Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Forgive You, Randy Newman...

Randy Newman made my life a misery in junior high school with his song "Short People" (there is a reason that my handle is LittleBit!), but this song makes up for that in droves.

This song was written about another disaster in the history of Louisiana, the big flood of 1927. The Mississippi River broke the levee system in 145 places, killed 246 people in 7 states and 700,000 people were left homeless.

This was the impetus for the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the Old South to the more industrialized North, and changed the political map forever.

If you don't think there was a political calculus involved in the Katrina response, you are deluding yourself. Republicans are not stupid--they learn their history and use the lessons learned to further their goals.

Republicans need to make Louisiana a little (or a lot) whiter, so the last bastion of the Blue South will turn Rebel Red.

Gulf Coast Communities, Requiescat in Pace

This is the first anniversary of the catastrophic storm that shredded the Gulf Coast. It also pulled aside the curtain covering the Bush Administration, showing it to be shallow, heartless, weak, corrupt and unresponsive to the needs of Americans in need.

I don't want to hear a single person saying New Orleanians got what they deserved for living in an area that is below sea level. My answer to these idiots is that if the wetlands had been preserved, they would have absorbed the storm surge that was the undoing of the levees.

In addition to that, the Army Corps of Engineers (a Federal agency) is in charge of the levees and they knew that the levees had structural deficiencies due to design flaws. This has been known for decades, but nothing has been done. I am faulting Congress (both the current and previous ones) for not recognizing and acting on these facts. This is not a partisan issue, it is a domestic economic issue. You see, NOLA is one of the biggest ports in this country. Much of the oil and natural gas and consumer goods we use in my area come from the Gulf up the Mississipi and Missouri Rivers.

The entire Gulf Coast fishing industry was decimated by Katrina, and it has yet to return. Some families will never return. Entire towns were washed off the map, shrimp boats stranded in trees or smashed to bits in the battering debris-filled winds.

Katrina caused a diaspora even larger than those recounted in Scripture, around 1,000,000 people. It has allowed a quiet racial cleansing of the last bastion of the Blue South. Host towns have already started racially-toned arguements that "those people" just increase the crime rate, implying that the mostly black Katrina victims are nothing but a sucking chest wound in the body politic. They are silent as to why Katrina victims might be more prone to commiting crime. Could it be that unemployment is 34.7% for Katrina victims, while it is only 4.7% nationwide for all workers? People who are jobless will find ways to feed their families, for the same reason as unemployed Iraqis are susceptible to becoming militia members and suicide bombers. Those who are stripped of their communities and not given the dignity of gainful employment are at great risk of radicalization.

We ignore this at our peril.

The bottom line is that it is my job, and yours, and every American's to clear out the debris, rebuild and economically support those returning to the Gulf Coast. Buy more shrimp, purchase as many goods from the Gulf coast as you can. Help them survive and thrive. That's something everyone can do.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bobo Strikes Again!

What can I say? It seems that David Brooks cannot write one single article without taking a swipe at Democrats. It seems that a piece about tattoo enthusiasts makes him think of Democrats wanting to make sure people know for whom they voted. Blergh.

How very Pavlovian of him.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Adventure Begins!

I am dipping my toe into the waters of Blogtopia, and I hope I will be able to master Blogger and write coherent posts about the topics that interest me (quite the tall order!).

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to gooooooooo!