We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Further Comment on New Orleans: Give $, But Please Don't Re-build
This is a heart-breaking human catastrophe, but please, everybody, quit it with the brave-sounding but totally-in-denial "We'll rebuild" talk. Don't do it. There is courage, and there is hubris: challenging the gods of wind and water is hubris. Just ask any sailor, or anyone who lives near the sea. These gods, givers of both good and ill, are patient but relentless, and will have their own way in time.
Our Berkshire Hills in Massachusetts were once taller than the Alps. Wind and water brought them down to gentle hills. So also, obsessive Bush-haters, quit it with the blame. (He is not only not a god, but if you can blame him for bad weather, then you have to credit him for every nice day, too. We have tons of those, but this we will not do.) It is not only clearly disingenuous and dishonestly opportunistic - it also implies, with hubris again, that man has the power to overcome nature. You already read our satire on the subject (written after Katrina luckily bypassed New Orleans, but before the flooding began).
However fine a city it is/was - one of America's favorite and most colorfully and happily decadent places - it's in the wrong place, and has always been an accident waiting to happen. Everyone knew that: it was part of its magic and mythology, a romantically-doomed place, our Atlantis-in-waiting. Blame it on the French settlers, who viewed it as a strategic military spot and a convenient trading place. Living below sea level is for ducks, fish and alligators. If New Orleans is to be rebuilt, this is the chance to do it on higher ground, instead of living at the mercy of nature and the often-misguided Army Corps of Engineers who, when not at war, are always looking for something to do to justify their budget. Let's do it in the practical American way, not in the French way. Cities, these days, have enough problems without the additional dangers of inhabiting a swamp surrounded by the mighty Missippippi River - already (temporarily) reconfigured to mankind's wishes, Lake Ponchartrain, and the Gulf of Mexico, while pretending that we are clever enough, and powerful enough, to outwit Mother Nature... but deep-down knowing that we cannot.
That discussion can wait, however. The nation is pitching in with donations, as we always do - we posted Glenn's list yesterday and he has more today - we like the Salvation Army - always the angels for the truly down-and-out. Catholic Charities, which I worked for during college, is a strong and effective organization too. All we have to offer is money and prayer for folks, especially the poor, whose lives will never be the same.