Sunday, April 24, 2011

Last Call

Some good news at least involving Gabby Giffords and her husband, NASA shuttle commander Mark Kelly.

Friday, the Arizona congresswoman will witness her husband's own inspiring moment: Commanding the space shuttle Endeavour on its last launch.

Doctors have cleared Giffords, who was shot in the brain at a January 8 event in Tucson, to attend the scheduled launch in Florida, a source close to her said Sunday.

The source told CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that Giffords will be accompanied by a nurse. There will be no doctor or medical assistance on board.

The source was not sure what kind of plane Giffords will be going on, but it will not be a commercial airliner. "She'll probably be going either Wednesday or Thursday," the source said.

Asked by "The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" what Giffords' reaction was to the decision allowing her to go, Kelly replied, "I think she said, 'awesome' and she pumped her fist."

Kelly's comments on the flight and his wife's recovery will be broadcast on CBS Monday evening. The network Sunday released excerpts of the conversation.

Nothing short of remarkable.  My usual politics aside, I'm just astounded that she'll be able to attend this, and I'll take it as the hopeful, reaffirming sign that it is.

Keepin' The Beat

I'm a history nut, and the greatest regret I read about over and over is how careless people were with their history.  We learn from the past but can be remarkably ignorant about our present, and not see the importance of what we have right in front of us.  In a slew of storms and earthquakes, it's easy to forget hurricane Katrina and the damage that not only took down a city but almost destroyed a unique and historically rich region.  While the area has made large leaps towards recovery, much was lost and needs to be documented.  I think about how centuries from now, a student will wonder what life was like before Katrina, and what was so special about New Orleans.  Besides books and journals, there will also be fictional portrayals that capture elements of the people who bore witness to incredible devastation.  Treme is the cream of that crop.

But in the second season of Treme, which is set 14 months after the storm, New Orleans and its citizens are still really at the beginning of the climb. "That second year, in some ways, was harder than the first," Overmyer says. "That period was a very dark period in New Orleans. There were some really tough times."
"The first year was the return of people amid almost a sea of adrenaline," Simon says. "People were in a rush to get back. They were furious, they were angry, they were politicized. They wanted to rebuild their city. The adrenaline ran them through that first Mardi Gras. Season 2 is where New Orleanians realized, 'Man, this is going to be a long haul.' ... There's a lot of reflection and there's a lot of weariness."

I admit I was first drawn to Treme because I am a fan of Lucia Micarelli, but I am sticking around because I fell in love with the area when I stayed there for a year, and they've done a wonderful job at capturing the best of New Orleans.  They do not dwell, but neither does their vision shy away from the ugliness of the poor and struggling people who were at the heart of preserving the culture and traditions. New Orleans thrives on music, and the cultural references are accurate and realistic.  There's a lot to enjoy, and the plot moves quickly enough that it doesn't get stale.  Here's looking forward to the next installment in the journey.

The Idiot Of The Day Award Goes To...

Once in a while, the news is just plain fun.  I wonder if this guy hadn't just kept the 4/20 celebrations going.

On CNN's video site, an Ohio cab driver said a fare tried to pay him with pot.  It's amusing enough to link to.  Sometimes, you just gotta wonder what people are thinking.

Let's Do The Twist

According to CNN, an EF2 or EF3 tornado hit St. Louis recently, and did some major damage to the airport.  The damage included 750 homes, but no life-threatening injuries or deaths reported.  Considering the strength of the twister, that's a pleasant surprise.  Tornado season is just beginning, unfortunately.  For even better news, they plan to be up to 70% of capacity by Sunday.  Flights have been diverted to Kansas City and Chicago, even Springfield, MO.

Spring has hit the Midwest.  The humidity and the temperatures will soar, steaming the great state of Missouri for a long hot summer.  I will officially be ticked off until September or so, when the air conditioners can catch up.  I hope it's a low tornado season, but so far that hasn't been the case.

Your Easter Message Of Generosity

...has been cancelled to bring you yet another "compassionate conservatism" state legislative proposal from the GOP, this time in Michigan.

Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.

Casswell, a Republican representing Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties, made the proposal this week, reports Michigan Public Radio.

His explanation?
“I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”
Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.

Spoken like someone who never realized just how grim the foster care system in this country can be.  But, hey, on paper, foster kids don't vote.  But people who think we should be cutting as many dollars from foster kids as possible do vote.  It's just politics, GOP style:  leave the country arguing about how much icing should be put on the cake while the guys at the top steal the cake itself.

Skippy has the right of it:

now, to be honest, i shop at thrift stores as i believe in recycling and reusing but i am an adult. i have a choice. i am not at that tender age where slights can scar one so easily.

i am also, not a foster child, where an underlying, unspoken message of "you are different"..."you are not one of us"..."you are not wanted" often permeate a psyche.

this state senator wants to codify those messages with this law. this is unconscionable. this is cruel and, unfortunately in these days of social darwinism run amok, is not all that unusual. 

He's right about the social Darwinism. Time to rid America of the looters and moochers, starting with those who need us the most, the GOP says.  They talk about what Jesus would want us to do on Easter Sunday, and how we have to do X and Y to live a good life in His image, and then say that the laws of this country made by men must codify these "Christian beliefs" into law, and then they pull crap like this and say "It's not the government's job to get involved in caring for the poor."  Indeed, if you care, you should donate your money to charities, not expect the government to do it.

It's more than social Darwinism, it's Christian objectivism bordering on the Divine Right of Kings.  It results directly in the nonsense that the people that have money and power also have self-evident morality and that the most anti-Christian thing you could do is to have a government program that helps those who lack money and power...because they are the least moral among us.  After all, if they were good people, they wouldn't be poor, would they?

ABL is even less kind to the GOP on this one, by the way.

On this day of rebirth and resurrection, keep that in mind.  Happy Easter!
Related Posts with Thumbnails