I've been very busy lately, so you will have to excuse me. But here's a few from the news pile with color commentary.
First off, my best wishes to those in New Orleans. I've been to the city twice and I consider it a second home. Last i heard, 80% of it is underwater. I won't bother linking to any particular story, because if you can't find an update on THAT story, really you have issues with the internet. But outside the utter catastrophe that a massive hurricane causes, I do have to confess to a question that the situation spawns in me:
"Where is the National Guard when you need them?"
The Guard isn't meant to occupy foreign cities or fight in corporate wars of occupation. They are, in fact, chartered for situations like this.
Second on the docket is this story, about California doing the right thing and thumbing their noses at the Creationists and their "textbooks". Good show, good show. If the judge that handles that case rules in their favor, I officially disavow it as a state in this union. I'm serious, people. If you've ever noticed, every time Christians aren't given preferential treatment if not total domination, they claim their being discriminated against. Freedom of religion means that you can't be jailed or shot for being religious. That's it. Amusingly enough, half of the people I hear about who don't understand this eventually give us ANOTHER reason to one of those things. See also: Eric Rudolph.
Thirdly, Hugo Chavez. I laughed, I cried...I felt proud. We taught him well how to insult the proud by offering them help in their hour of need. For a so-called "strongman" he plays the game like an American at his best (so to speak). For more on this, go here for more on the delightful story of someone finally holding Pat Robertson accountable for threats and religious terrorist rallying (This is, in America, called being a Televangelist). Chavez also has a record of human-rights abuses and at least one coup under his belt, so he is let us not forget, an oppressive dictator. Let's just remember...Pat Robertson ran for president in 1988. The only difference was that the voting machines weren't all rigged yet at that point. They're the same goddamned animal.
And on one final, lighter note: the Israeli Government are Assholes! I will offer, however, in their defense, the initiative to give the payoff to the families came from Sharon, so strangely this is another case of Sharon siding with the Palestinians over the racism of his own government. The reasons for this remains to be seen. I'm not buying the benevolent friend bit.