OK, here’s my question: is anyone blaming God for Hurricane Sandy yet? I’m waiting.
If the universe and everything in it, including pretty things like puffy clouds, sunsets, and flowers, are God’s handiwork (oh how I hate that term), then so are things that kill like storms, volcanoes, and earthquakes. I’m SO FUCKING TIRED of people thanking God for “miraculous” survivors while neglecting to place blame for the disaster, or even letting it happen to begin with. I suppose it’s just those “mysterious ways” we always hear about.
All believers should consider Sandy an actual act of God and publicly shame him for it. Demand reparations and maybe even a few resurrections. “Oh but that’s silly, God doesn’t do those things!” Except he’ll obliterate thousands in a single blow with an earthquake. Nice. Talk about a vengeful, wrathful god. Jesus.
Oh, and look at this: somehow the storm kept this statue of Mary from being destroyed. She’s made of stone so she can’t topple in the wind or be burned down, but it’s still a MIRACLE!
Fuck the Murdoch-owned WSJ for using this picture in their story. Disgraceful.
CNN is running a great story about some idiotic emails that FEMA head Michael Brown sent out during the Katrina hurricane. By now the whole world knows he’s a moron, but these reveal even more astounding incompetence and outright stupidity in the face of thousands in need of help. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. A district rep from New Orleans posted a bunch of these emails on his website, but here are a few good quotes mentioned in CNN’s story:
“Can I quit now? Can I come home?”
“Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?”
“I am a fashion god.”
Yeah, anything can be misunderstood when taken out of context, but come on. These appear to be emails to his employees who were panicking and looking for guidance…and when you’re in charge of an organization which is supposed to be saving lives, you don’t worry about dressing to impress or whining about what a tough job it is. Unbelievable…but this is what you can expect of unqualified presidential cronies appointed to high positions.
So Bush supposedly accepted responsibility on teevee tonight for the big-league fuckups with FEMA and Katrina:
President George Bush took personal responsibility for the slow federal response to the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina, as the confirmed death toll in Louisiana almost doubled in one day.
“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the Federal Government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong,” Mr Bush said. “Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That’s a very important question and it’s in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond.”
The President’s acknowledgement came after the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, resigned after being removed from responsibility for the Katrina emergency.
The death toll in Louisiana has almost doubled to 423, bringing the total across three states to 656.
As fun as that sounds, I won’t be watching because tonight I’m taking my man to see Zap Mama for his birthday, which will be much more entertaining! I’ll have to find a video clip of Bush’s mea culpa somewhere this weekend…
Finally we have a reason for Hurricane Katrina. It’s nice to be able to blame this horrible tragedy on something other than Nature’s tantrums. So who’s to blame? Why, Ellen DeGeneres, of course. It only makes sense! Ellen hosts the Emmys, wrath of God ensues. Duh! Thanks to Sarah Kidd (via Zanebee) for finally clearing this up.
UPDATE: I knew this news story was satire…I just wanted to blog it as though it were real. 🙂 It’s (almost) too ridiculous to be real, which is the funny part because Robertson has said some extrememly stupid things about gays; it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see a story like this on AP or Reuters someday. It’s very well-written, must like something you’d find in The Onion.
God, this is horrible… This is an aspect of the hurricane aftermath that hadn’t occurred to me until seeing this story. Along with all the other medical hardships people in New Orleans are having to deal with, there are many with HIV who are displaced and have no access to the drug “cocktails” which keep them healthy (and, in come cases, alive). Skipping too many doses can open a window for the virus to do major damage in little time, so they are relying on the generous help of charity groups and donations because the drugs can be massively expensive. Those who have had to flee the state entirely are especially screwed.
Of course, this is not to belittle other people’s conditions which rely on steady medication or other supplies, as many people could be in more immediate need of attention. It just struck a chord with be because I have friends who are taking HIV cocktails to remain healthy; the thought of them being put in this sort of situation sends a chill up my spine. It adds another dimension to the concept of being prepared for disaster…how do you prepare for this if you can barely afford your current prescriptions, even with insurance, as is usually the case?
So! Bush’s incompetent FEMA head Mikey Brown resigned today. AS IF we didn’t see this coming. What else can you expect from a guy who can’t even preside over a horse association without screwing it up? This is what happens when people in power give jobs to their lackeys “just because.” I’m sure the folks in New Orleans have a new appreication for the Bush family’s Buddy Reward System™.
*sigh* Now our dear President is calling Sept. 16th Katrina Prayer Day. I don’t have any problems with praying for the unfortunate, but do we really need a “day of prayer”? Why not pray every day? This is what organized religion does: it organizes a fundamental thing like prayer into days, hours, categories. It’s red tape for the soul, people…pray when you want, not just on 9/16 because Bush tells you to.
This is another desperate, symbolic attempt by this asleep-at-the-wheel administration to say “See? We’re doing something now! We care! It’s not our fault the Red Cross blocked aid to the city until our caravan arrived for its photo op! It’s not our fault that we rewarded certain camaign helpers with high-level FEMA jobs which resulted in thousands being denied aid due to their incompetence!” Anyway, thanks to Critter who sent me this, along with some comments:
…it’s about stupid president noxious weed’s “National Day of Prayer.” Oh yes, when people start to criticize you, it’s time to summon the power of baby jesus’ followers. Who would dare criticize a man who calls for a day of prayer. What is he, the freaking pope now?!
Amen to that! I mean…right on.
It’s telethon time! The stars are clamoring to get on network television and tell us that people in New Orleans need our help. Because, you know, we need celebrities to tell us what’s right. Of course, putting them on teevee means they will be tempted to express an opinion or two about how Bush is handling the disaster. During NBC’s recent telethon, Kayne West took an opportunity to rant about Bush and the media, which caused a mild uproar and got the censors all hot & bothered. More telethons are coming, and everyone’s wondering if the celebrities starring in them will be able to get a non-scripted word in edgewise.
Personally, I don’t quite know how to feel about it. I’m all for expressing opinions loudly and as publicly as possible, and when you have a television audience it’s probably hard to resist the temptation to open your mouth about something. But this isn’t the Grammys or the Academy Awards, where nobody’s counting on the starpower to raise money. The purpose of the telethon is to raise money for disaster relief, and I kinda feel like that should be the main goal of the evening. Having said that, I don’t think the networks should time-delay the shows in order to censor out what they don’t like…I just think it might reflect badly on the ranter when the timing for ranting may not be appropriate. There’s plenty of time to bash Bush and his cronies; for the hour these people are performing, shouldn’t the stars concentrate on getting people to donate?
Jesus, I hope I’m not getting soft! 🙂
You know, it’s easy to bash Bush for his actions (or non-actions) regarding the New Orleans aid situation just because he’s a Republican. I think it’s entirely possible for a President of any party to fuck this up, because humans make mistakes…but there’s something about Bush’s interests, priorities, and even upbringing which make this a special case to me. The scale of his negligence in the face of thousands of dead citizens is appalling and despicable, not to mention his disgusting photo-ops and speeches which seem more like an afterthought than a sincere attempt to console survivors of a region which is now destroyed. In a recent AP story about how Bush and Congress are going to investigate what went wrong (nothing will come of it), the following quote just floored me:
“What I intend to do is lead an investigation to find out what went right and what went wrong,” Bush said. “We still live in an unsettled world. We want to make sure we can respond properly if there is a WMD (weapons of mass destruction) attack or another major storm.”
WMDs? What?? When did those enter the picture? Oh, I see…you have to keep mentioning them to remind us all why you’ve got most of our armed forces fighting your bullshit war instead of helping your own citizens survive. Besides, which is more likely: a WMD attack or another hurricane? At least we have proof of the hurricanes. Fucking nitwit.
Also, thank ye gods that we have ass-kicking blogs like Daily Kos around to scour the media and provide us with the best examples of what is going wrong with this situation, and who is to blame. I wish I had the time and energy to do the same, but that’s why I leave this stuff to the pros! Especially damning are the following entries, which absolutely make my blood boil:
Not having cable T.V. (or basic cable, or even a wire antenna), I haven’t see one shred of news footage from the horrific situation in New Orleans. I’ve been reading up on it online and looking at a lot of photos, but I’d rather not have to endure the network news version of the tragedy because they trivialize this stuff so much, using it to grab ratings and more sponsors. However, perhaps I can guess how it’s being covered without actually seeing it in action. Here’s an attempt:
- Reporters are on location, breathlessly giving us details of the destruction even as people trapped in homes around them are shouting for help. They ride bravely with rescue teams, speaking in grave tones while wearing perfect hair and makeup.
- Reporters are interviewing survivors, asking such probing questions as, “How does it feel to lose everything?” and “Are you glad to be alive?” They ratchet up the drama by showing plenty of disabled and elderly folks struggling to get along.
- Reporters try to capture actual looting in action to sensationalize the dark side of human nature. “Look! See that guy? He’s stealing an espresso machine at gunpoint! Did you get that? Are we still on?” The same footage of the same looting is shown again and again throughout the day.
- Local news deskwarmers are giving death toll updates every 15 minutes, promising you that only they have the most up-to-date updates in all the media…so stay tuned for more, right after these words from McDonald’s, Lexus, Toyota, Pepsi, and K-Mart.
- Soap operas are interrupted for news updates, resulting in thousands of calls to the station from housewives and unemployed gay men who are missing their “stories.”
Feh, now I’m being silly. The news wouldn’t really be like that, would it? Even more depressing are the news stories coming out about how Bush gutted funding for disaster preparedness to fight his War on Terrr. And the looting, raping, gun-toting neanderthals roaming around disrupting efforts to help people. And, and, and…ugh. What horrible time for those folks.
Meanwhile, I’ve been mind-numbingly busy and stressed out at work, so blogging time has dropped drastically this week… But maybe the 3-day weekend will help. Hopefully I’m not boring that guy in Bothell. 🙂