Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It is shocking what happened to the southern part of our country in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Here are some people you can call to help and donate to the cause. It is going to take a lot of time and effort to help these people. If we all do our small part, their suffering will be minimal. I plan on giving blood on Friday and making a small donation to a charity:

American Red Cross, 800-HELP-NOW (435-7669) English, 800-257-7575 Spanish.
America's Second Harvest, 800-344-8070.
Adventist Community Services, 800-381-7171.
Catholic Charities USA, 800-919-9338.
Christian Disaster Response, 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554.
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 800-848-5818.
Church World Service, 800-297-1516.
Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998.
Lutheran Disaster Response, 800-638-3522.
Mennonite Disaster Service, 717-859-2210.
Nazarene Disaster Response, 888-256-5886.
Operation Blessing, 800-436-6348.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, 800-872-3283.
Salvation Army, 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).
Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, 800-462-8657, Ext. 6440.
United Methodist Committee on Relief, 800-554-8583.

Coulter gets dropped
Finally, a newspaper, The Arizona Daily Star, has had enough: ["Opinion pages get a makeover"].
More words. More letters. No more Ann Coulter. ... Finally, we've decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives.
That's the thing: People are really sick of being yelled at, whether you agree with the opinion of the person screaming or not. I can tell you that I got tired of going to some functions hosted or sponsored by liberal groups which I used to like to go to after I was constantly being accosted for being a white male, the repressor of the world. I tolerated it for a long time. But then, I got sick of it and stopped supporting good people who mean well but are just plain mean sometimes.
The sad thing about Coulter and others is that it didn't have to be this way. When President Clinton was in office, I really liked a lot of what Ann Coulter had to say. She was dead-on about the then-predator-in-chief. But then, like so many conservatives who were right to be repulsed by Clinton, they didn't follow through when President Bush did things that were just as offensive. As the slogan on Freeway Blogger goes, "No one died when Clinton Lied." Had those conservatives gone after Bush with the same zeal they went after Clinton, I wouldn't mind some of the outrageous things they'd said. But, they didn't. They fell in line - the same way Democrats and women - fell in line behind Clinton.

A new blog
The Seacoast area of New Hampshire has a new blog: ["Blog the Coast"]

I forgot to post this earlier
Bob Costas: King of Commonsense: ["Costas Refuses to Host Show on Holloway"]. Of course, with Katrina, most news orgs will forget Natalee.

Eminent domain
I also forgot to post this great story in the Village Voice about the New York Times getting a nice chunk of NYC real estate - by eminent domain: ["'Times' to Commoners: Go Elsewhere"]. This is so outrageous it isn't even funny.

Jehlen wins!
Congratulations to my former state representative and aquaintaince Patricia Jehlen who won a hard-fought primary tonight in the 2nd Middlesex District, the seat formerly held by the late Charlie Shannon: ["Charlie Shannon: RIP"]. The district represents my old hometown of Somerville and Winchester, the town I wrote about for more than 2.5 years. She will face Republican Bill White, an alderman from Somerville, but will probably win easily in the Democratic-majority district. Jehlen, a grandmother, won handily by more than 2,000 votes. Jehlen beat a former rep., a governor's councilor, and Winchester's insipid state representative, Paul Casey, who came in last with about 13 percent of the vote.
Interestingly, the race came down to which candidate was the most "progressive" and not the usual, which candidate is most "electable." This is a surprising - and pleasant - turn of events for the electorate. It also says a lot about the changing demographics in the district.
Somerville and Medford, the bulk of the district, have long been considered blue-collar lunch bucket Reagan Democrat towns. While they are still ruled by some politicians who have the "thug mentality," they have now become more liberal, artistic, and yeah, progressive. This doesn't mean that they are better; just changing. They've historically elected conservative Democrats with good voting records on labor issues. Today, with working folks moving out and yuppies, artists, and intellectuals moving in, the cities are slightly altered from what they once were.
Either way - whether labor or artist - Casey just didn't fit in. His lshakyecord was shakey at best, often voting against the interests of working folks in his district. He has consistently been bankrolled by the worst of the worst of Massachusetts' politically-connected, including some of the state's most powerful lobbyists and political action committees. The cocktail doesn't go for that grubby, grab all the money greed stuff.
Down the wire, folks were telling me that the race was between Jehlen and former state Rep. Joe Mackey. It was a duel of Somerville's power structure - with Jehlen getting the support of the reform-minded and the progressives; and Mackey getting the support of former Mayor Dot Gay and Charlie's wife Dorothy.
Casey was probably the most conservative candidate in the race and that wouldn't be such a bad thing if you stood for something. But he was also out of touch about the needs of the district, and had a condescending way of talking down to people with an "Aw shucks" attitude and smile on his face. In defending himself against criticism that he was too conservative on issues like universal health care, Casey told the Shitty Times Chronicle that "Health care programs are a great idea and it is great to have big goals, but to get there we must go piece by piece." Piece by piece and he hasn't done a thing about it. The true sign of a trust fund baby. Tell that to the folks without health insurance never mind actual care, Paul.
But enough beating up on poor Paul. The night is about Grandmother Pat - a worthy successor to fill Charlie's shoes. The district is in safe hands.

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