Archive for August, 2006

The Soul of America,
Lost in New Orleans?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

On the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and the flooding of New Orleans, I have a recent correspondence from my good friend Noah, who’s been… well, I’ll just let him take it from here:

I’ve been in New Orleans for over ten months now since I came down in early September and helped start what has now become the Common Ground Health Clinic Currently I still work with the clinic as an organizer as well as in the clinic itself. I also am doing paid work helping set up a free clinic with Louisiana State University and a drug treatment facility called Odyssey House which will end up being a clinical teaching site for Nurse Practitioner students.

I am also working on disaster preparedness/response stuff with a variety of neighborhood groups. In that strain I’m also helping run a week long first responder training which is the second training we’ve hosted at my house in the ninth ward, the first was a community disaster response training.

Also to dismiss folks fears that I’ve turned into a insane work-aholic I also go see music most nights and go swimming and go out to nature as much as possible.

New Orleans is showing signs of normalcy regardless of the military helicopters and jets that fly overhead and the national guard in many parts of the city. The thousands of flood cars have finally started to be removed and almost all should be gone by the end of the month.

There are kids around again too, many folks with kids have only started returning since the end of the school year, a nice change from a surreal city distinctly short of women and children. The public housing is under full on assault by Department of Housing and Urban Development and New Orleans Housing Authority. Last month they announced the planned demolition of four projects constituting 5,000 units leaving 20,000 people displaced. Two of the complexes received NO flooding and a third the water never got in to the units.

The argument that crime breeds in public housing complexes has been knocked out of the water here because the crime rate is higher than it was pre-Katrina and only 3 of the ten public housing complexes have people living in them and are far from being full. This is just one of the most obvious actions that shows how the working poor are being blocked from returning.

I truly do believe that there is currently a fight for the soul of America being fought in New Orleans. The jails are bulging with people who are still awaiting trial from before Katrina. Although many people in this group have become “ghost prisoners,” that is, they are lost: the evidence destroyed or the charges lost. Many who were arrested after the storm in September-November are finally getting to trial after sitting in Orleans parish prison since their arrest. Most of the schools will not open in the fall.

When you hear this it may make you sad or mad or deny what I say all are reasonable responses. But this city has some of the strongest most amazing people you will find roaming these streets. There are people still pouring in from all over the world to try and help New Orleans and the gulf coast and we have a decent chance of winning the fight over the soul of America this round if the grassroots groups continue to organize circles around the fat cats.

This kid could really use a canoe, so if you’ve got one you’d like to donate, let me know and we can hook something up. Other donations to Noah’s group can be made on their web site.

Woo-hoo! Vacation!

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

So last week and this one, I’ve been in vacation in New York. I forgot how freakin HUGE this city is compared to San Francisco and Oakland.

But I won’t leave you with nothing to read, no! Instead Sid and Bounty are just going to watch a lot of TV for the rest of the week. And this way my being away from the drawing board for over two weeks won’t affect the comic.

In fact, I’ve already gotten started on the next storyline, and those strips will go up before I get back, starting this Sunday.

That’s right, we take no breaks here at Debt On Comics!

Oh, and by the way, while I’m putting out entertaining comics every day I’m also working a full-time day job (or night job rather) as a waiter, and while I’m taking this much-needed vacation to visit friends and family (it’s been over a year since I’ve seen my parents) I’m not exactly sure how I’m making the rent next month. So if you were ever gonna use that donation button to the right then use it now! :)

Scott out!

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

From The New York Times, re: Bush’s vacation.

Instead of parking here for the whole month, Mr. Bush, who arrived Thursday night, will spend just 10 nights before returning to the White House. During his stay, his aides are taking pains to present Mr. Bush as deeply engaged in world events; on Saturday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, arrived to brief him on the Middle East.

“It basically reflects busy times and a busy schedule,” said Dan Bartlett, counselor to Mr. Bush, explaining the abbreviated visit.

It also reflects a political decision made by Mr. Bush’s advisers, and the president himself, to prevent a repeat of the public relations debacle of last August. That month began with highly publicized protests by Ms. Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, and ended with the image of the president on vacation while New Orleans drowned, an image that helped start his slide in popularity.

Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans “helped start his slide in popularity”???? Reality continues to elude the New York Times, who in their desperate search to seem credible to even the wingnuts constantly complaining about the “liberal media,” misrepresent the severity of recent history. Bush had been declining in the polls all year. The Social Security fiasco hadn’t gone over well, Iraq was getting worse and worse, and yes, Cindy Sheehan was occupying his ranch destroying the serenity of his vacation.

Bush’s popularity plunged after Katrina, and all he’s done is gain ground since. Not much since he stands around 40% or less in most polls, up from somewhere around a third or less after Katrina.

To me, what’s written here is blatantly inaccurate. And it drives me crazy, because they probably wrote it that way so they don’t seem like they’re headhunting when they print valuable investigative pieces about covert government documents. That may gain them credibility with the Republicans, but it diminishes it in my eyes. And I’m much more likely to buy their newspaper.


Friday, August 4th, 2006

I swear I didn’t know this: it turns out that cashier is the top disappearing job according to Forbes magazine. They say that anybody handling cash is going to be out of a job in favor of a soulless machine.

I say that we shouldn’t take that. So all you register jockeys, clerks and tellers get together and beat those machines! Show ’em how well you can do it, John Henry Style.

So you’ll see on the left that Bounty’s myspace page has been heating up lately. He’s building support for his 2007 Presidential Campaign, (nobody’s told him yet the election’s in 2008) so if you got a myspace, holla!

To close, here is a picture of me and my city.

Hell no that’s not my city. You think I can afford to live in San Francisco??? Click some ads, donate for crissakes! Vote below!