And I’ve just got to say – after having just spoken about a selfish hobby – that I am conducting some of my normal life normally here in the northeast in the face of a national disaster taking place on the southeast corner of the United States that is almost beyond comprehension, and which I cannot do much to help. I am aware of it. Other than complain that my tax dollars which should have been paying for the protection of this country was looted on a stupid war for a country no one had heard of, I don’t know what I can do.
I don’t believe the best path to take now is giving donations to the Red Cross. That’s what our government expects us to do – to open our pocketbooks, the same pocketbooks from which they stole 6 billion (in our tax contributions). No, the best path may be to impeach Bush for squandering our country’s resources under false pretenses, leaving our country unable to respond to a natural disaster. Get some of the big money back from the industries that have looted it in Iraq, and get that big money into the disaster relief.
I’d actually heard that the storm missed New Orleans and so I hadn’t paid any attention to the news for a day. A small tv was on at the office I am cleaning out (was cleaning out – we just shut it today) and I saw the disaster for the first time. “So this is what a near-miss looks like,” I thought to myself as clips of broken buildings aired. I guess a direct hit would have simply left nothing at all but some strands of trees.
Update September 2, 2005:
If reports of the status of that part of the country are accurate, the response on the part of the Federal Government has been a travesty. The lack of military vehicles to transport people out of the afflicted areas is appalling. It is as if someone in command has decided to take an approach of letting as many die as possible so there will be less work to do.
Survivors – who remain at risk while they are unable to get out – know it is true. “You can do everything for other countries, but you can’t do nothing for your own people,” [47-year-old Daniel Edwards] added. “You can go overseas with the military, but you can’t get them down here.”
They’re using school buses to get people out. Where are the Army vehicles? Where are the airdrops of food and water? Hospital ships should be in the Gulf (not the Gulf of the third world!). It is times like these that every single cliched image of the military coming into action needs to be delivered as reality.
In Iraq, it would not surprise me if troops from Louisiana begin to refuse orders. If our President can’t rise to the challenge of protecting our country, perhaps our troops will challenge him. Bush has failed this country.
Whe-hoo, Joss Whedon’s tv series Firefly prompted the making of a feature film, Serenity, which is due out in a matter of days. The film also prompted the creation of action figures, which are arriving on store shelves now. Not toy store shelves mind you, but record stores like Newbury Comics. Where today I found the first five figures. I bought one, and plan to get the others soon. If these sell well, and if the film does well, more of the characters from the tv series and movie may follow.
Having heard online that these figures were starting to appear, I drove to that record store two mornings in a row hoping they’d be arriving — with the intent of finding the limited edition figure of Jayne which only comes one per case. And I scored. I mean I found and bought the figure. (Common euphamism for solitary geeks). It is different than the regular one in that he is smoking a cigar and he has a much better t-shirt with a design on it that looks like some kind of fish. These may sound like small touches, but small touches on a small figure make a big difference.
New Orleans is about to need the National Guard, and badly. And where are they? Opposite side of the freaking globe. Over a quarter million National Guard and reserve troops were called up to active service for the war in Iraq. Bush’s use of National Guard as an Inter-National Guard is about to undermine the health of our own country.
A couple quotes from a Louisiana paper, about how its National Guard was sent away to Iraq: “Louisiana, along with New York, has lost more guardsmen and reservists than any state in the nation.” “Traditionally, members of the Guard and Reservists trained one weekend a month and spent two weeks in the summer training at a military base. They might be called away for storm duty, as Charlie Company often was as hurricanes and tropical storms touched southern Louisiana…”
Those Guardsmen would be helping with the evacuation right now, and with the aftermath. But Bush has left our country defenseless.
…but that’s ok, given the brevity of the piece.
Nonbeliever probes `alien encounters’
By Jessica Heslam
Sunday, August 28, 2005
The Boston Herald
His last alien encounter occurred two years ago.
Will Bueche said he was sleeping in his apartment when a small pair of bone-white creatures nudged him awake.
“They appeared and held my hands in such a physical and gripping way,” said Bueche, 36, who lives in the Cambridge area. “The message was that they were real.”
Bueche is among millions of Americans who believe they’ve had an alien encounter. He was also interviewed by Harvard psycologist Susan Clancy for her new book, “Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens.” The book is set to hit stores in October.
Clancy says there’s no evidence that people are being abducted and experimented on by aliens. In fact, Clancy says she isn’t even interested in aliens and has become a “reluctant scholar of alienology.”
What interested Clancy was that there was a group of people that had created “false memories.” She wanted to understand more about how and why they created them.
There’s two types of believers, said Clancy, who has spoken to 100 in the last five years: those who suspect they were abducted and those who have vivid memories of it.“Usually, people are looking to explain some sort of strange or unusual or unpleasant experience that has happened to them,” Clancy said during a telephone interview from Nicaragua, where she is doing research.
People want to know why they feel depressed, why they woke up in the night feeling terrified, why they have sexual problems, why they have strange marks on their bodies, why they have difficulty in relationships and so on, she said.
Being abducted by aliens is a growing explanation people latch onto to explain unpleasant things.
“For better or for worse, being abducted by aliens is a culturally available explanation for why we feel the way we do,” Clancy said.
During her research, Clancy, 36, found that people get abduction memories by undergoing some form of hypnosis or guided imagery therapy.The abductees were high-functioning, educated people with jobs and families, she said. The only common thread was that they were more creative, imaginative and fantasy-prone than others.
“There is no data that indicates they are any more likely than the rest of us to suffer from any psychological disorders,” Clancy said.
Clancy doesn’t tell her subjects she doesn’t believe in alien abductions unless they ask her opinion when the study is done. Clancy’s response is met with anger, a sarcastic smile or simply ignored.
Bueche says the data Clancy has collected is valuable, but he doesn’t agree with her conclusions.
“I believe people have had alien encounters and experiences,” said Bueche, who calls himself an experiencer. “I think the concept that other races are out there is true.” ·
That’s the entire article; I’ll just add here that I am sort of helping Clancy’s book promotion even though we disagree. She told me that every reporter who talks to her says “can we please talk to someone you talked to?” and so we have a sort of deal where she’ll send reporters my way, even though she knows that I will be disagreeing with her. If she’d send me her book I’d know exactly what I am disagreeing with, but so far I haven’t been sent a copy. I hear it is under 100 pages in length, including the index, so it should be a quick read if ever I am sent a copy.
For the record, I was never “interviewed by Harvard psychologist Susan Clancy for her new book.” But she may have used her experience of doing research (for her doctorate) to inform her book, in which case perhaps there’s a character similar to me in the pages somewhere. I have no idea.
I’m pasting in a reply I wrote to some folks over at another forum:
Thanks man (men, women, people). I gave a half hour interview for those four sentences.
I feel – and I am only partially kidding – that I should have just taped myself during that interview and then if any more reporters come around to cover her book I could have just played the interview back for them to grab more sentences from!
I thought the brief piece was fine. But you know what made me feel hurt? In the paper edition of the paper, you know what caption the editor put under the photos? “LIKELY STORY…”
F’ing arrogance. I know aliens aren’t a likely story. I am aware of that; everyone is aware of that and so it hardly needs to be pointed out in type.
Reality doesn’t give a fig about what is “likely” or what is unlikely, it just presents what IS. How I’d like for a newspaper to have some appreciation of the subtleties of this. Maybe someday.