Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricanes, racism conspiracies, and jokes in poor taste

I'm pretty used to the 24 hour cable channels breathlessly hyping natural disastors and especially hurricanes since there's plenty of time to see them coming and plenty of great shots where some reporter can stand out on the beach with the palm trees and rain blowing around him while he talks about how he the wind is about to knock him over. Usually it's a lot of hype but this hurricane turned out to be one of the big ones. Apocolyptic warnings about the end of New Orleans were given with the potential for the entire city to be swept away under a torrent of water after the levees holding back the Mississippi and the lake were crushed under 25 foot storm surges as those unfortunate enough to be stuck in the city fought with the fire ants for the last remaining dry spots in the metro area. I admit that I watched a lot of this unfold so I saw the hints of dissappointment in their voice when this didn't happen as they gave the all clear signal.

Then, today, all hell broke loose. The water started rising, the levees started breaking, and the floods and fires overtook the city. Now people are being told that they may not be able to return home for months, if ever. To make matters worse nearly 100,000 people may be trapped in the city on rooftops, attics, or the Superdome. Yes, the 10,000 people that were sent to the Superdome are now being evacuated from that hellhole. Reports of sewers backing up, no air conditioning, leaking roofs and even a suicide have come out of there. Not surprisingly the majority (nearly all) of the people there were poor blacks with no way out of the city.

My question is, how can the city not have a plan for this? People have been warning for years that a large hurricane could flood the entire city for months until they managed to pump all the water out but their best plan is to send all the poor people to the Superdome where they weren't even sure it could survive a Category 5 hurricane? I'm sorry, but that's either amazingly poor planning or, more likely, an attitude of, oh well, they're just poor black people. I'd like to think that isn't it but my stereotypes about the south make me think that it probably did have something to do with it.

The cable media has been accused of racism in the past when they fawn over a missing white girl in Aruba or a possibly kidnapped pregnant white woman while ignoring the exact same story when it is a black girl. A great example of this is in Yahoo's photos and their captions. Black people = looting, white people = finding food. Allow me to show some examples of these photos followed by the caption given (these are all found at Yahoo's photo gallery:

"A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it made landfall on Monday. "

"Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana. "

"Looters hit a drug store in the French Quarter district of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina. Fresh floods, fires and looting rode in the destructive wake of Hurricane Katrina, deepening a humanitarian crisis that left hundreds feared dead and sections of New Orleans submerged to the rooftops. "

"As one person looks through their shopping bag, left, another jumps through a broken window, while leaving a convenience store on the I-10 service road south, in Metairie, La., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This photo was taken during a helicopter tour of the area that included the governor of Louisiana. "

Haha, I mean, come on. Whitey "looks through his shopping bag" and "found" some food at a grocery store but the black man is looting? I don't condone stealing or looting or anything but shit, I'd be looting too if I was dehydrated. It's not like the store's going to be open anytime soon. Jeez, I'm going to be up there with Malcom X and the Black Panthers soon. In conclusion, black power! Kill whitey!

But, in all seriousness, that's really horrible what everyone in the gulf coast is dealing with right now. If you have more money than I do you can give it to the Red Cross or you can give it to me and I will establish a memorial fund (by which I mean I'll drink a 40 in their honor). OK, I lied when I said I was serious. But I am serious when I wish the best to all of them and a speedy and safe recovery, etc.

UPDATE: Found this quote from the Times-Picayune: "The police got all the best stuff. They’re crookeder than us," one man said. It just seems like such a joke to me that the media keeps going on about the "looting". Hello? The entire fucking city is under water and about to catch fire and there are thousands of people stranded there without food or water. Who gives a shit if you see someone "looting"?

Now there are reports of sharks seen swimming in the streets and fears of alligators going on a killing spree. Holy shit, they're entering Escape from New York/Mad Max/Water World territory here.

Hey, can anyone tell me where the national guard is during this mess? Oh right, Iraq. Sorry, brain cramp for a second. I remember back when the national guard was actually used for stuff like this instead of invading countries. Nearly all of Louisiana's military helicopters are in Iraq but the media will not mention this at all because they would rather carry Bush's water and focus on everything but the real issues in all of this mess. How did they allow this to happen and why was there seemingly no planning for this when people have been warning of this very situation for years.

Speaking of blaming Bush for this, another quote: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."
-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004

I'm not really blaming Bush for this but is it any surprise that his fuck-ups are making things worse. He is clearly THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER. Everything he touches just automatically gets ten times worse. His legacy will live on in this country for generations and not in a good way.

Damn, it feels good to write all this down again but I'm going to have to tone it down since most people probably don't want page long posts. Peace and keep on finding stuff, whities!

Dodgeball teaches weak kids that they're going to spend the next several years being abused by the strong kids

A little sports info on this Tuesday afternoon....

The Chiefs may be looking to sign Peter Warrick and/or Corey Simon, the D Tackle the Eagles released. Simon would be a big addition to the d-line but would take some cash. Warrick or Peerless Price would help the offense but do they really need help? With Holmes and Johnson running and Gonzalez catching the receiver they have just need to catch the ball when they're open. We don't need Jerry Rice here.

Cyclones released the depth chart. Berryman and Moorehead will be starting at the end spots. Moorehead was solid last year and has always had a place in my heart when he was a freshman and would stand at the end of the bench so the students would chant "We want Moorehead" and he could turn and laugh. Gotta love a guy that will play to the crowd. As expected Hawk fans are up in arms over Berryman starting. "Wah, he spent a year in jail, McCarney knew he was going to play when he began practice as 5th string." No shit. The Big 12 newcomer of the year wasn't put on 5th string because he wasn't going to play but he did have to start at the bottom to earn his spot back. Shut up and prepare for the shitstorm when he sacks Tater three times on the 10th.

Cephus Johnson is a hell of a backup at the end spot. It's going to be tough to run on this line and tough to give the QB time. It's going to be great allowing Dobbins to run free in the middle like Hodge and Greenway did for Iowa last year. I'm curious to see how they will handle blockers now that their d-line has a career total of 9 tackles and won't need to be double-teamed.

Culbertson won the kicking job with Yelk kicking off and sharing the punting job with Blankenship. Sounds about right to me. Maybe Yelk will kick some long ones if we need him to.

Austin Flynn is one of the kick returners and sharing time with Milan Moses at the flanker spot. Jon "Please don't drop anymore balls" Davis and Todd "Please have a stronger ACL" Blythe are the two starting receivers. Both of them will be very, very solid this year. Hopefully Flynn can take the Todd Miller role and be our possession receiver.

Looking at the opening week roster there is only 1 senior starter on offense (Pence on the OL) and 5 seniors on defense (Dobbins, Leaders, Hicks, Moser, Paris). The defense will take a hit but this team will be good again next year.

This whole not having a job or a home thing is really kind of starting to suck. Everyone always asks me what I'm doing or if I've decided where I'm going and I have no idea. I usually give some vague information about looking for jobs (no one wants to hire me) or looking to move somewhere (I can't afford to live anywhere). The status quo is ok but I really need to be out of here soon. It just really blows when you have no space and have to walk to a garage to get any of your shit. So, I'm actually begining to make some progress. I'll be in Kansas this weekend to check the paper and maybe look around Lawrence/KC and up to the Twin Cities the weekend after that to watch the ISU-Iowa game with some of my ISU boys.

It kind of blows not being around Ames for the game but there's going to be so many people here that I'll never be able to get into a bar and I'll have to spend all night waiting in line just to get a spot in the parking lot. Two years ago they estimated that over 10,000 people came just to tailgate in addition to the 50,000+ that went into the game. That's a nightmare of a traffic jam at 5:30 AM when we showed up and lot of overflowing toilets and another traffic jam when we left. So, I guess I'll have to leave Ryan to fend for himself when he makes the journey over from Iowa City. Sorry about that.

Well, about time to go cruise the internets for more companies that want to turn me down.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I'm back

Due to overwhelming public support (ok, pretty much just Jake, Courtney, and Leslie) calling for my return to the blogosphere I'm officially announcing my comeback by coming back. I figure why get away from what I do best, bash Bush and talk about sports so let's get started.

Also, I think it's great that somebody wrote in to my comments urging me to "advance my life a little bit". I appreciate the offer, dude. It's pretty sad when people read your work and decide that you're so pathetic they need to help you. Oh well, what was that number again?

I can already tell that the Chiefs will screw me over again this year. The offense looks great as long as the starters or Larry Johnson are in but things get pretty dicey if anyone gets hurt. The defense will show flashes of actual, you know, defense but then will get torched on a deep pass where the safety didn't come over and the corner got roasted. Surtain didn't look like the answer at that position last night but hopefully that was just an anomaly. Either way they'll probably get in as a wild card or maybe beat San Diego for the West and choke in the playoffs again.

For whatever misplaced reason I'm much more confident in the Cyclones this season. Maybe it's because they've only been breaking my heart since 1999 whereas the Chiefs have been accomplishing that since the late '80's. As a Cyclone fan I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. As soon as something positive is happening something negative must be just around the corner to really screw things for everybody.

Prime example: 2002 football season. The first half of the year included several of my top ISU football moments. Hmm. I'm almost feeling a 4,000 word post on my favorite ISU football moments but I'll save that for later since I don't want to overexert myself in my first post back. Anyway, the 2002 highlights included the controversial loss to #3 FSU at Arrowhead, the comeback against Iowa, the ass-kicking laid down against Nebraska, and the Run against Texas Tech. That play had to the apex for the team that year. Seneca Wallace running a total of 110 yards for a 12 yard touchdown in a dazzling run that made him the Heisman frontrunner. ISU was 6-1, ranked #9 in the country, Seneca was on Jim Rome (and my email was read on the show). Basically everything was just about perfect heading into a nationally televised game at Oklahoma (during a two game stretch where ISU became the first team ever to play at OU and at UT in consecutive weeks. A scheduling quirk that could only happen to ISU or KU, but there's no bias in the Big 12 scheduling.)

Well, the Karma Police can't let anything good happen to ISU in that game so we ran into a few problems. Basically, our offensive coordinator knew exactly 10 plays and all the other teams figured that out, the line forced Seneca to run for his life on every play, he got hurt, the team was done. The rest of the season was getting our ass kicked at OU, UT, KSU and even losing to UCONN the last week of the season. The lesson is, don't get too high if you're an ISU fan because you're about to get hit by a bus.

So, despite this lesson I think ISU has a great shot to win the North outright like they should have done last year. The schedule sets up nicely with no OU or UT (the one positive side of the schedule issues mentioned before) and a home game against who I consider the other favorite, Colorado. Mizzou could be tough if Pinkel isn't a dumbass again. KU will have a really solid defense but will the offense be enough? Nebraska is bringing in a ton of new talent but it's tough to win with new talent and Bill Callahan is stil their coach. K-State could be tough but Sproles was about all they had going last year and he's gone. They usually bounce back tough though. Really, any team could win it but ISU just looks so tough on both sides of the ball.

The d-line will be outstanding with any one of them having a decent shot at making an all-conference team. The linebackers are a bit of a question mark and there's no known depth at all in the secondary but the starters are talented. Everyone says that Todd Blythe is better than he was before his ACL surgery after his recordbreaking receiving year. Meyer has so much potential and will only be better with another year. Stevie Hicks was really coming on at the end of last year and should have another 1000 yard season. The line should be tougher. For once, I'm actually mostly confident in the majority of the coaches. Things just seem to be setting up nicely. Of course that means I'll be looking at a 2-10 season after half the team is decapitated in a freak lawnmowing accident.

On to the raping of America. In a continuing effort to make their friends as much money as possible by destroying as many American institutions as possible the Bush administration has targeted the national parks. They have decided to change the official purposes of the national park system to include "mining" and "grazing". They want to start erecting cell phone towers and allow low-flying planes over the parks. They want to allow snow-mobiles on every paved road. They want to change the acceptable air-quality from "natural background" to "human-altered". They want to change to standard to determine what constitutes an "impairment" (and can therefore be banned by park officials) to a nearly impossible standard. They want to eliminate regulations calling for a dark and quiet night sky despite wildlife's need for these two things.

These people truly don't give a shit. If they can squeeze a few dollars out of something then let's rip it apart and get there as fast as we can. It just pisses me off so much that these arrogant assholes are so willing to destroy as much as they can no matter how important and sacred these things are. National parks? No, those were always intended to be used for mining. I mean, it's not like that ever negatively impacted the environment. The possibility of a little oil in ANWAR? Damn, the polar bears, it's drilling time. Social security could be a problem in 40 years? Gut the system, play the stock market! Have a $200 billion bill for a bullshit war? Let someone else pay for it, tax cuts for all (but more for you rich guys, wink wink) and take whatever you want from the treasury, Halliburton, we won't care!

Whew, that feels better. Good to be back.