Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New things are on the horizon. Since the Packers stink this year and the A's season is just about over, I've decided to start recording some of my own material and also to continue to try and find sporadic work recording other bands, whenever I can. The preface is that I am not going to hustle and only record what I'm into. Period.

I was thinking back about some old posts in here, about how I defended Mike Sherman as being a better GM/Coach than Mike Holmgren was, and I still stand by that. However, it seems the Packers are now paying for some of his GM decisions in the past, though I'm not convinced Ted Thompson is the answer. Sherman's gotten a bit conservative and stale, and it seems teams have adjusted to his offensive schemes, particularly the running game. Having to trade the two guards certainly didn't help matters, though I'm not sure how much coverage has been given about salary cap issues.

As far as New Orleans, Katrina, Rita and all of that, I've gotten a barrage of emails from my conservative uncle lately, so you know the GOP spin machine is up to no good. I guess that's what they're talking about when they say they're putting Karl Rove in charge of the "relief" effort. Here's a particularly heinous email being circulated by a "doctor":

"The following from a Mississippi MD:
I am going to tell it straight, blunt, raw, and I don't give a damn. Long read, I know but please do read.

I went to volunteer on Saturday at the George R. Brown convention for two reasons:

A: I wanted to help people to get a warm fuzzy.

B: Curiosity.

I've been watching the news lately and have seen scenes that have made me
want to vomit. And no it wasn't dead bodies, the city under water, or the
sludge everywhere. It was PEOPLE"S BEHAVIOR. The people on T. V. (99% being
Black) where DEMANDING help. They were not asking nicely but demanding as
if society owed these people something. Well the honest truth is WE DON'T.

Help should be asked for in a kind manner and then appreciated. This is not
what the press (FOX in particular) was showing. What I was seeing was a
group of people who are yelling, demanding, looting, killing, raping, and
SHOOTING back at the demanded help!!!!! So I'm thinking this can't possibly
be true can it???? So I decide to submit to the DEMAND for help out of
SHOCK. I couldn't believe this to be true of the majority of the people who
are the weakest of society. So I went to volunteer and help folks out and
see the truth. So I will tell the following story and you decide:

I arrived at the Astrodome only to find out that there are too many
volunteers and that volunteers were needed at the George R. Brown
Convention Center. As I was walking up to the Convention Center I noticed a
line of cars that wrapped around blocks filled with donations. These where
ordinary Houstonians coming with truckloads and trunks full of water,
diapers, clothes, blankets, food, all types of good stuff. And lots of it
was NEW.

I felt that warm fuzzy while helping unload these vehicles of
these wonderful human beings. I then went inside the building and noticed
approximately 100,000 sq. ft. of clothes, shoes, jackets, toys and all
types of goodies all organized and ready for the people in need. I signed
up, received a name badge and was on my merry way excited to be useful.

I toured the place to get familiar with my surrounding; the entire place is
probably around 2 million sq. ft. I noticed rows as far as the eye can see
of mattresses, not cots, BLOW UP MATTRESSES!!! All of which had nice
pillows and plenty of blankets. 2 to 3 bottles of water lay on every bed.

These full size to queen size beds by the way were comfortable, I laid in
one to see for myself. I went to look at the medical area. I couldn't
believe what my eyes were seeing!!! A makeshift hospital created in 24
hours!!! It was unbelievable, they even had a pharmacy. I also noticed that
they created showers, which would also have hot water. I went upstairs to
the third floor to find a HUGE cafeteria created in under 24 hours! Rows of
tables, chairs and food everywhere - enough to feed an army! I'm not
talking about crap food either. They had Jason's deli food, apples,
oranges, coke, diet coke, lemonade, orange juice, cookies, all types of
chips and sandwiches.

All the beverages by the way was put on ice and chilled. In a matter of
about 24 hours or less an entire mini-city was erected by volunteers for the
poor evacuees. This was not your rundown crap shelter, it was BUM HEAVEN.

So that was the layout: great food, comfy beds, clean showers, free medical
help. By the way, there was a library and a theatre room I forgot to mention.

Great stuff, right?

Well here is what happened on my journey -

I started by handing out COLD water bottles to evacuees as they got off the
bus. Many would take them and only 20% or less said thank you. Lots of them
would shake their heads and ask for sodas! So this went on for about 20-30
minutes until I was sick of being an unappreciated servant. I figured certainly
these folks would appreciate some food!!! So I went upstairs to serve these
beloved evacuees some GOOD food that I wish I could have at the moment.

***The following statements are graphic, truthful, and discuss UNRATIONAL behavior***

Evacuees come slowly to receive this mountain of food that is worth serving
to a king! I tell them that we have 2 types of great deli sandwiches to
choose from - ham and turkey. Many look at the food in disgust and DEMAND
burgers, pizza, and even McDonalds. Jason's deli is better than McDonalds!

Only 1 out of ten people who took something would say "thank
you" the rest took items as if it was their God given right to be served
without a shred of appreciation!!! They would ask for beer and liquor. They
complained that we didn't have good enough food. They refused food and
laughed at us. They treated us volunteers as if we where SLAVES. No, not all
of them of course, but 70% did. 20% were appreciative, 10% took the
food without any comment and the other 70% had some disgusting comment to
say. Some had the nerve to laugh at us. And when I snapped back at them for
being mean, they would curse at me.

Needless to say I was in utter shock.

They would eat their food and leave their mess on the table. Some would
pick up their stuff; many would leave it for the volunteers to pick up. I
left that real quick to go down and help set up some more beds. I saw many
young ladies carrying mattresses and I helped for a while.

Then I realized something.

There were hundreds of able bodied young men who could help! I
asked a group of young evacuees in their teens and early twenties to help.
I got cursed at for asking them to help!!! One said "We just lost our
fucking homes and you want us to work!!" The next said "Ya Cracker, you got
a home we don't". I looked at them in disbelief. Here are women walking by
carrying THEIR BEDS and they can't lift a finger and help themselves!


I waved them off and turned away and was laughed at and more. "White boy
jokes" were made at me. I felt no need to waste my breath on a bunch of
pitiful losers. I went to a nearby restroom where I noticed a man shaving.

I used the restroom, washed my hands and saw this man throw his razor
towards the trash can... he missed. He walked out leaving his disgusting
razor on the floor for some "cracker" to pick up. Even the little kids were
demanding. I saw only ONE white family and only TWO Hispanic families.
The rest were blacks. Sorry, 20% to 30% decent blacks and 70% LOSERS.

I would call them N*****S, but the actual definition of a n*****r is one
who is ignorant. These people were not ignorant.. they where ARROGANT
ASSHOLES. The majority of which are thugs and lifetime lazy ass welfare
recipients. We are inviting the lowest of the low to Houston. And like
idiots we are serving the people who will soon steal our cars, rape,
murder, and destroy our city while stealing from our pockets on a daily
basis through the welfare checks they take. We will fund our own destruction.

By "US" I don't mean a specific race, I mean the people who work hard, work
smart, have values and morals. Only people who want to help themselves
should be helped, the others should be allowed to destroy themselves. I do

not want to work hard, give the government close to half the money I earn
so they can in turn give it to a bunch of losers.

I don't believe in being poor for life. My family immigrated here, we came
here poor, and now thank God, and due to HARD WORK we are doing fine. If
immigrants, who come here, don't know the language, can work and become

If we continue to reward these losers then we will soon destroy our great
country. I just witnessed selfish, arrogant, unappreciative behavior by the
very people who need help the most. Now these same people who cursed me,
refused my city's generosity, who refuse to help themselves are DEMANDING
handouts on their own terms. They prance around as if they are owed
something, and when they do receive a handout, they say it's not good
enough! Well you know what? These types of people can go to hell for all I care.
Richard L. Johnston, M. D.
[Note, I called the numbers posted on the email, and he retracted, saying he wasn't the author]


Nice bedside manner, eh? Says a little about the man's psyche, but that's about it.

Friday, September 02, 2005

My wife and I were turning on the TV in a youth hostel in Stockholm, watching dramatic news footage of Katrina approaching New Orleans the night of August 28th. It was Fox News, and there was footage of Michael Brown, head of FEMA, talking about how ready they were for what may come. I have to say, for once, the overly dramatic news coverage of that network, fit what was to come. And we've watched Brown today saying, in effect, that "all I can say is we're taking care of shit now." How can it take FOUR DAYS to bring basic food/water/etc., when you earlier talked about how prepared your agency was for the worst case scenario? That douchebag needs to be fired immediately.

I am embarrassed for my country right now. I still believe in the idea of America, I still stop when the National Anthem is played, and I believe that our flag means something, but these days it is more of an ideal and not the way things are. If it were up to me, I'd say a good start in sending a message to the world would be to drive all of the Hummers and Excursions and everything else representative of our arrogance into a very large ampitheatre, where molten metal is already spewing orange in some pit that everyone can see, and we melt down all of that shit in a kind of "disco sucks" rally, and we use the result to repair whatever is needed in our public infrastructure. And to drive the point home: "Remember New Orleans. This is what happens when you have 'limited government.' You get what you pay for."

You can rule that out

One thing we can now be certain of - any issues you may have with my communication, or just anything to do with me really - are not the resu...