Overshadowed by this week’s continuous stream of scary economic news — and my 401(k) beginning to look more like a 201(k) — on Tuesday the House passed a bill to open up most of the U.S. coastline to offshore drilling when the current ban expires on September 30. It’s especially depressing that this was a Democratic introduced and sponsored plan. And just to prove that the world has turned upside down: the GOP opposes the bill (partly because it doesn’t allow drilling within 50 miles of the coast) and its best chance of it not being implemented, ironically, is that the current occupant of the White House may veto it. I don’t even know where to send people for complaints about opening up the coast for drilling, just something to keep an eye on for the post-election season when, possibly, sense will return.
Houston in the wake of Hurricane Ike also doesn’t seem to be generating much national news coverage. But the two people I know in Houston, who have sporadic cell phone access, both paint a grim picture of no food, no gas, and home break-ins as thieves attempt to steal generators and whatever else is at hand where alarm systems and often the phone are not in service. The Red Cross is actively appealing for relief funds (the New Orleans evacuation and the Houston hurricane have drained everyone’s resources). They have also initiated a text message scheme, called Text2Help, where you can donate $5 simply by texting "“GIVE” to 24357 (2HELP), which will show up as a charge on your next phone bill. I’ve added their widget in the right margin, since this is a small amount that many people can afford.
In the midst of all this bad news, I wanted to provide some comic relief, courtesy of Green Upgrader, who has a very funny array of signs reminding humans to be mindful of the animal kingdom, including the sign pictured above. Another favorite: Don’t sit on the crocodile. Sounds a bit like a zen koan, eh?
Today’s mitzvah: If you haven’t used up this month’s allotment of text messages, consider checking out Text2Help to donate $5 to the Red Cross. And to our animal friends: Bark, bark, woof! (Slobber, slobber.)
Photograph © 2008 by Green Upgrader.