Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Racism, Sex, Oil, Power, Incompetence and HOPE.

It's hard to even know where to begin. So, in series of briefs here is what I have noticed going on:

We'll start with the blatant racism of the press. Steve Gilliard at the News Blog sums up the captions to the pictures below quite succinctly: Niggers Steal, Whites Find.
  • Read the captions. The black man has looted a grocery store. The white people are "finding bread and soda from a local grocery store."

  • Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon picks up on this and elaborates on how the right wing sound machine is already starting to blame the victims of Katrina for their situation. I think she's right. I already think that the media play has been to kind of disparage those who stayed behind. But you know what? Right now, I could not afford to flee with Laura and Anwen for four or five days without hitting the credit card. If we didn't have credit...we would not be able to afford to leave. Think about poor people without cars and without mass transit to evacuate on. Think of the elderly, mentally disabled, hearing impaired, handicapped, shut ins who could not flee. I used to volunteer for Meals on Wheels. I bet every single person on my route would have been unable to flee.

    Skip the $3.00 per gallon gas. Get ready for $4.00-$5.00 per gallon and possibly higher. Your electric and natural gas bills are going up dramatically. Why? Because Katrina has destroyed gulf oil output for the forseeable future. The Coast Guard has confirmed the accuracy of this story: at least 20 oil rig platforms have vanished from the Gulf of Mexico. Just gone. Wiped off the map. And it isn't a matter of just towing a new one in place. The infrastructure is simply destroyed. Each one of those rigs had between 4 and 100 oil wells on it.
    The damage numbers you have gotten from the government and analysts are, in my opinion, much too low. We are looking at YEARS to return to the production levels we had prior to the storm. The eastern Gulf of Mexico is primarily oil production...

    Loss of the MARS platform alone cost us 95,000 barrels a day for a year or maybe more.

    YEARS, people. I know what this means - hope everyone else gets it too...
    The Oil Drum: Newest (and very informative and very scary) report from an anonymous insider
  • The MARS platform.

  • How bad is this? Well, the Gulf of Mexico supplies 35% of the oil we use in the United States and an astonishing 83% of our natural gas. The Saudis cannot bail us out this time - they simply cannot make up the shortfall; they are producing at capacity. Iraq won't help us anytime soon...if they ever help us after what we have done to them. Even if we could import enough oil to make up the shortfall there is no place to refine the oil because Katrina shut down eight major oil refineries.

    I recommend buying a diesel for your next car; it can be easily converted to biodiesel and that way $4.00 to $5.00 a gallon for gasoline won't hurt you and you won't be sending money to the Middle East. Laura and I are very grateful for our Prius; 48mpg average is wonderful.

    Federal response to the Katrina disaster has been pitiful: too little, too late and no coordination between state and local officials. Obviously we know where the National Guard is: Iraq. What about FEMA? Well, seems Bushco had a great idea:
    Indeed, the advent of the Bush administration in January 2001 signaled the beginning of the end for FEMA. The newly appointed leadership of the agency showed little interest in its work or in the missions pursued by the departed Witt. Then came the Sept. 11 attacks and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Soon FEMA was being absorbed into the "homeland security borg."

    This year it was announced that FEMA is to "officially" lose the disaster preparedness function that it has had since its creation. The move is a death blow to an agency that was already on life support. In fact, FEMA employees have been directed not to become involved in disaster preparedness functions, since a new directorate (yet to be established) will have that mission. Washington Post: Destroying FEMA
    Now, when you add that into the fact that the Bush administration systematically turned down funding to repair the levees that were breached and I pretty much figure that you can lay the blame for all of the dead in New Orleans and Iraq at the feet of George W. Bush. The man is our Louis the XIV. He'd like to be our Stalin, but he's just not competent enough to pull it off.

    But the Bush administration has been busy. Busy prosecuting porn. Aha! You say - it must be kiddie porn they are prosecuting. And in a sane world it would be. But no. They are prosecuting porn featuring consenting adults. No, I am not shitting you. Apparently our Attorney General, Mr. Torture himself, considers this a priority.

    It's enough to make you want to vomit.

    But don't sit there feeling powerless and overwhelmed. Take a second to take a deep breath. Good. Now, if you haven't done so already or if you can afford to do so again please donate to the Red Cross.

    After you have done that you are invited to join the revolution. Together we will sweep these incompetent crooks out of office and start to rebuild a nation that is a community that cares for each other and plans for a safe, sane, stable future for all Americans.