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Friday, September 30, 2005

I've finally found my ideological home.

I had explored libertarianism, and specifically, the Libertarian Party. I thought they had some good ideas, but from the outset, felt that they were engaging in seriously self-defeating behaviors. I hadn't even heard about neolibertarianism until I took a detailed quiz to focus my thoughts on my political leanings. Sometimes, one must do that or something similar to figure out where one is. Sometimes, it amounts to writing down a list, writing in a journal, or something. In my case, it involved going to one of my myriad bookmarked web sites, taking a fun quiz, and then reading for myself on the results. I vigorously eschew evangelism, but if you want to see a brief overview of neolibertarianism, this is a good link.

Don't think that I've stopped looking for superior political belief systems, or on a smaller scale, upgrades to various items in my belief system, because I believe that, when we find better ideas, that we should incorporate them into our worldview. This is simply a reflection of where I am now, and to a greater or lesser extent, where I've either been or leaning for years. I finally have the comfort of knowing that, if I'm a misfit, at least I know I'm not a misfit alone anymore.

Bah, I know I'm a misfit, and it's a source of pride. How many people can quote "Heathers" and listen to both bluegrass and electronica and occasionally get Missy Eliot songs stuck in their heads... Sometimes, I've listened to a Prodigy CD followed up with an Allison Krause CD immediately after, just for the jarring effect of it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yet another post-hurricane rant

I'm sure you're all quite tired of me discussing hurricanes, but it seems to still be, if not the only topic of conversation in my area and on the national news, certainly on the top shelf.  I've been silent about the issue of looting, except with my family, because my belief about where foraging ends and looting begins is quite simple.  I will return to that point later, because frankly, I have other things I find far more worthy of my ire.  So, without further ado, thus beginneth my rant proper.  Adult language will be forthcoming and in huge quantities, so if you're offended easily by such things read no further.
Apparently, some shit-stain of a state legislator in my state of Alabama by the name of Hank Erwin (Montevallo, AL) has declared Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to be a punishment from Gawd.  He thinks that the people of Alabama are more innocent than the people of Texas and Louisiana?  He thinks that only evil people suffered as a result of those fucking storms?  He thinks that he's so much better than those who lost EVERYTHING they had in this world?  To modify a quote from the movie Heathers, "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.  Who does this cunt think he is?  Mother Theresa?"  That guy REALLY pissed me off.  I know good people who lost everything.  I know good people who sustained serious damage from this storm.  I even know some complete assholes who suffered and some who sustained no serious damage.  In the end, there are only victims of this storm, survivors, those who want nothing more than to help, and those who wish to defraud the other three groups.  I want to see this motherfucker get tossed in a town hall meeting in Bayou la Batre, a shrimping town where some of the boats aren't even off land yet and where none are making a living doing the work of their fathers before them.  Toss him in a room full of people from coastal Mississippi and the bayou parrishes of Louisiana and extreme east Texas and western Louisiana.  Let him say that shit to those poor people.  And let's see how he feels afterward.  Let him really hear their pain.  Let him suffer as they have.  Let him have worked a lifetime to build a modest but good life and watch it all wash away.  And then, let him talk about the punishment of Gawd.  If there is a God, and this was his punishment, I have only two things to say to him:  Your aim sucks, and motherfuck you, you stupid, sadistic fuck.  Any god like that is no better than a kid with a magnifying glass burning ants.
The second part of my rant is the focus on New Orleans by FEMA and other agencies, and the news media.  Yes, New Orleans suffered amazing levels of damage, and we saw heartbreaking images on our television screens from that devastated city.  But they're not the only ones to have suffered.  The cities of Biloxi and Gulfport in Mississippi were fucking RAZED by Hurricane Katrina.  They will have to level pretty much both entire cities, as well as numerous smaller towns in coastal Mississippi and Louisiana.  There's every bit as much suffering and long-term devastation outside of New Orleans as in it, and yet on the news, what do we keep hearing?  Updates on stories from New Orleans, as if Rita didn't hit recently and bring its own version of hell.  The people of Mississippi and the Louisiana parrishes not immediately around New Orleans, as well as the more recent victims of Hurricane Rita, have been forgotten, by government agencies, by major charitable organizations, and by the mainstream news media.  Where are their stories?  Where is the talk about the slow recovery they all face?  Where is the talk about the death and devastation in those areas?  And why is one city getting very nearly all of the attention?  I know I'm not the only one who sees something deeply wrong with this fucking picture.
So, now that I've vented my spleen, there's been talk about the looting that occurred, and what even constituted looting.  So, here's where I draw the line.  If someone was looking for foodstuffs, even beer and alcohol, I think that constituted foraging.  The food was going to rot or be washed away anyway and would've been a loss, as would the beer and booze.  Besides, I'm not a drinker, but I can't blame anyone for wanting to get drunk after seeing everything they've worked for... gone.  However, I also saw people grabbing microwaves, and DVD players, and other shit that they ended up having to abandon anyway when they left the city.  I heard about people stealing a generator from a hospital just to keep their beer cold.  That shit is looting, and that shit is wrong.  So to the man with the Heinekens seen on Petty Rage, I wish you well.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm tired...

I'm so damned tired of this hurricane season. I thought I'd become numb to the constant threat of hurricanes, become inured to the tattooing the entire Gulf Coast has taken this year. I was wrong. Rita is well to the south and west of me, and there's still a part of me that wants to run for higher ground. I wish I had some faith in something. I wish I had the comfort of believing in a higher power. Instead, I find that I just believe that shit happens, and the best you can do is hope that the shit harms as few people as possible, and that none of it gets on you. Baldwin and Mobile Counties in Alabama (on the map, it's the two chunks of land on either side of Mobile Bay) have coastal flood warnings in effect, and the storm is due south of the remains of New Orleans.

I feel so sorry for those who will get Hurricane Rita, whomever they are. I have a pretty good idea of what they're going through right now, and am nowhere near being a big enough bastard to wish that on anybody. But am I a horrible person if I say that I'm just slightly relieved that it probably won't be me? A far larger part of me answers that question with a resounding "yes".

Tonight, I made the grave mistake of turning it onto Fox News when Bill O'Reilly's show was on. Americans are suffering by the hundreds of thousands, with that number certain to rise within the next 48 hours. People are in desperate need of assistance with even the most basic of needs. So, Bill O'Reilly did something genuinely productive and consistent with his character: He acted like an asshole and argued with another asshole from the other side of the aisle over a story that's been over for a while. His willing foil this time was Phil Donohue. What's up with O'Reilly? Doesn't he have some producers to sexually harass? O'Reilly and Donohue are both shit-stains, and the sooner they're off the airwaves, the happier I'll be. I don't favor censorship. I favor free market pressures. If people don't buy it, the product goes away. If you don't believe me, tell me the last time you saw a Josta soda in the local convenience store. I know that most of the people who visit my blog are of a more liberal bent, so this will probably be telling them something they already know, but if you do watch Fox News on a regular basis, stop watching O'Reilly's show. Do what you can to passively encourage sponsors to not spend as much for his show or drop it altogether. I say passively because we all know how well public outrage does for pop icons, and much like Howard Stern and for similar reasons, Bill O'Reilly qualifies. Just ask 2 Live Crew. They might've sold 10k albums had it not been for the outcry by Congresspersons and their spouses. In short, they sucked beyond all telling. Instead, I think their album went gold, maybe platinum, because of the stirring, thought provoking lyrics of the song "Me So Horny." Jesus H. Christ, even P.Diddy has better, more original lyrics, and a good chunk of his songs are him just saying "yeah" to other people's music. So don't watch his show, and encourage your conservative friends to do the same. I would say to do the same to Donohue, but he hasn't had a show in years.

Thus endeth the rant. Oh, and Blondage and everyone else in the projected path, be safe, and I wish you all the very best of luck.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Reflections on the tropics, yet again

1933 is considered one of the most active tropical seasons on record. If the naming convention of today were used back then, it would've used all of the names for that season, a total of 21. As I watched the Weather Channel, I saw that we were already 2 ahead of that pace for this time of year, with our 17th goddamned named storm of the season. We've seen Arlene, and Bret, and Cindy; the awful Dennis and Emily; the forgettable Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, and Jose; the living nightmare of Katrina, a storm compounded by multiple serious failures at the local, state, and federal levels; Lee, Maria, and Nate, which stayed in the middle of nowhere; Ophelia which dumped a bunch of rain and did little else; Philippe which is thankfully on the road to nowhere; and the potentially devastating Rita. The only names left are Stan, Tammy, Vince, and Wilma, and from there, the Greek alphabet. As much as it pains me to say it, with a season that doesn't officially end for another month and a half, the Greek alphabet is not unthinkable. Will it get to the point that we'll have to have a reserve list for each year, in case the names run out?

Am I the only one for whom the names are starting to run together? Earlier this season, I had to catch myself mistaking Hurricane Dennis for Hurricane Ivan. It's like the Gulf Coast keeps getting pounded and pounded. I wonder how many of us on the Gulf Coast are suffering from a degree of post-traumatic stress disorder. I'm eating myself into oblivion and wishing I were a drinker. Instead, I choose to be sober since, frankly, I don't like headaches or vomiting, and I get enough of the former and enough stomach upset without adding to it. My ulcer flares, my anxiety levels spike hard for days at a time, my dog recently died, and I know that with all of this, I'm still doing far better than over 1 million of my fellow coastal Americans. I wish I were one of the most miserable people in the Gulf Coast. I wish things were good enough for that to be even remotely possible, but it isn't. I still have a home and a job, and that's more than many can say. I'm indescribably thankful for that, but I'm also sorrowful for those who are suffering, and I feel guilty that I feel good about sustaining only minimal damage in the recent past. I'm alive and safe, my family's alive and safe, and I feel guilty for feeling good, and I feel guilty for being miserable on some level for kinda petty reasons.

In short, I'm fucked, but nowhere near as harshly as others, so I'm thankful. Maybe it's just the exhaustion talking. I don't know. But contribute what you can to established charities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and join me in my hope that this pain isn't compounded by Rita.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

And now for some original poetry:

It's been years since I've written any poetry, even longer since I wrote anything that was raw, aching, coming from a part of me that was broken and needed mending. Thankfully, age has given me a small measure of wisdom and perspective, but apparently, it hasn't quite killed my occasional need to express myself in an artistic manner. I don't know if this will suck or if people will like it. I just ask that you be honest. I went into this thinking there was at least a 50% chance that it would suck, so if it does, be honest, but don't be cruel. So, without further ado, here it is.

"Sweet November"

Sweet November, month of bitter pain,
Singing softly its pretty, sad song
Of life, death, and lightness of heart.

I feel the cold seep deep in my bones,
That beautiful aching splintered bite,
That brings freedom to this tired old soul.

A chill that promises scents of cloves,
And simmering good scents in the air,
Of pecans, dill, sweet potato, and tarts.

The cold that brings a hope of new life,
That chills the water, safely keeps me,
Protects my hearth, my family whole.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

In Loving Memory of my faithful canine friend.

My dog of the last twelve years died earlier this week.  She was my close friend and one of the most honest souls I've ever met.  If she liked you, she let you pet her.  If she didn't, you knew it.  And if she wanted to trick you into getting your hand too close, it took some reading, but you knew that too.  She knew when we were upset, and tried to comfort us even when she was feeling so sick as she was during the end.  There were hundreds of little things she did that showed that she had a far more complicated personality than some people I know, and she was truly a member of my family.
She wasn't able to eat during the few days leading up to her death.  Eventually, she'd get to where she couldn't hold down water.  I picked her up to clean her, and just that quickly... she was gone.  She's gone, and my heart is broken.  When I was coming home from work today, I had to catch myself when I was thinking about taking her outside to walk and I'd buried her just a day or two before.  There are a thousand things I wish I'd've done differently, things I wish I hadn't've said, time I spent doing trivial things instead of being with her, basically taking her for granted and thinking she'd always be there even though I knew she wouldn't on an intellectual level.
Now, I see these pictures of dogs, see them on TV, and I can't stop thinking about a tiny 6-lb. creature who completely owned my heart.  I flash back to when she was a spry puppy who'd slip her leash, and I'd have to chase her down the street.  I was much younger, faster, and more agile then, and she'd nimbly evade me for minutes at a time, running like a tiny gazelle.  And even then, as tiny as she was, she had a bark that belied her size, and a bite to match.  Even as she neared the end, she had that bark and that bite until the pain got to be too much for her.  I miss and will continue to miss her more than I will ever be able to express.
And no, I'm not okay, but I will be eventually.  As I write this, I'm keeping well back from the keyboard because I don't want my tears to short it out.  Everything is just too quiet without her here.
It just seems selfish of me to be hurting this much when there are people not far from me who have lost far more, and I know that and I feel awful about it.  However, this dog had seen me through some of the toughest years of my life, taught me things about life and about myself, and she was a blinding light in a world that sometimes seemed very dark.  Those of you who aren't pet people wouldn't understand, but those of you who are understand exactly what I'm saying.  I will never forget her, how beautiful she was, I won't say "sweet" because she was full of piss and vinegar, but she was a very good, loyal, and true friend.  I just miss her so much.
It seems I'm just starting to repeat things I've already said before, so I guess I'll end this post now since I don't have anything to add that I would be able to adequately express.  But appreciate your pets and your loved ones.  Let them know you care about them, because eventually, there will be a day the pets and loved ones won't be there and all you'll have is memories.  The loss is painful enough.  Don't compound it by adding regrets to the mix.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

PHEV's and other musings

I don't know about you, but I think it's high time I stopped ranting about Hurricane Katrina for now. I've said pretty much everything I have to say on the topic, with the exception of my opinion of Lt. Gen. Honore. I've been really impressed with him, and from the beginning, he's been nothing but brutally honest about the situation. He didn't candy-coat anything that needed to be said and he really got things moving. In fact, he was the first ranking government official to do so. As a result, for what little it's worth, Lt. Gen. Honore only needs three things: More troops, more resources, and another star on his shoulders. Being of Creole heritage and being a native of that region, he was able to communicate in a manner Louisianans respect and understand, including the things that are unsaid but understood by anyone born into the cultures of Louisiana. In many ways, Louisiana is another country even moreso than any other state in the Union. This is doubly true of bayou country. New Orleans was the cultural and culinary capital of my region. She will be missed sorely.

Now, for something that was actually part of the title of the post, I've expressed my support for biodiesel and PHEV's (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) in the past. I encourage everyone to join the California Cars Initiative group on Yahoo, as I find it has some seriously thought-provoking material. In the 135th post on that group, the fourth point referred to "a 'neo-con-green' alliance of environmentalists and national-security conservatives who see it as the best way to rapidly reduce consumption of foreign oil." I guess I don't quite fit into either of the groups referenced in that alliance, but that's nothing new. Those of you who read my blog know that I stubbornly refuse to fit neatly into any category. So as for me, I see strong arguments in favor of both the neo-cons and the environmentalists supporting PHEV's. Reducing smog and our dependence on foreign energy sources is good for the nation as a whole. However, that also ignores the positive human rights implications of PHEV's. A reduced demand for petrochemicals equates to reduced funding for regimes that treat women as chattel at best and treat all of their people with the exception of their ruling classes like shit. Reducing the money available to tyrants is a good thing. My personal preference would be to see diesel-electric hybrids be at the forefront, since, with my admittedly limited understanding, biodiesel can be used straight in many, if not most, existing diesel engines and all newer diesels. is a good site for information on this topic. Also, is a good trade site owned by the National Biodiesel Board and has some interesting information. Also, even as old as he is, Willie Nelson is still kinda cool. Thankfully, such sites and other car sites exist, because my actual knowledge of cars is limited to adding and checking the oil, gasoline, and antifreeze, and changing the air filter. Somehow, that makes me feel less manly than I'd prefer, but I guess we each have our own knowledge base and things that make us curious, and the drive to expand the former and satisfy the latter. In my case, the first is esoteric, the second encompasses very nearly everything, and the third is sorely lacking in this regard.

Hurricane Ophelia looks like she's heading towards North Carolina or maybe Virginia. I hope the same thing for this storm that I hope for all storms: That they be weak and fast-moving. Yoda knows we don't need any more natural disasters for a very long time. And yes, I say "Yoda knows" because I think I like that fictional character more than the Christian god. I was experimenting with the term to see how well I liked it. I may start saying it more to further cement others' belief that I'm a geek. Well, that's all for now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

FEMA and the world's response to Katrina:

I desperately wish I had something happier to discuss for this, my fiftieth post, but I don't. I am by turns humbled and grateful for the response of some nations to Hurricane Katrina; and very angry about the initial domestic response to the catastrophe. I find myself especially humbled by the outpouring of support from some of the smallest and poorest nations in the world. This article on Yahoo News outlines some of the offers the United States has received in response to this horrible disaster. Bangladesh has offered US$1 million; Cuba, 1100 doctors; the Czech Republic, rescue teams, a field hospital, pumps, and water processing equipment; the Dominican Republic, rescue workers, doctors, and nurses; and also on this list offering substantial aid are El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, and basically, a list of most of the nations in the world. For that, I as just a private citizen and native of part of the affected area, am deeply thankful. Thankfully, neither my loved ones nor I will need that help as a result of this storm, but over a million people will need assistance in some form or another, and, to put it mildly, I would not be surprised if our government will have to take at least some of the nations up on their offer. As a side note, though the U.S. policy towards Cuba's government is not the most cordial in the world, I realize as do, I hope, most other Americans, that their leadership is not a reflection on their people. I believe their response reflects that. Also, France is actually sending troops and supplies to the affected region, and it it my hope that their people will show far more competence than their diplomats or president. They will certainly be a big help in areas of Louisiana where French is the native tongue of the residents.

I've mentioned the gratitude for foreign nations' responses to Hurricane Katrina, but I would also be remiss if I did not mention the response of private aid and relief organizations, and businesses. The largest and best-known are the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, but other organizations and faith-based groups are joining them. From what little research I've done, many, if not most, major corporations in the U.S. are assisting with fundraising and other assistance in response to this catastrophe. Again, this is both good and, unfortunately, necessary.

I've mentioned that I'm very angry at the response of some of the domestic governmental agencies and their response to Hurricane Katrina. More and more people in the military are saying that they were ready but were held back by FEMA, and I've heard some mention that the Red Cross and Salvation Army made it to the affected region and started distributing supplies a day or two before FEMA came in. Bureaucracy has its place in providing for accountability and ensuring that public funds and trust are not being abused, and in normal times, it does serve a salutary purpose if kept in check. However, in times of crisis, which by any definition of the word, this is, that same bureaucracy can and has cost lives, and that is a far greater abuse of the public trust. I don't believe this is a Democrat or a Republican problem, because it took decades for things to deteriorate to this point. I agree with Spiegel's assessment that the response to Katrina was not unlike that after 9/11/01, and that what we are seeing is a repetition of past mistakes. I simply disagree strongly with the other insinuations of their article. They compared it to the response to 9/11, and yet in a fit of ideological fervor, they refused to take that train of thought to its logical conclusion, in that it had very little, if anything, to do with the race or wealth of those affected, and everything to do with incompetence at higher levels of government in their response. In short, that which should have happened immediately didn't occur for days, and people died as a result. I blame everyone from Mayor Nalin of New Orleans for not ordering the evacuation sooner, to Governor Blanco for the same and for showing an inability to effectively lead her state during this crisis, to the current Administration. There's more than enough blame to go around for everyone to get as many helpings as they want, but it would have been far better had there been no or little cause for the blame. It's too late to change that now. All we can do is go forward and provide any assistance we can to those affected, and make the necessary changes to attempt to prevent this from happening again.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and Mississippi

I in no way wish to diminish the suffering of those in New Orleans. What they are suffering is truly awful, a hell on earth that I, even as close as I am, can hardly comprehend. But where is the help for Mississippi, where 75% of the state received damage, with the damage becoming worse the farther south you go? Where is the help beyond that which Alabama, which did not get through Katrina unscathed, has sent in the form of 2,000 troops from the National Guard? Where are the cameras, the federal government, and the Congressional Black Caucus and Kanye West talking about how the response was inadequate for the people of Mississippi? Many towns of varying sizes have seen no supplies for days in south Mississippi. What has Congressman Jesse Jackson (is he a Jr. or a III?) said about Mississippi and about other towns farther east in Louisiana whose people are suffering is every bit as great as those in New Orleans? Where is their self-professed Christianity? Where is their alleged compassion? Where is their concern for their fellow human beings, regardless of race? Or are they, as I think is patently evident, more concerned with promoting their own agendas than in solving this problem?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hurricane Katrina-Afterthoughts

First, I and my family are fine.  Though my family sustained some damage from the storm, it was, thankfully, minor, especially when compared with that which was suffered in Mississippi and Louisiana.  For those of you of a religious bent, I ask that you pray to whatever deity or deities you worship and ask them to provide comfort to those who have suffered so much.  I know people in my area who were not nearly as fortunate as we were.
Second, to everyone, religious or not, I beg you to donate to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or any of a host of other legitimate charities and earmark the funds for Hurricane relief.  Donate blood, donate an hour's pay or a day's pay or whatever else you can spare.  Donate your time to local efforts to provide relief to the disaster-stricken areas.  Or donate any supplies you can spare to legitimate food drives for disaster relief.  Just do SOMETHING to help those affected by this monstrous storm.  I have spoken to an elderly couple in their 80s, and they have never seen anything like it.  I don't think anyone, at least not in the last century or more, has seen a storm of this magnitude and destruction.  There are probably well over ten thousand people dead, and well north of a million people who are suffering as a direct result of this storm.  A major city and numerous minor cities and small towns have been erased from the landscape.  I cannot even begin to tell you the impact that this storm has had on an entire region.  Days later, I see long lines for gas at gas stations, at least at the stations that still have gas.  Curfews are finally being lifted in Southwest Alabama, and I can't even begin to express my gratitude for the National Guard and the various electric company personnel from across the nation and Canada who have assisted in the quick restoration of power to my region.
To put the destruction in perspective, it would be like Baltimore, MD, sustaining catastrophic damage from a storm, and New York City sustaining severe damage from the same storm.  Nothing like this has ever occurred in living memory, and it is for that reason that aid is so desperately needed.
I think this storm has made tragically obvious the fact that President Bush has been listening too much to the wrong people.  Once he was made aware of the devastation of the storm, first by the flyover in Air Force One, and later by his aerial view on Marine One and by tours on the ground, the response was rapidly improved by the federal government.  Part of the problem is that FEMA was ill-positioned to deal with this storm.  According to televised news, which is all I had for days, they were initially too close to the disaster area and had to rapidly redeploy farther from the coast.  The Coast Guard and other military and civilian organizations were doing the right things from the beginning.  They just weren't doing enough of it, and that fault lies in the mayors' offices, and in the governors' mansions, and in Washington, DC.  Governor Barbour of Mississippi has clearly been doing everything he can, though his capabilities are severely limited because of the damage his state took.  So my criticisms lie with the mayor of New Orleans, who was safe and detached while his people were suffering.  If Harry Connick, Jr., a private citizen who was much farther away than Baton Rouge, can make it into New Orleans and do his part to help, why wasn't the mayor of New Orleans there?  Why did Governor Riley of Alabama trust the mayor of Mobile and not order the evacuation, the four-laning of I-65, that we saw during Hurricane Dennis less than two months ago?  Why hasn't Governor Blanco of Louisiana been able to put her face on the television since earlier in the week, and why instead has she had to rely on U.S. Senator Landrieaux (sp?) to be the public face of the state of Louisiana?  These are questions that demand answers, and those responsible for these failures should face the consequences of that failure.
And finally, my deepest contempt is for those who have looted, and for those who have pillaged, and those who undoubtedly will prey on those victims who have already lost so much.  In that last group, I include those who will use this in a cynical manner to advance their political or racist agendas.  On that second note, I mean you, Kanye West.  I watched that telethon for disaster relief.  What the FUCK did you mean when you said that President Bush hates black people?  Did President Bush create Hurricane Katrina?  Did Hurricane Katrina give a damn about the race, gender, religion, sexual preference, shoe size, or political affiliation of those in her path?  Were only African-Americans hurt by this storm?  Have only African-Americans suffered the horror we've seen in New Orleans, Biloxi, Pass Christian, Pascagoula, Bayou La Batre, AL, and Baton Rouge, and to a somewhat lesser extent, in Mobile, Grand Bay, the Eastern Shore of Alabama, and to varying degrees elsewhere?  Try telling that to the people I know who suffered partial or total loss of their homes.  Try telling that to all of the people of all races, religions, etc., who have been displaced or killed by this storm.  Try telling that to the families that are separated in different refugee camps, not knowing if their loved ones are even alive.  Kanye West, I challenge you to do something novel and try actually to become a man for the first time in your miserable, pathetic, hate-filled life.  You are no better than David Duke, and I know no words to express the depth of my contempt and disgust for your unforgivable comments.