Thursday, September 15, 2005

So, some friends of mine (notably Allen, Steven and Aaron, doesn't seem to have a blog, I think) are forming an electronic music collective that will be known as the Cloudwave Network. We plan on throwing an event soon at the Agri Park, what I've kind of been describing as an anti-rave, called Autumn Chill. Afternoon to evening, some grilling out of various foods, live performance of electronic listening music, but not so loud that you can't hear your neighbor. It won't just be us performing either. Hopefully Mr. Dwight Chalmers will come and play as well, as well as various friends of ours. Should be a very enjoyable day/evening.

We've been practicing the last few Wednesday nights over at Allen's, and I think it's really kind of starting to come together. That is, in between the fits of pure craziness.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bleh. Feel yucky today. Ugh.

Talk like a pirate day is coming up, though.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Liberally quoting (because he says much more eloquently than myself some things I've been trying to say) from Bob the Angry Flower's site:

But if a month ago you'd asked people "Do you think the Federal Government has a responsibility to render immediate aid and assistance to the victims of a National Emergency like a terrorist attack or natural disaster?" I think most folks would answer "Of course." And if you then asked, "Yeah, but what if the local and state authorities really screwed up? I mean really blew it. Wouldn't that absolve the Federal government of responsibilty?", most people would (should) look at you like you were nuts.

A wise comic book once said "With great power comes great responsibility." Responsibility goes up. It doesn't stop when the guy below you drops the ball. Indeed, it is activated. As you go higher up the chain of authority you get more power and more responsibilty. That's what being the boss is. That's what being the President is.

And what's been so galling and angering and horrifically appealing in all this is how George Bush has been so perfectly George Bush during this crisis. He played out his part as the clueless asshole sham president to a T. Monday evening he relaxed at his mansion. Tuesday he popped over to San Diego to spin bullshit about Iraq and clumsily play some chords. Wednesday he grumpily returned to Washington and chuckled during his speech. Thursday he said that nobody had anticipated that the levees would be breached, by "nobody" meaning him, by "not anticipating" meaning somebody had told him a few times about this disaster scenario in New Orleans but he hadn't really been paying attention. Friday he finally dared to visit the scene and complained that the people that had just gone through the worst week of their lives hadn't done enough. The man who cut short his vacation and usurped state authority to extend Terry Schiavo's living corpse for political advantage couldn't bring himself to do either when thousands of American lives were on the line. Classic Bush.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

So, yeah, now we've got frickin' mercenaries patrolling the streets of New Orleans?

I can't even encapsulate in words how fucked up this all is.

Oh yeah, and here's why FEMA, and thus, the President has full responsibility in this situation: In the Stafford Act, the act which created FEMA, is this passage:

"(c) Utilization of DOD Resources -

(1) General Rule. During the immediate aftermath of an incident which may ultimately qualify for assistance under this title or title V of this Act, the Governor of the State in which the incident occurred may request the President to direct the Secretary of Defense to utilize resources of the Department of Defense for the purpose of performing on public and private lands any emergency work which is made necessary by such incident and which is essential for the preservation of life and property. If the President determines that such work is essential for the preservation of life and property, the President shall grant such request to the extent the President determines practical. Such emergency work may only be carried out for a period not to exceed 10 days."

Governor Blanco, on the 27th of August, before the hurricane hit, asked for federal assistance. Then both the state and the Federal government declared States of Emergency. The President was legally obligated to render assistance, and the fact that DOD resources weren't sent into the city in force until 5 Days Later, means that he was derelict in his duties. Hell, he didn't even stop his vacation until 2 days later.

And when Blanco called to demand to talk to the President, he "couldn't be found." Same with Andrew Card.

Say whatever you want about local responsibility or state responsibility for the aftermath. I don't give a fuck. It is the President's ultimate responsibility to provide for the welfare and safety of the citizens of the United States in disaster situations. (If he can't or won't do the job, someone else should.) The fact that he didn't do everything in his power to do this means that he is morally if not legally responsible for the deaths of all those that died waiting for help. There should have been a plan in place to have boots on the ground, a lot of boots, less than 24 hours after the hurricane. The sad truth is that there was no one really in charge down there, and by not placing someone capable into the situation, the President allowed the situation to snowball into a full blown crisis. And people died because of inaction. People died because of bureaucratic bungling. People died because help was too fucking late in coming.

Oh yeah, and FEMA is still keeping Red Cross relief out of the area.

Of course, there are those who think that the way that FEMA has fucked this all up is part of some nefarious plot or plan. I used to think that was kind of crazy. I really don't anymore.