Friday Night Video

La Winehouse, and her hair, covering The Zutons‘ sweet Valerie. This one’s still in heavy rotation on my iPod.

Visible Vote countdown

Six days to go till the Visible Vote 08 debate, sponsored by HRC and Logo.  Check the Visible Vote website for guest commentary from  Billie Jean King, the Nation’s Richard Kim and others, as well as  profiles of 08 candidates.

Leery as I am of HRC’s penchant for centrist pandering, I’m putting my cynicism in check for the event, since it is a historic precedent, and also because it’s so fun watching the homobigots sputtering bile over it.

The real question, of course, is:  Will this merit a First Draft Crack Van party?

Then and Now

Today is the 37th anniversary of Hurricane Celia’s landfall on the Texas Coast. Despite its small size, Celia was the costliest hurricane in Texas history, due to intense localized wind gusts, tornado-like microbursts, within the storm system that left anything they touched literally reduced to splinters. Infrastructure, commercial structures, homes, boats and automobiles were demolished.

The wind gusts were confined to small areas “looking almost like a tiger’s claw” over the city of Corpus Christi. One man, in his description of the wind burst, stated the sound of the gust was “like a giant hammer hitting the building.”

In the two years since Katrina, I’ve blogged here and posted elsewhere about my family’s experience during Celia. Long story short, it destroyed our home and my parents’ livelihood.

Even though they lost everything they’d spent their life working for, my parents were able to get back on their feet relatively quickly, in a new house on the same spot in just under a year.

That was then.  This is now.

Image: PBS

Yesterday, the welfare of the corporate state was  again placed above the lives of thousands still scrambling to recover, two years after Katrina.:

NEW ORLEANS – Hurricane Katrina victims whose homes and businesses were destroyed when floodwaters breached levees in the 2005 storm cannot recover money from their insurance companies for the damages, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The case could affect thousands of rebuilding residents and business owners in Louisiana. Robert Hartwig, chief economist at the industry-funded Insurance Information Institute in New York, said in June that a ruling against the industry could have cost insurers $1 billion.

So instead, the huge insurance companies and their parent corporations continue, intact, to prosper, while the financial burdens of recovery and rebuilding will be carried on the shoulders of individual homeowners, businesses and other entities in the hard-hit communities along the Louisiana coast and in New Orleans.