Dear God. The news actually finally has me frothing mad. The Canadian government offered New Orleans a blank cheque on disaster relief assistance, and Bush refused:
Canada will send the United States any help needed in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, Prime Minister Paul Martin told President George W. Bush on Thursday....For the record, disaster relief is one of the things the Canadian military actually is pretty good at. DART, the Disaster Assistance Response Team, is specifically tasked with rapid response to catastrophe, anywhere in the world. In particular, it has a field hospital and an aircraft-portable water-purification plant, last deployed to Sri Lanka after the tsunami. I'm playing armchair general here, but how can this stuff not be fucking useful in the bayou right now? But I guess the Pentagon hasn't finished figuring out what they need.
Martin said Bush didn't ask for help, but predicted he will. ...
[Gen. Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defence staff] said Canada could provide transport planes or helicopters, electrical generators, water purification systems, small boats for navigating the waterways of the region and engineering equipment and expertise.
He said his staff are planning to load a selection of such gear about a warship to be ready in the event Washington asks for help.
It's best to be prepared, he said.
"We want to help. We believe that's what being friends and allies is all about."
It's goddamn inhuman. Can we have some fucking adults back in charge, please?
[via Making Light]
There are very few poems I actually like. It's a personal thing, I suppose -- the common game of poets is to pack as much cryptic, impressionistic meaning as they can into as few words as possible. It becomes an intellectual puzzle to decode them. Some people enjoy that kind of thing, which is fair enough.
There are poems I like. "In Flanders Fields". Psalm 23 (King James Version). "The Charge of the Light Brigade". The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence. "Me and My Monkey", just to show I don't object to a good metaphor. I think the key for me is that they are naturalistic enough that my brain doesn't have to engage any special decoding apparatus to understand them. Their poetic language amplifies the emotional content without interfering with basic comprehension.
Which brings me to: I also like this: Instructions, by Neil Gaiman.
When you reach the little house, the place your journey started, you will recognize it, although it will seem much smaller than you remember.
Two items. One, I am having a party Saturday the 15th. If you're reading this, you're invited (and probably should already have got e-mail from me, but if you're not on my list, let me know).
Second, it turns out there is a curling club in Wayland, and they're having an open house that afternoon (again, Saturday the 15th). I want to go check it out -- I haven't really been curling since high school. It's a tactical, skillful, laid-back sort of game (we can argue about what is a "sport" if you like), comparable perhaps to softball for the wintertime. It's fun. Anyone want to come with?