Hmm…It has started to turn cold here, but I’m glad that I’m not living in American Samoa
A huge emergency effort is under way in the Samoan islands after tsunami waves triggered by an 8.0 earthquake left scores dead and flattened or submerged entire villages.
At least 111 people are confirmed killed in Samoa, neighboring American Samoa and Tonga. Officials in the Pacific region have expressed fears the toll will rise as rescue workers struggle to reach outlying villages.
or the Philippines.
Ketsana left at least 246 people dead as it passed over the Philippines. Another 38 people are still missing, according to the nation’s National Disaster Coordinating Council.
Nearly two million people have been affected by the killer storm and 567,000 people had been evacuated.
Ketsana comes only weeks after the region was ravaged by another storm –- Typhoon Morakot – which claimed the lives of almost 400 people in Taiwan.
A damaged boat washed up inside a building in Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Just a reminder that today is:
RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGER’S KOMEN DAY – Wednesday, September 30
On Sep. 30, Red Robin is sponsoring a Gourmet Burgers Komen Day. Stop by the Sparks/Spanish Springs or Reno Red Robin, enjoy anything on the restaurant’s menu. 15% of all proceeds will be going to the No. Nevada Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Back to the race database. I’ll come up for air soon.
Aside from the usual newsfeeds and promotional emails from Macy’s, Coldwater Creek, Target, Borders, and Pettags.com, my inbox is full of back and forth emails between the committee members for next weekend’s 11th Northern Nevada Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. It’s definitely crunch time, and the emails are flying fast and furious, but I can breathe a little today as I am caught up on all the paper entries we’ve received.
For those of you in the area who wish to participate, online registration is open until midnight on Monday, and In Person registration begins on Thursday, October 1st at the Macy’s Furniture Store at 6011 S. Virginia. Hours: Th/Fri: 12:00-7:00 pm, Sat: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. You can also register on Race Day at the quad at UNR, from 7:00-9:00 am. Not in the area but still want to help? Here’s a link to my donation page, if you can find a couple of extra dollars.
Gardeners in northern Nevada have learned to work with a very short growing season, and more often than not, false starts on spring. So every year we wait with bated breath after our fruit trees blossom to see whether our blooms will be wiped out by a killing frost, or if it will stay warm enough for our trees to produce fruit. This year was one of those years and northern Nevadans are chock full of all kinds of backyard fruit. Maven mentions in her Friday Fish Wrap that she’s got a ton of wonderful nectarines but that her tomatoes don’t seem to want to ripen.
Nectarines are my all-time favorite summer fruit and I was so excited when our tree started growing bunches of them. I kept my eye on them, waiting for them to grow and ripen, my mouth watering in anticipation, but I soon noticed that they did not appear be growing very well. For weeks they just seemed to stay small and hard, but were starting to turn a ripened color. Something was wrong! So I mentioned it to Sweetie and after checking it out, it turns out that the fruit trees were not getting watered by our drip, and though he fixed it and the trees began to get their fair share of H2O, it was too little too late and our nectarines never really got much bigger and though they did ripen were never really edible.
Our Granny Smith apples, on the other hand…bumper crop. I’ve finally turned into one of those people that has to take take a bag of home grown produce to work in order to get rid share with her less blessed co-workers. Fortunately, it’s a big company and there were enough hungry souls. And I need to do it again. Seriously.
The heart monitor. I’m seven days in to my 21 day monitoring. It’s not so bad. I’ve got to keep the cell phone in the charger as much as I can, replace the batteries in the monitor every couple of days and replace the electrode patches daily, but all-in-all, it’s not too bothersome. Coolness: the monitor itself has a little button on the back that fits the electrode patch, so that I can add a fifth one and just attach it to my chest. For work days, this is marvelous because a loose shirt hides the monitor and wires. Nice not to have a lanyard hanging around my neck. Here’s what the company’s press release says about the model I’m wearing.
With up to 21-days of real-time ECG monitoring and the provision of ST deviation analysis, the ACT III provides more sensitive and specific data for initial or early detection of arrhythmia in patients that have limited or atypical symptoms.
The device has 6 hours of memory in the sensor and a flash memory of up to 21 days of data on the ACT Cell phone monitor. This ensures that no valuable data is lost if a patient is disconnected from the cellular phone.
That “limited or atypical” would be me. My symptoms are so weird, they nearly defy explanation. The 24-hour Holter monitor picked up a few weirdnesses, but not enough for my cardiologist to really get the full picture. I do have an arrhythmia – sometimes my heart beats fast, sometimes skip beats, but my doctor isn’t sure if the misfire is coming from the bottom of my heart or the top. One is okay, the other, not so much. My resting heart rate is already slow (about 45 bpm) and I’m not an elite athlete. When I went for my echocardiogram, the tech told me I went as low as 35 bpm. I’m thinking that’s not so good.
In the real world shit keeps happening.
I read about the census worker who got lynched in Kentucky and I have no words. Surely, Michelle Bachmann (crazy Congresswoman from Minnesota) has blood on her hands. I mean, yeah, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are paid to be ignorant, but she’s a fucking congresswoman fer cryin’ out loud.
Here’s a plan. Let’s let all those rightwing reactionaries NOT fill out their census forms. Do they have any idea of the impact that will have on their allocation of federal funds for roads, schools, health and emergency services, not to mention representation in D.C. as well as their state legislature? They want to be anonymous? Let ‘em. Jeebus on a triscuit, their ignorance is stunning.
Furthermore, where the hell were all these people while the government has been secretly listening to our phone conversations, monitoring our library use, internet, email? IN SECRET – no warrants, no letters, no nothing. But these idjits are stoking fear about a process that is (A) mandated by the U.S. Constitution, (B) has been going on since the country was founded, and (C) is probably one of the most transparent things our goverment does.
Mission Statement of the U.S. Census Bureau:
The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.
And Michelle Bachmann’s query as to why the questionnaire doesn’t ask if the person filling it out is a citizen or not is ridiculous. Either she has no clue what a census is, or she is being disingenous. Me thinks the former. Every time that woman opens her mouth I wonder about her I.Q. The census is a count of how many bodies live in a particular area and the demographics about those bodies. All those bodies use public roads, schools, emergency services, etc. Furthermore, there are many, many people who are in this country legally, but are not citizens. My son-in-law is one of them. But to hear Beck and Bachmann speak, he’s a dangerous “illegal.” Fuck Them. He loves his wife (my beautiful girl), is a hard worker, has a real job and actually makes a contribution to society. Which is more than I can say for Bachmann and Beck. (/rant)
And finally, for something completely different, my favorite scene from my favorite movie. If you haven’t seen this little gem, rent it. Today.
And Tom Waits with a cautionary tale.
Anglachel (my emphasis in bold italics):
But here is the irony – the moralistic and non-political use of racism as a shaming mechanism by party leaders in combination with the passionate rejection of “white trash” (the working class) by those same leaders has made the Republicans’ political strategy just that much more effective. We’re doing their work for them. Instead of policies, like universal health care, that materially improve the lives of people in their current socio-economic location, there are half-assed half-measures that tie provision of common social goods to obtaining stable, high-paying, white-collar career employment. Sure, if you are one of the “creative class” types who provides a service the people with the money consider important, you, too, can have the perks that make life comfortable. If you don’t choose to improve yourself (Organic food! More exercise! Fewer children! Higher education! Better dental hygiene!), then you don’t deserve a better life. If you don’t like the policies being proposed, well, you’re probably just a racist who doesn’t want benefits going to “those people.”
That’s a moralistic argument, not a political one. It offers an insult where there should be a promise of material goods. When people voice, however awkwardly, fears and resentment about being treated unfairly by social and political institutions, their discontent is dismissed as individual failings (clinging to guns and God) instead of organizing that discontent into a movement against the real sources of racism – entrenched economic elites who interests are anti-D/democratic.
The Southern Strategy has become the de facto operating principle of the Democratic Party. Divide the working class on racial lines and designate these groups as deserving and undeserving. Focus on individual failings rather than the deep structures of power. Make people pick tribes.
It’s eleven days until the Race for the Cure and as the race database chair I’ve got my hands full entering scads of offline registrations. Between that, my job, my family, and the critters, there is barely time to blow my nose, let alone catch up on the news and comment on it.
I understand that Obama’s gonna make another speech and get all hard-ass on the U.N.
Egalia has a great quote from the author of The Clinton Tapes.
It was almost like a credential for old liberals to look down on Clinton, because if you looked down on Clinton, you could say, “He’s betrayed liberalism,” but you didn’t have to uphold anything yourself. All you had to do was talk about what a shit he was or what a sellout he was and you could get this cheap credential.
The Red Queen and the Kid have moved and are in hot environs, but surrounded by family and love.
I’m walking around with a heart monitor for the next three weeks. Got a weird rhythm going on, so my cardio is trying to get to the bottom of it.
That’s all for now…off to the shower.
President Obama said Friday that he did not believe his race was the cause of fierce criticism aimed at his administration in the contentious national debate over health care, but rather that the cause was a sense of suspicion and distrust many Americans have in their government.
“Are there people out there who don’t like me because of race? I’m sure there are,” Mr. Obama told CNN. “That’s not the overriding issue here.”
Mr. Obama, the nation’s first black president, said “race is such a volatile issue in this society” that he conceded it had become difficult for people to tell whether it was simply a backdrop of the current political discussion or “a predominant factor.”
“Now there are some who are, setting aside the issue of race, actually I think are more passionate about the idea of whether government can do anything right,” he told ABC News. “And I think that that’s probably the biggest driver of some of the vitriol.”
I started writing this post yesterday morning, but Sweetie and I had to leave for the Air Races and I was too pooped to finish it last night. Because of other obligations, I’m not at the races today and can spend a little more time fleshing this out. (Edit: I’m not crazy about my post title, but it’s what I started with, and everything else doesn’t fit either.)
Let’s start with the most recent meme being pursued by the Democratic leadership and other Obama boosters. Jimmy Carter:
When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the president of the United States as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds.
I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American.
It’s a racist attitude, and my hope is and my expectation is that in the future both Democratic leaders and Republican leaders will take the initiative in condemning that kind of unprecedented attack on the president of the United States.
First of all, the signs did NOT say bury Obama with Kennedy. They said bury ObamaCare…
Folks, that is not the same thing. So can we please dial this back a bit? Honestly, did these Dems who are labeling as racism every push-back to Barack Obama sleep through the 90′s? Jeebus on a triscuit, Bill Clinton was called every name in the book, including murderer and rapist, and had Hillary Clinton been elected I would have expected the same sort of reaction from the rightwing lunatic fringe to her and anything she proposed. It’s what they do. Doesn’t everyone remember the term “Hillarycare“ that was bandied about by the right back then? As a matter of fact, I seem to recall a great many Clinton opponents in the Democratic party using that very same term during the primaries to refer to Hillary’s failure to get health care reform passed in 1993.
Boorish behavior is not always racism, nor is criticism, and it’s stunning that some Democrats are so willing to play the race card. Shades of the primaries! (Just see Marc’s comments in my About section, to see what I mean). Are there racists amongst the tea partiers? That there are is self-evident. But mostly I just see a bunch of ill-informed, frightened, and pissed-off people.
Further, those people were never in Obama’s court, and they’ve always felt this way. What’s happening now is that they are once again being played by the powerful on the right, just as these same Powers played the evangelical right before (link).
Now, with 30 percent of Americans defining themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” according to a recent Newsweek poll, the organized right has branched out once again, giving its latest incarnation, in the form of the Tea Party movement, a more secular face — a good move at a time when the population is more distressed about economic than cultural issues.
After the 2008 election, liberal pundits declared the religious right dead, as if its primary focus eve was religion. It was not: its primary focus is, and always was, power — power that ultimately serves the interests of Big Business via the goal of defunding and disempowering those forces that argue for regulation and a social safety net — in other words, the forces that enact the ideals of liberals and progressives.
They are being played just as much as the “progressives” on the left who bought into Obama’s Hopey-Changey shtick were played (all the while ignoring his words, his record, and his corporate sponsors). Joe on Obama’s sinking approval ratings:
Obama’s drop in popularity among white people is not, in my view, due to racism. The true racists were never among that 63%. No, those sagging polls can be attributed to Obama’s stances on domestic spying, the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan, the failure to fix Wall Street and — especially — the health care sell-out.
The Dems risk a lot by this ploy. It’s a strawman argument to say that people are disagreeing with Obama (and calling him a liar), because at heart they are racists. I disagree with Obama, and have indeed tagged him a liar (especially when talking about “choice” in our health care options). I am not a racist. IN the same post linked above Joe Cannon quotes Gene Lyons:
Democrats who cry racism risk looking like whiners fearful they’re losing the argument. Not to mention illogical. If Obama’s approval rating among white voters has dropped from 63 to 43 percent, as the Los Angeles Times recently documented, it’s not because they suddenly heard about his African father.
In the meantime, it appears that no one is happy about what I like to call HIPPA II (Health Insurance and Pharma Protection Act). Maven has a good run down on the reaction to the Baucus bill which by many’s reckoning, including my own, is Obama’s bill of choice. Here’s what I had to say about the Baucus bill last June.
Dakinikat asks a very good question: Why Force the Poor into Subsidizing Insurance Companies?
So, let me ask this question. Why are we supposed to support any of this? What is in it for any one but the President who gets to say he did something and the insurance companies who get windfall profits that would make the CEO of Chevron Exxon blush?
Can we just scrap all of this and start all over? Can HR 676 at least get to the floor for a vote? Can Single-Payer have a seat at the table this time?
Meanwhile…it isn’t just health care you’ve got to worry about.
I’ll be volunteering with Sweetie at the Reno Air Races working box security through Sunday. If you happen to be there, come on down to the box seat gate closest to the pit and say hello. We’ve got to get up at the crack of dawn every day, so posting may be light, but who knows. Something may strike me (doesn’t it always?)
In the meantime, please give your full attention to your flight attendant as we prepare for take-off. (Source)
Joe Cannon is torn about whether or not to just suck it up and support HR 3200. Joe writes:
Let’s face it — Jane Hamsher is right. The “mainstream” House and Senate plans can be considered neoliberal giveaways to the insurance industry. That industry which has no valid role to play in our health system. Why should we allow the insurance execs to gobble up some twenty percent of each health care dollar?
I despise the idea of mandated purchase of private insurance. The constitutional viability of such a mandate still strikes me as questionable. And those proposed fines are obscene.
And yet. And yet.
Senator Feingold can find it in his heart to support this immensely flawed scheme — even though I suspect that he would prefer single payer, as would I.
In the House, Dennis Kucinich has introduced HR 676, the single payer plan. Yet he has not yet ruled out voting in favor of HR 3200, the neoliberal giveaway plan. For all its awfulness, that plan would disallow the insurance companies from denying insurance based on pre-existing conditions. Scoff at that if you will. People with pre-existing conditions will not scoff.
What if Kucinich decides to vote — however reluctantly — for HR 3200?
John Conyers, another backer of 676, has said that he will not vote for 3200 unless the public option is maintained and strengthened. The implication is that he could end up voting in favor of that bill.
Anthony Weiner is another force behind 676. He has not yet indicated whether he would vote for 3200. I’ve seen interviews in which he signaled that he might do so.
My point is this: The few decent people left in politics have indicated that they might support the Obama-favored plan, even though single-payer remains infinitely preferable. Should we tell them that they are wrong to do so? Or do they know something that we don’t?
If they know something we don’t they better start singing, because until I know what it is I’m being asked to whip, I got nothing. Give me some bullet points, diagrams, anything. Continue reading
Everyone should have a love like this.