Sunday, November 06, 2005

We went to see "Good Night and Good Luck" last night. The film was a gem. Of course I was raised in a home where Edward R. Murrow was regarded as a hero of the highest order, and Joseph McCarthy was recognized for the demon he truly was. David Strathairn absolutely channeled Murrow. It was a brilliant piece of acting. Ray Wise broke my heart as the ill fated Don Hollenbeck. The music was moody and bluesy and Dianne Reeves as the Jazz Singer provided a musical context that was all 1950's and I was hearing her smokey scotch on the rocks rendition of One For My Baby late into the night. Taken in the context of today's news, the film does two things. It shows how shallow the news media is compared to the way it was then, and how true venality and evil never changes. See it!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Brownie's e-mails

My daddy once taught me not to write anything that I wouldn't want to see in the newspapers the next morning. Michael D. Brown, former director of FEMA should have gotten the same advice. If you need further illustratrion of the dangers of cronyism in government, follow the title link to Rep. Melancon's official website at house.gov and read for yourself what has been recently reported in the media about Brownie's bizzare behaviour (forgive the aliteration) down in Louisiana during the height of hurricane season. (He must have been patronizing those drive through daquari stands.)Makes you wonder about Homeland Security Department's official e-mail policy. Bet that's been rewritten.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Scooter Libby indicted. Patrick Fitzgerald is an American Hero. The past few weeks have once again illustrated that this administration is the most corrupt, mendacious, self-interested gang of Robber Barrons since the Grant administration, (including the dark years of the Nixon cabal). What with the Harriet Miers fiasco and the implosion of Republican solidarity could we be emerging from the darkness. No doubt there are still soome of you out there who believe all the lies and forgive the cronyism. There are some who will continue to vote against their own class interest because of the way these guys have co-opted your genuine and admirable patriotism. This should be a wake up call for you. But you will probably continue to whimper about politicization, conveniently forgetting the closing days of the 1990's when the right wing impeached a president over a sexual indiscretion and tried to tell us that the attempted coup was about perjury and truth telling.

So what do you think of this scenario. Cheney gets sucked into the cesspool and resigns due to his bad ticker. Condy Rice becomes VP, setting her up for her run in 2008. Karl Rove goes down and Bush as a lame duck pardons Libby after he plea bargains and is sentenced to a one year term at Club Fed. He might even get off with a Martha Stewart signature ankle bracelet from K-mart. Plausible? Yes!

By the way, How about those White Sox?

Friday, October 14, 2005

This column in today's Washington Post from E.J.Dionne is thought provoking. Its about the growth of poverty in our nation and the poverty of ideas in Washington. Wherever you place yourself on the political spectrum there is a need to wake up and smell the coffee. Something bad is brewing. When 62% of the people on the street are as uneasy as they are right now, its way past time to take notice. If you are an "inside the beltway" type, get out of the house once in a while.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

There's been a whole lot of shakin' goin' on! Hurricanes, Iraq, Gaza! Its hard to pick a subject to rant about. So how about Senator Dr. Bill Frist selling off all those shares of HCA, just before they fell 9%. Good luck, good timing, or good insider information? If poor Martha Steward can go to college over such a small inside trader deal, why not the good Senator from Tennessee. So my qoute of the week award goes to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., "Bill Frist has this all upside down. He thought Terri Schiavo could see and his trust was blind." All seriousness aside, why is this buried on the inside pages? Remember when Bill and Hillary got messed up in a shady real estate deal down in Arkansas? That story had traction for eight years. And this guy wants to be president. No more whining about the "liberal media".
By the way, did anyone even notice that yesterday was the 42nd anniversary of the JFK assassination. I am perhaps uncovering my geezerhood by even mentioning it, but I did spend a few moments remembering the incidents of that day, where I was and what I was thinking. A lot of innocence and naivete has been lost since that day 42 years ago.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

When I'm in need of a chuckle, I turn to Maureen Dowd's column in the NY times. Now Maureen is unabashedly partisan and makes no pretense toward objectivity. After all she is a political columnist, and like Michelle Malkin on the right of the spectrum, she applies her considerable wit and talents to espousing an ideology. I'm not commenting on the value of ideology here. What I find interesting today is her mention of Michael D. Brown, the director of FEMA and that he trained for his current job by running "something called the International Arabian Horse Association." Well, when I read the columnists I like to do something called fact checking, so I checked and I found this entry at FindLaw. Brown did in fact run the "legal department" at the IAHA. He received his JD from that august institution Oklahoma City University School of Law,in 1981. His legal expertise is in estate law, family law, real estate, employment and labor law, and sports law. Undoubtedly this qualifies him to run the Federal Emergency Management Administration, at least in the Bush Administration. Now it seems Mr. Brown actually does have some background in emergency management. From 1975 to 1978, Brown worked for the City of Edmond, Oklahoma, overseeing the emergency services divisions and this truly must be the position that qualified him to become the head of FEMA. For those of you that don't know Edmond, its a pleasent little community of around 68,000 souls in central OK just north of OK City. Its about 87% white, 7 percent African American and 5% Latino. Your typical suburban melting pot. Of course, the town did receive some national attention about 20 years ago when the post office was shot up and 15 people died. This of course occurred after Mr. Brown's tenure as manager of the emergency services division. It is also to be fair, smack dab in the middle of tornado central, and has no doubt seen its fair share of mobile homes and trailers blown away over the years, probably some flooding as well since I know that Edmond has its fair share of lakes and fishing ponds nearby. I don't intend to minimize the suffering of Oklahomans particularly in light of all they have suffered in recent years, (let us not forget that they were ground zero before Manhattan). My point is that the Budget at FEMA these days is probably not a whole lot larger than the one Mr. Brown managed back in Edmond, and he must therefore be well qualified to manage the disaster down in what used to be the Big Easy.
So, that being said, I recommend Maureen's column for a little light hearted Saturday morning reading, and remember, don't forget to read between the lines.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

From the Archives

I wrote this one back in October after my late summer trip to the Big Easy. I read a book called Bayou Farewell. I'm very sad this week thinking about the loss of a national treasure. Mike Tidwell and others have been telling this tale for quite a few years now. It will be a long time before I get down that way again, (if ever) and the descent into anarchy distresses me profoundly. It was preventable. I urge you to read this book in the context of recent events and visit the USGS web site as well. We have lost so much.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Bayou Farewell
I'm reading Bayou Farewell, by Mike Tidwell. This is a compelling read about the alarming disappearence of the Louisiana Wetlands. This area produces around 20% of the country's domestic oil, an enormous amount of seafood, and of course it is home to the Cajun culture and people. It is disappearing at the rate of about 24 square miles per year. Bird habitats are being affected, fisheries are are being lost, people are being displaced and the barrier islands and marshes that protect over 1 million people from hurricane storm surges are eroding. Its not to late but if left unchecked this environmental catastrophe will result in the loss of a national treasure. I recommend the book, but if you want the instant gratification route to information about the wetlands go to the USGS page linked above. We cannot let this continue.

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