Tag Archives: New Orleans

Hurricane Karma heads toward Tampa

On August 29, 2005, then-“President” George W. Bush and future presidential candidate John McCainosaurus shared a birthday cake in Arizona on the occasion of McCainosaurus’ 69th birthday. Here is a news photo of that event:

Associated Press photo

Also on August 29, 2005, the very same day, Hurricane Katrina touched down in Louisiana, breaching numerous levees in New Orleans.

In all, there were more than 1,800 fatalities caused by Hurricane Katrina, most of them in New Orleans, even though there had been warning at least as early as August 27, 2005, that Louisiana likely was in Katrina’s path. Indeed, even George W. Bush had declared a state of emergency for regions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on August 27, 2005, yet he still found time to celebrate John McCainosaurus’ birthday a couple of days later. (A “decider” must decide his priorities, you see.)

Hurricane Katrina was a graphic example of how some Americans are considered to be wholly expendable.

Victims of Katrina were criticized for having refused to leave their homes, but where would they go? And when you have little, don’t you want to protect what little you have? Is it that easy to leave your home, perhaps the only home that you’ve ever known?

The class warfare wasn’t evidenced only in the fact that Katrina’s victims disproportionately were black Americans; Barbara Bush, the former first lady and Gee Dubya’s mother, infamously said of the Katrina survivors who were huddled in the Houston Astrodome: “What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”

Seven years later, we now have Tropical Storm Isaac apparently headed toward the Gulf Coast, possibly gaining strength along the way and becoming a hurricane — and hitting the southern tip of Florida on Monday, the first day of the scheduled four-day Repugnican Tea Party National Convention in Tampa:

AccuWeather.com image, August 23, 2012

AccuWeather.com image, August 23, 2012

Where is Tampa on the Florida map?

There it is.

It appears to me that Tampa has a “moderate” risk of being hit by a Hurricane Isaac, while the Florida Keys and the eastern portion of the Gulf Coast are where you really don’t want to be.

What will the Repugnican Tea Party traitors do should Isaac become a hurricane and hit Tampa?

Will they be brave and stand their ground, like the wingnuts like to brag about doing?

Or will they get the swift and effective evacuation that the victims of Hurricane Katrina never got, because they’re mostly lily white and therefore their lives count?

I’m surprised, though, that in the coverage of Isaac I haven’t seen much mention of Katrina. It seems to me that a hurricane hitting Florida during the Repugnican Tea Party National Convention can only remind the nation of how less than worthless the last Repugnican “president” was the last time that a devastating hurricane hit the United States (just as he was less than worthless in preventing 9/11 despite the August 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”).

And not only are devastating hurricanes often seen as events of biblical proportions — so-called “acts of God” — but the name of this one: Isaac…

In the Old Testament, Isaac was the lad whose father, Abraham, was about to make a human sacrifice, per God’s command, as a test of Abraham’s faith and/or obedience, when an angel sent by God at the last moment stayed Abraham’s knife-wielding hand, sparing Isaac.

Will the Repugnican Tea Party traitors convening at their quadrennial KKK-like convention get such a reprieve early next week? Will they get the knife or will they get an angelic intervention?

We shall see.

P.S. Oh, how could I forget global warming and its effects on the frequency and the strength of hurricanes? Will the climate-change deniers gathered in Tampa get a bitter up-close-and-personal taste of climate-change science? Would that make them believers?

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Bush: Let them (drown while I) eat cake

So there’s a news item about former “President” George W. Bush having told interviewer NBC’s Matt Lauer that allowing a photo of him to be taken above Hurricane Katrina-devastated New Orleans in Air Force One was a “huge mistake.”

Wow.

Here is the exchange:

LAUER: Let’s get to the picture that we may have seen more of you in the last couple years of your presidency than any other picture. You’re sitting in Air Force One, flying back toward Washington. You fly right over New Orleans and you look out the window.

BUSH:  Yes. Huge mistake.

LAUER: Yeah. And in comes the press and they take that picture. And it made you look so out of touch.

BUSH: Detached and uncaring. No question about it.

LAUER: Whose fault was it?

BUSH: It’s always my fault. I mean I was the one who should have said, A, don’t take my picture, B, let’s land in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, C, let’s don’t even come close to the area. Let’s — the next place to be seen is in Washington at a command center. I mean, it was my fault.

LAUER: When the picture’s released, you write, “I immediately knew it was a problem.”

BUSH: Of course. I’d been around long enough to know that when it was released. And the reason why we didn’t land in Louisiana is because I was concerned that first responders would be pulled off their task and I’d be criticized. In retrospect, however, I should have touched down in Baton Rouge, met with the governor and walked out and said, “I hear you. We understand. And we’re going to help the state and help the local governments with as much resources as needed.” And then got back on a flight up to Washington. I did not do that. And paid a price for it.

Nowhere in the news article do I see Bush (or Lauer) express concern for the more than 1,800 confirmed fatalities due to the unelected Bush regime’s criminal negligence regarding Hurricane Katrina. Instead, I see a discussion about how Bush should have handled the public relations aspect of it better.

Does the apparent sociopathic Bush feel any remorse or guilt for the more than 1,800 dead? Or is his only concern that he “paid a [public-relations] price” for his bungled post-Katrina itinerary?

And is the news photo in discussion —

Associated Press photo

really worse than this news photo?

Associated Press photo

That photo is a photo of what George W. Bush was doing on August 29, 2005, the day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall: He was sampling John McCain’s birthday cake near Phoenix, Arizona.

But don’t call Bush detached from just one photo!

How about Barbara Bush’s recorded comment about the Hurricane Katrina refugees in Texas: “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them”?

No, it wasn’t just one news photo that might have given someone the impression that Richie Rich frat boy George W. Bush is a bit detached.

Again, note that corporate media celebrity Matt Lauer also seems to be pretty fucking detached from the suffering that thousands of people have experienced due to Hurricane Katrina. Lauer is in his own little privileged bubble just as much as Bush is, and no doubt Lauer’s corporate overlords prevent Lauer from asking any tough questions of Bush, such as whether or not Bush feels guilty for the thousands and thousands of deaths that he caused, directly or through criminal negligence, during his eight long years of unelected rule, not only on American soil (such as with Hurricane Katrina and with what took place on September 11, 2001) but also in the sands of Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Being that George W. Bush was a major fucking liar during his hostile occupation of the White House, I can’t imagine that his forthcoming book, Decision Points, contains much, if any, substantive truth that isn’t flattering. And, as Yahoo! News puts it, “It’s likely that most of the revelations in Bush’s book will be covered before the title becomes available in stores [on November 9],” so that’s further reason not to waste the time and money on the book.

In any event, it was horrible enough having to live the George W. Bush years. I have zero desire to relive them by reading his candy-coated version of the events.

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Assorted shit

If they’re right, what are they worried about?

US government sues Arizona over immigration law

AFP photo

Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, stupid white men John McCainosaurus and John Kyl, both Repugnicans, of course, have slammed the Obama administration’s filing of a federal lawsuit against their state’s planned illegal racial profiling against Hispanics, which is set to begin July 29.  

The Repugnican Party elite predictably are whining that the Obama administration today made official its lawsuit attempting to strike down Arizona’s unconstitutional and racist anti-brown-person law.

The federal lawsuit against the South Africa of the Southwest proclaims, in part, “In our constitutional system, the federal government has pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters. This authority derives from the United States Constitution and numerous acts of Congress. The nation’s immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests.”

Yup. That’s a little civics lesson for the fucktards of Arizona.

Of course, the white Repugnican politicians in Arizona, such as the Borg Queen governor, Jan Brewer, and presidential loser Sen. John McCainosaurus, don’t actually give a fuck about the issue of immigration nearly as much as they just want an easy political target for their upcoming elections in November, and the relatively poor and powerless Hispanics are fairly easy to sacrifice on the bloody Repugnican altar. (It was gays and lesbians whom the Repugnican Party sacrificed for the dumbfuck vote in 2004, recall; this election year it’s the Hispanics.)

Brewer and McCainosaurus and their ilk also want to get Brownie (er, whitey?) points from their white supremacist supporters for symbolically having taken on the nigger in the White House by pushing an unconstitutional, reprehensible anti-immigrant law that they knew the White House would oppose. (Fuck you. You know it’s true.)

Bottom line is, when the economy tanks, the bleating masses start beating up on immigrants. That’s what happens around the world, and that’s what’s happening here in the “melting pot.”

Of course, the Repugnican elite are all too happy to have the uneducated, skinheaded Joe the Plumbers and Dale the School Bus Drivers blame the poor and the powerless brown-skinned for the nation’s economic nosedive instead of the real culprits, the filthy rich white crooks who have bled, and continue to bleed, this nation dry.

In any event, if the white supremacist Repugnicans (I know, redundant…) of Arizona are so sure that their new little law is constitutional, why do they blast the Obama administration for challenging it in the federal court system?

Surely if they’re right, they’ll be vindicated legally.

(But they aren’t, so they won’t be.)

 Michael Steele, anti-affirmative-action poster boy?

Michael Steele

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Party head Michael Steele probably could have gotten away with his history gaffe, but stating that the Afghanistan war, which his party launched and wholeheartedly supports, is unwinnable, probably is the last straw for the party’s first black chairman, who is the result of affirmative action gone wrong.

On Jan. 30, 2009, I blogged:

Apparently we’re supposed to believe that the Repugnican Party no longer is racist because the Repugs just selected a black man as the chair of the Repugnican National Committee.

Uh, this is the very same political party for which a white guy who also ran for the chairmanship included on his CD promoting his campaign for the party chairmanship the songs “Barack the Magic Negro” and “The Star-Spanglish Banner.”

And because Sarah Palin-Quayle is a female, that doesn’t mean that the Repugnicans suddenly are feminists, either. (Palin-Quayle, among other things, such as being a “Christo”fascist and a global-warming denier, is anti-choice.)

The selection of Sarah “Heartbeat Away” Palin-Quayle was just a knee-jerk Repugnican response to Billary Clinton; apparently women voters were supposed to have just flocked to Repugnican John McCainosaurus in droves because Barack Obama rather than Billary had won the Democratic presidential nomination.  

Just as Palin-Quayle was only a reflexive response to Billary Clinton, so new Repugnican Party chair Michael Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is only a reflexive response of the Repugnican Party to the election of Democrat Barack Obama as president.

Both Steele and Palin-Quayle are stupid white men on the inside, regardless of the color of their skin and regardless of what’s between their legs.

I once heard (in person) Al Sharpton say of Condoleezza Rice (I paraphrase): “Condoleezza Rice is of my color, but she is not of my kind.”

I’m confident that Sharpton would say the same of Steele.

Steele’s selection is indicative of the Repugnican Party’s desperation, not of its sudden redemption.

I stand by that rant, and boy, have things taken a turn for Steele.

Look how hard the Repugnicans had to hunt for a black guy within their party to counter the election of Barack Obama — the best that they could do, apparently, was a former lieutenant governor.

The Repugnicans long have wanted to dump the fumbling and bumbling Steele, but he’s held on thus far.

However, his recent remarks on the war in Afghanistan that President Barack Obama started the war, which Steele deemed a war of choice, when, in fact, it was “President” George W. Bush who started the war in Afghanistan in October 2001, before his unelected regime launched the Vietraq War in March 2003, and that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, when the Repugnican Party supports the war because the Repugnican Party supports perpetual warfare for the war profiteers and for Big Oil and other corporate cronies — should be the good excuse that the Repugnicans have been looking for to dump Steele, which they’ve been reluctant to do up to now because they didn’t want to look racist.

Look, they cynically picked Steele because they’re racist.

Clearly the man is a dipshit who wasn’t qualified for the job but who met the main job requirement that his skin isn’t white. Steele’s selection as head of the Repugnican National Committee seems to have been the result of bizarre Repugnican affirmative action — bizarre because Repugnicans historically have trashed affirmative action as being the hiring or promotion of unqualified or underqualified non-whites or women over more qualified white men.

Pundits don’t expect Steele to be booted before the November elections, however. They do, however, expect him to lose his job in January, when the chairmanship of the RNC is up for grabs again.

Does New Orleans need a mercy killing already?

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, The Associated Press reports today that now oil from the ruptured British Petroleum well in the Gulf of Mexico — Hey, is that thing still spewing oil? We don’t hear much about that anymore because they finally fixed it, right? Right??? — is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain.

My rather modest proposal is that we just nuke the holy living fuck! out of New Orleans right now!

Put them out of their misery, you know.

Give them the final relief of knowing that probably nothing worse could happen to them after that.

Just my own rather modest proposal.

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‘Princess’ belongs among Disney royalty

Film review

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In stills from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” a young Tiana, our heroine, is shown with her parents, and, with a touch of “Fantasia,” is shown dancing with Prince Naveen after both of them were turned into frogs by dark voodoo. Surprisingly, “The Princess and the Frog,” in addition to its visual and auditory elements that will delight the kiddies (as well as the adults), seems to make progressive sociopolitical statements almost as boldly as Disney’s “WALL-E” makes.

I’m such a fag. I love Disney movies.

Not the live-action Disney movies. Most of them suck. The animated Disney movies. Most of them rock.

Disney lost its mojo with its animated films for a while from the 1960s to the 1980s and then regained it with 1989’s “The Little Mermaid.” Since then we’ve seen a string of modern classics from Disney, including “Aladdin,” “The Lion King” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” all worthy to be categorized with Disney’s classic animated films from the 1930s to the 1950s. (I’m not including in this list some of the other excellent animated films by Disney, such as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E” and even the current “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” since they are computer animated, and computer technology wasn’t available to the Disney artisans way back in the day.) 

“The Princess and the Frog” is worthy of Disney’s finest, such as “Pinocchio,” “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan” and “The Jungle Book,” and while “Princess and the Frog” has many elements of past animated Disney films — such as the charming prince, the damsel who dreams of a better life, the spoiled brat who competes with our heroine for the hand of the prince, the evil sorcerer (although it’s usually an evil sorceress), and even the wishing upon a star – it modernizes the genre as well.

“The Princess and the Frog” gives us Disney’s first black heroine at the time that we have the nation’s first black president. “Princess and the Frog” also shows us New Orleans, and we can’t help but think of Hurricane Katrina when we are shown New Orleans these days, and I have to wonder whether “Princess” was conceptualized before or after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005.

Moreover, “The Princess and the Frog” doesn’t flinch in showing us the raced-based class differences in New Orleans.

The heroine, Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose), is the daughter of poor black parents. Her father (voiced by Terrence Howard) works hard but can barely keep the family afloat, while her mother (voiced by Oprah Winfrey) is a seamstress to a spoiled rich white girl whose father, Big Daddy La Bouff (voiced by John Goodman), buys her whatever she demands.

In one memorable scene, the “camera” pans from the rich area of New Orleans to the slums of New Orleans, a striking contrast that seems to be a political statement, except how can simply portraying things as they are be deemed “political”?

While “Princess and the Frog” shows these socioconomic differences based upon race, and makes it clear that Tiana’s main obstacle in achieving her dreams is the color of her skin, it at least somewhat sanitizes the racism, too. Tiana’s mother is portrayed as healthier and happier and brighter than someone in her station in life probably would be, and even the spoiled rich white brat (whose tantrums and loud-mouthed antics, even as an adult, lend the film a lot of laughs) ends up redeeming herself, which is unlikely in the real world.

Unlike most of Disney’s princes, the prince in “Princess and the Frog,” Prince Naveen (voiced by Bruno Campos), isn’t noble and admirable, but is a playboy who needs to grow up; he’s more like Peter Pan than he’s like “The Little Mermaid’s” Prince Erik. The chemistry between the responsible Tiana and the irresponsible Prince Naveen is inevitable, of course, and a bit reminiscent of the chemistry between the responsible Princess Leia and the irresponsible Han Sol0 (if I may geek out for a moment). 

Ray the Cajun firefly (get it? Ray of light?) reminds me a bit too much of Sebastian the crab of “The Little Mermaid” (Roger Ebert compares Ray to Jiminy Cricket, but I think that’s a weak comparison), but the character of Ray nonetheless works wonderfully, and his seemingly unrequited love affair with Evangeline (I won’t go into any detail about that) gives the already poignant film even more poignancy.

Louis the alligator, who, with Ray, helps Tiana and Prince Naveen in their quest to be turned from frogs back into human beings, also wants to be human so that he can be a jazz musician, and this is a bit reminiscent of wooden puppet Pinocchio’s desire to be a real little boy.

“The Princess and the Frog” also takes on the subject of good food, not to the extent that “Ratatouille” does, but to a significant extent, as Tiana’s dream is to open a restaurant — one that brings people together, she proclaims — and the one thing that she inherits from her father is his gumbo pot.

The villain in “The Princess and the Frog” who is responsible for the protagonists’ amphibianization is Dr. Facilier, also called the “Shadow Man.” He’s a wonderfully conceived villain – I love his purple eyes — even if he is a bit too reminiscent of the X-Men character of Gambit (a.k.a. Remy LeBeau), who also hails from New Orleans and who also possesses a black top hat and cane and, especially, a flying deck of cards.

And it’s nice to see a male Disney villain for a change. Most of Disney’s villains seem to be women — think of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “One Hundred and One Dalmations” and “The Little Mermaid” (and in “The Lion King” the villain was an effeminate male [come on, now, Scar is gay, and come to think of it, Captain Hook seems to be a bit light in the loafers as well…]).  

The “Shadow Man’s” voodoo opposite is the good voodoo practitioner Mama Odie, of whom we don’t get enough. (She’s a bit too reminiscent of the good voodoo priestess Minerva portrayed in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” however.)

If Disney’s portrayal of the stark socioeconomic differences between blacks and whites in New Orleans doesn’t get the wingnuts going (crying “class warfare”), then Disney’s unapologetic portrayal of voodoo and occultism – with even silouetted evil spirits conjured by the villain to pursue our protagonists – will get them going (crying “Satanism” or “witchcraft” or the like).

If the wingnuts hate it, then it must be good.

With all of the apparent progressive sociopolitical statements that we didn’t see in the earlier Disney animated films but that we surprisingly saw in “WALL-E” (with “WALL-E’s” anti-corporate, pro-planet and apparent anti-baby-boomer messages), in “The Princess and the Frog” we also get excellent, infectious music (the setting is New Orleans, after all) that made me tap my feet like Larry Craig on crack. (My favorite song is titled “Dig a Little Deeper,” which delivers a timely message.) We also get some breathtaking Fourth-of-July-like visuals, not only with the purples and greens and blues of the watery settings, but the whites and the yellows of the fireflies and even the Halloween-like purples and greens of the voodoo magic.  

While it often feels derivative, which might be unavoidable, given the number of films that precede it, “The Princess and the Frog” is undeniably entertaining and is a near-perfect film.

My grade: A

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