Archive for February, 2006

Why is this okay?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Cholene has just been back down in the post-Katrina tent city in Pass Christian, Mississippi. If the world weren’t so screwed up, the situation of the people she was visiting with would be front page news.

Met a grandmother living in a car with her autistic grandson. His parents and her husband are dead. She had to give up her FEMA trailer because her young grandson (about my size but 11) has seizures and the trailer was too small. FEMA made her turn it in before they would accept her application for a disabled equipped trailer.

Met a woman living with two sons who was abused and thrown out of her FEMA trailer by her drunk husband. She had surgery before the storm and is so worried about her medical bills that she wants to give her FEMA money to the hospital. She is getting kicked out of the tent in two weeks as they are closing the tent city, and FEMA only allows one trailer per family but her husband will not give her a divorce. Shantrell [a friend of Cholene's and lawyer] is trying to help.

There is more, but these are the highlights. No insurance payments and no FEMA help.

Out of the ashes

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Frances Moore Lappé [thanks to Derrick for telling me how to do accents in html] has an article on AlterNet on worker-collective businesses that have been established by survivors of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Of course, it shouldn’t take a catastrophe to prepare the ground for success stories like those she profiles (and as John Abrams shows, it often doesn’t), but regardless, kudos to the people out there daring to have the hope and gumption to do well by doing good. The fact that they had to forge their success in the face of red tape from both the financial markets and government only goes to show the value to people of having a real say in the work of their lives.

Water water, all around…

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

…and plenty of guns to fight over it with.

Troops: “Get us the hell out of here!”

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

This is what they call news–unexpected and meaningful.

* Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
* While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
* Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
* Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
* Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation
* Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment

An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows…

Two old white men with something worthwhile to say

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

See the short movie here.

The Mouse Rogue Elephants Fear

by Aldo Vidali

Monday, February 27, 2006

Someone sent me a striking cartoon symbolizing the suicidal blindness of liberals. It shows a medieval army about to go into battle, with archers, cavalry, and infantry ready for the pompous commander’s orders. Across the field stands a vast enemy force, outnumbering the little army 10 to 1. A merchant cart displaying a new weapon is in the foreground. The merchant is pointing to the deadly weapon: a modern 50 caliber machine gun with a long cartridge belt mounted and ready to fire. Without turning to look or bothering to listen, the commander waves the merchant away: “Not now! Not now! I’ve got a war to fight!”…

Throw Him Out on His Arse

Monday, February 27th, 2006

Articles of Impeachment.

Say Cheese

Monday, February 27th, 2006

“Caprino di Vino, a wheel of aged cheese soaked in Maine blueberry wine”? Now that sounds good. (It all sounds good.)

Green Pizza

Monday, February 27th, 2006

There’s a magazine on just about every conceivable topic, so it seems. Yesterday I was heading home to Vermont from a weekend with relatives in NYC and stopped at Rinaldi’s for dinner in Enfield CT (I-91 exit 49, at the Massachusetts border). The spinach manicotti was superior and Wendy reports that the beef barley soup was fresh and obviously made in the restaurant and delicious, without a hint of MSG or excess salt.

Anyway, we’re sitting there waiting for dinner and on the window sill was a copy of Pizza Today magazine. I don’t know how those folks come up with material for 12 issues a year, but bless their hearts they seem to be doing it. The November, 2005, issue had something like six articles having to do with pizza delivery.

Overkill, I’m sure, but Wendy was delighted to discover, as she absentmindedly flipped through the pages, an article by Mandy Detwiler, “On the Run,” describing pizza joints making deliveries using bicycles, electric cars and diesel cars converted to run on waste cooking oil from the restaurant’s fryer.

Unfortunately, the article isn’t availabe at Pizza Today’s website, but you can check out the fryer-powered deliveries at Glass Nickel Pizza in Madison, WI; the bike-powered deliveries at Vinnie Van Go-Go in Savannah, GA; and electric pizza at Galactic Pizza in Minneapolis, MN.

Déjà vu: South Africa and China

Monday, February 27th, 2006

This just in from John Harrington:

As things change, everything stays the same.

Remember apartheid South Africa? Remember the voluntary corporate code of conduct called the Sullivan Principles? Remember Reagan’s “constructive engagement?” The Sullivan Principles and constructive engagement were a cover for “business as usual” in an effort to dispel criticism of the brutal suppression of the majority of the South African population, financially underpinned by U.S. corporate investments, bank loans, and trade.

Have you recently heard the outcries in Congress about the evil Chinese totalitarian, communist government requiring U.S. technology companies that make lots of money by selling their wares, to spy on and violate the human rights of the majority of the Chinese population? The solution: a U.S. government-inspired task force to get to the bottom of this “question” and the hint of a new voluntary technology industry code of conduct. Déjà vu?…

National Day of Ignorance

Monday, February 27th, 2006

I thought the article on the Feds eliminating label requirements on food would be the only story on imposed-ignorance for the day, and what a boring day that would be. Fortunately, the hexavalent chromium industry has come to the rescue by hiding its studies into the carcinogenic nature of its product. Thanks guys!

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