Author's posts

O’Reilly-izing the Face of Haiti: Racism & Photographs from the Disaster


Frederic Podoux/Getty Images

We are on the brink…so we are told and so we will see as the photographs roll in from Haiti, images of death, destruction, survival, conflict, and despair.  

We are ready, as they will paint a whole people as thugs and thieves and we will consume these images with a shake of the head. These descriptions will come from all sources, whether believed to be “left” or “right,” “objective” or Fox.

But we remember Katrina. We remember the power of the photograph and the greater power of seeing behind the image. Experiencing the visual content in light of the context.

You Do Not Need to Know His Name

You do not need to know his name to understand the enormity of what he is a part of, yet it is important that you do. You do not need to know that he died in Afghanistan, yet that point is not incidental to the existence of the flag-draped box left on the platform.

The coffin of Staff Sergeant Phillip Myers sits on the plane gangway at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware.


SSgt. Myers’ family gave permission for publication of this photo and it is the first published under the removal of the ban on photographs of coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as they arrive at Dover Airforce Base.

For analysis of the photos and further discussion, see BAGnewsNotes.  

Ms. Lotus Regrets….

Banks, investment companies, financial institutions of all sorts are in line to be fixed and regulated. Their survival is deemed vital to our economic survival. Get them lending again, we’re told, and we’ll start to see the economy moving.

Everything will be fine and we’ll party like it’s, well, like it’s some year when the economy appeared to work.

But that party may be missing some guests.

And by guests, I mean a significant number of citizens, the regular folks, the working and middle classes.

What if the financial institutions cleaned up, spritzed on their Axe cologne, and the Administration put on their party clothes for nothing because the invitation for a significant number of regular folks got lost in the mail?

‘Twas the Night Before Veepmas…

‘Twas the night before Veepmas, when through Daily Kos

users were betting who Barack liked the most.

The diaries were screaming “pick this one or that!”

In hopes that Obama soon settles the spat;

The comments were nestled all snug on the page,

While visions of favorites became all the rage;

And Kos in his nightie said “please settle down,

you’ll love him or her or think they’re a clown.

There’s no pleasing all kossacks, and it doesn’t matter,

C’mon just be patient and stop with the clatter.”

The Most Painful Vote I Ever Cast

My four year old son is having his adenoids and tonsils out early tomorrow, leaving me no time to vote in my neighborhood. So I headed to San Francisco City Hall today and underwent my own surgery. On myself. With a dull scalpel, a dirty sponge, and no anesthesia whatsoever. With eyes squinched I extracted my vote. It wasn’t joyless, but it still hurts.

I’ve posted long and often about my indecision.  I believe we have two excellent candidates, two great Democrats.  They differ on some details, but they both want healthcare for all, a clean and living planet, better schools, and repeal of the tax cut for the richest Americans.  And the war? Yeah, I know Clinton voted for it, but they both want us out now and, as much as I disagreed with her vote, I’m glad she understands the need to end this fiasco.

Obama captures an excitement that will be his to lose if he gets the nomination and, if he does, he better be prepared, lose that stutter, and get smooth in the face of attack.  He has the potential to be one of the most influential leaders of our century or the biggest disappointment in our lifetimes.

(more beneath the scar)

Obama Supporters: a couple of questions

I lean Edwards, but will vote for the Democratic nominee.  Of the current field, Obama would be my second choice.  I’ve given money to Edwards, Obama, and Dodd.  I like Obama more than Hillary, less than Edwards at this point.

I don’t believe in candidate tear-down diaries (hell, I barely believe in diaries at all lately), but I have some concerns/fears about an Obama candidacy and really want to be convinced that my fears can be put aside. Especially in light of recent polling.

As you can probably guess, my concerns involve electability, especially as it relates to race, experience, and temperament.  I would like to have a constructive conversation on these issues in a political context, but on showing this diary to fellow Kossacks and Docudharmentarians, I’ve been told it will be interpreted as a hit piece.  That’s not my intention, but I can’t control how readers perceive my writing or slant. I also threw in some general campaign questions I have if anyone’s interested.

Now that the restraining order has expired…

and Buhdy is free of all legal constraints, I’d like to offer my place as a meetup when Buhdy washes up on the shores of San Francisco.  I live in the southern part of SF (close to 101 and 280) and would be glad to spring for Cheetos and malt likker.

The thing is….we need a day and some interest on the part of SF Bay Area docu-alarmists, or whatever it is we’re called.  Well, I’m just called lazy because, as Buhdy reminds me, I’ve skirted all obligations related to this blog, but maybe he’ll forgive me over snacks with Cheezwhiz or cooking out on the deck.  Any takers?  If interested, post some day preferences below and we’ll see what we can work out.