Thursday, December 30, 2004
I've already been chided (mildly and perhaps fairly, but chided all the same) for my quick and unreflecting promotion of the Red Cross. The truth is, my dad volunteered for the Red Cross when I was growing up in Connecticut and even served as local chairman for a term or two. Consequently, I was not only the first kid on my block to know what AIDS was, but my view of the Red Cross has always been a pretty positive one. All the same, our good friends at MoveOn have put their weight behind fellow intercappers OxFam, saying:
Our friends at Oxfam are already scrambling on the front lines to fight off starvation and disease -- and beginning to rebuild. Because Oxfam has worked for years with grassroots groups in the hardest hit areas, they were able to mobilize local leadership to help survivors immediately after the tsunami hit. And Oxfam will be there for the long-term, helping communities recover and regain their ability to meet basic needs. Oxfam needs to raise $5 million immediately to provide safe water, sanitation, food, shelter, and clothing to 36,000 families in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India. Your contribution can make this possible.
They've also set up a page where we can urge our representatives to be more aggressive in pledging support. Bush is promising to "take a lead" in offering aid to the countries affected, however (once again as pointed out by MoveOn):
The $35 million offered by the Bush administration seems like a lot of money, but it's insignificant compared to what's needed in a disaster relief effort than spans continents and is expected to be the most expensive in history. To put it in perspective, we're spending $35 million in Iraq every 7 hours.
Also remember that Bush's upcoming inauguration is expected to cost somewhere between 30 and 40 million American. $35 million certainly shouldn't seem like a lot of money to any DC residents, used to seeing the cost figures on baseball stadiums and the like...
In short, it's pocket change-- even for an initial pledge.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Good people, the Red Cross needs money.
Go here. Please.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Some of you have been complaining that there hasn't been enough Chicken Littling on the ol' BoBblog lately, for you I have:
- This on the imminent economic collapse that will come of W's idiocy (first he drove an oil company into the ground, then he ran a baseball team into the ground, then they gave him the safety scissors that was a Texas governorship and some wethead thought it'd be a great idea to have him run the world's most powerful nation) The 'he' in the following, by the way, is not some loopy outsider. It's the chief economist of Morgan Stanley. Be afraid.
To finance its current account deficit with the rest of the world, he said, America has to import $2.6 billion in cash. Every working day.
That is an amazing 80 percent of the entire world's net savings.
Meanwhile, he notes that household debt is at record levels.
Twenty years ago the total debt of U.S. households was equal to half the size of the economy.
Today the figure is 85 percent.
Nearly half of new mortgage borrowing is at flexible interest rates, leaving borrowers much more vulnerable to rate hikes.
- When I was regularly reading the Boston Globe (that being, in other words, when I was living in Somerville and working in Newton) I was always thankful for the editorials of the always passionately ethical James Carrol. A man of faith and a man of convictions, he served as a reminder to me that there are people who are truly spititual among the clamoring hypocritical masses of the merely religious. In a recent column he describes the dragging deadly occupation of Iraq as a moral abyss. He cautions us to remember that, despite what he calls the insurgents' "low-tech 'shock and awe' assaults," the true horrors of war come not from individual moral lapses but from prolonged campaigns of bombing and destruction. I've often wondered how the destructive power of a 747 fully loaded with jet fuel compares to the destructive power of a cruise missile. ("We don't fly planes into buildings!" the apologists cry, implying that we are more ethical in war than our enemy... we don't have to, because we've spent billions on high tech weaponry to do the job more efficiently) How many 9/11s have we perpetrated on people halfway around the world, defiling the memory of a horrific attack on our people by using it as an excuse to generate more pain, death and suffering?
- A propos of that, we have Ted Koppel showing his own courage. I wonder how much crap he'll catch from the locksteppers for daring to suggest that there might be an underside to war?
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Wow, this has been one of the longer lulls on thishere 'bloggy job. I do have an excuse this time! About a week back the power supply on my system just decided it was sick of it all and gave up the ghost in the machine. I was able to figure out that such was the reason my computer had stopped working because I'm fly like that. It was actually a relief, because when the supp' was still struggling for life it had enough juice to start the system, but not enough to run the hard drive, which made me think the HD had bit it.
That would have sucked, and if you don't know why then I'm amazed you're even able to read this... possibly somebody printed it out for you.
But no, it was just the little metal box in the back corner with all the wires sticking out. The one with the Magnetic Fields lyrics printed on the side. I was able to replace it for US$35, hook it up myself, and on the sixth or seventh try it actually started up (some initial weirdness with the wattage or voltage or amperage or sewage or potential indifference or flux capacitor overloadage or suchlike and so on)
And so I am back. I am Christ to my Lazarus system. I also just bought a nifty new helmet to keep my brainmeats safe from homicidal motorists and am looking into getting a winter bike from Revolution Cycles, or possibly from some guy on Craigslist.
I also have a bit in the works about the crazy lady I ran into while walking the pooch a few weeks back that got sidetracked by the whole dead computer biz. Once it's done, it should go right below here.