Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hurricanes Blow in Mary Poppins Nanny State

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I have noticed that the Deep South which often votes against socialistic solutions suddenly clamors for Miss Nanny State whenever a hurricane hits. Meanwhile, we are scolded by these same people for trying to build a social safety net for other times.

My family and I lived in a tent complex for ten years. It is snowing outside tonight. Brrr. I used to say, the refrigerator has turned on when this happened in the past. I had no ice, no matter how hot it was outside in summer, we just lived with it. The airconditioner turned on in January. With a vengence. No one gave us heat, we had to cut up our firewood, split it, stack it, unstack it, set it on fire in the fireplace, jiggle it around until it burned, etc. No one did this for us. We ate fresh veggies from the garden in summer and had meat in the winter when the refrigerator outside turned on. Once, to celebrate New Year's, Van put a bottle of champagne in our outdoor refrigerator by dropping the bottle into a snowbank. We forgot about it until midnight when I remembered to dig it out again. It was nearly frozen since it was -10 degrees outside. Frozen champagne doesn't bubble. We chewed on it instead and laughed.

We weathered terrible storms in that tent complex. Shrieking winds, falling trees, a lightning bolt hit us inside, even! Water ran through it in floods. We lived cheek and jowl with Mother Nature and She was absolutely ferocious with us.

It was also wonderful. We had a toad live inside with us, I made him his own little door. We had wood rats and chickadees live with us. We saw many rainbows and played in mountains of snow, sledding off the roof in winter, down the mountainside.

The main thing is, it wasn't all that terribly hard, living this way. Watching the people screaming for ice in Florida amazes me, frankly. They can't exist for even three days without ice. I have existed without it often. Once, in NYC, we lost electricity for over three days. My neighborhood burned down in the looting riots. I had shopped for two week's worth of food when it happened and what we didn't eat the first 24 hrs, we shared with whoever didn't have food, it was all gone and we just ate unrefrigerated foods and this wasn't a hurricane that took over a week to arrive! After all, then one can plan ahead, no? And store dry food in waterproof containers, right? And store some damn water! Gads!

For ten years, my water was drawn far away and brought home by hand, we lugged water around. "Running water" was rain or someone going fast while carrying a bucket! No one from FEMA brought me a drop of water. I had to plan ahead, how much water to fetch and how to use it. Duh.

When we had no electricity that hot summer in NYC, no one came with ice. FEMA didn't exist and the gov. of NY didn't give one hoot about us, we were in a slum so they just stood there and watched our homes burn. No one replaced my food which was a hardship for me but I copped.

I happen to believe we need a nanny state precisely because I don't need one. But if I were frail or infirm, you bet, I would need one! Young and strong, no. But why do so many people vote to kill the nanny state and then scream like babies when it doesn't come immediately to comfort and coddle them? And further, this refusal to support a nanny state leads right wingers and Bush voters to refuse to pay taxes so that this infantile behavior has to be put on our national credit card which is now over $8 trillion in the red.

Southerners who can't live in the south because it is hot, screaming for ice and water disturbs me greatly for I lived there in my youth and deliberately did without airconditioners because I didn't want to become soft. I deliberately trained myself to live without water for 24 hrs to make my body adapt to hot conditions. I learned to cope with nature down there so I could function in the heat in emergencies. Ditto up north. In winter, when it comes, I deliberately don't wear much, I expose my skin to the bitter cold to habituate it so my body adjusts to the coming cold. By January, I can run around in subzero weather with a medium weight coat and warm boots. If it rises to 25 degrees, I wear a tee shirt, it is so warm to me.

So what is going on here?

All my life, if my roof is ruined, I fixed it myself. Because roofs can get ruined, I always keep a tarp in storage just in case. Any idiot living in hurricane land who doesn't do this deserves to have a leaky roof. Yet I see my tax dollars being used to not only hand out free tarps down there, FEMA is even putting them on roofs at my expense because evidently, southerners are incapable of doing their own work, eh? Never ever no matter how terrible the storm, and I have been hit by tornadoes!--has any government come riding into town to fix my roof for me. Period. Not once.

And lord knows, my tent needed tarps after vicious storms! Heh. It was always tarp city! But never did anyone give me one for free. I had to scrape together my pennies when I was poor and buy one.

So tell me, why are we doing this for free at my expense for people who hate having a helping government do this for me some day? Huh? Now is time for Jeb Bush to call for his brother to raise taxes on the rich so FEMA can buy ice for people in vacationland Florida.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

CONSERVATIVE HATE MAKES ONE STUPID AND SICK

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I picked this up at the tag end of a story today. After a great deal of research scientist have discovered that love makes our brains smarter and hate makes one stupid. Got that, Rush Limbaugh? Eh? Robertson? Yoo hoo, Cheney!

From CNN:
Think positive, loving thoughts: Finally, a decade of research at the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior led by neuroscientist Richard Davidson found that choosing specific thoughts and emotions can permanently change the working of the brain.

When participants practiced feeling love and compassion, their brains went into action -- connecting and building new circuitry at high speed.

Davidson has concluded that emotions play a strong role in mental acuity and that spending just 10 minutes a day focusing on feeling loving and kind can make you smarter -- and happier.
So, even 10 minutes of loving, not lust, no Viagra involved in this!---one's brain will function better. Compassionate conservatives were always fake. Note how their only joy comes from watching people drown or get crushed by falling buildings and terrorist attacks are "winning the trifecta" with them!

Being kind to puppies and feeding birds or petting kitty cats makes one's brain better. Being nice to little old ladies works, too. Especially us women over 55. Hear that? You better get hopping, now, or I will whack you with my umbrella, little whippersnappers.

Ooops. My brain is shrinking. I feel like Alice in Wonderland. Must enlarge it. Feel the love. Ommmm. Ah. I love...chocolate cake. Will dwell on that. Wait, it will make me fat! Gloom...MY BRAIN IS SHRINKING AGAIN!

Well, I ceased watching American TV about four years ago. My brain certainly grew in the meanwhile. I marvel at people on the left who take on this toil, shrinking their brains, watching angry, scared right wing punditories pound reality to a pulp.

Well, with the inditement looming, I might watch TV again because I will feel great love and happiness from it, no?

Arrest Bush. Help my brain grow.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

REFUGEES WILL NOT BE KICKED TO CURB

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Guess I wasn't the only one horrified at the news that our dear Republicans planned to throw half a million homeless Americans into the gutter on my birthday in the middle of October. As usual, when a shocked nation reacts negatively, the Snidely Whiplashes of the GOP backtrack for a tiny bit.

From the WP:
More than 400,000 people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina will remain in hotel rooms beyond the Oct. 15 deadline set for their relocation, the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday, extending a program that is costing an estimated $8.3 million a day.

The agencies said the program, which is in effect in 48 states, with most rooms clustered closest to the devastated area, would be extended indefinitely.
In other words, they will not throw the baby into the dumpster...yet. As per usual, the GOP villains will wait in the dark to do this deed for you know, we all know, they will throw them out eventually.

Of course, the people running these hostels will want to keep on trucking so we will have a lobby for keeping the refugees housed, I am assuming.

But this is all one big train wreck since there is no realistic program to deal with the disaster that is still unfolding. I note today that the NYT noticed there are nearly no names attached to the dead in these storms. What? The simple act of naming bodies can't be done? What is this? Indonesia?

The laughable situation of a so-called first world nation, nay, the Empire that is Number One, God Bless America!--can't ID the dead who were left in the path of an obviously very dangerous storm is one more reason why we are now the laughing stock of the world.

Snidely GOP is still hard at work, kicking people out of housing and denying health care. Yesterday, the news was how the GOP is preventing legislation in Congress to extend Medicaid to the victims of a giant hurricane. If they have no jobs and no health insurance and half a million fall into that catagory!---well, DIE! The dieharder Republicans believe in Nature red in tooth and claw. I wonder if they will start a program to reprocess hair and yank gold teeth, too? And we wonder where Nazis came from.

&spades From the Alaska News:
About 600 low-income individuals and families around Alaska have been sent similar edicts from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation: Pay more or move.
The cutbacks are due to a drop in federal housing funds this year, said Wes Weir, public housing director of AHFC.
Alaska took a bigger hit than other states because the federal government did not take into account additional expenses due to distances and other factors here, Weir said. The percentages and formulas are "based on a model not accurate for Alaska," he said.
AHFC quit adding new clients for five months this year to save money, leaving thousands on a waiting list. They include mainly low-income people, who may be in substandard housing or staying with relatives.
Another Snidely moment! They can't resist. If you stop their mustache twirling in one place, they just pick on someone else.

What really stews me is that Alaska sends some of the most right wing Snidelies to Congress! Hello, meet thine tormentors! The victims of the New Orleans disaster have voted Democratic so I feel for them. But not the victims in Haley Barbour's state. He is a top GOP Snidely and he and his robber baronettes love to steal from the public weal while wee-weeing like a stuck pig. This is very popular in the South, alas, to demand no safety net and then flinging themselves upon our much tenderer mercies!

Make up your minds, dudes. The desire for no taxes/no services while at the same time exploiting Northern voters' long range, long term support of a generous government helping all citizens is going to end in a very nasty way as we cease supporting the nation via taxes and generous laws. Liberality means to be open handed, not a closed fist. Yet we are much more aware of budgets and limits while the GOP, using its stronghold grip in the Deep South, are the spendthrifts who steal from widows and orphans!

Liberalism=good times. Right wingism=war and death. Why do so many Americans want war and death? This puzzles me because they all yell when Death visits them. Liberals don't run much of any America now and still, cup in hand, the very same people running this joint come to us for help, for sympathy, for love. Then they will mock us and kick sand in our faces and call us wimps.

Well, Alaska has oil. The government there could house their own people. They won't, of course. And the demoralized people of Alaska are surrender monkeys unlike the French people who fight back every time they are pushed around. See? There is a lesson to learn here. The refugees from the hurricanes have to fight for their lives. We have to fight. Everyone has to fight. Expecting Santa Claus to come and shower us with goodies is insane.

At the very least, we should have the same welfare system we built in Israel. See what happens when one lobbies hard, organizes hard, works hard?

Heck, we should have the same safety net Congress enjoys. Self interest wins every time.

&spades Just came across this from Moxie GrrrlFrom Alaskan news:
So, you landed a big king salmon this summer? It can't compare to the colossal king Alaska Airlines plans to land this morning in Anchorage.
The Seattle-based carrier has painted nearly the full length of a Boeing 737-400 passenger jet as a wild Alaska king, or chinook, salmon. The airline has dubbed its flying fish the "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon."
It's a bold promotional move to celebrate wild Alaska seafood and also the carrier's role in hauling millions of pounds of fresh salmon, halibut, crab, shrimp and other seafood out of the state each year.
The fishy paint job was done on a grand scale, company spokesmen said. A team of 30 painters and airbrush artists used more than 140 gallons of paint and took 24 days to render the lifelike chinook -- triple the time normally needed to coat an airliner.
"There's no question, at least in my mind, that this is the finest airline art ever conceived," said Bill MacKay, the company's Anchorage-based senior vice president. "People will just be amazed at the detail."
A local nonprofit agency, the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board, gave Alaska Airlines a $500,000 grant to paint the jet. The money came out of about $29 million in federal funding U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska and his congressional colleagues have appropriated to the marketing board, created in 2003, to promote and enhance the value of Alaska seafood. The senator's son, state Sen. Ben Stevens, is chairman of the agency's board of directors.
Cute, no? Nepotism plus Snidely Whipstevens=raiding our government which is deep in the red, for trivial, stupid things. Generousity towards each other while cutting out widows and orphans. Typical, perfect Snidelyism.

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BUSH/KALI: BRING OUT YOUR DEAD

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bubble Boy was forced out of his carefully constructed bomb proof shelter to address an increasingly wary nation. Since he and his minions have unleashed the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse upon us, his inner demon decided this is the time to tell us what is in store next: Disease.

He is one of the Fab Four, you know.

From the Seattle Times:
President Bush said yesterday that he is considering the use of military troops to impose a quarantine in the event of a deadly flu pandemic.

Bush, in response to a question at a news conference, echoed warnings from health experts who fear a replay of the 1918 pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. He outlined a series of steps to deal with an illness that could overwhelm the health-care system.

The World Health Organization says an influenza pandemic is "just a matter of time." Some health officials particularly are concerned about avian flu because it seems to be extremely lethal when it jumps from birds to humans. Of 116 known cases in humans since 2003, more than half — 60 — ended in death. There are no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the flu, also known as bird flu, but that could change because such viruses constantly mutate.
Now guess who has been cutting back access to medical care in the USA? Eh? So, after refusing for years to extend medical care to the masses leaving over 45 million Americans without any care at all, we are being told we might be attacked by troops trying to restrain plagues?

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!

Well. So this is what our hyper-military, gun totting, support the troops America is all about? Locking people into plague cities to die? For this is what it is all about. We watched agast but immoble as an entire city was wrecked and the wretched masses locked inside forced to stay as the sheriffs locked the exit routes? And then paramilitary came in to disarm the pathetic remainders? Hello, America! Is this what we are, a bunch of cows led to the slaughter? Chickens forced to stay home in the roost? Are we surrender monkeys? Think the French would put up with any of this? Cluck cluck.

I don't hear an outcry from the Democrats. Why aren't they making loud noises about public health issues? Rats.

Dead silence. Don't blame them entirely, five years of being shut out of the news except when they "misstep" has trained them well. Now they walk on eggshells rather than stride with confidence.
White House officials said Bush's fears were heightened last summer when he read "The Great Influenza," a nightmarish account of the 1918 pandemic by writer John Barry. In that outbreak, an avian-flu virus passed to humans and left a trail of death around the globe. Most victims developed an extremely virulent form of pneumonia.
Three years ago, his favorite book was about the hurricane that destroyed Galveston! Then he pretended he couldn't understand the effects of a very violent hurricane when one hit New Orleans!

If this clown were to read about nuclear war, expect him to instigate it.

From the WP:
The day after the briefing, led by Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of Health and Human Services, and other senior government health officials, the Senate squeezed $3.9 billion for flu preparations into a Pentagon appropriations bill.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats plan to introduce another bill calling for the creation of a flu pandemic coordinator within the White House and a federal buy-back program for unused flu vaccines, among other measures, according to a draft of the bill. Its authors include the Senate minority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada; Senator Barack Obama of Illinois; and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Thirty-two Democratic senators sent a letter to President Bush on Tuesday expressing "grave concern that the nation is dangerously unprepared for the serious threat of avian influenza."
Aren't there more than 32 Democratic Senators? I suspect the deadly chicken flu has infected more than one. We don't have a party, we have a partial.

Stopping viruses isn't easy. A virus killed off nearly all humanoids in the distant past. It can do it anytime, our only tool against this is to multiply quickly afterwards. A lot of people find this distasteful but here it is: we are a form of virus, too, and when we multiply, its eco-niche is increased too. So the chances of it sweeping the population increases rather than decreases over time as we eliminate all other forms of dying. Ie: the more we succeed in keeping more humans live the more likely a very virulent virus will erupt skyrockets.

I was nearly killed by a very virulent virus from Southeast Asia. It was so bad, I and all others exposed to it including the early doctors treating it, were put in isolation and it didn't pass further. The vector wasn't there so it was a one time event, thank goodness. I had a 105 fever for three days and was in a coma and when I came out of it, looked like a skeleton. My teeth and hair began to drop out. All my dental damage comes from that one event.

So why is Congress and Bush destroying the CDC, driving out real scientists, replacing them with idiots, cutting down access to Medicaid? Why?

Only Durga Kali the Great Destroyer knows. She is their God.

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