Author Archive

T.M.I. (Too Many Issues) in Natural Disasters

Posted in Environmental Security, Natural Disasters, Rhetoric on April 15, 2010 by Rita

This is my last blog and I feel somewhat slacking in my responsibilities. Yet, on the other hand, I am struggling with this week’s topic: Natural Disasters.

Don’t get me wrong, I know what Natural Disasters are and as you’re reading this I’m sure you’ve thought of at least a dozen recent Natural Disasters. I know that I could have inserted copious numbers of videos illustrating examples of this week’s topic but I felt it would be trite.

I have never been in a Natural Disaster yet, I can empathize with those who have and survived. Reading Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell and the article, “We Know This Place”: Neoliberal Racial Regimes and the Katrina Circumstance by Jordan T. Camp and the constant reference to Sunni Patterson’s poem, We Know This Place, I literally cannot grasp the topics discussed and I honestly do not understand where the authors are coming from.

An example of being unable to wrap my mind around these topics is Sunni Patterson’s relating how the citizens of the Ninth Ward (predominantly poor blacks) in New Orleans were mistreated after hurricane Katrina is in direct relation to the days of slavery. Maybe its my naive nature but I never thought of the issues raised by the authors.

A Natural Disaster is horrendous and we all realize that the media cannot and the vast majority do not report without an agenda or bias, so it is no surprise when listening or watching the news that only what has “shock value” and/or looks “good” on camera is reported on.

I don’t understand why these authors and the communities devastated by disasters feel/believe that their governments must rush in and save them. Is it actually written in any of the constitutions of the governments of the world?

I guess for me knowing how the U.S. government has behaved in the wake of Natural Disasters in this country and how it has treated it’s citizens makes it crystal clear that it cannot and should not be relied upon in a community’s time of need.


“War can damn Earthly ecosystems to hell.”

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental Security, Natural Disasters, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized, War on April 5, 2010 by Rita

     I am honestly torn by my title statement, which was stated by Alan Weisman in, The World Without Us, because on the face of it, war does devastate and yet Nature (make me happy) finds a way. An example is the DMZ in Vietnam where land mines are spread far and wide. Agent Orange used quite liberally and yet flora and fauna are flourishing in this dangerous ecosystem~a safeguard from man, so to speak. Other examples are ship and plane wrecks in the ocean and how Nature adapts and assimilates to this by-product of war.

     Then just as easily, as tossing a coin in the air, you can find: images, stories, videos, documentaries etc showing and illustrating the devastation of areas like Iran/Iraq where Nature has been decimated, forced to oblivion, having had to give up because the organisms cannot thrive, let alone survive.

     Like stated in the class handout, War and Peace, it’s true that:                     

               “Overpopulation and ecological collapse in any one country or region burden the entire world community and the biosphere itself.”


“…in the long run, everyone’s prosperity depends on the health of the whole.”


     Afterall, bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity!

     In closing,

                                                                         Love & Take Care,




“The Babbling of Dead Souls”

Posted in Popular Culture, Rhetoric, Uncategorized, War on March 23, 2010 by Rita

Heat. This is what cities mean to me. You get off the train and walk out of the station and you are hit with the full blast. The heat of air, traffic and people. The heat of food and sex. The heat of tall buildings. The heat that floats out of the subways and the tunnels. It’s always fifteen degrees hotter in the cities. Heat rises from the sidewalks and falls from the poisoned sky. The buses breathe heat. Heat emanates from crowds of shoppers and office workers. The entire infrastructure is based on heat, desperately uses up heat, breeds more heat. The eventual heat death of the universe that scientists love to talk about is already underway and you can feel it happening all around you in any large or medium-sized city. ” (Don DeLillo, White Noise. 1984. New York. Penguin Books)

For those of you who live in cities, you have my sympathy. I listened and watched the following video and I ended up with a migraine! I know that the vast majority of  city residents assimilate to the sites and sounds and eventually it all becomes White Noise to you.  As an adult, I found the sounds more than I could bear, imagine what it’s like for a newborn! The shock to the system or is it something they have already adapted to while in the womb?


Here’s a definition, for those of you who are still unsure what White Noise is: White Noise is a type of noise that is produced by combining sounds of all different frequencies together. If you took all of the imaginable tones that a human can hear and combined them together, you would have White Noise. You can think of White Noise as 20,000 tones all playing at the same time.” (http:/ What is White Noise?).

For those of you who didn’t care for the White Noise of the city, following are a couple of videos that might be more to your liking.

For your listening and visual enjoyment:

For your audio pleasure:

Here in America where no one is responsible or in control; all are receptors, receivers of stimuli, consumers. The recording and producing of White Noise machines, CDs of Nature sounds-like the ocean waves, bird songs, rivers, streams, storms, and rain [who knew residents of temperate rainforests had it so good? :0) ] is fast becoming a multi-million a year industry. If the noise of your community or neighborhood isn’t quiet enough or too noisy you can purchase your choice of White Noise.

The biggest conveyance of White Noise and information about White Noise is the television. ” Television is ”the primal force in the American home, sealed-off, self-contained, self-referring . . . a wealth of data concealed in the grid, in the bright packaging, the jingles, the slice-of-life commercials, the products hurtling out of darkness, the coded messages . . . like chants. . . . Coke is it, Coke is it, Coke is it.  (Don DeLillo, White Noise. 1984. New York. Penguin Books)

So… How much White Noise is in your life?

“Auntie Em, Auntie Em! It ain’t a twister!”

Posted in Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Risk & Fear on February 23, 2010 by Rita

          “Americans had become a force of awful geology, changing the face of the earth more than the combined activities of volcanoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, tornadoes and all the excavations of mankind since the beginning of history.”    page 127  The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan


     That paragraph from Timothy Egan’s book, The Worst Hard Time, is quite apropos-I think more so now than in the past two century.    

     A person’s first reaction is to deny that we humans, our communities, societies, and cultures could be a form of or contributing factor to the eco-collapse on a global scale. 

      Of course, we all know we are in denial and that epiphany is reached as we drop our umpteen empty latte cup in the trash. We contribute on an almost hourly basis to the demise of our world-sad but true.

     If you doubt, here’s an experiment to try, keep a list of every thing you throw in the trash for one day (weighing the item would have a greater impact). Now add those items and their weights, multiply it by 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  THAT’S A LOT OF TRASH FOR ONE PERSON!

     The difference from then and now is that back then it was agriculturally motivated and we are now consumer addled-okay obsessed.

     Granted the dust bowl information and photos are eye-popping, mind-boggling images and thoughts but I think what is occurring now in this century is much more insidious and potentially a global killer.

     The United States, instead of being the positive model to other countries is, in fact, the leader in the negative wasteful behavior now being perpetrated.

           “Of all the countries in the world, we Americans have been the greatest destroyers of land of any race of people barbaric or civilized.”                                                                                                                                                                                                          –                     – Hugh Hammond Bennett 


G.M.O.’s (Goods Most Offal)

Posted in Atwood, Natural Disasters, Risk & Fear with tags on February 17, 2010 by Rita

      If you’re like me, I had heard the terminology of G.M.O.’s and knew the basic definition of G.M.O.’s but I hadn’t really given too  much time, thought, or energy into understanding what this topic is or how it impacts us all. SO…I’ll try and give some info on all this and hopefully it will get YOU to thinking!

     For those who don’t know, in a nutshell, G.M.O.s are genetically modified, mutated, or mutilated (depending on your view) substances. Wikipedia states that a G.M.O. is a,

 “Genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.”

     Some examples of severely altered substances are; a species of corn that produces its own pesticide as it grows, a golden rice made from vitamins for use in countries where the populace is malnourished and/or poor, and  tomatoes spliced with flounder DNA producing tomatoes that can withstand cold temperatures.

     According to Jeffrey Smith, a leading G.M.O. expert,, every human in the world should be horrified that G.M.O.s are not being labeled in our foods, that this playing “God” is going to come back and bite us in the ass, and we need to gain knowledge and use that knowledge to stop this organismistic tampering now. For those of you wanting more information and to learn about some of the political prostituting involving G.M.O.s, here’s a good website to start with;

     Before you swallow, did you know that 40% of the foods found and purchased by you in the grocery store have G.M.O.s in it! This occurs do to… 

  Government + Greedy Politicians + Big Businesses =

                                      NO LABELING OF PRODUCTS  REQUIRED!

      Some examples of products found in stores that have been tested and found to have trace amounts of or more G.M.O.s are:

  • Fritos
  • Corn Flakes (General Mills & Kellogg’s)
  • Soy Baby Formula (Enfamil, Nestle Carnation, & Similac Isomil)
  • Granola Bars (Quaker Chewy & Nabisco Snackwell’s)
  • Ball Park Franks
  • Duncan Hines Cake Mix
  • Ultra Slim Fast
  • Alpo Dry Pet Food
  • Gardenburgers
  • Morning Star Farms products
  • Canola Oil

       Fresh Produce

  • Corn
  • Papaya
  • Potato
  • Soybeans
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes


              As the saying goes,

                                  “You are what you eat!”

                                                           Welcome to the Freak Show.