The things people say

I have long believed that the only ones who actually listen to shows like Rush Limbaugh are far removed from me. I don’t mean in a partisan sense or simply based on ideology, I mean that I thought that those kinds of people lived in other regions of the U.S., regions far from here. Rush Limbaugh is only the first name that came to mind when I was trying to think of the very conservative radio shows, I am sure there are dozens of other names that I could have thrown out there had I been thinking about it. Not that it really matters for my purposes right now.

Hurricane Katrina was a horrible disaster that destroyed a major city. The same kind of devastation happens overseas fairly frequently but here in the good old us of a it’s pretty rare. Turns out that when it does happen we are woefully unprepared. For days before the hurricane actually touched shore it was common knowledge that it was going to be bad. I live in Arizona FFS and I knew it was going to be bad. When it hit, and when they got one of the worst case scenarios, everything went to hell.

Most of the people had already abandoned the city. The elderly, the poor, and the 24 hour convenience store clerks (which kind of fits into the last group) were probably about the only ones who didn’t flee. Why didn’t they flee? They couldn’t. People started offering up shelter for the victims by the thousands after the hurricane, before it though they would have just had to hike out of town and find a vacant lot to sleep in, hoping they could survive the storm in a vacant lot rather than their low-income housing unit. If I had been in that situation I would have hoped that the flood waters didn’t make it to my house, the other option seems a bit worse. I really doubt that the majority of the people who didn’t flee stayed back because they were stupid or stubborn. Poor probably but not stupid or stubborn.

The negligence of every agency charged with responding to disasters borders on criminal. From the City level all the way to the Federal level. There is simply no reason why it should have taken several days to get buses in there to start moving people out, why Wal-Mart (how I despise them) was the first on the scene with fresh water, water for christ’s sake, didn’t anyone other than Wal-Mart think that a city many feet deep in sewage and human remains might need fresh water? The response to this catastrophe was horrible at every level, I think that is a fair statement.

Today I overheard a conversation where I work, it was not pleasant. The man, whom I will call Cluelss, was talking to well, hell, I don’t know who he was talking to (the other person was behind me). Clueless started spouting some facts about the hurricane relief. “Bush had the National Guard on the borders of Louisiana on Sunday night. When they tried to get into New Orleans on Monday the residents were already shooting at them.” Only he didn’t say residents, he dropped the N-bomb, thus sealing his fate as being called clueless for my purposes. His racism aside though, does he really believe that? If the National Guard actually got to New Orleans on Monday, and if people started shooting at them, don’t you think it would have been pretty big news? The National Guard probably just wouldn’t have turned tail and run, it would have been a bloodbath. The only thing I ever heard about guns being fired in the beginnig was regarding people shooting into the air as helicopters hovered overhead, not shooting at them, but claiming the next shot was for the pilot if he didn’t land and carry them to safety. I suppose it will be quite some time before we know which of those versions is closer to the truth, but I am pretty sure that his version was spoon fed to him by someone on the far right of the political spectrum.

Clueless went on to say that our esteemed leader was actually in New Orleans on Tuesday (meaning the day after the hurricane hit) offering federal aid to the city. I just went and googled it up and it turns out that Bush didn’t actually visit New Orleans until the 12th (yesterday), a full two weeks after the hurricane hit, though in defense of Dubya it only took about a week for him to deliver on the Federal aid that he promised while he was in New Orleans still on vacation, national disasters be damned!

Clueless really believes that Bush did absolutely nothing wrong in this whole ordeal, not a damn thing. Stupid democrats are just trying to tarnish his reputation (as if we have to actually try to do that). Every bit of fault for the slow response is at city or state level. When the federal government tried to help New Orleans and Louisiana would not let them. I find that just as laughable as religion, but he sure seems to believe it. I guess a lot of other people are with him on that logic though, at least 50.1% at the very least. Somehow I doubt that that number is going to stand up after the federal handling of this disaster.

I was brought up thinking that this was supposed to be the United States of America. If the government isn’t supposed to respond to a disaster in a particular state then we would just be the States of America. That would mean that the federal government is a really evil, money stealing roughneck (sounds about right anyway). The funny thing is that people from every state in the union are stepping up and sending money and supplies to the ravaged area, some are even offering spare rooms in their own homes to the victims. That is what being United is all about. Common good. Not just common good for campaign contributors.

Proud to be an American?

So it turns out that the state of Mississippi is no longer racist. Really. Check out the headline:

Ex-KKK Member Convicted in 1964 Killings

So, forty-one years after the crime they finally came up with enough evidence to convict one of the killers! That is great news! Unfortunately that is not the news at all. According to the article the same man was tried for the much lesser crime of violating the civil liberties of the victims in 1967 and walked away without a conviction.

I know this all happened a long time ago, at a point where the south was still pretty pissed off about the abolition of slavery and certainly not ready to treat people of color as equals. I will go one step further to say that I don’t think they are any better today than they were in the ’60s. That being said, you would think that there was some sort of concrete proof in this trial, right? Nope. Most of the people who testified in the ’67 trial are dead so their statements, from the court records in that trial, were the only thing that it took to convince a contemporary jury of his guilt.

The thing that really pisses me off is that the asshole isn’t being put to death, in fact he was not even convicted of murder. Why? It seems that, ” Killen, a bald figure with owlish bifocals, sat impassively in his wheelchair, an oxygen tube up his nose, as he listened to the verdict.” Yeah, he is an old dude, he used to be in the KKK, he killed (or had a hand in killing) three people (two white, one black) but, he is/was a preacher, therefore it never really happened? I guess the jury must have conceded that it did happen but would the charges have been reduced to manslaughter if he happened to be younger, or, heaven forbid, a man of color?

Another wonderful quote comes from some guy that doesn’t live anywhere near Mississippi (like me), but who also doesn’t seem to know the story, “On the one hand, this guy needs to be convicted. And on the other hand, the state needed to present better evidence,” said Paprocki, 54, of Philadelphia. Great sentiment, except that they had all of the evidence when the thing went to trial in 1967, since they had to use the testimony of dead people to get a conviction today.

I am just a bit skeptical about whether Mississippi is really trying to show that they are now an equal races state. If they really are, why didn’t they try the guy again years ago, you know, before he appeared to be a decrepit old man? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, they were figuring that no jury would convict someone in that condition?

Would you, if you are/were (a la Michael Jackson) not white, be comfortable walking down the streets in any town in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia or the rest of the deeply racist states after dark? I for one know that I wouldn’t be. Hell, I might not even be safe since I am 1/4 Native American, makes for darker skin you know.

As George W. Bush would likely say, “God bless America, and all the white people who live here.”

Router issues; Awana=White supremacy?

First of all, on the work front my bosses just left town for a few days. This leaves me with a monumentally fucked up schedule until at least Monday. To the extent that I will be working eleven hour days until Sunday. Not like I am scheduled to work them, but that when I am at home for a break of any sort it is rarely more than for ten minutes before I get a call to go back in and deal with a vendor, customer, horrific fire, I never know what they are going to do in the few minutes I am gone. What this means to you is that I may not be able to post anything here during those days, of course it could also lead to me having a bunch of idiot stories that I really want to talk about. Which will be the case? Stay tuned.

• On the home front, I have written several times previously about getting a new computer, but keeping my old one. My plan has worked pretty well, as my wife has rediscovered the game “Age of Empires”. She really seems to enjoy playing that as I am happily typing away or reading news/blogs. It has worked out much as I had hoped. I am still thinking pretty strongly about trying to connect the two PCs through a LAN, as the new pc already has that capability, and a card for the old pc can be acquired for less than twenty bucks. The thing that I am not really sure about is the implementation.

If you are reading this, and you happen to know exactly how to implement such a situation, please Shoot me an email. I understand that there is a device called a “router” that must be used to achieve this, but beyond that I know nothing. I would assume that it would not be that difficult to do, but as I will be trying to make one machine with WIN98 work with one that has WINxp I am sure that it is not going to be a plug-and-play situation. I am equally as sure that I could figure it out with the old ‘guess and check’ method, but as I grow older I find that it save a hell of a lot of time and frustration if you gather some information so that you know what to expect going in.

Having just gone to check on eBay, I realize now that I wouldn’t have any idea what type of router I would need to buy anyway. There are some of them that are eight dollars and some that are a hell of a lot more. I certainly don’t need anything that is wireless, as the two machines are only a couple of feet apart. I also don’t have a cable or DSL connection, so the point of having one that either has or requires that capability is totally out the window. Both of the PCs have working modems and I do have two phone lines, so they can be online at the same time that way. I can not think of any reason why I would try to do anything with a Network card other than just playing a local game or possibly trying to swap some files. Perhaps in the year 2018, when they finally get a reasonably priced alternative to dial-up where I live I will think differently…Ask me in a decade and I will let you know…

• I mentioned, in a post that I can not find, that my parents had us enrolled in this group called AWANA, this was brought about after my Mother told me of finding the old uniform for the club. The group is basically like the Boy Scouts, only instead of teaching you stuff that you can use in real life, you get merits for learning bible verses and songs. I do remember loving it as a child, but my childhood memories are all a bit skewed by the fact that I don’t remember most of it.

I bring this up only because I recently remembered a little song that we used to sing at Vacation Bible School. The song went, and I will quote, “I’m no kin to the Monkey, the monkey’s no kin to me, I don’t know much about my ancestors, but mine didn’t swing from a tree.” I think I may have mentioned that particular song at some point also, supposing that I was being brain-washed against the theory of evolution. Every time I pen/type the lines to it I think that more and more. Yet the last time I thought about that song I was a bit troubled by the last line. The part where it says, “mine didn’t swing from a tree.” I had always envisioned monkeys swinging through the trees, yet as I think about it this time, I am wondering if there could be more devious reasons for the whole song.

Could it be about White Supremacy?

I was thinking about that song today, and thinking about how all of the elderly people that I knew in my youth would casually refer to black people as “porch monkeys” -something that I certainly do NOT do- when I realized that the song in question could have a completely different intent. Could it be that they were making little four-six year old children sing a song about hating black people? I would hope not, but then the line about “swinging from a tree” came into my mind. There were a lot of worthless idiots in the south, and they lynched a lot of decent people based on the color of their skin. The result of that would be someone “swinging from a tree”.

Now I am not sure if that song was trying to teach me that evolution was crap, or if it was trying to teach me to hate people based on the color of their skin. Whichever one is the truth, I hate them for it. The single reason that ethnic biases exist is that the parents and teachers perpetuate it in children. It is a really sick way to try to mold the mind of a child.

I am certainly not a racist, but I do admit that I get a bit nervous when I see anyone of a color other than mine dressed in ‘gangsta gear’. I am pretty sure that is just a conditioned response, as I can hold a conversation with the same person without apprehension after a simple hello and hand-shake. The mere fact that I am nervous for the first few seconds just goes to prove that the brain-washing worked, at least a little bit.

Why, then, do schools have mandates about what they teach, while ‘bible schools’ are able to teach bigotry and hatred? What country is this again?