Monday, April 30, 2007

Feds Screw Katrina Victims. Again.

The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush Administration turned down over 800 million dollars in Hurricane Katrina aid from foreign donors. A sampling of offers wasted or rejected: cash money, oil which could be sold for cash, cruise ships for housing, medical supplies, food and water, and search and rescue teams. The U.S. declined 54 of 77 offers of aid from Britain, Canada, and Isreal alone. The incompetence of the Bush administration never ceases to amaze me, so I would like to apologize to all the nations who offered help. Not only that, I would like to accept your offers.

My home took in only about a foot of water. Not much in comparison to what many people lost, but I was not allowed to return to my home and begin clean up for one and a half months. In that time, the furniture and walls soaked up the canal water, the food rotted in the refrigerator and the rain came through the holes in the roof. Since then I've dealt with more than one shady contractor, (they never come back once they realize you're not going to pay them until they begin the work,) and a few honest ones. Dial One put a new roof over my head by Christmas 2005 but the shingles were terrible and failed to sit properly on the roof. After one phone call to my contractor, he had representatives from the manufacturer on-site for an inspection and two weeks later they re-roofed my home at no cost. I also used them for my electrical and plumbing contracting and they've so far performed well.

That said, I'm still running out of money. I was underinsured on the property and content and coupled with the huge increase in materials and labor post-Katrina, I'm finding it difficult to complete my repairs. I tried to apply to the Louisiana Road Home Program, but since I was insured and did not suffer "more than 50% damage" to my home I was ineligible for assistance. Here's where the nations of the world come in; I would like to accept your gracious offers of aid.

To return my home to it's pre-storm condition I'm still short about $20-30,000. this money will be used for the bottom half of my walls, (the sheetrock soaked up canal water and began to mold and had to be removed,) repainting the walls, replacing the electrical outlets, (even though they took no water and currently work, the city informs me they must all be replaced) replacing the kitchen cabinets and appliances which took in water due to a hole in the roof, patio and sidewalk repair, (the concrete has cracked and shifted due to subsidence from floodwaters and even though the city claims to own the sidewalks, they insist it's my job to pay for the repairs,) landscaping, (you have no idea how many new weeds and plants have taken root where the floodwaters stood,) storage for what possessions still remain while the work is done, and repainting the outside of the house. I've already started painting in a red and white color scheme, (I'm of Polish descent,) but if you want, I can paint in the colors of whichever nation would like to throw some cash my way.

Now I'm not just asking for money, (and I really don't expect to get any,) because if there are roving bands of foreign contractors looking to donate materials and labor I'll accept that too! You can stay here with me while you work, there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms. If any nation wishes to help me out here, I'll gratefully erect a brass plaque on the front of the house detailing your contributions to returning my home and my life to a reasonable sense of order. Please send an e-mail and I can arrange for one of your representatives to visit my home. I wouldn't ask you to donate without confirming my veracity.

By the way, this includes the United States of America. If the current administration wishes to take care of its own, that would be just fine by me, but I'm not expecting much more from them than the usual ignorance and carelessness. Thank you all and I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Imussing of Ed Blakely

New Orleans Mayor C Ray Nagin actually suggested that Recovery Director Ed Blakely stop making comments and focus on helping the city recover. If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is. Apparently Mayor Wonka is suffering from a serious case of 'Do As I Say, Not As I Do.'

Blakely is currently being 'Imussed' for his recent comments in the New York Times in which he described New Orleans as a third-world country, compared our racial divide to that of Sunnis and Shiites, called the locals insular, and implied that local buffoons are impeding our recovery progress. (You heard it here first folks! Imussed: When someone makes a public comment which causes people to cry out for their immediate firing, stoning, incarceration, etc. I considered 'Nagined' but I'm not naming anything after that idiot.)

Fact: New Orleans is like a third-world country. We all know it and until Blakely was quoted in the paper we all were proud of it in a twisted way. It was a perverse badge of pride in the locals that we didn't operate like other cities. It set us apart and added to the charm of the city. Get over it and move on.

Fact: Blakely is wrong in comparing the racial divide in New Orleans to Sunnis and Shiites. Those groups attack and kill each other for religious beliefs. Here in New Orleans, it's largely 'African-Americans' killing each other over trivial crap like drugs. While there is a sense that racism is rampant in New Orleans, it's mainly kept alive by the 'African-American' community. New Orleans is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and we pretty much seem to be getting along except for a scant few who will never be satisfied with anything.

Fact: New Orleans locals are insular. Most people in the world are insular as it's more comfortable mixing with the familiar than it is trying to fit into new situations. There are certainly those locals who get along well with pretty much anyone, but for the most part, while this city desperately tries to get visitors to insert their hard earned money into our economy, there are those of us who glower at visitors from behind our daiquiris and mutter "fucking tourists." Grow a pair and admit it. I've done it, but it's usually aimed at those visitors who can't handle their liquor and end up spewing their whiskey-steeped Crawfish Meuniere across the hoods of parked cars in the French Quarter. Next.

Fact: Local buffoons are hindering the recovery process. There are folks out there like Sydney Torres who are trying very hard to help this city recover and doing a damn fine job. Then there are the buffoons like the folks at Dial One Plumbing, who so far have done excellent work for me, but seem completely inept at turning my paperwork over to the City of Kenner so I can get my gas service turned back on. It's been months now guys and I'd really like to take a hot bath without driving across town! Local buffoons exist here as they do everywhere else. We even elect them to high office once in a while. Deal with it.

As for Blakely, just because he's not far off from the mark this time doesn't mean he's not a moron. Since arriving here and taking the Recovery Director job, he has emulated Mayor Ray-Ray by using taxpayer money to fly wherever he wants, whenever he wants instead of doing the job for which he is being paid a substantial amount of our money. Like Ray-Ray, his head is full of conspiracy theories which he expounds on frequently, such as the "made-up" census numbers he believes falsely bloated the Pre-Katrina demographics of the city so it would qualify for "certain benefits." Blakely also said in an AP interview that he ran this city. Well, someone should, but not certainly this dink.

The upshot of all this is that the local buffoons have taken offense at Blakelys comments and are now calling for his immediate termination. To spot the buffoons, just look for those who doth protest too much. Cooler heads are taking it in stride, namely, City Councilwoman Stacey Head who was quoted thusly: "I think a lot of his comments hit the nail on the head... I don't take offense to his comments, and I think there are problems in the city we need to change." As for Local Buffoon Numero Uno, Mayor Nagin, he would do well to heed his own advice which oddly enough is the same thing I suggested to him over a year ago. For those with short memories, I shall repeat myself: Sit down, shut up and fix the city. Welcome to the Nation, Ed, don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way in.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rutgers vs Duke

Is it just me, or has anyone else out there noticed that this country is pretty fucked up? Is this what our forefathers fought and died for? For those religeous fanatics out there who believe God has a plan, is this it? Is this why our parents and grandparents fought in wars? Perhaps I should elaborate...

Scenario One: Don Imus made a joke in poor taste on his nationally syndicated cable-TV show. Al Sharpton and the Sharptonettes, (Jesse Jackson and other like-minded busybodies,) banded together in a show of solidarity and threatened boycotts of Imus' advertisers. The advertisers pulled out and the show has been cancelled. Over a bad joke. (Well, it was a bad joke two days ago. Now, according to the Big News Media, it's a "racially charged remark." Way to blow something out of proportion on a slow news day folks!)

Scenario Two: Some nobody 'escort' accused members of the Duke lacrosse team of rape. Prosecutor Mike Nifong withheld evidence of their innocence. The nobody 'escort' continued to lie to police, lawyers, judges, the media, and the entire nation. The members of the lacrosse team spent over a year under the scrutiny and derision of most of the nation and their coach was fired without evidence of any wrongdoing. Finally they were vindicated but where are Al and Jesse? Why aren't they calling for the nobody 'escort' to be fired? Is it because she's black? Hey, we all know 'escort' is a fancy word for whore. If Don Imus had used his "nappy-headed ho" comment on the nobody 'escort' would he still have a job?

For the women of the Rutgers womens basketball program, I'm sorry if you were offended by Don's remarks, but to state that you were "scarred for life" is simply insane. What you're going through now is nothing compared to what the Duke players have endured. Don't argue with me. It's true and you know it. All the ho jokes in the world wouldn't add up to a year being viewed as a rapist. And to the Rutgers coach, what red, green and purple people are you talking about? That's a statement used by closet racicsts when they try to convince others that they aren't racist at all. "Oh, I like everyone... black, white, purple and pink." For the record baby, there are really only three colors of people on this planet: white (pale pink to dark tan), black (pale brown to black), and yellow (sort of, well... yellow. Sorry.) Everything else is just variations on a theme. (Yes, everything else. There are albino whites, blacks and asiatics.)

I notice that the prosecutor in the Duke (non-)rape case may actually lose his job, license and freedom for his incredible stupidity, hubris and incompetence. That's cool, he deserves it, he brought it all upon himself and it didn't take a busload of buybodies picketing his office to do it. It's happening because it should. Because it's the correct reaction to his actions. You break laws, you pay consequences.

Imus on the other hand... he's a fucking joke. Whatever audience he has (sorry, had) probably didn't even register his comments during their morning commute. There is so much more worth fighting for in this world than faux hurt feelings. Give the girls a hankie and move on. The Gulf Coast is still a patchwork of trailer-homes and empty lots thanks to the incredible stupidity, vanity and graft of local and federal politicians! Our education system is crumbling to dust but we're building high-tech schools on the other side of the world while the people we build them for shoot at us! We're stuck in an un-winnable war that we started. A war that's had it's conditions for winning changed four fucking times already!

And we have to worry about hurting someone's feelings.

I hear people use the term, "my country," a lot. "Not in my country, you don't!" "This is my country buddy, love it or leave it!" Guess what? It's not "your country"! It's Our Country! Yours, mine and every other person with a birth certificate from the US of A. Here's a fact for you. Cram billions of people on one small rock and and chances are, more than two of them won't get along. People have the right to be offensive. You might not like it and I might not like it, but it's going to happen. Screaming for blood is not going to help anything.

Had you asked Imus to enter into some sort of racial-anger-management program, he might have learned something. That might have actually made a few closet racists out there think, "Wow. If Imus can adapt, so can I." Instead, you lit torches and chased the monster from the castle. Now all those closet racists are saying to themselves, "See, I was right! I knew they were fucking troublemakers!"

And now you can all feel proud knowing that because of your thin-skinned stupidity, NJ Governor John Corzine lies in critical condition due to a traffic accident that occurred while he was en route to mediate the pity-party between Imus and the Rutgers players. I just don't know what to do with you knee-jerk reactionaries anymore. I keep pitching 'em and y'all keep missing 'em. You want to keep calling it your country? Hell, go ahead. At least it lets me off the hook when I travel abroad.

Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday of complications from a fall in which he suffered a brain trauma. He was 84 years old and the author of over 100 novels, short stories, essays and plays, which was not nearly enough for me. Goodbye Blue Monday.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus & the Nappy-Heads

One of the founding principles of The United States of America is the right to Free Speech. That said, there certainly seems to be a lot of people out there using their Free Speech to call for the censorship of others. I wasn't even going to write about this because it was simply too easy. Don Imus is a "shock-jock" and it's his job to rile up the masses. He'll get yelled at, pay a fine and crawl back into his crypt until his ratings sag enough for another "accidental comment" to force open his coffin again. But the Rutgers women: that's another story...

Did Imus cross a line when he referred to the Rutgers Women's Basketball Squad as "nappy-headed hos?" Apparently he crossed someones line. Personally, I was unaware the ashen-skinned hairball was still on the air, but when I heard the comment on the news I wasn't offended, perhaps because I'm a white male. On the other hand, I didn't think it was funny either, perhaps because I'm an intelligent white male.

Now, I can certainly see how his comment can be taken as offensive, but to watch the RWBS press conference you'd think Big Don personally pissed in each of the womens mouths and set their dogs on fire. As the press conference dragged on, the players took the podium and described in detail how hurt and violated they felt, all as blandly as if they were reciting a thesis on an unfamiliar subject. There was no fire in their eyes, no emotion in their voices save that of a forced sadness, and it made me wonder if the women were all asked to do this for publicity or solidarity.

Get a grip ladies! It was an off-color, stream of (un)conciousness comment spoken with no malice aforethought. So he called you a name, big deal. Has this never happened to you before? Throughout my school days, I was the target of more than one name-calling incident almost every single day. Guess how many dumb Polock jokes I"ve heard. All of them! And yes, sometimes my feelings were hurt but only when I was the victim of someone who I looked up to or respected. Does Don Imus really have that much power over you? I'm reminded of a popular sports term all coaches use when a team is depressed beacause of a bad play or big loss... walk it off!

Is this the result of the way schools now teach our children? You know, the removal of competitive sports and grades so no child feels bad when they come in last? Have we actually turned our nations schools into cream-puff factories? Stop right there, I already know the answer. It explains why many students enter college as children and graduate as really whiny children.

Then there are the leeches, quick to attach themselves to a cause and bolster their image as caring individuals. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others have come out of the woodwork screaming for an apology and for Imus' head on a platter. Imus appeared on Sharptons radio show and apologized rather sincerely but Sharpton, after calling for the apology, refused to accept it as enough. He still wants Imus fired. It cuts both ways Al. What if a bunch of people called for your termination for your rejection of Imus' apology? If I remember correctly, you have never apologized for your divisive leading role in the Tawana Brawley fiasco, yet there you are holding court in your own comfy studio. Can you say hypocrite?

Now I understand that I'm guilty of the same crimes here at the Nation of Morons, but keep in mind that these are my opinions. Mostly I try to shine the light on the morons of the world to show that, like the emperor in that famous story, they have no clothes. If you've read any of my other rants, you'll notice that even though I rake the rubes over the coals, I usually never ask for resignations. True, I tell people to STFU, but that's usually reserved for when they blather on about things that have no bearing on the true issues at hand such as Kathy Blanco creating faux sports holidays when she should be governing the state.

Not only that, but at the end of each article there's a comment box. Feel free to use it, that's why I put it there. Agree or disagree, I give you the option of adding your voice to the mix. That's how dialogues begin and how solutions are found. If you cry out for the censorship of one, you cry out for the censorship of all, and sooner or later you won't be allowed to cry out at all.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

All About Goerge

I've noticed some things lately. First and foremost, that the United States is no longer governed for or by We The People. George Bush has finally managed to reduce the Federal Government to a one-man operation, and if you listen closely, you can hear the progression. By the way, you fellers in the Chevy Trucks with the gun rack in the window and the American Flag on the bumper can stop reading now. It's only going to piss you off.

It all started long ago when the First Ape railed against the terrorists. We had to get them because it was good for, as he is so fond of saying, "Meruhcuh." And we cried out in rage as the World Trade Center crumbled to millions of pounds of dust along with a small part of our freedom. Then came the 2004 election and what was good for "Meruhcuh" was shelved, (just for the moment,) for what was good for the Republican Party. Soon after, Hurricane Katrina came ashore and that quickly became a question of what was good for the administration. Now, as both the House and Senate have passed the most recent war bill, it has come down to what's good for George. The American people are no longer even in his blind spot.

Listen to his latest comments. "I will not sign this bill," "This is not the bill I requested." It's all about George. I suppose it was inevitable. As a descendant of English Royalty, (for the uninformed, Bush is a descendant of Edward the First and a cousin of British Prime Minister Tony Blair,) little molecules of tyranny have been floating about in his blood since birth. No doubt the near future will see even more childish behavior from the First Ape. (Oh, and as someone who was affected by Hurricane Katrina, I'd like to personally thank him for referring to the money delineated in the bill for Katrina Relief as pork. That was both tastless and tactless.)

Take, for instance, his spin on Iraq. He spares no expense making opponents feel bad if they don't play by his rules. To deny our troops the money they so desperately need makes any of his opponents un-American. Well, Georgie, you just submitted the budget for 2007 a scant few months ago. Now three months into the year you're telling us you goofed and need additional money. Was it an oversight? Did you have bad advisors? Or are you just doing it to make the democrats look bad?

And what about that whole extra troop debacle? According to Georgie, 20,000 more troops were needed in Iraq in order to secure a victory. Ignoring the fact that one month after he got his toy soldiers, he asked for another three- to six-thousand, and told everyone on Capitol Hill that if they refused to provide those troops, it meant that they didn't care about the 130,000 troops already over there. Georgie said it would send the message that "Meruhcuh" had no faith in what our boys were fighting for. Pardon me sir, but I think you had that backwards. I think when you first asked for more troops you sent the troops a message, and that message was, "I don't think those 130,000 numbnuts over there know what they're doing, so I better send them some help"

And here we stand now, debating the veracity and competence of an Attorney General Georgie demanded. He had to have Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales was the man that would make everything in the Justice Department all better. True, Georgie, he was your third or fourth choice, but Gonzales was the Ultimate Answer. Now it seems that he might also be a liar, or just incredibly stupid. And that whole 'serving at the pleasure of the President' bullshit... just stop now. You like to remind us that Bill Clinton dismissed all 93 federal prosecutors when he was elected. Indeed he did, but that fell well within the powers of his office. He installed who he wanted at the beginning of his term and let them do their jobs as they saw fit. You on the other hand, cherry-picked the few prosecutors who weren't doing your bidding and fired them in the middle of your second term. Oh, they had performance issues you say. According to their most recent job performance reviews they all passed with high marks. The only performance issues they had, were that they weren't performing the tricks you wanted them to.

The next two years will certainly be interesting to watch as the First Ape grows more petulant and loses his grip on both reality and the country. The press conferences will become more entertaining, I'm sure, but the concept and feeling of being an American will surely come with a sharp pang of guilt attatched every time George Bush opens his mouth. However, there is one thing that can help us ride out the First Apes' political death rattle and that is the fact that We The People are Americans. Not "Meruhcuns"