September 6th, 2005

lung

I'm speechless. (Well, almost.)

(Ok, maybe not at all.)

I've read a lot this morning about what's going on with Katrina, with Bush, with all of that. The more I read, the more disgusted I get. It's really hard to look at this, to hear the stories of the dead and dying and suffering and to read about all of the bureaucratic bullshit being tossed around by the administration to excuse themselves for their gross incompetence and negligence, and not to be. How can you not be disgusted by this? How can they live with themselves? Jesus Christ.

I'm not just talking about Bush, mind you, I'm talking about all of his incompetent and/or uncaring cohorts, his legion of fuckups, most appointed directly or indirectly by him (indirectly meaning he appointed the person who appointed the person). The worst of the bunch appears to be Michael Brown, head of FEMA, but he's only one of many. I am ashamed by this, to see this happen and to see the administration's glib write-off of it. Oh, Trent Lott will get a new house. Great! (He actually blasts FEMA himself here.) Here's another money quote from GW's mother:

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this --this is working very well for them."

I bet it's working out just peachy, Mrs. Bush. Just fucking peachy.

Of course, it's not just the Feds that fucked up - there's plenty of evidence of local governments (at the city and state level in New Orleans and Louisiana) fucking up, too. I'd argue they didn't fuck up quite as dramatically - not to mention that the whole point of Federal organizations like FEMA is specifically because local governments aren't equipped, prepared, trained, etc. to handle this level of catastrophe - but regardless, the response on so many levels has been pathetic.

(For a pretty accurate timeline, check this out: http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2005/09/04/katrina-response-timeline/ )

The only thing we can keep our hopes up about are the common people - the volunteers, the donators, all of the people who have given of themselves to help the victims. People have been working 24/7, giving money and supplies and time and effort and blood and sweat and tears, all out of their own generosity (or guilt, even, but at least they feel something). There are people looting, too, but from what I've heard most (not all) of those cases are of people "looting" to survive - food, clothes, equipment, things like that. (Of course, there are also the cases of policemen stealing tv's, too.)

The following is a letter that was sent to Andrew Sullivan, conservative gay journalist (in addition to his blog he also writes articles for several magazines and papers and has made numerous television appearances). Note that Sullivan is in favor of the war, supported Bush the first time around, even despite being gay, etc. He did support Kerry the second time around, but only because it's hard not to come to your senses eventually.
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From here:
permanent link


Anyways. I'm tired, and I have my own personal responsibilities to take care of. I'm off.

Update: One more link for the road... I love what Sullivan wrote here:
http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2005_09_04_dish_archive.html#112602004345808771

"As an immigrant, the one thing that has always struck me very forcefully about Americans is their willingness to volunteer and their readiness to lend a hand to others in need. Most Americans don't realize how striking this is.
...
I think part of the collective shame is that this didn't happen this time in America itself - at least quickly enough. It violated a core American value. This is the second basic American value this administration has violated. The other is humane treatment of enemy prisoners in wartime. Perhaps the reason people feel more than simple frustration with Bush - the reason it amounts to anger - is not "Bush-hatred" (although that irrationality exists), but this president's squandering of so much of what is best about America and his pandering to so much that is worst. I don't fully understand it. I don't think it's malevolence. I think it's a mixture of arrogance and incompetence. But the damage it is doing to some of the core meaning of America - that this is a country that rescues people who are in dire straits, and never, ever abuses prisoners in its military custody - is deeply distressing. And it will take time to restore that kind of reputation and, yes, honor."


I quoted a bit more than I originally meant to, but I felt it was worth posting.
lung

First bicycling injury

As mentioned a while back, I suffered my first bicycle injury on Friday while riding down Chambers Street in Manhattan. The worst part was that I had to just suck it up and hop back on the bike and keep riding - I had another 2 or 3 miles to go, including going over the bridge, with the raw wound on my leg, stinging every time my shorts slid against it. Sweet.

But now, I can wear it with some pride. My first war wound! I guess I've officially popped my biking cherry. Now I can get back to biking without worrying about how bad the first time will be. ;)
Check out all the gorey details...Collapse )
In other news, I forgot to post my pics from the US Open. Here's a link to the set, with some examples behind the cut: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ntang/sets/868449/
US Open photos...Collapse )
lung

Heartless bastard

I may be marking myself as a heartless bastard here (and pissing off the few people that I haven't pissed off yet), but I'll come out and say it, anyways:

Fuck the pets.

I appreciate that many people have many pets they care deeply about. I realize that for some people, you know, their pets may be as close as they have to children. But I just read a PETA ad that complained that "Federal authorities are forcing many evacuees to choose between bringing vital medicine and their dog."

Yeah... and?

Sorry, but saving peoples' lives has to come before saving the lives of their pets. Considering we are still losing people every day to Katrina and our government's incompetency on multiple levels (primarily in the leadership, to be fair), you know, we really shouldn't be worrying too much about the pets. When all of the people have been reasonably accounted for, then by all means, save the pets - but until then, the people have to come first. I've had pets, and I loved them, but having had both pets and children, I can say that there's honestly no comparison. It's not even close. It's a terrible decision to have to make, and I don't want to sound flippant - I understand that, I have some idea of how painful it is. I lost pets before, and I'm not ashamed to say I cried at their loss. But what I am saying is that I think that, terrible or not, there are limited resources and we have to make tough decisions, and the right thing to do is to save the people first. I don't envy anyone who has to make that decision - or enforce it - but I do think it's clearly the right one.