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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Student Vampire

One of my students is sucking the lifeblood out of everything around him. He's completely spoiled, lazy, a liar, ah gosh charming, self centered --- verging on psychopathic. His parents (predictably) are wealthy and have never demanded he suffer consequences, at least according to a friend whose mother has been their cleaing lady for the last ten years. It's one calamity after another, all paid for in cash. Republican, I might add. His only comment about Katrina has been "Aren't all those people, uh, bla- uh, wel- uh, poor?" Junior Bush.

He plagiarized last spring and harassed me most of the summer over it. I was shocked to see him in my classes this fall. But he apologized for his behavior, and I thought perhaps he'd turned a corner.

I. WAS. WRONG. For starters, I've already caught him cheating on a test, lying to get credit for something and explicitly ignoring classroom policy concerning late work because he doesn't think it applies to him --- and he assumes he's smarter than me.

And I let him have it yesterday. I let him have it in front of the entire class. Best of all, I let him have it with the blessing of the administration.

I called him a vampire. I said you're a vampire, you steal all of my energy amd demand all of my time and want the attention of the entire class and everyone around you, yet you do nothing to deserve our attention or evern acknowledgement. You're a thief.

It didn't even phase him. Yet another product of rich Republicans. Yet another Bush.

Friday, September 09, 2005

We're this close

Via Steve Gilliard:

The thin veneer of civilization.

The basic point is the same: Remove the elementary staples of organized, civilized life — food, shelter, drinkable water, minimal personal security — and we go back within hours to a Hobbesian state of nature, a war of all against all. Some people, some of the time, behave with heroic solidarity; most people, most of the time, engage in a ruthless fight for individual and genetic survival. A few become temporary angels; most revert to being apes.


There are intimations of this even in normal, everyday life. Road rage is a good example. Or think what it's like waiting for a late-night flight that is delayed or canceled. At first, those carefully guarded cocoons of personal space we carry around with us in airport waiting areas break down into flickerings of solidarity. The glance of mutual sympathy over the newspaper or laptop screen. A few words of shared frustration or irony. Often this grows into a stronger manifestation of group solidarity, perhaps directed against the hapless check-in staff. (To find a common enemy is the only sure way to human solidarity.) But then a rumor creeps out that there are a few seats left on another flight at Gate 37. Instant collapse of solidarity. Angels become apes. The sick, infirm, elderly, women and children are left behind in the stampede. Dark-suited men, with advanced degrees and impeccable table manners, elbow aside the competition, get their boarding passes and then retreat into a corner, avoiding other people's gaze — the gorilla who got the banana. All this just to avoid a night at the Holiday Inn in Des Moines.

Obviously, the decivilization in New Orleans was 1,000 times worse. I can't avoid the feeling that there will be more of this, much more of it, as we go deeper into the 21st century. There are just too many big problems looming that could push humanity back. The most obvious threat is more natural disasters as a result of climate change. If this cataclysm is interpreted by politicians as — to use the hackneyed phrase that they will themselves undoubtedly use — a "wake-up call" to alert Americans to the consequences of the United States continuing to pump out carbon dioxide as if there were no tomorrow, then the Katrina hurricane cloud will have a silver lining. But it may already be too late. We may be launched on an unstoppable downward spiral. If so, if large parts of the world were tormented by unpredictable storms, flooding and temperature changes, then what happened in New Orleans would seem like a tea party.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The moon is red again tonight

This is the third night in a row. It's behind trees now and I can't seem to grab pics of any kind. But it's red again tonight.

Very odd.

Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot.

Via Majikthise: Majikthise also has a link to corroboration.

The "partisan" EMS workers < /snark> tell their story.

Bradshaw and Slonsky are paramedics frorm California that were attending the EMS conference in New Orleans. Larry Bradsahw is the chief shop steward, Paramedic Chapter, SEIU Local 790; and Lorrie Beth Slonsky  is steward, Paramedic Chapter, SEIU Local 790.[California]


The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.

We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the Walgreen's in the French Quarter.

We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the "victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed,were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans.


Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.


By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City's primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City's only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, "If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement".


We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope.


As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.


All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot. Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become.


The Real Disaster

Charmaine Neville transcript

From here:

Charmaine: I was in my house when everything first started. I was in my house. Yes, I live in the [unintelligible] area at the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. When, when, when, when the hurricane came, it blew over the left side of my house from the north side of [unintelligible], and I -- the water was coming in the house in torrents. I had my neighbor, an elderly man who's my neighbor and myself in the house, and with our dogs and cats, and we were trying to stay out of the water but the water was coming in too fast, so we ended up having to leave the house.

We left the house and we went up on the roof of a school. I took a crowbar and I burst the door open on the roof of the school to help people to get them up onto the roof of the school. Later on we found a flat boat and we went around in the neighborhood in the flat boat getting people out of their houses and bringing them to the school. We found all the food that we could and we cooked and we fed people. But then, things started getting really bad. By the second day, the people that were there that we were feeding and everything, we had no more food, no water. We had nothing, and other people were coming into our neighborhood. We were watching the helicopters go across the bridge and airlift other people out, but they would hover over us and tell us, "Hi," and that would be all. They wouldn't drop us any food, any water, nothing.

Alligators were eating people. They had all kind of stuff in the water. They had babies floating in the water. We had to walk over hundreds of bodies of dead people, people that we tried to save from the hospices, from the hospitals and from the old folks' homes. I tried to get the police to help us but I realized we rescued a lot of police officers in the flat boat from the district police station. The boat, the guy who was driving the boat, he rescued a lot of them and brought them to get to places where they could be saved. We understood that the police couldn't help us, but we couldn't understand why the National Guard and them couldn't help us, because we kept seeing them, but they never would stop and help us.

Finally, it got to be too much. I just took all of the people that I could. I had two old women in wheelchairs with no legs that I rolled them from down there at Ninth Ward to the French Quarters, and I went back and I got more people. There were groups of us, you know, there was about 24 of us, and we kept going back and forth and rescuing whoever we could get and bringing them to the French Quarters since we heard that there was phones in the French Quarters and that there wasn't any water. And they were right. There was phones but we couldn't get through. I found some police officers. I told them that a lot of us women had been raped down there by guys who had come [inaudible] the neighborhood where we were that were helping us to save people, but other men, and they came and they started raping women and [inaudible], and they started killing them. And I don't know who these people were. I'm not going to tell you I know who they were because I don't, but what I want people to understand is that if we had not been left down there like the animals that they were treating us like, all of those things wouldn't have happened.

People are trying to say that we stayed in the city because we wanted to be rioting and we wanted to do this. We didn't have resources to get out. We had NO WAY TO LEAVE. When they gave the evacuation order, if we could have left, we would have left. There are still thousands and thousands of people trapped in the homes down in the down, in the downtown area. When we finally did get to --

Priest: Downtown or the Ninth Ward?

Charmaine: The Ninth Ward. In the Ninth Ward, and not just in my neighborhood but in other neighborhoods in the Ninth Ward, there are a lot of people who are still trapped down there. Old people, young people, babies, pregnant women, I mean, nobody's helping them. And I want people to realize that we did not stay in the city so that we could steal and loot and, and commit crimes. A lot of those young men lost their minds because the helicopters would fly over us and they wouldn't stop. We'd do SOS on the flashlights. We took everything. And it came to a point, it really did come to a point where these young men were so frustrated that they did start shooting. They weren't trying to hit the helicopters. They figured maybe they weren't seeing. Maybe if they hear this gunfire, they would stop then, but that didn't help us. Nothing like that helped us.

Finally I got to Canal Street with all of my people that I had saved from back there. There was a whole group of us. I -- I don't want them arresting nobody else -- I broke the window in an RTA bus. I've never learned how to drive a bus in my life. I got in that bus. I loaded all of those people in wheelchairs and then everything else into that bus [rising hysteria, sobs] and we drove and we drove and we drove. And millions of people was trying to get me to help them to get on the bus with them.

Priest: [Inaudible].

Charmaine: All I did was what He gave me about the willpower to do.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tonight's red moon




If I were a superstitious person, I'd find the conjunction of this moon with the New Orleans cataclysm more than a little spooky.

Charmaine Neville is alive and well

Yes, that Neville, as in Neville Brothers, Yellow Moon, Sister Rosa.

And you need to hear her story.

Red Moon






Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The moon over Cherokee County

There's a red crescent moon tonight. The moon is sad.


Well, it only took 14-15 hours to download and install that update.

But it hasn't solved the problem --- and there's another 50 or so MBs of updates to download and install, including Java updates.

And i have to do it, much as I don't want to, because I have all these great pictures of loofah flowers that I just uploaded but I can't access them without Java but everytime i turn on Java, everything crashes.


So I'm now proceeding on to another 10-12 hours of downloading and installing updates.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Responding to comments

By the way, I can't respond to any comments right now because every time I turn on Javascript, the browser crashes. I'm trying to do an uodate now but it's a 100MB update, so this might take a while. !!!

Well, those icky poor people don't need toilet facilities or privacy anyway, do they?

Former First Lady Barbara Bush said Monday that living in the Astrodome in Houston was working out well for many of the 15,000 hurricane victims there because they were underprivileged anyway [...] "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -- this [she chuckles slightly] is working very well for them."

Now isn't that special.

All those lazy people too lazy to evacuate or to make enough money to live elsewhere those damned welfare queens they got what they deserve

Yes, that's right, that's the Bush spin and the spin of his devoted --- whatever they are. Compassionate Conservatism in action.

In essence: Why those victims in New Orleans, they should have known better! Too poor to leave? Well, that's their problem, not mine and I ain't footing the bill. Besides, they're probably gay anyway and the country's better off without all those poor nig -er people!

Right. That's the ticket. All those lazy poor people too lazy to leave and too lazy to make enough money to leave and probably on welfare and gay anyway got exactly what they deserve.




On my front porch, 2 a.m., August 30.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

I won

I honestly didn't expect it, given how many wonderful --- and more consistent (!) --- bloggers there are, and how very negligent I've been the past couple of weeks.

And I honestly don't mean to spin it, but like almost everything the past few days, I find myself feeling that it's so important to really cherish the sight of a hummingbird at the Indian Peace Pipe and loofah flowers, or a baby bumblebee getting stuck inside a giant moonflower, or the discovery of a hive in the ground, or getting in jammies at 8 pm and watching movies, or the feeling of accomplishment from winning an award ---- because there are now thousands and thousands dead from Katrina and thousands and thousands who have lived through an Apocalypse Now scenario, and you and I both know that standing at the front door at midnight to savor giant moonflowers is now beyond them.

So thank you to Mike at OkieDoke (AKA Vintage Okie Opinion on the blogroll for creating and hosting the awards, and triple quadruple thanks to everyone who voted for me, despite how flakey I am!

Once the batteries on my camera get revved back up, I'll reward you all with pictures of giant moonflowers --- they're even bigger this year than last.