Finding, Looting, Theft or Heroism?

Thousands of refugees of Hurricane Katrina were transported to the Astrodome in Houston this week. In an extreme act of looting, one group actually stole a bus to escape ravaged areas in Louisiana. About 100 people packed into the stolen bus. They were the first to enter the Houston Astrodome, but they weren’t exactly welcomed. The big yellow school bus wasn’t expected or approved to pass through the stadium’s gates. Randy Nathan, who was on the bus, said they were desperate to get out of town.

“If it werent for him right there,” he said, “we’d still be in New Orleans underwater. He got the bus for us.”

Eighteen-year-old Jabbor Gibson jumped aboard the bus as it sat abandoned on a street in New Orleans and took control. “I just took the bus and drove all the way here…seven hours straight,’ Gibson admitted. “I hadn’t ever drove a bus.” The teen packed it full of complete strangers and drove to Houston. He beat thousands of evacuees slated to arrive there.

“I t’s better than being in New Orleans,” said fellow passenger Albert McClaud, “we want to be somewhere where we’re safe.”

…Authorities eventually allowed the renegade passengers inside the dome. But the 18-year-old who ensured their safety could find himself in a world of trouble for stealing the school bus.

“I dont care if I get blamed for it ,” Gibson said, “as long as I saved my people.”

Sixty legally chartered buses were expected to arrive in Houston throughout the night. Thousands of people will be calling the Astrodome “home,” at least for now.

One woman’s thief is another woman’s savior. I’m going with “finding” and “heroism” on this round, Alex.

Via Mac, more at the News Blog.

In other news, Bush reports his umbrella is working “just fine.”

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Imagine It With Me

What would it look like if Halliburton was in charge of the NOLA clean-up project?

UPDATE: Oh my god, I was kidding.

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Hard Donation Items

I have some old toys of Ethan’s sitting around that I was planning on selling this weekend, in addition to clothes that probably can’t be sold to a consignment store. I emailed the Houston Bar Association, one organization that is accepting hard items for the new American diaspora, with offers to send kids clothing and toys. This is the shipping address they gave me.

Houston Bar Association Office
1001 Fannin
Suite 1300
Houston, TX 77002

I’m going to have Ethan join me tonight in arranging the packages and use this as a particularly teachable moment.

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Real Evil, In Case You Missed It

Sure, they need charity, but we don’t want them to have your charity, sinners.”

If this is America, America is pathologically insane.

See also the burning desire of Laura Bush.

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More Footage

More footage for those of you, like me, who don’t have access to 24/7 news coverage.

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Culture of Life: Katrina

Why am I so angry? Obsessed? Read this post:

They would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.

And they would sit on their ass and watch as tens of thousands of poor men, women, children, babies, and elderly bake in the New Orleans heat surrounded by water, sewage, gasoline and an abandoned city, now devoid of anyone with the means to have escaped ahead of the storm.

This is the culture of life. The culture of life wants to save brain dead white women and unborn children. The culture of life wants you to watch endless non-news about the disappearance of one white teenager in Aruba. The culture of life wants you to support your nation as it kills tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in its Quixotic quest against a non-threat. The culture of life wants a zero-tolerance for looters policy to sound authoritative as babies die of dehydration. The culture of life expects you to take care of yourself, and if you can’t, then it is your own fault for getting into that situation in the first place. Fuck off. You had your shot. Station in life, where you hang your hat, and whether you have the $40 at the end of the month to pay for the overpriced gasoline to get out of that home in time is all up to you.

…But none seem to support American Culture. New Orleans, as much as any city, represents distinctly American Culture. A melting-pot of language, music and revelry unlike any other. But it is desperately poor. Over 50% of the children in the state live below the poverty level. But no matter. Mostly black folk down there. They shouldn’t have lived there in the first place. They should have gotten out while they had the chance. It’s their own fault.

Michael Chertoff was interviewed on NPR this afternoon. He was asked if he had heard of thousands of people at the Convention Center in New Orleans, without water or food or sanitation. Elderly dying. Little girls being raped. Mr. Chertoff was eloquent in his cluelessness. Completely unaware of what had been on the television all day long on both MSNBC and CNN. Unaware that he, at the top of the agency charged with bringing relief to the affected areas, had not been informed of something every American with a remote already knew. That the situation there was desperate. That people needed help. And that noone seemed to be providing it. The man in charge was not in charge at all, folks. It took the Bush Administration 4 years since 9/11… 4 years of chasing ghosts and old demons in Iraq to not do a fucking thing about stateside preparedness. To gut the national guard’s responsiveness by sending so many of them overseas. To cut funding for the levee system that allowed Lake Ponchartrain to roll into the city. To put someone in charge of Homeland Security and FEMA that is eloquent, but so impossibly incompetent that he is incapable of establishing a staff capable of letting him know the worst of a situation so large.

Mr. Chertoff said, that he had not heard of such things. That you couldn’t believe every rumor from the streets of the area. That he wasn’t in a position to argue about what the NPR Reporters had witnessed.

Get the people to our staging areas, he stated, and they can get water there.

Donate and bully your family and friends to give some money too.

via Jim

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FRT – A Reluctant Edition

I don’t even want to do this this week but something remotely fun-esque is in order. Elsewhere, Norbizness proves that the South is home to some of our finest music with his Friday Non-Random Music List: Pelican State Edition
Continue reading

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Let Them Eat Cake?

Seeing the faces of children that remind me so much of my own, I bit the bullet tonight and made a small donation. It wasn’t much but it is something.

A bit of hope-making fun: you can go to this site and hit refresh and watch the numbers increase by tens and hundreds of dollars in a matter of seconds.

Put your money where your mouth is and please spread the word.

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Trying to Be Strong

I saw the first moving footage of the aftermath tonight. I had imagined a horrible image of what it must look like.

The reality is worse.

I am so goddamned infuriated at our government, among the richest countries in the world, being unable, unwilling, or fearful to help our own refugees in a timely and responsible manner.

Look at these children.

“The first bus that arrived at the Astrodome was primarily made up of child travelers. Children taking care of children. This girl looked like she was trying to have the strength of an adult, but she’s not an adult. Her eyes tell the story.”

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Amnesty International is “Jane Crow”

Why do I read this ridiculous right-wing sites? I have no idea. But this time around, Men’s News Daily asserts that Amnesty International — that’s right, the reputable human rights organization — is dominated by “rad-fems” because they recognize that domestic violence is an issue for women. God forbid.

Their evidence that women commit just as many acts of domestic abuse as men? Well just this week, two women killed their husbands! That has GOT to mean something! But the really disgusting part is this:

It took America over 200 years to restore basic civil rights to African-Americans. How long will it take America to restore the simple human rights of men?

What was it I wrote earlier about the right co-opting the tragedy of others for their own personal gain? You know, Hurricane Katrina is Hiroshima/the tsunami, abortion is the Holocaust, and now white men are slaves.

In other stupidity, apparently Muslims (but ha! He wrote “Moslem“!) are censoring America. How are they doing this? By expressing their outrage that a radio host called Islam a “terrorist organization.” The host got fired. Hate to break it to this guy, but no one’s first amendment rights have been violated here. This guy can say whatever the hell he wants; but he can’t demand access to a radio station to say it. Kinda like how Janet Jackson can’t demand to show her nipple at every Superbowl.

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Back to (Slut) School

Her title, not mine.

As if we didn’t have enough reasons to dislike the Independent Women’s Forum, head anti-feminist wingnut Charlotte Allen quotes and links to a long rant about how girls are being turned into little prostitutes by the kids clothing departments.

Lingerie, size 6x, with a ‘back to school’ sign on it.

When did ‘toy’ lipstick become bright red and start lasting all day? Why would a six-year-old child need to carry a purse to school? Why is there makeup in it? Why does she know how to use it?

There are clothes in the little girls’ department that nobody would buy except Brooke Shields’ mother in “Pretty Baby.” Except. . . somebody’s mother IS buying them, and probably thinking “doesn’t she look pretty” in them.

Picture poor sleazed-up exploited JonBenet. That little girl breaks my heart.

Tiny little girls, wearing makeup and boobless versions of adult slinkwear. What kind of mother dresses her child like a bimbo?

Because that’s what these little girls look like, you know, when their mothers layer them oh-so-carefully in slinky satin underwear, croptops, hiphuggers (before they even have hips!) skirts that barely cover the subject, fishnet stockings, and HEELS. On a little child who has RECESS to deal with!

(I see London, I see France. . . .remember when the playground was the only place you could hear that?)

What is going through these mothers’ minds when they buy this sexy stuff for a seven-year-old child? Why don’t more schools forbid it? I don’t believe in censorship but clothing a little girl in Victoria’s Secret and sleaze is NOT right.

Come on, people. Please don’t send your tiny little girl to school in clothes that advertise something she doesn’t even know about yet. Dress her like a child, not a whorehouse intern.

Hooker with a Dora lunchbox. What’s wrong with this picture?

Now. Ask me what I think about beauty pageants for little children. Because they tell us more about the poor little kid’s mother than about anything else, don’t they.

That’s right. Call little girls sluts, and then blame mom.

Now, I agree that highly sexualized clothing is innapropriate for children. But is this the way we go about dealing with it? How about asking, “What is going on in our culture when we start sexualizing little girls?” Calling girls sluts because they dress a particular way isn’t going to accomplish much.

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The End is Near

…because I actually agree with David Brooks. How did this happen?

Posted in Race & Ethnicity | 2 Comments