asked if I thought he was still cute, then he told me he was still cute, which led to him finally stating that everyone else was gonna think he was still cute.

Then, after it was finished, he looked at me and said, "No one's gonna recognize me tomorrow!"

We went into Target afterwards (it was only 2 doors down). Almost the entire time he swung his head from side-to-side announcing to me repeatedly how much he loved his new haircut.

He's also very happy that he won't have to brush his hair hardly ever again.

Just a little while ago, he proves he indeed knows what a Samurai looks like, how they hold their swords and so forth. It's the Samurai Jack version and whatever else shows up on the Cartoon Network that his dad lets him watch, but damn if he ain't close. And he put this together himself. I wasn't involved at all.

Samurai 003

For a few reading ideas though:

Did you know women's softball will not be included in the Olympic games after 2008?

The movie North Country with Charlize Theron showcases a fictionalized version of the famous case Jenson v. Eveleth Mines, a 10 year battle against the sexual harassment that was prevelent amongst the mostly male co-workers.

I am very excited about Memoirs of a Geisha coming out soon, too. If they put sex anywhere in there though, I'm going to be disappointed.

Betchav always wondered what a car would be like if women designed one, eh?

Why can't we be more like Nigeria with the way we handle our sex scandals? Instead, we shove all those women (i.e. female cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO) to the side and tell them they're lying.

I found this article to be very intriguing indeed: Maverick Muslim women rip veil off religion's traditional gender values.

For a while now I've been getting a newsletter from Peace X Peace that send out links to important news headlines from around the world. Well, importantly headlines that deal with women's rights for the most part. You should all sign up, too, because it's good stuff. It comes once a week so there is nothing to clog your inbox too much and I promise you will not be disappointed.

And hey, who knew that women would eventually be ordained as Catholic priests? Granted it was done in Canada and the presiding Bishops had been secretly ordained in Germany, but it was done nonetheless. Amazingly, seven women were ordained as priests in June 2002 as part of the "Danube women priests' movement" but were soon thereafter publicly excommunicated by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The irony? They have yet to excommunicate a single pedophile or complicit bishop. Yes, women are far more dangerous to a congregation than celebate men who prey on alter boys and the bishops that keep their secrets. The women who participated in the ceremony in July are hoping this will have the same effect as it did on the Episcopal Church in 1976: 11 women were ordained as Episcopal priests in 1974, much like what Catholic women are attempting to achieve now.

This article, The Moral Hazard Myth: the bad idea behind our failed health care system was passed around my job a few weeks ago. It's really good and something I hadn't thought about before even though I haven't been to the dentist in over 2 years and desperately need a crown so that I may finally chew on the right side of my mouth. Not-to-mention the pleading I do so I won't get hit or hurt while walking around downtown because I have no health insurance nor money enough to pay the bills that would come after the visit.

I found out my Sociology prof has a speciality in poverty issues and research so she sent this article to the class on Monday. Let me just say that I thought there could be nothing else to make me dislike Bush anymore than I already do. I was wrong.

But after a decade of improvement in the 1990s, poverty in America is actually getting worse. A rising tide of economic growth is no longer lifting all boats. For the first time in half a century, the third year of a recovery (2004) also saw an increase in poverty. In a nation of nearly 300 million people, the number living below the poverty line ($14,680 for a family of three) recently hit 37 million, up more than a million in a year.

The article states the reason for the rise in poverty is that many of the initiatives started by Clinton were not increased nor followed through. Many were cut altogether, such as the "scatter-site" housing programs: "Bush and the GOP Congress killed the idea, as well as the Youth Opportunity Grant program, which had shown success in partnering with the private sector to help prepare disadvantaged teens for work and life."

Egh. I really dislike that man right now. Even more so than usual.

*sigh* Now it's back to reading one of the four chapters in "Social Problems" I have to read by October 3rd.
Keep reading....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I know many people didn't have any choice but to leave their animals behind, but it's still heartbreaking to see.

Honestly though, when someone knows a Cat4 Hurricane is coming their way yet tether their dog(s) to some PVC piping in the basement? I don't get that. Hasn't anyone told them animals have a greater chance of survival when you just let them be? That is what's more important, not whether they are there when you finally come back or not.
Keep reading....

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Robert's Hearings

I've been listening while working, so I don't get to necessarily hear all of it but I'm getting the feeling the Dem's are slowly going out for blood.

Senator Kennedy was just winding up before the adjourned for a 15-min break.

While they have tripped him up a few times, including Roberts "separate by equal" stance, I still don't think they've gotten down and dirty like I've heard them do before. Hell, the ANWR debates were more heated than this and this is what decides his life-long appointment on the Federal Supreme Court. (I now rescind my comment because Biden dug in.)

At the beginning, Roberts did say he thought Roe v. Wade to be a precedent set by the court in 1973, then again in Casey v. Planned Parenthood. He said these cases shouldn't be touched. Like Lauren said, I'll believe it when I see it. After all, he could just be saying that to please his interviewers and get his ass on the bench.

I'll have to go through and listen again because I got to tune in just as Kennedy was reading something from a few papers, I heard Roberts tell Kennedy his side wasn't shown very well, then Kennedy said, "But these are your words." Why do people (*cough*cough* Cheney, Ashcroft, et al) swear they never said something yet it's been recorded and documented? Geesh.

Senator Spector is referree. Senator Joe Biden is the next Dem to speak (at some point). There are 8 Dem's and 10 Repub's on this committee. What fun!

Almost forgot! You can listen in on CSPAN2 or you can watch highlights on various news channels this evening as well. I don't get any of the good news channels but I can stream!

*Okay, so Grassley (R-IA) is speaking first but he's not doing any questioning but instead reminding everyone that Roberts was voted onto whatever branch he serves now (god, i just can't remember right) unanimously, that he's been candid in answering questions and providing information...and that he (Roberts) is the most qualified for this position in his opinion.

I wonder if some of them Repub's clinch their teeth everytime they have to say "Democratic Society"....

Some quotes made by Roberts:

"Judges operate as Judges when they are confined by the law."; "Judges should not have absolute discretion."; "Judges should interpret the laws, not make them."

He thinks there is no room within a judge-ship for their own values and beliefs: "You don't pay attention (it may be 'follow' here) to your own values and beliefs; you look outside yourself."

Why are we going through this hearing process when we all know he's gonna be confirmed? I just hope he's more moderate than Bush anticipated. After all, it has happened before, just look at O'Connor. Wouldn't that be a kicker?!

**He also believes precedence promotes stability, dependability, credibility and other adjectives/verbs that I can't remember. Roberts has also said he doesn't believe courts should be making laws - you know, like in the Terry Schiavo case were all the courts turned it down but the Senate felt it important enough to meet for a special session.

***Hah! He used the word gender! We feminists have brainwashed him after all! Did you know a courts precedent dictates the approach a higher court would take toward the/a case?

****Biden is speaking and using too much of a baseball metaphor. But! He's dragging out Roberts definition of Unreasonable Search and Seizure. Then he said the new Supreme Court gets to vote and set a precedent for issues the founding fathers never set a strike zone for. (This was said because Roberts has been channeling those founding fathers quotes, seriously.)

"Tacit postulance," a quote from Renhquist. "A rule he was able to infer from the rules set forth by the fore fathers." (I hope I got that right. My ear was already on to the next thing. If not, someone correct me, k?)

Biden directly asked Roberts if he believes a right to privacy is covered under the constitution and more specifically, does it extend to women. Roberts answered, "Yes, under the 14th Admendment." Okay, I've read that 14th Amendment lots and more recently read many cases where violations to the 14th had been invoked. I do not see how the right to privacy is covered here, but hey, that's his interpretation. I like to believe that the right to privacy exists within in the 1st Amendment. I think I might be going crazy. The problem with one mans interpretation is that it might be different when he's on the bench and no longer needs to worry about being confirmed.

(side note: the Dems are much more forceful in their questioning thus far while Repub's are civil and polite about it. If you don't believe me, watch/listen for yourselves.)

They are arguing about a Ginsburg rule that I totally missed the point of. But it's funny how the Senator is pretty much going after him, :). Roberts is doing fancy footwork, not actually answering and Biden just accused him of fillibustering.

Whoah, on to Violence Against Women! "Judge, tell me how a guy beating his wife up in Minnesota is different than a guy in NY in the same situation." hahahahahaha. Roberts had stated at some earlier point that a federal law couldn't be made with regards to violence against women because it varied state-by-state. Yeah. Sure. I point you back to Biden on this one.

I think I need to just stop and let you all listen for yourself or at least read transcripts that will get quotes right, ;).

So okay, Roberts might end up being a shrub puppet after-all. *sigh*
Keep reading....

Monday, September 12, 2005

Santorum strikes again

By now I'm sure you are all aware of Santorum's thoughts on increasing the consequences for those who choose to stay during a hurricane once an evacuation has been ordered.

Now he's taking this opportunity to go after the National Weather Service a little harder by saying they were wrong and by golly, consequences should be tougher for them, too, because being wrong in unacceptable.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Santorum was drawing a second round of fire, this time for saying the National Weather Service's forecasts and warnings about Katrina's path were "not sufficient."

Santorum, long at odds with the federal agency, is pushing a bill that would require it to surrender some of its duties to private businesses, some of them located in his state.

Can someone more worthy of press space, who resides in PA, please run against him and win?!

Not-to-mention how badly he seems to want to control the NWS.
Keep reading....

Friday, September 09, 2005

9/11 and the Sport of God

Not my title but I couldn't think of anything remotely catchy to introduce this article that I found on TomPaine today. I'm not exactly sure what to make of it (or where to begin) so I'm going to give you a few teasers and you'll have to go off on your own and read the lengthy article yourself.

This article also goes well with the topic that is now being discussed over at Charlie's place. Hop in and have a peak when you get a chance.

First, the explanation:
This article is adapted from Bill Moyer's address this week at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where Judith and Bill Moyers received the seminary’s highest award, the Union Medal, for their contributions to faith and reason in America. Bill Moyers is a broadcast journalist and former host the PBS program NOW With Bill Moyers. Moyers also serves as president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, which gives financial support to

This caught my eye quickly:
The First Amendment neither inculcates religion nor inoculates against it. Americans could be loyal to the Constitution without being hostile to God, or they could pay no heed to God without fear of being mugged by an official God Squad. It has been a remarkable arrangement that guaranteed “soul freedom.”

I read this and thought, "Ah, here it comes..." But it didn't. Keep reading.
Yes, the Koran speaks of mercy and compassion and calls for ethical living. But such passages are no match for the ferocity of instruction found there for waging war for God’s sake.

Because then he says this and goes on to cite instances in the bible where the death, destruction and overall wrath of our "loving" god ordered mass genocide, the raping of virgins and the murder of all first born sons:
Muslims have no monopoly on holy violence. As Jack Nelson-Pallmayer points out, God’s violence in the sacred texts of both faiths reflect a deep and troubling pathology “so pervasive, vindictive, and destructive” that it contradicts and subverts the collective weight of other passages that exhort ethical behavior or testify to a loving God.

In his words:
Violence: the sport of God. God, the progenitor of shock and awe.

At this point the article isn't even half read. I could excerpt more, but I'd rather you just go and read it in its entirety for yourself.
Keep reading....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

One Thousand Reasons

A professor friend of mine who is from Canada (and not a U.S. citizen) sent me this wonderful website that boasts its intent to "Document the failures of the Bush administration." You gotta check it out because it's ripe with news and information from all over the world about his disastrous reaction to the devastation in LA and MI.

Take this for example:

Then two reporters happened to learn just how big the story would be. While TV networks broadcast warnings on Monday evening they rode bikes out to the Lakeview District and caught a first glimpse of the true disaster. The water stood two meters high in some places and was rising fast. They came back with a story that a levee had burst, and that parts of the city were about to drown.

Or this one from The Village Voice that reminds us why Bush was/is two different people when how he responded to what happened 4 years ago on 9/11 is comparend to how he didn't respond almost 2 weeks ago with Hurricane Katrina.

Lots of links to international news sources like Terhan Times, Der Spiegel and many more. Almost the whole entire homepage is covered in various news organizations around the world calling Bush and his administration to task for his horrible repsonse and lack of responsibility.

So go read and then tell everyone else about One Thousand Reasons (especially if they aren't happy with Bush either)!
Keep reading....

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The "Race Card"

Because Pinko Feminist Hellcat says it so well, I'm linking to her. Below is a taste:

But that won't happen. What is happening is that poor people are being punished for the negligence of the wealthy and powerful. With no cars, they could not get out of the city, and were trapped by the hurricane. Instead of facing up to this harsh reality, people are going on about how these naughty survivors chose to be there. Last week I pointed out to someone on the train to work that no, many of the survivors had no way to get out of the city, and there was no evacuation plan. No buses. No vans. No nothing.


People all over the country are offering shelter and assistance to the survivors of the hurricane. We're frustrated--we're seeing survivors left in fetid water, sitting on Interstate overpasses, sitting in a cesspool that passes for a shelter. Decent people won't stand for it, but there's little we can do besides offer shelter, give money, and watch how things progress. Or not. We're seeing it on national television, and most of us see what no one dared bring up--racial disparities. The bulk of the survivors and victims are Black and poor. The bulk of the people in Washington who made the cuts to FEMA, who cut the work on the levees short, and who dragged their feet on getting help to our fellow American citizens are White.

Go read the rest. Then, scroll down to read about Jabbor Gibson, a 20-year-old who commandered a school bus to begin his journey out of the city, picking up several evacuees on the way totaling an appx 60-70 people including families. He was stopped and arrested on his way back to the city to pick up more folks. Even after explaining what he was doing, they have still charged him with looting, stealing as well as many other "petty crimes."

Then, after that, read her post on "The burden of being wealthy." It's all just so puur-fect.
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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

1st day of school

1st day of school 03.

Here he is on the front steps, about to enter for his first day of First Grade. It's unbelievable. He's so acutely aware, not to mention intelligent (he uses 'shall' y'all!) yet still cannot tie his shoes.

When he saw me after the day was over, he announced that he did indeed love First Grade and it wasn't going to be as hard as he thought.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that this week, and more likely next, are more of a review than an attempt to learn anything new. I'll let him figure that out for himself gradually so as not to burst his good mood.

Keep reading....

Monday, September 05, 2005

A teacher I am not

I swear this very sentence (among many) is why I think teaching isn't my thing:

"Social problems are caused by other social problems by the issues of individual problems which create problems for others."

The thoughts in the remainder of the post are good if you can make out their meaning through all the double-wording. Me? I read this first sentence of a paragraph and have a hard time continuing for my fear the writing will be just as bad. I love a great sentence and scream "proof read" in all my classes (to my fellow students) so yeah, I think being a teacher/prof would definitely kill me.
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Sunday, September 04, 2005

And Double-Fuck

Justice Rehnquinst died last night.
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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Kanye West slams Bush

So okay, maybe he coulda waited 'til a better time to do so, but he had valid points. I think the best line of all was, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Go watch the clip. Listen to Kanye and watch Mike Myers face as he realizes what Kanye is doing.
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Friday, September 02, 2005

Don't forget the animals

I thought this warranted a seperate post because I think the rescue of the many animals left behind in zoos, parks and homes are equally as important.

This morning I heard a radio host make fun of a guy who swam for 9 hours with his two dogs. Yesterday on the news, that same guy was interviewed. He started sobbing, telling the reporter that it just wasn't worth leaving his dogs behind.

I'm inclined to agree with him as we've had threats of tornadoes in the past and we've been trying to figure out how to save us and the animals at the same time.

So while you are giving money, remember the organizations that help the animals, too, such as Noah's Wish, the Humane Society of the United States and so on. I will warn you. Local donations are impossible since it appears websites are down, too. So I'm sticking with the Humane Society for now as their home base is nowhere near LA.

Update: A classmate told me about Best Friends Humane Society and I finally found North Shore Animal League. Both are also doing relief work in LA and MI.
Keep reading....

Hurricane Katrina

I've been trying, for days now, to wrap my head around the devastation that has become of New Orleans. At first, the destruction of houses and buildings was to be expected footage to see on various news channels but when the flood waters silently began rolling in, I don't think any of us were expecting the amount of apathy that now permeates NO.

Yesterday, I watched as a mother, who only 2 days earlier spoke of how everyone was getting along with and helping each other, held her nearly dead son in her arms, crying desperately for the newspeople interviewing her to help. She stated that the baby (for he is only 2) wouldn't wake up that much and doesn't move around hardly at all.

A pregnant mother, in labor swam to try and get help for her 5-year old son who was having an asthma attack. When she got back, he wasn't there and that I know of, she hasn't found him yet.

Another mother handed her 2-year old daughter to another woman on a bus, got pushed back and slightly trampled and when she finally got up, the bus was gone. With the aid of a reporter (female. I mention her gender because I bet this was a key factor in getting someone to help the mother because women tend to understand the immense panic when one's children are in danger.), officers finally began paying attention and 1 even put the mother, her son and their dog (why didn't anyone tell me I typed 'god' instead?!) into his patrol car and drove them to the Houston AstroDome. It had been a full 24 hours since anyone had even listened to this mother so I'm sure she was relieved to be reunited with her daughter (reminder: who was only 2).

That woman's son, and many other children for that matter, are dying from something highly preventable: dehydration. Mothers and fathers are having to choose between their lives and that of their children, a choice no parent should ever have to make. (And definitely an experience I pray/beg/plead I am never faced with almost daily.)

We've seen footage like this in Niger, Rwanda, recently in Iraq following a panic induced stampede, Afghanistan, in Indonesia/Thailand after the tsunami and in many other counties as well. Each and every time FEMA and the UN have been on the ground before the storms are even over.

Why the long wait for our very own country? A place that would take 2 days to get to by car alone? How come Mayor Rudin has to call "leaders" out to get his city help? Why does he have to angrily tell our legislative branch to get off their asses and help? Why did it take 5 days for them to do anything in the first place?

Yesterday and today the situation has been becoming ever more clear: the "have-nots" as Tim Russert stated, were left behind and, of course, are suffering the most. Their have-nots? no car, no extra trust fund, no swelling checking/savings account, they relied heavily on public transportation.

What has steadily happened over the last 40 years, is white people have been moving out of the bowl-like city of NO and into higher, more resourceful areas; a case of white-flight if you will. This left the proportion of residents in NO, who just happen to be black, in "the bottom."

If anyone recalls Toni Morrison's book, Sula, you'll remember this same sentiment is echoed in Medallion, which I believe began to be called "The Bottom" because that's where all the black people seemed to have been centered after the white people figured out that being on the mountain was like being on top of the world and since they were on top in societal perceptions, it was only fitting that they be on top of the world, literally, as well.

(Before I forget, buses have finally arrived at the Convention Center to begin evacuations of the people stranded there. Thank-fucking-goddess! Hopefully those mothers, children and elderly will have a greater chance of survival now.)

My Sociology prof said this morning in class, "If this isn't a perfect example of a sociological breakdown, then I don't know what is."

There is nothing, nothing for these people to ground them. And then to be treated like they don't matter because they are black? I had honestly thought the US was better than this at this point in our lives. At least so much so we'd help each other out in a time such as in NO without resorting to fights, fires and guns so quickly.

Bernadette Washington, a woman who was interviewed as they waited at a service station in Baton Rouge after their bus stopped there for a rest, has 5 children and a husband. Should they suffer simply because they are black? No, because that wouldn't be fair to them as people. Mrs. Washington also said something which I thought profound: "To me," said Bernadette Washington, "it just seems like black people are marked. We have so many troubles and problems."

Perhaps, but they are also problems embedded deep within society, problems that are now being forced to an unignorable front.

This, yet again, gives credence to Sydney's rant about hating white people.

She will absolutely love this next line then.

My prof told us about something she heard on one of the local radio stations this morning, one out of Charlottsville I believe. The caller, a white good 'ol boy, suggested that we turn all news/personal cameras off, get a bunch of good 'ol boys in there with loaded shotguns, and start shooting them all. Not all the people in general, just those caught looting.

Yeah, what was the phrase Sydney used again? Oh, right: "I fucking hate white people!"

On CNN this morning, my prof also told us about an aritcle titled, "Relief workers confront 'urban warfare." Of all the interesting places, it is listed under the Weather section. geesh.

In other news, the FEMA Director has gone on record to say something like, "Well, it was their fault because they didn't get out."

FEMA knew this storm was coming straight for NO and MI a few days before it actually blew ashore. Why weren't relief efforts mobilized beforehand, making trucks/helicopters/planes ready to go the minute the storm was over? They had relief to tsunami victims within 2 days.

Why weren't buses or other forms of transportation made available so the 100,000 persons left behind could get out as well? The city has buses and trollies so they could have easily piled as many as could fit on those and head out.

And now, because of poor planning, the shit is hitting the fan, big time.

10,000 more guardsmen have landed in NO. Police officers were turning in their badges instead of sticking to their oaths, claiming that they lost everything, their life isn't worth the mess. One woman reported an officer telling her it was "every man for himself."

Something that needs to be said, that many have been saying for years: Where was Bush when this happened? Still in D.C. Only today is he taking a tour to survey the area. Only yesterday did he denounce the relief efforts as unacceptable. I am slightly enjoying this part of the coverage because the choir who reads my blog know this about Bush anyway, ;). I'm almost positive he won't get anywhere near the Superdome or Convention Center at a time when "his people" need to hear from him the most. He has no leadership skills (or perhaps no desire to lead such a diverse group, most who won't swallow his lies?), it seems, and enjoys sitting back on his haunches whenever disaster strikes.

I feel like I've skipped all over this but, to be honest, I'm having a hard time pinning it all down. When I think of the children dying in their mothers arms simply because they need water, I'm heartbroken. It's depressing really. I haven't been sleeping all that much because I've been watching the news and reading everything I can (almost) on the internet.

To me, this equals the horror of 9/11 except that after the buildings were struck and then collapsed, we still had people trying to help each other because we were united against a definite enemy: terrorists. We knew then that it was clearly a case of us vs. them. In NO, it's only us and our governments lack of reponse to blame.

We are our own worst enemy it seems.

(I can't believe I forgot about this. Feed the Children has a Kids' Stuff Shoe Box Gift we can all do in our very own houses. You take a shoebox and fill it with items for school, play or for infants. It's that easy! Then you mail it in to them, along with a $5 donation to cover transportation costs and voila! You've helped another child have a happy day!)
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