Science vs Jindal

 Election, Featured, Politics, Presidency, Science  Comments Off on Science vs Jindal
Aug 302015
 
This entry is part 4 of 24 in the series Daily Douche-Bag

Well, Bobby Jindal succeeds, yet again, in making an idiot of himself. He apparently decided that he should tell President Obama what the President should and shouldn’t say during his visit to New Orleans. An article on Think Progress discusses Jindal’s fear that actual facts and science might be discussed in Louisiana this week.

“While you and others may be of the opinion that we can legislate away hurricanes with higher taxes, business regulations and EPA power grabs, that is not a view shared by many Louisianans. I would ask you to respect this important time of remembrance by not inserting the divisive political agenda of liberal environmental activism.”

Again with the hyperbole in fealty to the Koch’s coal lobby. Only a moron like Bobby would imagine that hurricanes can be legislated away. What can be legislated is the reduction of harm we are doing to our tiny planet (the only one we have). That we can and should do, but of course, not if one is a Teapublican trying to out-idiot the rest of the Republican field. Continue reading »

Trouble the Water – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Trouble the Water – A Movie Review
Feb 012010
 

On the day before Hurricane Katrina–just blocks away from the French Quarter but far from the New Orleans that most tourists knew–Kimberly Rivers Roberts, an aspiring rap artist, turns her new video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbors trapped in the city. “It’s going to be a day to remember,” Kim declares. As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film their harrowing retreat to higher ground and the dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors. The couple returns to the devastation of their neighborhood in New Orleans, only to be met by the appalling repeated failures of the government. But these self-described street hustlers become heroes, surviving the storm and seizing a chance for a new beginning.

Genres: Documentary; Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.; Release Date: August 22nd, 2008 (limited); MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Lay and I stumbled across this movie at Blockbuster a couple of weeks ago when there was nothing new we wanted to watch. We’d never heard of this movie, and were surprised in the extreme at how moved we were by this movie. I’m sorry it’s taken so long to post about it. It is a movie I highly recommend.

I call this an “accidental” film because it’s only a series of coincidences that bring this movie into being.

Kimberly Roberts is a 24-year-old rap hopeful who took some incredible footage just before and during hurricane Katrina. Carl Deal and Tia Lessin came down to Louisiana to film a different project about Katrina and found both her and her footage, they switched gears and this movie was the result. They blend newsreels and footage taken by the couple and the directors. It’s not polished, but it’s real.

Kimberly knows her neighborhood and is a real person. She asks people what they are going to do about the hurricane her uncle buys another bottle of booze, stumbles home, while a 10-year-old niece flashes a gang sign, and declares she is not scared of any water.

The story of the U.S. government’s response to hurricane Katrina remains shocking at many levels, but that has been covered. This is a more personal account shot by a resident during and after the storm. But it still contains plenty of gruesome insights: the failure to evacuate the hospitals and prisons, and the protection of higher ground from homeless citizens by the armed forces of the U.S. navy, are the most terrible details. The film also depicts the huge burden of trying to rebuild a life that has been completely swept away. As a piece of pure cinema, it’s limited; but it’s a story that needs to be told and re-told until something is eventually done.

There are several striking images in the film, including a recording of a 911 call in which an woman requesting help can’t get out of her attic which is flooding. The 911 attendant has to tell her that there is no help at this time, and the victim replies, “So I’m going to die?” Silence on the other end of the line.

This is a documentary you really must to see to understand the personal impact of Katrina. Sure, it’s about failures of government in the aftermath of the storm, but it’s also about ordinary people doing the best they can in the most extra-ordinary circumstances.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (2 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)
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Small Room-Small Man

 General, Politics, Presidency, Weather  Comments Off on Small Room-Small Man
Mar 022006
 

It turns out that George Bush wasn’t being completely honest explaining the federal government’s response to Katrina. I know this will come as a big shock to many of you, but when W said that no one thought it would be as bad as it was, and no one could have anticipated the levee breach, he wasn’t telling the whole truth.

The Associated Press seems to have the video tape of a video conference briefing in which FEMA Director, Mike “Brownie” Brown is seen saying, this is going to be the big one. To his credit,?Brownie even raises concerns about the use of the Super Dome as a shelter. The Director of NOAA’s Hurricane Center said that no one could say the levee’s wouldn’t be breached. All the while Bush is sitting in a tiny conference room saying nothing, asking nothing, and finally simply making the statement to the local officials that the federal government will deploy whatever resources it has available. With everyone saying this is as powerful as Andrew, but not like Andrew because Katrina is much bigger, yet Bush doesn’t have a single question.

It appeared that W was viewing this as little more than a distraction to his vacation and something that should be handled by his minions. Then he lies, gets caught, and goes on his merry way with the free pass from our illustrious fourth estate, the main stream media.

Congress Wants More Giveaways to Big Oil

 Congress, Corruption, Politics  Comments Off on Congress Wants More Giveaways to Big Oil
Sep 272005
 

Bush’s allies in Congress are using high gas prices as another excuse for massive giveaways to the oil industry. The Los Angeles Times reports that conservative "leaders in Congress announced plans to introduce new legislation or amend existing measures to bestow more tax breaks on the industry and provide other incentives left out of the big energy bill Bush signed into law in August." The oil industry hardly needs the help. Even before Katrina hit, oil companies were flush with cash. ExxonMobil’s profits are expected to exceed $10 billion in the third quarter of 2005, "more net income than any company has ever made in a quarter." Now the industry is using Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to jack up prices — and profit margins — even higher.

A right-wing plan to cut the federal budget by $500 billion over ten years would destroy nearly all existing programs that promote energy efficiency and conservation. The scheme, dubbed "Operation Offset," would eliminate the EnergyStar program, the Hydrogen Fuel initiative, the Freedom Car program, funds for research on renewable energy, and programs that support high-speed rail. A progressive approach would save more money in half the time and would preserve all of those programs. 

Summary Of Katrina Disaster

 Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society, Weather  Comments Off on Summary Of Katrina Disaster
Sep 122005
 

As I’m sure you all know, the main stream media is giving wall-to-wall coverage of Katrina. The blogosphere is also providing plenty of coverage, with some of the best known bloggers actually getting directly involved in the relief efforts down on the coast. Most certainly, this is the biggest disaster to hit the U.S. in history. Therefore, all the coverage is warranted.

I thought I would make this post about Katrina, and try to move on to other things. It is a horrible disaster, and we all need to know what is going on, and understand how over government agencies are (or are not) responding to this disaster. That being said, I think there’s some fatigue to all the coverage. I’m not going to promise I won’t post about what’s going on along the Gulf Coast again, nor that I won’t continue calling your attention to the ways that the government failed us…but I’m going to try to move on to some other things.

I live in Tampa Florida about eight blocks from the Bay. A storm like the one in New Orleans would flood my house, so I’m not being callous to this situation, nor trying to forget it. How the recovery efforts are being managed is of keen interest to me, and how people are coping with the disaster is something I will most likely someday benefit from. So I am most certainly paying attention, and being sympathetic, but I’ll leave the coverage to people who are actually there.

I do want to point out some issues. The Republicans that are attempting to stay loyal to W are pausing only long enough to take one foot out of their mouth as they put the other one in. We all know about Santorum commenting to some kids in the Astrodome that losing their home, and being displaced to another state with nothing must be like Summer Camp. If its so cool, why wasn’t he staying there.

I’ll never get over the fact that W could rush back to Washington early from a previous vacation to sign the stupid Teri Schaivo legislation, but couldn’t bring himself to head back to D.C. early to be prepared for the worst natural disaster to ever hit the U.S. And don’t forget his mother’s comments about the people in the Astrodome…how they were under-privileged anyway, so this was all working really well for them. The absolute arrogance of this family astounds me. I hate to wish ill on anyone, but I hope they go broke someday, so they can get a taste of what the real world is all about.

Then, of course we have obviously allowed the administration to use FEMA and DHS as a place to repay a lot of political Debt’s, and have put in a bunch incompetent inexperienced cronies to run the most important government agency. At least Mike Brown finally resigned today. It was very obvious that FEMA’s current administration was ill prepared and late in responding. They can try to place the blame wherever they want, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they were simply unprepared.

Someone found their 2004 schedule for disaster exercises. Of 222 exercises run, only 2 dealt with hurricanes, and one of those dealt with a hurricane combined with a terrorist attack. I know, terrorism is much more glamorous than hurricane relief, but guess which one has affected more Americans.

One of the primary claims by the Administration was that they couldn’t move into the area because the Governor of Louisiana hadn’t yet declared a state of emergency. That is just a plain bold-faced lie. That had been done two days before landfall. Although I don’t think it matters anyway, an experienced FEMA team would have prepositioned resources, and if the official declarations hadn’t been made, they would have called the Governor with instructions.

I guess its just the lies of Karl Rove and his henchmen, trying to shift the blame that really pisses me off, but I get even more aggravated when I realize that people hear the crap and believe it absolutely…without any question.

They have suspended most all the rules governing government procurement, and Katrina is just another boondoggle for Cardinal Cheney’s friends at Haliburton.

And we can’t let pass all the big religious right wingnuts blaming it all on gay people and the Southern Decadence celebration. I’ve gotta tell you, if that’s who God really is, I want no part of him. (Never mind that the site of most of Decadence wasn’t flooded.)

So, now, hopefully on to other things…always remembering the people that are suffering.

Weather Weather Everywhere: The Tropics Come Alive Again

 Weather  Comments Off on Weather Weather Everywhere: The Tropics Come Alive Again
Aug 242005
 

thumb-Katrina5.gifThe weekend is coming up and our friends Jeff and Mike are headed to visit family in PA, so there must be a hurricane on the way. Sure enough, Katrina, now a tropical storm, is moving slowly through the Bahamas and headed to South Florida.

Right now, the National Weather Service has Katrina becoming a Hurricane around 2 a.m. Friday just before landfall in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. They are expecting a building low pressure to stear the storm pretty much westerly across south Florida and back into the Gulf around Naples Saturday morning. Then the storm is going to turn north and head up along the coast, regaining hurricane strength, and, on the current forecast track, head right into the Florida Pan Handle again. Just what those folks need.

Because Katrina is expected to be pretty slow moving, the rain could be very heavy, and since it’ll be making this northerly turn and running up the coast, Tampa could be getting a pretty soaking from Friday evening all the way through Sunday night.

On top of Katrina, there’s another tropical wave moving into the Atlantic off Africa. I’m not the expert, but Katrina has been pretty loose and disorganized. This one already is looking pretty well organized.

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