Feds Set Up South Texas for Katrina 2.0

As Hurricane Dolly drew a bead on the South Texas coast and the mouth of the Rio Grande, workers began building a new section of the controversial U.S.-Mexico border Wall atop levees the government had already declared unsafe. The levees have been decertified, and if a hurricane of keen aim and sufficient strength hits, South Texans can expect the same treatment New Orleans citizens suffered. Continue reading “Feds Set Up South Texas for Katrina 2.0”

Bush as Empty Cargo Shorts: How Perfect Is That

Austin, Texas was once a laid-back, creative haven full of college students, hippies, affable red necks and university professors. Even the conservative Democrats in power in the late ’60s and early ’70s went to pot-god Willie Nelson concerts.

George W. and Laura Bush, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzalez, Karen Hughes – these people who held the Texas governor’s mansion from 1994-2000 just aren’t Austin’s idea of hip. So how did they captivate the city just a coupla decades later? Continue reading “Bush as Empty Cargo Shorts: How Perfect Is That”

A Very Blackwater Thanksgiving: Profiteers Are Wrecking Our Health and Destroying Our Security

As Thanksgiving approaches, we should pay homage to the 17th Century Blackwater-like private security firms who made the very first Thanksgiving possible. That’s the message from Serviam, a magazine committed to the unstinting defense of private profiteering in every realm of human endeavor. By the magazine’s stuffed-turkey logic we should give thanks for all the profiteering and the accountability-killing privatizing that dominates what was once a public sphere. From health care to a mercenary army, profit is alpha and omega, while the moral fabric that holds us together is being ripped apart by pirates. Yes, even our health has been blackwatered. Thank-yous are hardly in order. Continue reading “A Very Blackwater Thanksgiving: Profiteers Are Wrecking Our Health and Destroying Our Security”

Slippery Scribes Shaft Striking Screenwriters

Well, that didn’t take long. No sooner did the writers grab their picket signs and head for Rockefeller Center than the New York Times belittled and mocked them, paragraph after paragraph. A bit painful, isn’t it, this writerly write-down of writers?

In the first paragraph of its initial story, Times writers, who are not on strike, managed to include the pejorative “so-called” as a modifier of “new media.” Continue reading “Slippery Scribes Shaft Striking Screenwriters”

Don’t think of a sick child

George W. Bush doesn’t want you to think of a sick child. Not Graeme Frost. Not Gemma Frost. Not Bethany Wilkerson. Not any of the real children affected.

He wants you straining your eyes on the fine print of policies, puzzling over the nuances of coverage — whether you can afford premiums for basic, catastrophic, comprehensive or limited health insurance. Last week on “Real Time With Bill Maher,” even Tucker Carlson kind of got it right, saying, “No one child is a metaphor — he’s a kid!” That’s the point. They’re all kids, each one, one by one. The question is, do you care? Continue reading “Don’t think of a sick child”

Could You Explain a Vote Against Children’s Health to the Children?

For those in U.S. House or Senate inclined to sustain a presidential veto of a bill that will provide basic health care to more than 3 million additional American children, ask yourselves this question: Are you willing to explain your decision to a schoolroom of fragile young children who cannot afford treatment for whooping cough or measles, leukemia or juvenile diabetes? Are you willing to explain this to them, human to human?

The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly for an expanded children’s health care program (SCHIP), 265-159. President George W. Bush has said he will veto any expansion of the program, and supporters fear they will fall short of votes necessary to override Bush’s veto. And what’s Bush’s reason for the veto? Continue reading “Could You Explain a Vote Against Children’s Health to the Children?”

The American Tragedy of Our Troops Held Hostage

President Bush is holding our troops hostage and threatening them with death. Here is what he is saying to Congress:

“Order me out of Iraq, and I will abandon the troops in the field. The blood of your children will be on your hands, not mine.”

Every coffin that comes home shows he means business.

This is the ugly truth Congress wrestles with but will not name. Congress has been terrorized, like any family whose children are kidnapped and held hostage. Continue reading “The American Tragedy of Our Troops Held Hostage”

Gonzales Pleads the Ken Lay Defense

With no apparent shame, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales pleaded the Ken Lay defense — also known by his own prosecutors as the “Aw, shucks” defense or the ” deliberate ignorance” defense — in his explanation of the political executions of United States attorneys by his office and the White House. Continue reading “Gonzales Pleads the Ken Lay Defense”

George Lakoff’s Freedom Frame

George Lakoff is a cognitive scientist whose theories have deepened our understanding of the brain and how we think, act, talk and feel. He works in the domain of mirror neurons and cognitive systems, which may be the stuff beneath our poetry but not necessarily the stuff of poetry. Still, readers who follow him in his new meditation on the fate of freedom in America might find themselves calling up their own images from our historic struggle for freedom: Continue reading “George Lakoff’s Freedom Frame”