The Friends of California Libre...

14 January 2005

International Death and Destruction Is Our Business

Greetings, friends,
What lovely weather we're having. All of our used motor oil, exploded balloons, cigarette butts, unread copies of the Weekly, styrofoam cups and pieces of a few unnecessary houses have been washed off the streets of LA and sent where they belong, into a long 8 foot pile at Belmont Shores. Tsk.

You get some idea from the enclosed picture (thanks, Irene.) PS This is confirmed and not a fake. Topanga is still closed by the behemoth, which I took a ride out to see late Wednesday.

I hope that some of you here were enjoying the car chase late Tuesday night. It was a good one: an obviously drunk idiot weaving his way from Palmdale all the way to Arcadia. (For you auslander, that's about 150 km.) He drove about 60 mph until the very end, when he suddenly sped up to over 100, clipped a car, spun out and wrecked his Honda. Idiot.

The most interesting thing about car chases in LA, other than the chases themselves (and I am 100% a fan of car chases) is the stupid banter of the newscasters, who usually can't find much to say. However, they do repeat one thing over and over: why run when you will be caught?

Ever since I was in high school, I have always been amazed at the naivete of these people, especially when cops confirm it. Why run from the cops? Here are several good reasons:
1) You are drunk.
2) You are nuts.
3) You are showing off for your gangster pals.
4) You want the police to blow your brains out and end your sorry life.
and...last but not least
5) Since you're going to jail anyway, why not get the car back to your house and avoid the towing and impound fees, which range about $300?

Ah, the simple life.
Reading Winds, Waves May Have Saved Ancient Tribes on Remote Indian Islands
By Neelesh Misra
The Associated Press

Has anyone noticed how the tsunami in the Indian Ocean left its mark everywhere, except for three places:
1) (I'm having fun making up lists this week) The Maldives (protected by coral reefs)
2) Malaysia and parts of India (protected by natural mangrove forests)
3) Andaman Islands (aboriginal people fled inland after earthquake and animal movements)

I didn't know much about the Andamans before, but they obviously have no interest in our modern way of life. They greeted our aid with bravado (thanks, Lucas):
** Tribe shoots arrows at aid flight **
An Indian helicopter dropping aid over the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands is attacked by tribesmen.
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Animals, as noted in a previous screed, did better than humans in this natural disaster:
Elephants Saved Tourists from Tsunami
By Mark Bendeich
Khao Lak, Thailand - Agitated elephants felt the tsunami coming, and their sensitivity saved about a dozen foreign tourists from the fate of thousands killed by the giant waves.

The SCREED will always bring you good news...when available. And now, something completely different...a scientist predicts disaster. If you're not familiar with Jared Diamond, I recommend you take a look at these two essays:
Disasters Waiting to Happen
By Jared Diamond
The Guardian U.K.
The tsunami may have been an act of nature, but further environmental catastrophes caused by humans will be much worse, says Jared Diamond.
The Ends of the World as We Know Them
By Jared Diamond
The New York Times
Los Angeles - New Year's weekend traditionally is a time for us to reflect, and to make resolutions based on our reflections. In this fresh year, with the United States seemingly at the height of its power and at the start of a new presidential term, Americans are increasingly concerned and divided about where we are going. How long can America remain ascendant? Where will we stand 10 years from now, or even next year?

It's encouraging to see our largest private corporations starting to see the light and heed scientists like Dr. Diamond:
Automakers Put Hydrogen Power On the Fast Track
By Greg Schneider
The Washington Post

What, are you nuts? According to this guy, we're all doomed. Check out the paranoia, and let this be you high-water mark:
As The World Burns
By Michael C. Ruppert-- But when the run on the dollar begins, OPEC will inevitably at some point switch its pricing to the Euro, which the entire world is wrangling - much to Europe's chagrin - into not only a safe-haven currency, but a profitable one. The next house is being built before the old one is abandoned. When the run on the dollar begins, it will be as if the rest of the world declared war on the United States of America by launching a missile, dropping a bomb, or landing an army at Bethany Beach, Delaware. That this will lead ultimately to widespread global warfare seems certain. This is exactly the way the administration is setting it up to appear to the American people. Think of 9/11 times fifty.

The rest of the world is merely defending itself with non-violent means - for the moment. But it will be portrayed as an attack upon the US. "Why?" George Bush will ask, rhetorically. "They hate us because of our freedom."

And, barring a miracle, the end results will be exactly the same as from a physical attack: devastation so complete and unthinkable - magnified by the brutal impacts of Peak Oil - that only a few will even try to prepare for it. That is sad because preparation will make all the difference (barring luck or divine intervention) in who survives and to what extent they remain intact and functioning afterwards.
Subject: Contents of

Our Federal Government, however, has a different way to prepare for the future, for the giant rocks tumbling down at us. It's the Ostrich method:
Billions for Pork as Science Is Slashed
By Jonathan Chait
The Los Angeles Times
Damn the future, the GOP wants to buy votes today.

Well, maybe they're not COMPLETELY unprepared...there is the "Strangelove" factor to take into account:
Congress Passes 'Doomsday' Plan
By Noelle Straub
The Boston Herald
Washington - With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen.

Not our Glorious Leader, however; he's still living in his Christian Wonderland:
Inaugural Excess
By Bernard Ries
The Washington Post
This is the wrong time for a lavish celebration.

And the rich bastards won't even pay their own way:
U.S. Tells D.C. to Pay Inaugural Expenses
By Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post
Other Security projects would lose $11.9 million.

No, I defy these Christians to demonstrate that they are anything other than the money-grubbing, parsimonious, cheap breadheads they like to accuse liberals and Jews of being:
Are we stingy? Yes
The New York Times
The $35 million that the United States plans to spend on disaster relief for the tsunamis in Asia is a miserly drop in the bucket.

Christian right's compassion deficit
More than 100,000 dead in south Asia, but it's business as usual at the web sites of America's Christian right organizations
By Bill Berkowitz

No, the Christians have much more important business, like driving us back into the Middle Ages, when they were at their most powerful:
Evolution Shares a Desk With 'Intelligent Design'
By Michael Powell
The Washington Post
The New Monkey Trial
By Michelle Goldberg
By persuading the Dover, Pa., school board to teach creationism, Christian zealots have provoked a showdown over the status of not just evolutionary theory, but science itself.

You can guess how I feel about it (cartoon enclosed).
Vive le screed!

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