Tuesday, August 30, 2005

There is No There There

It is only now beginning to be clear to me how widespread and devastating the effects of Katrina are. I kept searching for good information until I found WLOX-TV (Biloxi Gulfport Pascagoula) and watched their aerial video of the coastal stretch. For awhile I thought that I wouldn't be able to breathe.

Today's personal news included a message from some friends who live in Pass Christian and reported they had fled to Florida and are pretty sure that their house is gone. They plan to pick up an RV tomorrow and figure they will be living in it for the forseeable future. Family that had fled to Alabama from Pascagoula have weathered the storm alright, but had hopes of returning to Pascagoula today.

What is WRONG with people?

Is anyone else as annoyed as I am that the news channels (CNN is specifically what I'm watching right now) are spending almost as much time agonizing over the economic impact of Hurricane Katrina as they are reporting on the human condition?!? For the love of God, people, we haven't even counted the dead yet! Untold hundreds, perhaps thousands, wait for rescue. Hundreds of thousands will be without basic necessities for days, perhaps weeks. And you want to talk about filthy lucre?

I'm reminded of something that Lew Black said on his "Rules of Enragement" album. 'I used to wonder why the French killed Marie Antoinette. Now I f-ing get it!' I think that even if you aren't religious you have to agree that the Seven Deadly Sins are bad stuff. And greed is one that I am particularly sick of.

Thus endeth the rant.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina and the Waves

As you may recall, my kin and I are closely tied to the Gulf Coast area stretching from New Orleans to Mobile. An area that you might also be seeing on the tv right now starring as Katrina's bitch. I worked on the East Side of New Orleans and have many old work buddies living in Slidell and Picayune. WSB TV in Atlanta gives this weblog update (portions recorded here since they will likely change their site):
4:26 p.m.: Do Not Come Home Until Further Notice
Jefferson Parish officials are reminding residents that they are not to come back to southeast Louisiana until further notice. Many of the roads are underwater and conditions are extremely dangerous. Officials will probably not be able to make an assessment until at least Tuesday. -- Web Staff
4 p.m.: East New Orleans Underwater

New video from a WDSU crew shows east New Orleans is underwater. Only the very tops of some cars can be seen, and on other streets, the water has risen past the second story of some homes. A man was seen wading through chest-deep water. He told the news crew that he was searching for injured or trapped people. -- Web Staff
Let's hope that everyone comes through ok. Heck, I hope that Grand Isle is still there. The National Geographic reported "...the weakened hurricane inflicted massive damage as it made several landfalls, starting when it crossed Grand Isle around 5 a.m. local time. At that point the storm's strongest winds were blowing at 150 miles (225 kilometers) an hour.."

If you get a chance, drop by and wish Oyster (Your Right Hand Thief) good luck. He took his family outta there, but we have to hope that when he gets back there is still some there there.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

He's Home!!!!

Last night at 10:13, almost exactly five days and two hours after his disappearance, we got a phone call that our Tyr dog was at the entry to our neighborhood. We raced down there and had to stop traffic to get him. He's skinny and was incredibly exhausted so we have no idea what he's been doing for five days. But he's home, he's home, he's home!!! Thanks for all of the good wishes and thoughts.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Bumper Sticker Righteousness

I saw an intriguing bumper sticker on the way into work today and it made me stop and think.

Except for ending slavery, fascism, nazism, and communism
Yes, ironically enough it was a blue sticker. They had also made sure that the part you noticed was the "War Never Solved Anything" piece. Being the open-minded person that I am I did stop to think about that proposition. Was it true that war had done something categorically positive? Let's think...

In my opinion the new laws put in effect by the legislature and president ended legal slavery in America. The war part came in when part of a sovereign nation rose up and attempted to assert independence. And any Southerner worth his salt will tell you that it was about "State's Rights" and a heck of a lot more than slavery. So, no, war did not end slavery. It was necessary to protect the sovereignity of the United States... and one of the issues on the table was slavery. Furthermore, slavery on an international scale has not ended. Perhaps someone will declare war on it soon.

Ideologies are notoriously difficult to kill, regardless of how much violence you use against them. The virtue of being an idea instead of an individual, I suppose. Meanwhile I propose that our bumper sticker owner call up all of the fascist and communist leaders in the world, plus all of the followers of the nazi ideology, and remind them that their ideology is straight out because we've already waged a war and defeated those ideas. When questioned on the basis for that belief I recommend that he yell, "You're stupid!" and hang up quickly.

In closing, the underlying truth that the bumper sticker is hinting at, but is trying to build an unstable tower on the basis of, is that sometimes there are things worth fighting for in this life. It's true on everything from a personal to an international level. But what is overlooked in his bumper philosophy, and also true on the micro and macro level, is that there are always costs associated which should be wisely weighed and that no victory is absolute - especially when dealing with isms.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Goodbye Admiral Cartwright

Another character from Star Trek has beamed up to the great beyond. Brock Peters, the man with the wonderful voice who portrayed Admiral Cartwright in Star Treks IV and VI, passed away during treatment for pancreatic cancer. I would like to take this time to not only acknowledge his incredible talent and career (perhaps you've heard of a little film called To Kill a Mockingbird?), but to acknowledge both Star Trek and actors of Mr. Peters' caliber for portraying a future where skin color will be incidental. I was so Star Trek-soaked as a child that I still have to study discrimination as a strange social phenomenon since I don't understand it.

Godspeed, Admiral Cartwright, and a torpedo salute from all of us here on the USS Bob.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Little Dog Lost

Tyr went out for his evening constitutional a little after 8pm on Monday and hasn't come home yet. We've had the little guy (aka Toodles, Old Man) for about 12 years so we're a bit beside ourselves right now. We walked the woods around our house and bothered the neighbors. He's got identification on his collar and an ID tattoo on his thigh (which makes it kinda illegal to do scientific testing on him).

Any thoughts or prayers for his safe return are appreciated. Tomorrow morning the "Missing Dog" flyers are going up.