Sunday Reads: Sea Cows, Paper Birds, and the Milky Way

Well, Irene must be pounding New York City…I hope that all our readers in its path are safe…as I was writing this post last night, it was reassuring to see some of you checking in.

Irene has put many events and sports games on hold, but as Boston Boomer mentioned yesterday, one of the postponed disappointments is the inauguration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in D.C.  Rupert Cornwell: He had a dream – and now it’s set in stone – Rupert Cornwell, Commentators – The Independent

The new Martin Luther King memorial will be dedicated by President Barack Obama

afp/getty images

The new Martin Luther King memorial will be dedicated by President Barack Obama

In terms of physical damage and devastation, Hurricane Irene may have a great deal to answer for. But here in America’s capital, to injury has been added insult. The storm has forced the postponement of today’s planned formal inauguration of the new memorial to Martin Luther King on the National Mall in Washington DC. The dedication was to have been performed by the black president whose own miraculous ascent and inauguration would never have happened but for Dr King and the movement he led, and the speech he made close to that spot exactly 48 years ago.

[…]

But the mere dedication of a monument does of itself not turn wrongs into rights, or wipe a country’s conscience clean. Yes, the new King memorial is remarkable: the Mall is a place that honours wars and those who died in them, and the country’s greatest government leaders. Yet King was a pacifist (and widely reviled for it). He was an outsider, who made his reputation by defying the laws of the land.

He preached reconciliation, but as Cornel West, a Princeton professor and leading African-American intellectual, argued in The New York Times on Friday, King was also a revolutionary, who never ceased to decry the “racism, poverty, militarism and materialism” of American society.

Obama was supposed to speak at the event, which has been postponed indefinitely, and although I am disgusted with Obama, his lack of leadership and his pro-GOP policies… that a black president would be officiating at the MLK memorial’s opening is sure to bring emotional feelings for anyone, no matter what you think of Obama.

Yes, we have come a long way since that speech King gave 48 years ago, but it is sad that under this first black US president, African-Americans are experiencing a trend that is not moving blacks forward toward the dream that Mr. King spoke so eloquently about.

Since the 2008 crash, blacks have gone backwards economically. Since George W Bush left office, black unemployment has risen from 11 per cent to nearly 16 per cent, compared with an overall national rate of just over 9 per cent. According to one recent study, the median wealth of black households is one-twentieth of that of white households.

In 1963, King declared that the March on Washington was not an end but a beginning, and so it proved. The same goes for the new memorial, a reminder not of what has been achieved, but of what remains to be achieved.

Over in China, workers face unbearable conditions and forced overtime…in a toy factory that also employs children.  Disney factory faces probe into sweatshop suicide claims | World news | The Observer

Sturdy Products

A Sturdy Products’ employee works to fulfil orders, for ranges that include Disney ­merchandise. But a monitoring group claims that workers’ rights are often abused

Disney’s best-selling Cars toys are being made in a factory in China that uses child labour and forces staff to do three times the amount of overtime allowed by law, according to an investigation.

One worker reportedly killed herself after being repeatedly shouted at by bosses. Others cited worries over poisonous chemicals. Disney has now launched its own investigation.

It is claimed some of the 6,000 employees have to work an extra 120 hours every month to meet demand from western shops for the latest toys.

The factory, called Sturdy Products, makes toys for the giant Mattel company, which last month announced quarterly profits of £48m on the back of strong sales of Barbie dolls and Cars 2 toys. Sturdy Products, in the city of Shenzhen, also makes toys for US superstore chain Walmart. Among the brands produced are the Thomas the Tank Engine range, Matchbox cars, Cars, Toy Story, Barbie and Fisher Price products, Scrabble and the Hot Wheels sets.

So, this factory makes toys for Disney, Mattel and Walmart…

Sacom’s accusations against the factory include:

■ The employment of a 14-year-old. Staff also reported the presence of other child workers, according to the investigator.

■ Routine excessive overtime. Employees produced a “voluntary” document they said they had to sign agreeing to work beyond the maximum overtime legal limit of 36 hours a month, along with wage slips that suggested they were averaging 120 hours of overtime a month.

■ A harsh working environment in which workers complained of mistreatment by management. One worker injured on the production line was shouted at and ordered back to work despite needing medical treatment.

■ Concerns about the chemicals in use and poor ventilation. Employees claimed three workers had fallen ill. They said they had to hide pots of adhesive and thinners during audits of the factory by its client companies.

■ They also claimed that they were paid by the factory to give misleading answers during audits and that they were fined for failing to hit targets. The calculation of wages for different workers was described by Sacom as arbitrary.

The International Council of Toy Industries’ Care Foundation, oof what a long name…is supposed to be overseeing the production of toy’s made overseas.

Sacom’s findings brought a rebuke from the International Council of Toy Industries’ Care Foundation. “We are the first to concede that much more work lies ahead of us, but we refuse to accept the sensationalist, media-oriented declarations of any group, especially when they are carping and filled with incorrect information. It is simply counter-productive,” the foundation said.

“The plain truth is that workers in many toy factories in China are better off now than they were before and that this is due in considerable part to the ICTI Care Process.”

Hmmm, that is some attitude to take isn’t it? Can you imagine how bad the factories were before the ICTI Care Process was enacted.

Now that Gaddafi has been pushed out of Tripoli, large mass graves are being found.  Charred remains of massacre victims found in Tripoli – Africa, World – The Independent

The terrible price many Libyan people have paid to be free of Colonel Gaddafi is becoming plain. Yesterday, only a day after more than 120 decomposing bodies were found in a Tripoli hospital, a British television team filmed the charred remains of an estimated 53 people in a burnt-out warehouse in the south of the city.

Stuart Ramsay of Sky News was led to the building by residents who had made the discovery. Inside was a scene of mass cremation: more than four dozen corpses of what were once human beings, their ages and genders impossible to tell. Ribcages, skulls and other bones lay in a blackened mess. Local people told of how the bodies of perhaps as many as 100 others lay nearby, including those of two soldiers with their hands behind their backs who had been executed for refusing to fire on the victims of the massacre, be they regime critics, civilians, or other refusenik soldiers.

The residents said they had been alerted by shooting some days ago, but when they tried to approach they were told by regime snipers that they would be shot if they did not retreat. After the Gaddafi men left, they went inside the warehouse, which is next to a military base. They said that in the past few weeks, they had seen people digging at night and the sound of gunfire. In the morning, the holes would be filled in.

But this is, like all civil wars, an exceptionally brutal conflict, with blame on both sides, and victims everywhere. The bodies keep piling up – civilians caught in crossfire, fighters lying where they fell, and the executed of both sides, including men from sub-Saharan Africa who may have been Gaddafi mercenaries, or just some poor wretch gone north to find work.

The article points out that Gaddafi loyalist are not the only ones who have been involved in brutal violence, it also questions the background of the  leader of the Rebel forces.

Yesterday, The Independent on Sunday learned that the rebel military commander behind the successful assault on Tripoli had fought in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban and was an Islamist terror suspect interrogated by the CIA. Abdelhakim Belhadj, the newly appointed commander of the Tripoli Military Council is a former emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – banned by Britain and the US as a terrorist organisation after the 9/11 attacks.

If this is the case, it gives me the willies. But it would not be the first time the US has put its support behind a questionable leader of a rebel force.  That is one tricky mess the State Department will be dealing with. I am just glad that Clinton, someone I trust completely, is there to put her expertise to work.

Going back to Irene, and the impact it is having on New York City.  For some perspective, here is an article that discusses New York’s History of Being Buffeted, Starting in 1821 – NYTimes.com

Remains of houses littered Westhampton after hurricane in 1938.
The New York TimesRemains of houses littered Westhampton, N.Y., after a hurricane in 1938.

Stephen Fybish, a 74-year-old weather historian from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, celebrated his second birthday in Jackson Heights, Queens, on Sept. 20, 1938, the day before the great hurricane struck New York City. Nonetheless, his mother often proudly reminded him, everybody who was invited made it to his party.

The 1938 storm, which claimed 600 lives in the Northeast, devastated eastern Long Island, but spared much of the city, which, Mr. Fybish recalled, was soaked by about five inches of rain over two days and whipped by 60 m.p.h. winds.

Like other hurricanes, even that storm paled in comparison to the fiercest gale ever recorded, the one that that slammed the city head-on near what is now Kennedy International Airport on Sept. 3, 1821 — before Mr. Fybish’s time, he acknowledges. The tide rose 13 feet and the Hudson and East Rivers converged in lower Manhattan.

Take a look at the rest of that article. It summarizes the various hurricanes that have hit the city, Irene isn’t the first, and it surely will not be the last.

In another NYT article…The question of global warming and the effect on weather is debated. As Climate Changes, Scientists See Irene as a Harbinger – NYTimes.com

While the number of the most intense storms has clearly been rising since the 1970s, researchers have come to differing conclusions about whether that increase can be attributed to human activities.

“On a longer time scale, I think — but not all of my colleagues agree — that the evidence for a connection between Atlantic hurricanes and global climate change is fairly compelling,” said Kerry Emanuel, an expert on the issue at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

[…]

Storms are one of nature’s ways of moving heat around, and high temperatures at the ocean surface tend to feed hurricanes and make them stronger. That appears to be a prime factor in explaining the power of Hurricane Irene, since temperatures in the Atlantic are well above their long-term average for this time of year.

The ocean has been getting warmer for decades, and most climate scientists say it is because greenhouse gases are trapping extra heat. Rising sea-surface temperatures are factored into both Mr. Knutson’s and Dr. Emanuel’s analyses, but they disagree on the effect that warming in remote areas of the tropics will have on Atlantic hurricanes.

Air temperatures are also rising because of greenhouse gases, scientists say. That causes land ice to melt, one of several factors leading to a rise in sea level. That increase, in turn, is making coastlines more vulnerable to damage from the storm surges that can accompany powerful hurricanes.

Powerful cyclone storms have also affected the environment in Australia.  Famine threatens Australia’s gentle sea cows – Nature, Environment – The Independent

The dugong is under pressure from pollution, encroaching industrial development, and hunting

PHOTOLIBRARY.COM

The dugong is under pressure from pollution, encroaching industrial development, and hunting

An underwater famine is posing the latest threat to one of Australia’s most endangered marine species, the dugong, which lives entirely on sea grass. At least 100 have starved to death in recent months and many more are likely to follow in the absence of their only food source.

Torrential rain and storms, including Cyclone Yasi earlier this year, have destroyed vast swathes of sea grass from northern Queensland to the New South Wales border. More than 1,000 miles of coastline which once provided the perfect habitat for these oddly shaped and gentle creatures are now denuded of the dugong’s natural foodstuff.

[…]

“This is a national environmental disaster,” says Professor Ellen Ariel, a marine biologist at James Cook University in Townsville. “What’s happening now is they have nothing to eat and it’s not going to change in any way soon. Sea grass takes between two to three years to recover, if there are no other extreme weather events in the meantime.”

Those dugong look a lot like manatees don’t they?  They are in fact in the same order of species. Dugongs, Dugong Pictures, Dugong Facts – National Geographic

Photo: Dugong under water

Possibly the inspiration for mariners’ tales of mermaids, dugongs are closely related to elephants.

For those of you who are not getting hit by Irene, Look overhead to see the summer Milky Way | Tonight | EarthSky

The moon will be new tomorrow and then in a waxing crescent phase in the west after sunset in the next few days. That means that, over the coming week, the moon will set soon after sunset and be mostly absent from the evening sky.

And a moonless sky means this is a good time to get out into the country for a look at the summer Milky Way: the edgewise view into our own galaxy.

Here is the view if you are standing facing east – but craning your neck to look overhead. The galaxy stretches across the sky during the evening hours now. When you look at it with the eye alone, you might think it looks hazy. But you’ll see the truth if you’ll peer at the Milky Way with an ordinary pair of binoculars. Binoculars cause the so-called haze to explode into view as myriad, distant stars.

We are going to try to get a look at the Milky Way from our back porch…I will let you know if we do get to see it with the naked eye.

From the Minx Missing Link File: Ah, this missing link is from yesterday, and is from one of my favorite sites,  Medieval News: 500 years ago, yeast’s epic journey gave rise to lager beer

In the 15th century, when Europeans first began moving people and goods across the Atlantic, a microscopic stowaway somehow made its way to the caves and monasteries of Bavaria.

The stowaway, a yeast that may have been transported from a distant shore on a piece of wood or in the stomach of a fruit fly, was destined for great things. In the dank caves and monastery cellars where 15th century brewmeisters stored their product, the newly arrived yeast fused with a distant relative, the domesticated yeast used for millennia to make leavened bread and ferment wine and ale. The resulting hybrid – representing a marriage of species as evolutionarily separated as humans and chickens – would give us lager, the clear, cold-fermented beer first brewed by 15th century Bavarians and that today is among the most popular – if not the most popular – alcoholic beverage in the world.

Click the link above to read the full paper this little “tease” of an abstract is giving.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the WeekThe Makerie Shows off Beautiful Paper Birds | Geekosystem Take a look at these paper birds…cool stuff indeed.

Artists Joyanne Horscroft and Julie Wilkinson comprise The Makerie, makers of incredible works of paper art. While their work has encompassed many different subjects, they’ve recently produced some truly amazing birds made from paper. While birds are a favorite subject for origami artists, The Makerie shirks the ancient approach for a more sculptural and dynamic look. The feathers cascade, the colors pop, and there’s an eerie sense of life in some of these works. Be sure to read on below for some more examples of their work.

There is your Sunday reads for today.  If you are in the path of Irene, please take care and let us know that you are okay.

Are you finding anything interesting this morning? Post some links, and I will catch y’all later in the comments!

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45 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Sea Cows, Paper Birds, and the Milky Way”

  1. The Rock says:

    What a news roundup! Kudos Minx for basically highlighting EVERYTHING important. I’ve been up all night and I couldn’t have found anymore than you did…..

    …that a black president would be officiating at the MLK memorial’s opening is sure to bring emotional feelings for anyone, no matter what you think of Obama.

    Painful as it is to admit, I wholeheartedly disagree. Dr. King’s dream was that this generation of blacks would NOT be judged by the color of their skin. The ONLY reason that Bumbles got elected was BECAUSE OF the color of his skin. He has demonstrated time and time again that the content of his character isn’t worth the toilet paper I used and discarded about an hour ago. He is making it harder and harder for honest discourse to happen in this country since anything said in opposition to Teh One is considered racist.

    Asshat.

    …But it would not be the first time the US has put its support behind a questionable leader of a rebel force…

    This is a horrible situation for Africans. Sadly, we NEED heavy-handed leaders back home. Unfortunately, as was the case under Pinochet in Chile, to really bring about the right kind of change, some people will have to stop breathing. Unlike Pinochet, who killed the right people and gained the respect and undying support of his people, our leaders in Africa tend to kill the wrong people. That is what I am watching for. Some high level Gghaddafi supporters will need to meet their end soon. Question is, who will replace them?

    http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/homes-from-shipping-containers.html

    This could end up being a great solution to many city’s homeless problems. The units seem inexpensive to build and probably be stacked to provide extra room. Questions of stability seem to be the only drawback. If the housing is temporary, it might serve well in some areas as address for the homeless to reside at as they seek employment.

    My long-windedness is over. Time to finish working. Have a great day all!!

    Hillary 2012

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Rock, in no way was this comment long winded! I always look forward to your comments. This is really making me think…and I want to get some coffee before I write about it…

    • WomanVoter says:

      FranEaton Fran Eaton
      by educationmatter
      RT @BorowitzReport: #IRENE: The White House is without power, but that has nothing to do with the weather.

      :lol:

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Rock, you may have seen this: Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Show business

      What you see is not always what you get, as shown by the latest group of Wikileaks cables:

      US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday and Thursday expose the close collaboration between the US government, top American politicians and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered.

      • The Rock says:

        No I didn’t, but man that’s a good read! The Mark Wahlberg movie “Shooter” was on TNT while I was getting ready for work, and the villanous senator from Montana said ‘…its not about right or left, Republican or Democrat, or even right or wrong. Its about the haves and the have nots. The work will get done, its just a matter of whether you get rich or not…’ (or something to that effect). I guess art imitates life…

        Asshats

        Hillary 2012

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    The 8am advisory just came in and Irene is still a cat 1 hurricane:

    Hurricane IRENE Public Advisory

    AT 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE IRENE WAS LOCATED
    BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT AND NOAA DOPPLER
    RADAR NEAR LATITUDE 40.3 NORTH…LONGITUDE 74.1 WEST. IRENE IS
    MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 25 MPH…41 KM/H…AND THIS
    MOTION WITH A CONTINUED GRADUAL INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS
    EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. ON THE FORECAST TRACK…THE
    CENTER OF IRENE WILL MOVE NEAR NEW YORK CITY THIS MORNING…AND MOVE
    INLAND OVER SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND BY THIS AFTERNOON. IRENE IS
    FORECAST TO MOVE INTO EASTERN CANADA TONIGHT.

    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 75 MPH…120 KM/H…WITH
    HIGHER GUSTS. IRENE IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE
    SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. IRENE IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN
    AND BECOME A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE BY TONIGHT OR EARLY MONDAY.

    HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 125 MILES…205 KM…FROM
    THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 320
    MILES…520 KM. GROTON CONNECTICUT RECENTLY REPORTED SUSTAINED
    WINDS OF 39 MPH…63 KM/H…AND A WIND GUST TO 54 MPH…87 KM/H.

    BATTERY PARK NEW YORK CITY HAS RECENTLY REPORTED A TOTAL WATER LEVEL
    NEAR 8.6 FEET.

    THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY THE HURRICANE HUNTER
    AIRCRAFT WAS 963 MB…28.44 INCHES.

    NOTE…MORE SO THAN WITH MOST STORMS…THE WINDS WITH IRENE INCREASE
    SHARPLY WITH HEIGHT ABOVE THE SURFACE. AS IRENE MOVES THROUGH
    AREAS WITH HIGH-RISE STRUCTURES…THESE BUILDINGS COULD EXPERIENCE
    WINDS SIGNIFICANTLY STRONGER THAN THE SURFACE WINDS. WINDS AT THE
    30-STORY LEVEL WILL LIKELY BE 20 PERCENT HIGHER THAN AT THE
    SURFACE…AND WINDS 80-100 STORIES UP COULD BE ABOUT 30 PERCENT
    HIGHER THAN AT THE SURFACE.

    • northwestrain says:

      I’m glad I’m not on the east coast. I think I prefer the earthquake — sure you don’t know when it will hit — but it is done and gone.

      Hurricanes go on and on and on. Been there and done that.

    • WomanVoter says:

      Is it true, that Obama cut short his vacation by 12 HOURS!?! If so, they his PR machine is playing up his ‘caring’ by fudging, as twelve hours is a bit like saying you caught the 12 pm flight out instead of the 12AM flight, but you essentially stayed for the duration of your vacation.

      I was actually beginning to think that he gave a hoot, but it is all a PR Joke if that is what happened.

  3. Beata says:

    Fascinating round-up, Minx. Thank you!

    Irene has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm:

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCUAT4+shtml/281302.shtml

  4. paper doll says:

    Love the paper birds, thanks!

    the winds weren’t as bad a predicted and I’m endlessly grateful for electricity…how great is electricity?? No wonder people worshiped the sun years ago . I’m bowing to an outlet
    and power lines!

    If this is the case, it gives me the willies. But it would not be the first time the US has put its support behind a questionable leader of a rebel force

    it’s the modus operendi…we install them in such a fashion so we can take them out 20 years later and put in the new one . But I doubt this guy will be the front guy

  5. madamab says:

    Just checking in…my area has a lot problems, but we ourselves are okay. Still have power, and none of the giant trees in our parking lot are down despite about 70-80 mph gusts last night. Whew! Almost all of he major parkways in lower Westchester County are flooded.

    http://www.lohud.com/article/20110828/NEWS03/308280022/LoHud-transportation-update-road-closures-mass-transit-cancellations

    NYC was slammed in a way I’ve never seen in all my time in this area. The East River and the Hudson River both flooded their banks, which means the Henry Hudson Parkway and the FDR Drive (the main highways on the West and East Side of the City, respectively) were both adversely affected. The Henry Hudson was expected, and had been closed since yesterday, but I don’t think the FDR was. It flooded at several spots, all the way up to midtown Manhattan. The MTA won’t be operational until possibly tomorrow afternoon or evening, meaning that tomorrow’s commute is going to be rather problematic, to say the least. NJ got slammed with power outages and a lot of flooding too.

    For those who are still going to be hit, be careful and know that the storm is lessening. Hopefully New Englanders won’t get it quite so badly.

  6. Fannie says:

    In regards to MLK national Memorial………I kinda wish they would have done this in Memphis, and not DC…………..Wonder how many millions did it cost? He would have wanted that kind of money to be spent on poor people and their children.

    • Fannie says:

      sorry about youtube…………….I was thinking of John Lenon, POWER TO THE PEOPLE

    • northwestrain says:

      MLK’s memorial cost about 120 million — and a few million was saved by having the statue make in China.

      Information here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._National_Memorial

      • Fannie says:

        Thanks northwt…………..Fees to King family, $800,000 licensing deal with “use of King’s words, and image in fundraising materials for memorial.”……………………

        The Chinese team worked without pay, and saved us 8 milliion……………….The Chinese government donated 25 million……………..I just don’t get it…………….

        It would have been another thing if like the Statute of LIberty, was given to us (by French), but
        the Chinese did not gift this to us……………..the work was outsourced, and since this was started in 2001, and coincides with Bush Presidency, must have been a done deal…………..

      • Fannie says:

        Followup – This project was started back in 1996, began by fraternity……….1996 congress approved, and in 2008 congress authorized 10 million, and the upkeep will be by the National Park Service…………..

        Your guess is as good as mine, in regards to how many nantional parks are on the chopping block.

  7. Branjor says:

    Checking in here. I spent the storm with friends 25 miles inland and it really wasn’t bad in terms of wind, just torrential rain for a while. They never lost electricity. I am home again and posting from my iPhone because I have no electricity here. The neighbor said it has been out since just before midnight.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Sorry about your power. I hope it doesn’t take too long to restore.

      • Branjor says:

        Thx! I hope it is restored soon too. I also just discovered that my landline phone service is out too. And my iPhone charge is starting to run down, but is still at slightly more than half.

  8. joanelle says:

    Great post, Minx. The sun is actually shining here in Northern NJ – we had little damage and did not lose electricity – but the rivers will be cresting tomorrow, and for the rest of the week they are expecting record levels – so I’m guessing we will have displaced friends with us again as they are not far from the Passaic River – which is expected to crest at 18′ – high crest is considered 12′ or more.

    Gov. Chrisie just said that there are over 650,000 people without electricity here in NJ – Gov. Cabot (PA) has offered help with utility workers, shelters, etc. for which we are most grateful.

    The rain pounded us until about 9:30 this AM and then began to slow down pretty quickly – although the sun is shining intermittenly there is still a slight mist rain.

  9. joanelle says:

    Christie has been outstanding – a real leader in this instance – that from someone who is not much of a Christie fan.

  10. foxyladi14 says:

    Obama saved the day.what a leader!! :lol:

    • foxyladi14 says:

      the whole story! :lol:

    • dakinikat says:

      That’s the right wing trying to revive George Bush’s reputation as a leader during Katrina.

      • dakinikat says:

        Governors praise federal response to Hurricane

        I’d rather have a functional FEMA any day over what George Bush did to us. Stupid Ron Paul wants to get rid of FEMA. Evidently never heard of economies of scale and public goods. If Obama wants to put a few stupid pictures out looking all responsive, so be it as long as FEMA works.

        If they hadn’t sent me money, I’d have been sunk between that and my friends and family. My stupid university couldn’t get me my paycheck for four fricking months but still had me working the entire time.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          Here is another link for you Dak: Hurricane Irene Katrina | Obama Bush Leadership | Video | Mediaite

          Today’s This Week panel started by discussing the media reaction to the storm. George Will thought the coverage was creating “synthetic hysteria” and newspeople should not speak in dire terms when reporting on the hurricane. Cokie Roberts suggested the opposite, that the media should not understate the potential threat of a hurricane, pointing to the vast devastation of Hurricane Katrina and claiming that 5000 families were separated during the storm.

          This brought the panel to the main focus of the discussion: the politics of a disaster response. Ron Brownstein, from the National Journal, highlighted a drop in George Bush’s poll numbers following Katrina, arguing that the threat of a political fallout should be enough “for elected officials to really be on high alert” during a natural disaster. Donna Brazile described the government’s response to Irene as “adequate” and singled out FEMA director Chris Fugate for his work at the agency through several hurricanes over the past few years.

          Roberts saw Katrina as a tipping point in the Bush administration because people no longer viewed him as the president who would keep them safe. As for President Obama’s handling of Irene, Roberts thought that the president could improve his poll numbers if he demonstrated effective leadership during the storm. Brownstein agreed, positing that while strong leadership is not necessarily the only mark of an authoritative president, a lack of such would deal a significant blow to his popularity.

          • dakinikat says:

            One of the things that we talked about at Rising Tide is that the politicization of the Bush response to Katrina destroyed Kathleen Blanco and gave us that abomination of a governor we have now–Bobby Jindal.

      • dakinikat says:

        Here’s more right wing crap:

        Fox News asks if we need a National Weather Service?

        http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/08/27/do-really-need-national-weather-service/

        Ron Paul: No FEMA response necessary

        http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/08/26/7488430-ron-paul-no-fema-response-necessary

        Perry calls Social Security ‘monstrous lie’

        http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Perry-calls-Social-Security-a-monstrous-lie-for-2144460.php

        Welcome to the world of the Neoconfederacy!

      • ralphb says:

        I’m glad Rick Perry is telling people who he is now. Maybe it will hurt him in the primaries.

  11. joanelle says:

    What a hero :?

    Well, now the winds are really picking up here – there are two trees we are still pretty nervous about. They are on two of our neighbor’s property, they are very large and one is really leaning.

    We’ll see

  12. dakinikat says:

    Dr. King Weeps From His Grave

    The age of Obama has fallen tragically short of fulfilling King’s prophetic legacy. Instead of articulating a radical democratic vision and fighting for homeowners, workers and poor people in the form of mortgage relief, jobs and investment in education, infrastructure and housing, the administration gave us bailouts for banks, record profits for Wall Street and giant budget cuts on the backs of the vulnerable.

    NYT editorial by Dr. Cornell West.

  13. dakinikat says:

    Idiot Wind: The Eternal Return of the Politics of the 1970s

    Accordingly, here’s a plot spoiler regarding the stagecraft of the next presidential election cycle. Republicans — Bachmann, Perry et al will play their roles as scary, scary psychos — escapees from the Right Wing Christian Madhouse For Social Program Ax Murderers — as Obama will play the calm, reasonable, deliberate authority figure who, after the crazies are dispatched, will calmly and deliberately slash to bits Social Security and Medicare — and then feed the remains to the economy-devouring cannibals on Wall Street.

    Mojo Nixon (no blood relation, I suspect) sang, “Everybody has a little Elvis in them.” Nowadays, regrettably, we must sing: “Everybody has far too much Nixon in them.” Internally (even those born long after the 1970’s) in larger and smaller degrees, carry Nixon’s dismal legacy.

    • HT says:

      I don’t think Nixon was the key – although he was a nasty piece of work. The real father of disaster was Raygun – Ronnie. He was the enabler – scum sucking second rate actor that he was.

      • paper doll says:

        Bachmann, Perry et al will play their roles as scary, scary psychos …..as Obama will play the calm, reasonable, deliberate authority figure who, after the crazies are dispatched, will calmly and deliberately slash to bits Social Security and Medicare — and then feed the remains to the economy-devouring cannibals on Wall Street.

        I said this months ago…it’s pretty obvious it’s what they are up too. You can see the building of MB and JUST as the Newweek cover came out to dethrone MB , here comes the RP parade….however they had better watch Perry…he might be too tempting ( ugh) People have had it with what passes for Obie “reason ” …the point is both Repug and Dem have the same goal: feeding us to Wall St. The rest is a Punch and Judy show

  14. Minkoff Minx says:

    Thank you Branjor, Madamab, Joanelle for checking in, I am glad you are okay.

  15. Minkoff Minx says:

    Well, I just have to post this…The Dick Cheney aka Darth Vader memoir is causing an uproar withing the Bushie Circle of Trust. Check this out: Powell Cheney Memoir | Colin Powell Bush | Video | Mediaite

    While the main focus on the Sunday news shows today was Hurricane Irene and the government response to the storm, on Face the Nation today, Colin Powell weighed in on the “explosive” new memoir being released by former Vice President Dick Cheney, and responded to many of the charges the former vice president leveled against him.

    Bob Schieffer asked Powell if there was anything in the former VP’s book that would cause people’s heads to explode in Washington. Powell did not think so, and immediately proceeded to criticize Cheney for using the book as a platform to go after him and other members of the Bush administration.

    Mr. Cheney has had a long and distinguished career, and I hope that’s what he’ll focus on, not these cheap shots that he’s taking at me and other members of the administration who served to the best of our ability for President Bush.

    When I read this Mediaite post, I immediately thought of this scene:

    Powell better watch out, you know the Force is strong with Cheney…

    • purplefinn says:

      Am I too optimistic to hope that Cheney’s memoir is a piece of the karma I have awaited? GW Bush wasn’t too happy with Cheney by the end of his second term.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Well, tonight is the My Pet Goat moment relived. Bush is supposed to be on at 10 pm on National Geographic. I’ll be watching. Right now watching the 9/11 shows they have programed…I never wrote down what was going on that morning, what I saw before I got the call from my husband. Maybe I should do it, because it sure has all come back to me as if it happened yesterday.

  16. Bachmann says “Who likes white people?” in a tent revival?

    http://www.manarewescrewed.com/?p=4309

    Oy