Thursday, March 02, 2006

Katrina Tapes...rebuilding Iraq? We can't rebuild Louisiana! 

As you read the following, ask yourself: "If this is how well we rebuild part of the US, how can we hope to rebuild Iraq?"

With the release of the Katrina Tapes today, it becomes clear that the reflexive lies of the Cheney administration extend to its figurehead:

Some of the footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 conflicts with the defenses that federal, state and local officials have made in trying to deflect blame and minimize the political fallout from the failed Katrina response:

-- Homeland Security officials have said the ''fog of war'' blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. ''I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done,'' National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast.

''I don't buy the `fog of war' defense,'' Brown told the AP in an interview Wednesday. ''It was a fog of bureaucracy.''

-- Bush declared four days after the storm, ''I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees'' that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. He later clarified, saying officials believed, wrongly, after the storm passed that the levees had survived. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility even before the storm -- and Bush was worried too.

Today I saw a photomontage of southern Louisiana--six months after Katrina. It is decimated, abandoned and rotting. Mold is everywhere, and its concomitant disease. Power is out, telephones are out, and "reconstruction" is a long way off. The headlines focus on a few relatively elevated streets in New Orleans, but southern Louisiana is an absolute mess. Roads are a shambles, nothing is getting fixed. You don't recover from this:


or this:


without concerted effort. And, with residents gone (many for good), and the recovery slipping from public awareness, the odds of preventing a demographic tragedy for southern Louisiana to complement the human tragedy diminish to zero. But Mardi Gras must go on. That they can "anticipate".

The residents can anticipate mosquitos:


and depression and post-traumatic stress:



Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Zogby Polls Don't Lie... 

Zogby does a nice job of normalizing their data, and they are consistently within 1-2% on their polls. And this Zogby poll, taken BEFORE THE RECENT MOSQUE BOMBING and CIVIL-WAR LIKE CONDITIONS, shows that 72% of US troops think the US needs to leave Iraq this year.

Oh yeah, and Bush's approval rating is now an anemic 34%, steadily eroding within minor ups and downs since 2003.

I can't even imagine what the troops would say if they had not been so obviously brainwashed:

Although Mr Bush has acknowledged that Iraq played no role in September 11, 85 per cent of the troops said the US mission was mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9/11 attacks”.

One assumes the 15% (or less--after all, they might think it is still PARTLY to retaliate...) of soldiers who want to come home this year is part of the 72%. If so, and this would give the lowest possible value for the following most-shocking of statistics, still 57/85, or 67% of the soldiers in Iraq who (WRONGLY) think we are there to retaliate for Saddam's (nonexistent) role in 9/11...STILL WANT TO COME HOME THIS YEAR.

Funny how the percentage of soldiers who don't think they should come home this year (28%) is more or less statistically identical to the pathological 30% of Americans who think Bush is handling Iraq OK...in other words, the folks at home might finally be waking up.

Let's see, here's the current Iraq checklist:

1. Oil flowing at pre-War levels--NO
2. Civil war existent/threatening--YES
3. Soldiers want out--YES
4. Torture accompanying war has lost US moral high-ground FOREVER--YES
5. WMDs--NO

You simply couldn't have things going worse over there. But 30% of people think it's going well? I'm not a fan of physical violence (except when playing hockey, natch), but in the case of these ostriches, a good hard slap may actually be merciful.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

The populace has been pithed 

Do you wonder why one scandal after another is ignored by the American people? The latest: voting anomalies (including the familiar "200% of registered voters in a district voted Republican" anomaly) with, of course, Diebold, in Alaska are not investigated because their release poses a "security risk":

In late January, we reported that the state had refused to release the Election Data Files on the grounds that their contract with Diebold disallowed the release of the files. Their contract, apparently, recognizes the voter information to be a "company secret" and thus the proprietary property of the company which could not be released to the voters of Alaska.

A week or so later, in early Februrary we reported that the state and Diebold had capitulated. Sort of. After conferring with Diebold, the state relented and agreed to release the files. However, they reserved the right to -- sit down for this -- "manipulate the data" in consultation with Diebold before releasing them!

Yes, it does pose a security risk to those who have taken the country by "bloodless" coup d'etat. I mean, this is stunning...we'll release the data after we manipulate it. Hello, we want you to release the data because you've already manipulated it, morons!

But no one in the US really seems to care? They'd rather watch Wrestlemania. Speaking of which, I had not seen "Wrestling with Manhood", a documentary with the insight of Michael Moore (but without the lack of professionalism and, at times, puerility of Mr. Moore) that opened my eyes to what "Professional Wrestling" was really about these days.

See: http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/WrestlingWithManhood

Drawing the connection between professional wrestling and the construction of contemporary masculinity, they show how so-called “entertainment” is related to homophobia, sexual assault and relationship violence. They further argue that to not engage with wrestling in a serious manner allows cynical promoters of violence and sexism an uncontested role in the process by which boys become “men.”

It's incredible. 4.5 million young men watch this every week. Oh, it's "just entertainment!"
Entertainment in which men physically and emotionally abuse (in a shocking--just shocking--manner, making it irrelevant if it's "faked") women and "girly" men in a public setting (the reactions of the audience to scenes of sexual abuse are quite frankly chilling), and are made millionaires in so doing. I used to laugh about Wrestlemania, figuring it was like the "old" Wrestlemania phony-baloney crap like in the 70's and 80's. It's far, far worse. It's all the frightening warnings in Stephen Ducat's "Wimp Factor" in overdrive. One of the most horrific scenes in the movie is when the wrestling foundation has the brain-dead idea to bring two young children of one of the wrestlers to a match and watch Daddy "fake fight". They are told for hours that the other wrestlers are Daddy's friends, and that Daddy really won't get hurt. And then they FILM THE KIDS' REACTIONS. Watching the little girl sobbing hysterically makes you realize what it's all about in this "sport": mass hysteria and desensitization to violence.

And, of course, these Wrestlemania people are WHITE, MALE, largely SOUTHERN, CONSERVATIVE, and oh yes, REPUBLICAN.

It's fashionable among Dems to say that they lost the election in 2004 because they are snobs and insulted people's intelligence. B.S., get off that train of self-immolation. Many Americans *are* stupid. The Dems need to learn how to make stupid people smarter, or at least behave as if they were. Until they do so, they are doomed to losing elections, legally or illegally. And until they provide a positive, point-by-point, uncompromised platform (I just received requests from the DNC and Democracy for America this week--not one thing on their platform, just all about defeating the Republicans), these Dems can forget about getting these misogynistic, homophobic half-wits to care. If you're going to be treated like crap by either Party, might as well have the one in charge that tells you you're going to Heaven for cheering while women are hit with chairs, punched in the face and dunked in vomit...after all, THAT's entertainment.


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