While the hurricane was an “act of God” the government response and relief effort on the local, state and national levels were failures of man.
In one instance Red Cross trucks full of necessities were barred by a state agency early last week from entering New Orleans to deliver the much needed supplies. Accountability at all levels of government is critical. It should not be a time for partisan showmanship as so many similar hearings have been reduced to.
Contractors securing goverment contracts to rebuild New Orleans will not have to pay their employees a living wage, thanks to Bush. Bush granted employers the right yesterday to ignore the Davis-Bacon Act which would have protected individual’s rights to secure a fair wage. Needless to say, the people most affected by this will be the citizens of New Orleans who have already lost so much. Thanks douchebag.
[From the Wash Post]
Bush Suspends Pay Act In Areas Hit by Storm
President Bush yesterday suspended application of the federal law governing workers’ pay on federal contracts in the Hurricane Katrina-damaged areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The action infuriated labor leaders and their Democratic supporters in Congress, who said it will lower wages and make it harder for union contractors to win bids.
The Davis-Bacon Act, passed in 1931 during the Great Depression, sets a minimum pay scale for workers on federal contracts by requiring contractors to pay the prevailing or average pay in the region. Suspension of the act will allow contractors to pay lower wages. Many Republicans have opposed Davis-Bacon, charging that it amounts to a taxpayer subsidy to unions.
Over four nights, the Williamsburg Jazz Festival saturates the 11211 with sophisticated modern jazz by vocalists, orchestras, smaller groups, and a Sunday afterparty with the funky beats of Roboto. This year’s highlights include one of today’s foremost jazz composers, Dave Douglas, who serves up radiant harmonies over earthy rhythms, with Donny McCaslin on tenor sax, James Genus on bass, Clarence Penn on drums, and Deron Johnson on Fender Rhodes. Another high-profile name, Steve Coleman, subjects hip-hop and urban-funk grooves to intense, but intelligent, avant-garde explorations.
Click Here for the full schedule.
by Dave Thomas
Everything is Illuminated
I think the movie world (because, as we all know, it’s one cohesive beast) is trying to make up for the sins of summer by offering up a relatively decent fall. At least in limited release.
THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Man is accused of negligent homicide in the exorcism of a young girl. I think I saw this on “Law & Order” once.
WILL IT SUCK?
Although the genuinely creepy trailer makes this out to be the next “Exorcist”, the story is based on a far more human tragedy. In 1976 an epileptic girl was misdiagnosed as it were with demon possession and the ensuing exorcism killed her. This story apparently takes a Rashomon-like approach to the incident, with Tom Wilkinson as the accused and Laura Linney, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Campbell Scott, and Colm Feore along for the ride. Unfortunately, the last horror movie to the writer/director’s credit is “Urban Legends: Final Cut”.
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Sadly, I think people will be a little more interested in “The Man” this week. Then, the following week, you have two far more traditional horror escapades, “Cry_Wolf” and “Venom”, entering the fray. $11mil.
WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
No, but I think Tom Wilkinson should get some props for channeling Dan Hedaya in “Batman Begins”.
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Sam Jackson is black. Eugene Levy is white. Watch the trailer and tell me that is not the pitch of this film.
True to form, the right wing PR machine doesn’t want the American public to see the loss of human life resulting from their epic blunders. First, they prohibited images of the fallen in Iraq. And now, they want to censor media coverage of the deceased in New Orleans.
[From E&P] FEMA Blocks Photos of New Orleans Dead
Forced to defend what some critics consider its slow response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from New Orleans.
FEMA, which is leading the rescue efforts, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims, Reuters reported.
A FEMA spokeswoman told the wire service that space was need on the rescue boats and assured Reuters that “the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect.”
“We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media,” the spokeswoman told Reuters via e-mail.
By now you have probably heard that Bush’s buddy and FEMA appointee Michael Brown has absolutely no experience in emergency management. We decided to look into what his former job as head of the Arabian Horse Association entailed overseeing:
From the AHA website:
The Arabian Horse Association(AHA) provides an association of like-minded Arabian horse enthusiasts and a focal point for your favorite recreational or competitive activities. AHA is the official breed association and registry in the U.S. with more than 40,000 members who own Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses.
As a full-service breed association, AHA seeks to meet the breeding, competitive and recreational interests of all Arabian horse owners. As the official breed registry for the Arabian horse industry, the AHA Registry has registered more than 1 million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses since its founding in 1908, ensuring the integrity and perpetuation of the breed.
AHA offers over 400 events and competitions and the largest online marketplace and community forums on the web, bringing people together to share the joys of Arabian horse ownership. Membership in the AHA has its privileges and provides access to registration, programs, competitions and other services.
Not too much about hurricane relief or disaster readiness in there. Thanks for the qualified appointee Dubya. Glad to know you are putting the safety of the country first. As Bush said: “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.” Click here or here to see some examples of the great job he’s done thus far.
Interview by Monte Holman
Does the world really need another rock band? If the band is fronted by Mac McCaughan, yes. Heralded since the late eighties as an indie music legend he was in Superchunk and co-founded Merge Records you’d think someone with Mac’s successes would bask in the glow of being an acknowledged avatar of independent music. Not so. McCaughan is full-steam ahead, most recently with a new Portastatic LP, Bright Ideas.
Portastatic has primarily functioned as a side project for Mac, who’s put together some innovative DIY recordings over the years. The name Portastatic even pays homage to the band’s method: Porta for 4-track brand Portastudio and Static for, well, the sound of a shitty home recording.
With each Portastatic record, different avenues are investigated, from electronic instrumentals to a collaboration with Ken Vandermark to traditional Brazilian jazz. With Bright Ideas, the exploration continues, though this time the frontier is the rock and roll past. It’s a return to Superchunk and the Boss. The record was recorded live at Tiny Telephones in San Francisco with his brother Matthew McCaughan, a Portastatic veteran, on drums and Jim Wilbur of Superchunk playing bass.
Superchunk is on hiatus, and Portastatic is shaping up to be a real live band. Mac spoke with us when he was in town for an in-store at Other Records to commemorate the release of Bright Ideas.
I Wanna Know Girls MP3 (4 MB – From Bright Ideas)
FREEwilliamsburg: How do you have time for all this; Merge, Portastatic, Superchunk, family, North Carolina…
(laughs) Yeah, North Carolina does occupy some of my time. You know, it’s weird, but I don’t think about it too much. I just kind of plow forward. With all the things you’re talking about, Superchunk hasn’t been terribly active for the last couple years. We played a couple shows this summer and put out those live cds.
FREEwilliamsburg: The Clambake Series…
Yeah, but in general, I’ve been concentrating on Merge and Portastatic, pretty much since we started working on Summer of the Shark. I have a kid, and that makes you have to rationalize your time a lot more, but in some ways it means that when you are working, you get more done because you have to. When I was writing songs for this record, I would have, basically, a day per week to work on music. I made a goal to write a song every week.