Monday, December 19, 2005

One more time... why are we at war with IRAQ?

Earlier this fall, in the midst of some intense discussion regarding my personal opinions toward Bush and the war in Iraq, a very dear friend of mine sent me the pictures which are being sent around via e-mail (with soldiers, little children, smiles, etc.) and the note:
"I hope these come through! I know it seems like a waste of lives to you and others, but to the children in Iraq those troops who volunteered to defend our freedoms and fight for theirs give them hope.That makes those who have been lost in the line of duty true heroes who died with honor. No matter what else you believe, please believe that their sacrifice is justified. I guarantee they bellieved it. So do those that served the first time."

How do you respond to people who attempt to justify the humanitarian aspect of the war in Iraq? This was my attempt...

Dearest {friend},
You aren't understanding our points... if you don't think that a bleeding heart liberal like me wouldn't celebrate helping people in need? But as long as people continue to believe that is why our soldiers are being killed (just like they believed that it was to "protect America from terrorists"), then we will continue to donate the lives of our soldiers to this "noble cause" that some people must continue to believe in order to accept what is going on and to avoid asking themselves the hard questions. Our points are NOT that some Iraqis aren't very grateful for our soldiers... we aren't confused about THAT... our questions are related to the following facts...
  • Some soldiers enlisted to protect America after 9/11...
  • Our country was attacked and supposedly that is our reason to be at war... "War on Terror", remember?
  • The focus at the last election was "PROTECT AMERICA" not "HELP BABY IRAQIs"
  • There is NO reason to be in Iraq... except NOW they are saying for democracy...
  • If we wanted to do it RIGHT, like it REALLY mattered, when the General requested more troops, Bush would have OK'd it rather than fired him.
  • If it is THAT noble of a cause, then how come neither Bush, nor Rove, nor Cheney, nor Rumsfield have children serving?
  • Doesn't it scare anybody that of the main people deciding that this "noble cause" is worth having our soldiers die (see above list), not ONE of them served in Viet Nam? They all made excuses... even RUSH LIMBAUGH wiggled out of it.

So, if 2157 lives can be lost (two families are being notified as I write this) for democracy for a country that wasn't asking for our help in the first place, and wasn't the mission until enough people started complaining that the "War on Terror" belonged in different countries, and now we are saying that liberating these poor people is a "noble cause", then please tell me which country we will be liberating next from the horrible leadership of THEIR dictators (read more here): Sudan, North Korea, Burma, China, Saudi Arabia (!!), Libya, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Zimbabwe, or Equatorial Guinea?

Oh, just an FYI... in 2003, Saddam was only #3 on the list -- there were two dictators WORSE than he was... why didn't we go after them? #1 was North Korea, and #2 was SAUDI ARABIA. You remember that country? The same one who provided us with 9/11 TERRORISTS.

If being "noble" means going into other countries, capturing their dictator, and helping them rebuild... and this is NOT a personal agenda for Bush and cronies, then tell me which country is next... and then tell me what happened to the "war on terror" because that is what has been shoved down my throat since 9/11 and I'm still waiting to hear how we are winning that.

Osama bin Laden was more of a threat to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA than Saddam was... how did we get off track?

Tell me again... how does liberating IRAQ help us with the terrorists from Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan?

Do they need small words and pictures too?

Today's media hot discussion is regarding Bush's explanation and justification for his need to eavesdrop and wiretap... he thinks it will help prevent another 9/11...????

Okay, am I the only one who remembers the daily report Rice brought to Bush in Crawford which stated something like... "bin Laden plans to attack US"? Didn't it even mention the use of hijacked planes?

So, if Bush ignores information already provided to him (legally), then what would he do with more?

Considering so many previous explanations used to put us in Iraq have turned out to be less than reliable, I find it really difficult to trust Bush's justifications about anything. This feels "icky", "Big Brother", and a lot like what countries WITHOUT democracy have to deal with in their daily lives...

So here are my requests for our government to prevent another 9/11...
  • Find a President with his/her own brain (not a Rove brain).
  • Provide a cabinet with their own brains, consciences, and voices... do not place puppets in those positions because they know how to suck up.
  • When experts in their fields come to the President with their opinions and suggestions, LISTEN TO THEM. Don't remove them and replcce them with aforementioned SUCK UPS.

This is just a start...I'm sure you can come up with others...?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

More "clueless"--HOW COULD THEY?

I find it unbelievable that these people haven't figured out that what they say can be recorded (audio, video, reporters, whatever)! Are they so smug and arrogant that they don't care what Americans think? Or are they so ignorant that they don't even realize that what is coming out of their mouths is so unbelievably offensive? In previous blogs, I've listed Barbara Bush's comment about how much better off Katrina's victims are, how God helped America clean up public housing and how being in a homeless shelter is like "camping" , how Laura Bush cannot even remember the name of the Hurricane that caused so much destruction, and more.

Now I've discovered a collection of them on About.com! It includes:
"I also want to encourage anybody who was affected by Hurricane Corina to make sure their children are in school." –First Lady Laura Bush, twice referring to a "Hurricane Corina" while speaking to children and parents in South Haven, Mississippi, Sept. 8, 2005 (Source)

"I don't want to alarm everybody that, you know, New Orleans is filling up like a bowl. That's just not happening." -Bill Lokey, FEMA's New Orleans coordinator, in a press briefing from Baton Rouge, Aug. 30, 2005 (Source)

"I understand there are 10,000 people dead. It's terrible. It's tragic. But in a democracy of 300 million people, over years and years and years, these things happen." --GOP strategist Jack Burkman, on MSNBC's "Connected," Sept. 7, 2005 (Source)
In addition, check out:
Hurricane Katrina: Political Humor
Late-Night Comedians on Hurricane Katrina
Bush and Katrina: Cartoons and Parodies

GREAT resource!

If you haven't signed at http://www.makethemaccountable.com/, then I highly recommend that you do so as soon as you can. Their updates include a concise summary of multiple areas of interest to us all and the sources are available. Examples of recent information provided include:

Twenty Things We Now Know Four Years After 9/11

FEMA's Blocking Of Relief Efforts - An Amazing List

G.O.P. Sees Opportunities Arising From Storm

Letter to those who voted for Bush...

To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush:
On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel?

How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows?

That's right. Horse shows.

I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.

Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer?

When you look at Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, a man with little experience in national security, do you feel secure?

When men who never served in the military and have never seen young men die in battle send our young people off to war, do you think they know how to conduct a war? Do they know what it means to have your legs blown off for a threat that was never there?

Do you really believe that turning over important government services to private corporations has resulted in better services for the people?

Why do you hate our federal government so much? You have voted for politicians for the past 25 years whose main goal has been to de-fund the federal government. Do you think that cutting federal programs like FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been good or bad for America? GOOD OR BAD?

With the nation's debt at an all-time high, do you think tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea? Will you give yours back so hundreds of thousands of homeless in New Orleans can have a home?

Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us? Hurricane Katrina came in and blew off the facade that we were a nation with liberty and justice for all. The wind howled and the water rose and what was revealed was that the poor in America shall be left to suffer and die while the President of the United States fiddles and tells them to eat cake.

That's not a joke. The day the hurricane hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water.

It would take ANOTHER day before the President would do a flyover in his jumbo jet, peeking out the widow at the misery 2500 feet below him as he flew back to his second home in DC. It would then be TWO MORE DAYS before a trickle of federal aid and troops would arrive. This was no seven minutes in a sitting trance while children read "My Pet Goat" to him. This was FOUR DAYS of doing nothing other than saying "Brownie (FEMA director Michael Brown), you're doing a heck of a job!"

My Republican friends, does it bother you that we are the laughing stock of the world?

And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain?

Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters. We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together. The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever.

Are we safe? Do you really feel safe? You can only move so far out and build so many gated communities before the fruit of what you've sown will be crashing through your walls and demanding retribution. Do you really want to wait until that happens? Or is it your hope that if they are left alone long enough to soil themselves and shoot themselves and drown in the filth that fills the street that maybe the problem will somehow go away?

I know you know better. You gave the country and the world a man who wasn't up for the job and all he does is hire people who aren't up for the job. You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans. Please fix it. Bush is yours. And you know, for our peace and safety and security, this has to be fixed. What do you propose?

I have an idea, and it isn't a horse show.

Yours,
Michael Moore
www.michaelmoore.com
mmflint@aol.com

Friday, September 09, 2005

Even Bushes benefit from NOLA flood!

If you were in charge, where would you focus your resources?

I know little to nothing about hurricanes, Louisiana, weather, etc. but even this seems wrong to me.

Take a look at which parishes which Bush DID declare "emergencies" pre-Katrina... tell me if it makes sense to you...

Dear God...

Please send a lightening bolt down here to shock some humanity into these people who are using you to justify their greed, racism, and lack of souls.

Latest:
Representative Baker (R) of Baton Rouge is overheard telling lobbyists:

"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

Baker explains later he didn't intend flippancy but has long wanted to improve low-income housing.

Latest #2:
Following the lead of Barbara Bush, another Republican cannot restrain his pleasure as to how much better off the Hurricane survivors are, now that they are homeless. Not only are they "better off" in shelters, but now the children should be having fun because it's like camping!

While on the tour with top administration officials from Washington, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, DeLay stopped to chat with three young boys resting on cots. The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked,

"Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?"


Please let this be the end of it!

You'd think she'd get this right...

I didn't want to believe it... First Lady Laura Bush showed how much she cares about the victims of Hurricane Cor-Kar-Ker... uh, Corina?

Brownie doesn't know that people are in the convention center...
Bushie doesn't know that the levees were at risk...

And Laura doesn't even know the NAME of the Hurricane which cost the lives of thousands, the homes and jobs of hundreds of thousands, and will cost America hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars?

1st reference to Hurricane "Corrina"
2nd reference to Hurricane "Corrina"


How can Americans continue to believe that this regime truly cares about what happens to the "little" people?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Can we spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y?

THINK ABOUT IT!!

Regarding MANDATORY Evacuation...

All those people who are complaining about how the National Guard should have enforced the evacuation... has that EVER been done before?

If that is the way that America wants it to go, then we need to acknowledge that we have just called for the creation of a legal precedent where, upon a declaration of a state of emergency, the federal government can bring in the National Guard to remove you from your home by force.

Anyone, anywhere.

No just poor and/or dark people.

You.

THINK ABOUT IT.

And if you think this is overreacting, then where were you when the government just redefined "eminent domain"? That didn't seem to go over very well with citizens... they weren't worried that the government would TAKE ADVANTAGE of that ruling, were they?

Christians?

How can so many representatives of the Republican Right (those who claim the title of "Christians") react in such unChristianlike behavior when they disagree with others? From childhood, Christians are taught to "turning the other cheek" (Matthew 5:39) and forgiving "seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21-22). (For more instructions from God regarding forgiveness, see Forgive! ) Most of us have been taught that what is forbidden is the taking of vengeance (Romans 12:17-21), bitterness (Ephesians 4:31), and retaliation (1 Peter 2:23). These are absolutely forbidden by Jesus and the apostles.

So, why aren't the Republican Right, these "Christians" denouncing LOUDLY their representatives and their blatantly unChristian behaviors?

Where was the condemnation for Larry Northern of Texas who mowed down the crosses erected for the Americans who were killed in Iraq?

Why aren't they challenging the politicians who have blatantly funneled funds into pork projects while neglecting the children, the elderly, the ill, and the poor?

How can the wealthy and corporations continue to receive tax cuts while our teachers are having to buy their own school supplies out of paychecks which are smaller than they were ten years ago?

How can they allow Americans to die from illnesses, when they would have lived had they only been able to afford the medical treatments they needed?

I'm sure that others can provide more examples of how these so-called Christians have forgotten what God has taught us...

My favorite bumper sticker today:
Jesus to Bush: "Stop Using Me As A Reference!"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Does anybody remember the phrase "Compassionate Conservatives"?

I've become more and more frustrated at how the Republican conservatives claim their Christian identity, as if they are on some type of higher ground than Democrats.

Like sheep, they bleet the same thing over and over again... "Prayer In Schools" (I'm thinking, what about prayer in homes?), "Make Abortions Illegal" (I'm thinking, why not focus on forcing "deadbeat parents" to pay their child support? Put forth effort for employment and education which allows families to support themselves? Work on providing affordable health care?), and similar messages which don't make sense.

So, if the Republican right feel as if they are the true Christians, then what do they think about the following:
Christian Principles
The Christian Paradox: How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong
God's Politics: Why the Right gets it Wrong, and the Left doesn't get it

The Republican Right seem to feel that they have the claim on Christianity, they keep refering to their personal guidance from God and Jesus, repeatedly state "God bless you", and tell us all how they are "praying" for the families they've shattered through their decisions and policies...

Please consider the following:

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits."

Matthew 7:15-20

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."

Galatians 5:22-23

"False Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, as so to mislead, if possible, even the elect."

Matthew 24:24

"For what is really sad is you and your lying. You are twisting My words and inventing 'Messages from the Almighty' that I didn't speak."

Jeremiah 23:9-36

"The ancient prophets who preceded you and me spoke against many nations, always warning of war, famine and plague. So a prophet who foretells peace has the burden of proof on him to prove that God has really sent him."

Jeremiah 28:8-9

"And what sadness is ahead for those praised by the crowds - for false prophets have always been praised!"

Luke 6:26

They'd help us if we'd let them...

[snip] Offers of foreign aid worth tens of millions of dollars -- including a Swedish water purification system, a German cellular telephone network and two Canadian rescue ships -- have been delayed for days awaiting review by backlogged federal agencies, according to European diplomats and information collected by the State Department.

Since Hurricane Katrina, more than 90 countries and international organizations offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements, in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For the full story:
Offers of Aid Immediate, but U.S. Approval Delayed for Days
By Elizabeth WilliamsonWashington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 7, 2005; Page A01

Smoke signals?

FEMA went around town posting up fliers with their telephone number and website address... "contact us for help", they announced.

Ummm... these areas have no phones and no electricity.

Can FEMA be any more worthless?

Please don't answer that...

For the full story, check out "Is FEMA really so obtuse?"

More FEMA Failures...if you can stomach it.

HASTERT: Remember this name...

Dennis Sastert is the Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives. You may recognize him as the insensitive jerk who suggested "bulldozing New Orleans"-- while other Americans were still focusing on the thousands of people screaming for water, for food, and for rescue. Great timing.

But what you might not be aware of is that he is also the one who takes credit for bailing out “Illinois farmers and ranchers struggling due to the drought.”

So, if you don't get rain, you deserve federal assistance. But if you get flooded out, it's not worth investing to rebuild? Does it have something to do with most farmers in Illinois are white and most victims of Hurricane Katrina are black? I'll let you come to your own conclusions on that.

But there is even more about Hastert that you should be aware of... the same person who doesn't think that one of the most vital port areas of the United States should be rebuilt is responsible for a $207 million "prairie highway" in his own district. Can anybody spell P-O-R-K?

For more, check out Hastert puts the Hippo in Hypocrisy.

Don't you feel safer now...?

One of the big messages of the last election is "how much safer we are" because of Bush's leadership. He's fighting them "there" instead of "here" (even if we aren't fighting the original terrorists, just the ones we've created) and he created Homeland Security. I've been hearing of all of those Homeland Security grants which allow emergency departments (fire, police, etc.) access to new computers, filibraters, etc. Yee hah. I'm so much safer.

Tell that to the people in Louisiana... after all of the knowledge given to Bush about the REAL potential of a disaster, he ignored it. Instead he put his buddy's college roommate in charge of FEMA, removed critical dollars needed to protect a region which is critical to distribution of goods and oil, and ignores the cries for help when they come from Democrats. Do you honestly think Jeb would have been ignored and blamed for a similar situation? Hardly.

How much more suffering do Americans need to experience before we can get rid of the guy? How much more blatant abuse of power can one guy get away with?

I don't feel safer at all... I'm very frightened for America.

Killing two birds with one stone...

Question: How can we increase military recruitment numbers AND locate employment for thousands of displaced Hurricane Katrina Victims?

Answer: Recruit the unemployed victims for the military!

I haven't been able to find a solid source for this yet, so hopefully this is just a rumor [I will update this as soon as I find out otherwise] .

UPDATE: I've only located a reference to the Army posting a
telephone number. If that is all it is, then it would be petty to
complain! I'm hoping that is all it is...

In the meantime, may I suggest you contact your representatives at www.congress.org and tell them how insulting and distasteful this would be? "Call for a real jobs program which employs people to reconstruct the entire Gulf Coast region for the benefit of those in need, not to pander to corporate greed!"


NO SCAVENGING THE GULF COAST CRISIS TO BOOST THE DEPLETED RANKS OF THE MILITARY!

Stop the military from preying upon the vulnerable!

...Doling out food to the hungry crowds overflowing Houston's Astrodome, the National Guard has engaged in ad hoc recruiting in recent days.

Tomorrow, September 7, 2005, the U.S. military is conducting a Job Fair in the Astrodome in a blatant effort to exploit the despair of masses of Americans evacuated from the Gulf Coast. Once signed up, even if purportedly to reconstruct their region, they could easily find themselves deployed to Iraq... And if they sign up on the promise of temporary relief, they could find themselves bound for extended tours of duty.

Halliburton's purse already filling up...

Well, I must say that I anticipated this... probably along with many others. Let's see, Bush takes money AWAY from America's needs and spend "re-building" Iraq (with Halliburton's "help"). He ignores documented need to avoid catastrophe in Louisiana because there isn't enough money to fix the levies, after sending so much to Iraq (not including the tax-cuts to the rich). When the disaster does hit, who are the first to benefit?

CORPORATIONS... Oil and Halliburton.

Is anybody surprised?

KBR wins Katrina repair contracts
By Lolita C. Baldor [Associated Press]
A Halliburton Co. subsidiary, that has come under fire for its reconstruction work in Iraq, has begun tapping a $500 million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities that were battered by Hurricane Katrina.
[Full story here.]

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

We should ALL be flooded out of our jobs and homes!


I am having a bit of a struggle posting the following about Mrs. Bush (Sr.). She's a senior citizen and I've been brought up to respect my elders. She's a mother and a grandmother and a great grandmother. How much more warm and fuzzy can someone get? She wears PEARLS, for goodness sake!

But can she truly be this cold-hearted, insensitive, and IGNORANT?

In the past, I've shared a previous statement by this "lady" that really upset me. I researched it first because I couldn't BELIEVE it to be true:
“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it’s going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it’s, not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

Barbara Bush uttered that inappropriate and insensitive statement on March 18, 2003, on ABC/Good Morning America. (Also referenced here and here.) I dare her to make THAT statement to MY face, I don't care HOW old she is or how much of a "lady" she's supposed to be, I dare her. By God, I want her to FOCUS her so-called "beautiful mind" on body bags every damn day until they stop coming home. I can take her to my brother's gravesite to show her how DAMN relevant it is.

So, why should it be any surprise that Barbara Bush would make yet ANOTHER completely ignorant statement regarding the other victims of her son's gross mismanagement...

In reference to the evacuated survivors of Hurricane Katrina staying at the Astrodome in Houston, Barbara Bush shared her perspective:
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this (she chuckled slightly) --this is working very well for them."

No matter how you justify it, take it into "context", etc., this comment portrays an appalling lack of awareness. Does anybody in New Orleans want her to explain how well this has worked for them? I think I'd probably need some help from her to break it down for me...

No wonder George is an antisocial pychopath, if this is the nurturing compassionate woman who raised him. He may have been better off with wolves.

I'm not usually so ANGRY but I'm getting tired of watching Americans struggle, suffer, and even die as a result of policies and decisions made by Bush and Co..

Monday, September 05, 2005

How Bush/FEMA/Homeland Security accepts offers of help from Americans...

By now, most of you have heard various anecdotes about the airboaters turned away, the immediate assistance to the OIL corporations, Bush's staged photo-op, how Canada was refused entry into the United States to help us, and the failed food delivery-- among many other examples of the worst response to the worst disaster in American history.

If you can stomach more, here are testimonials from others who tried to provide assistance to the Hurricane Katrina victims:

Firefighters offered help...

[snip] Bill is a member of a volunteer firefighter team in the Houston area. He and his team have a lot of experience helping after hurricanes. And they also have special expertise -- a lot of them work for a living on oil infrastructure and repairs. Bill is a professional logistics expert whose assignments have included getting a client's tsunami-flattened distribution facility back operating within a couple of weeks, and pre-invasion logistics
work in Kuwait.

On Monday night, his group assembled their rescue equipment and tools, and packed them into their boats along with all the emergency supplies they could carry. By Tuesday morning, they were almost to New Orleans.

"We were stopped at gunpoint by FEMA and told to turn back," he told me. When I asked, he clarified that they did not point the guns at them, but they were carrying and displaying their weapons.


Disaster relief expert offered help...

[snip] Over the years I have worked in and out of government to solve communications and technical problems, save lives and help where possible. I was managing director of a Russian-American telephone company providing rapid communications in the former Soviet Union and have helped with disaster communications projects around the world. This is the first time I have ever encountered this unbelievable kind of absolutely uncaring, Washington/political two-step. When the storm approached the Gulf coast I called offering simple suggestions to government types (since this was obviously from all reports going to be a terrible storm) of how to bring communications systems up as soon as the storm passed. I recommended bringing in Blimps with portable cell transceivers and VHF, UHF and other types of broadcast equipment and also equipment to aid in the search and rescue effort. No one was interested.

When the storm hit and everyone knew the worst had happened, I contacted the Red Cross, (someone there hung up on me) and then FEMA where someone told me it was all up to the DOD -- and I wondered why the Pentagon was in charge of FEMA? I was also told that FEMA was being privatized and a number of the experienced staff trained in hurricane relief had been told they had to resign from FEMA and then be rehired by the private company.


Unused equipment

Nine stockpiles of fire-and-rescue equipment strategically placed around the country to be used in the event of a catastrophe still have not been pressed into service in New Orleans, five days after Hurricane Katrina, CNN has learned.

Responding to a CNN inquiry, Department of Homeland security spokesman Marc Short said Friday the gear has not been moved because none of the governors in the hurricane-ravaged area has requested it.



National Guard delays

Maj. Gen. Thomas Cutler, who leads the Michigan National Guard, said he anticipated a call for police units and started preparing them, but couldn't go until states in the hurricane zone asked them to come.

"We could have had people on the road Tuesday," Cutler said. "We have to wait and respond to their need."


300 Ambulances refused

BREAUX: Somebody has to say look, we're sending food. We're sending troops. We're sending boats. We're sending helicopters because we can see that it's a big disaster. I had an example of an ambulance, American Ambulance Association said, look, we have 300 ambulances three days ago they wanted to send down there from a Florida area. They said, well, we were told we had to have GSA's permission. GSA said they had to have FEMA ask for it. As a result they weren't sent.

U.S. Forest Service offered water tanker aircraft

"I understand that the U.S. Forest Service had water-tanker aircraft available to help douse the fires raging on our riverfront, but FEMA has yet to accept the aid. When Amtrak offered trains to evacuate significant numbers of victims - far more efficiently than buses - FEMA again dragged its feet. Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency."

Relief convoy from VA turned away

A caravan of Loudoun County sheriff's deputies, loaded with
supplies and volunteers willing to assist police in Louisiana in maintaining order, never made it out of Virginia after the sheriff said bureaucratic delays forced them to turn around early Friday.

Chicago turned away

A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.

Even the U.N repeatedly is offering assistance ...
[snip] Dateline: September 2, 2005

Secretary-General Kofi Annan phoned United States President George
W. Bush today to reiterate his offer of United Nations aid for the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, while the world body’s entire emergency relief system went on standby for a possible request for help in the huge disaster.

As of now UN agencies are ready to provide water storage tanks, water purification tablets, high-energy biscuits, generators, planes, tents, and other emergency supplies, as well as experienced staff members."



There are more and more stories that sound just like these...
Democratic Underground has a list.
DailyKos is discussing it here and here.

The alarm is going off... don't let them continue to ignore it!

Our representatives in Congress are supposed to represent Americans. One of the reasons they have been allowed themselves to forget that they represent the citizens and OUR needs is because we cannot give the millions and millions of dollars they need... unlike the corporations. They need to be reminded that we are still here, we are paying attention, and we are not going to take it any more! Remind them that their jobs are on the line! That millions of Americans have MORE power than millions of dollars!

Write to Congress.org and remind them that those days are OVER...

Here is a great letter that summarizes the last few years, sent by someone in Woodland Hills, CA to his representatives.

This letter is amusing... the author is stating the obvious (except he doesn't hold Bush accountable) and finishes up with:
"If the Republicans do not do something about this, then you can bet the Democrats will and they will be back in charge which would be disaster for our country."

And that "disaster" would be WORSE than the one we are in NOW?? Oh, PLEASE!!

Time for A Congressional Take-Over

The Mighty Middle
Saturday, September 3. 2005
Time For A Congressional Take-Over.

More often than not I find myself joining the people who call for us to put aside recrimination and political blame-mongering in a crisis. Not this time. We delayed the fault-finding on 9/11, we delayed the fault-finding on Iraq, and in both cases we were stonewalled by the Bush White House, lied to, condescended to, treated, as the old joke goes, like mushrooms: kept in the dark and fed manure.

George W. Bush appointed as head of FEMA a man who had spent the previous 11 years pimping for wealthy horse breeders. That's not just a mistake. That's not just bad judgment. That is malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance all rolled into one big, arrogant "screw you." This is contempt for the most fundamental role of government: safeguarding the lives of American citizens. FEMA head Mike Brown is a man completely over his head in this crisis. Not his fault. If you hire the head of the Kennel Club as Secretary of Defense you cannot then be surprised if the Army goes to the dogs. Hiring this unqualified man to head this vital front-line agency, FEMA, is not a crime, but it is criminally stupid, negligent and contemptuous. It does not rise to the level of impeachable offense under our Constitution. But it should.

We have put up with enough from this administration…

The Constitution did not create the modern version of the office of the Presidency. That evolved. The Framers were of the opinion that the Congress would be the dominant branch of government. It is time to return to that model. Now. Right now.

Congress could, by setting aside party and ignoring the White House, take control of national politics. Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate could simply bypass the White House by passing legislation with a Presidential signature, or over a Presidential veto. It is time for Democratic and Republican leaders to work out a bipartisan, pragmatic, real-world agenda for the next three years. To do something about infrastructure. To do something about our slavish dependency on foreign oil. To do something about environment. To do something about health care. To do something about our uncontrollable borders. To use the budgetary power to take over the running of American foreign policy…

Dear Congress: Forget party. Forget this White House. Fix this country.

Posted by Michael Reynolds

Yeah, what HE said...
Tell YOUR Congress representative what YOU think!

What's floating under the oil slick?

Pumping Us Dry
Katrina tragedy is an absolutely perfect storm for oil companies
by James Ridgeway
September 2nd, 2005 9:06 PM

The very first thing George W. Bush did in response to Hurricane Katrina was to offer a helping hand—not to the people stranded on rooftops in New Orleans, but to his friends in the oil industry. These were the same people who gave him $52 million in his last campaign. The president released millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve so the oil companies would have enough fuel to make gas and keep the country going. But the companies don't need this oil. They're already swimming in it.

Pouring more oil into the marketplace didn't reduce gasoline prices, which kept on going up, hitting $4 a gallon in some places.

While crude oil production doubtless was curtailed by the storm, the companies face a surplus, not a shortage, of crude oil. So why dump more on the market?

[Good question... read more here...]

For those who still have doubts...

Some people think that those of us who are saying that Bush has some accountability in the Hurricane Katrina's recent destruction and inadequate federal response. It would help if they did their homework and researched the following:

Engineers' Warnings and Pleas for Money Went Unheeded
Assistant Army Secretary Forced Out
White House Blistered Army Corps Chief In Memo Before Firing
Ex-Army Corps Officials Say Budget Cuts Imperiled Flood Mitigation Efforts
FEMA Head Forced to Resign From Last Job
Ex-officials say weakened FEMA botched response
Gov. Blanco Requested Federal Aid from Bush on Sunday, August 28th - 2 Days Before Katrina Struck

But we can't expect sheep to learn how to do much more than "follow their shepherd", can we...?

Another way to help Katrina survivors...

A great idea (shared by MakeThemAccountable.com):

How better to celebrate Labor Day than to find a creative way to help the people in the devastated areas?

Chicago classical radio station WFMT announced this morning that the Elgin, IL symphony orchestra will be giving a concert to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims this week. Click here for more information.

Officials of the Elgin Symphony told WFMT host Lisa Flynn that symphony orchestras across the nation have “adopted” Louisiana classical musicians, brought them to the town where the symphony is located, and given them jobs so that they can support themselves and their families for the eight months to a year it will take to get back to their jobs in Louisiana. Check it out at Adaptistration blog of Drew McManus. IT’S A WONDERFUL IDEA!

The thought struck me that other professions could do something similar—teachers’ unions could work with teachers, law firms could give lawyers temporary jobs, accounting firms could give jobs to accountants, and so on. EVERY PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION OF ANY KIND COULD HELP.

To help those who don’t have a profession, churches could adopt families, which I understand they are in the process of doing, though I don’t have any examples at the moment.

I hope you will find a way to publicize these efforts and pass the ideas on to as many people as possible.

[PASS THIS ON!!]

Sunday, September 04, 2005

How can we help Katrina survivors?

Here are some locations to consider... and don't forget about Skippy's Challenge below!

My personal recommendations for direct donations:
Network for Good (It's a great organized list of official locations to support assistance with housing, food, books, school supplies, pets and more.)
The United Methodist Committee on Relief
Red Cross.org
Best Buy (will match your in-store and online donations!)
Liberal Blogs for Hurricane Relief

Recommended by Jerry: American Anglican Council

Lists (includes some duplications):

DC Media Girl's list has phone numbers also...
Give.org's Katrina's list Please note that this list includes both charities that meet BBB standards and those that do not meet standards. See below for more information.)
FEMA's list
Instapundit.com's list includes corporate information and a HUGE list of recommendations...
Craig's List also includes contacts to donate housing and service.

The SKIPPY Challenge! For those of us who BLOG! When you make a donation (anywhere you make it), add one cent to your donation ($100.01, $20.01, etc.) and let everyone know where the donation came from ("blogtopia"). After you donate, let Skippy know! The purpose of this mission is to make a statement that bloggers, whether red or blue or purple or whatever, are AMERICAN and we want to help our fellow AMERICANS. PASS THIS ON!!

Before you donate,
...it is strongly encouraged that individuals check out Give.org to determine qualifications and legitimacy of any charitable donations. This resource is provided by the Better Business Bureau. Keep in mind, con artists are more than willing to take advantage of our compassion brought out following a tragedy of this magnitude. Make sure your donation is directed to where you want it to be directed, and choose charities who utilize the most of your donation.

MY PERSONAL OPINION:
As of Sept. 1, FEMA was directing donations to Operation Blessing. The chair of Operation Blessing is M.G. Robertson, aka Marion Gordon Robertson, aka Pat Robertson. Rev. Pat's wife DeDe and son Gordon are also on the board as well. Before you consider donating to Operation Blessing, I strongly suggest you research the individuals and the organization. A couple of places to start: Sploid.com and Rotten.com.

IF YOU HAVE OTHER SUGGESTIONS, please share them!

"Mighty Resolute Leader of Oz has been revealed"

[snip] "From the day Bush entered office; many of us were stunned by what we saw as a combination of obvious lies and blinding lack of common sense. Now that everyone can see it, the temptation is to deliver a few swift kicks to tender parts of his anatomy. Maybe more than a few. I can understand how you might want to smack him around a little. Maybe slap him until he stops that freakish, idiotic little half-chuckle at the end of every single sentence. Okay, I can understand the temptation to strip him naked, soak him five days in a mix of petrochemicals and raw sewage, and leave him floating along Canal Street with a Purina Rat Chow sign strung around his neck.

But don't give into temptation. Forget him."

Read the full diary at "Forget About Bush". There are not any words which can adequately describe the fun I had reading this diary. I haven't even dared to think these thoughts -- much less expressed them out loud or in public! But it totally states how I feel... in a much better manner than I ever could!

Enough is enough...

The "Times-Picayune" is calling for the firing of FEMA Director, Michael Brown. Their demand makes perfect sense...

The sad part about it is how many Americans have been crying out for accountability for years... the truth behind 9/11, the truth behind the "War on Terror", the truth about why are we in Iraq, the truth about the "elections", and more.

We've been trying to get America to notice how Bush eliminates advisors who dare to contradict his agenda... how he rewards incompetent and unqualified individuals to high positions due to donations and boot-licking.

Is it any wonder that our country is in so much trouble? Our level of poverty , the costs of health care/utilities/fuel are increasing by leaps and bounds. (While tax cuts for the rich flow like honey...) Like Chinese water torture, we find out about the soldiers being killed in Iraq... a couple here, a handful there. It took something as traumatic and horrific as Hurricane to wake us up!

What can one person do? First of all, for immediate needs, donate donate donate. (I'll post more information about how as soon as I can, I'm doing research now...)

But most of all... become informed and educated about what is going on. This is no time to stay ignorant and apathetic. I live in a small rural town... the odds of a disaster or terrorist strike hitting here are slim to none. How about you? Do you want to wait until disaster strikes YOU before you say "enough is enough"? Check out the websites listed here, read the articles, check out the sources, become familiar with the individuals involved, get to KNOW them and what type of people they are... (Where is Karl Rove, by the way? We haven't heard from Dick Cheney because he JUST left Wyoming!) If you are Republican and pro-Bush, please take the time to research exactly what you are supporting. Our country and our citizens deserve the donation of your time, intelligence, and diligence.

After you become informed, then please educate others. Contact your representatives. Tell them that "enough is enough" and it's time to start doing their jobs. No more "playing politics", GET TO WORK. And they work for US.

The next tragedy may be YOUR hometown or YOUR loved ones. How much is too much? How loud must the alarm be before America finally wakes up?

"Bring Our Troops Home!"

Music to my ears...or "It's about time!"

The Rebellion of the Talking Heads
Newscasters, sick of official lies and stonewalling, finally start snarling.

One of the many frustrations voiced by those of us who have questions for Bush & Co. is the passiveness of the media and their avoidance of "hard questions". It's as if our journalists have decided to become the PR firm for the administration.

Imagine the surprise and joy as we witness the "winds of change", as we see the typically mild interviews transforming into direct questions and insistence upon direct answers.

A good summary containing snippets of such moments (and links to the full interviews) can be found at The Rebellion of the Talking Heads at Slate.com. The journalists who are stepping away from the previous "comfort zone" include CNN's Anderson Cooper, NPR's Robert Siegel, CNN's Miles O'Brien, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, and CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

My favorite quote (from "My Pet Goat: The Sequel" by Greg Mitchell):

"This is not mere incompetence, but dereliction of duty. The press should call it by its proper name."

"Mama, somebody's comin' to get you..."

If you didn't see Tim Russert's Meet The Press, where Mr. Russert interviewed the president of Jefferson Parish (similar to a mayor in our towns?), please check this out. Watch the video if you can, at least read the words. Put yourself in the position of this man.

Parish president sheds outrage, tears
By MICHAEL PRECKER / The Dallas Morning News

Weeping on national television, Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard told a heartbreaking story Sunday of a woman who pleaded for help but drowned before it came.

It was a single tale from a week of tragedies, and focusing on her quickly changed Mr. Broussard's tone from angry accusation to uncontrollable tears.

On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning, Mr. Broussard complained bitterly about the slow federal response to the New Orleans flood, demanding investigations and resignations.

"We have been abandoned by our own country," Mr. Broussard said.

"Whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chain-sawed off, and we've got to start with some new leadership."

Asked by host Tim Russert whether state and local officials deserved more of the blame, he replied, "They were told like me, every single day, 'The cavalry's coming,' on a federal level, 'The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming.'

"I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry," Mr. Broussard said. "The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out."

The parish president praised Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, the National Guard and legions of rescue workers. But he was particularly critical of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mr. Broussard said FEMA turned away three trailer trucks of water that Wal-Mart sent to New Orleans before the hurricane, refused to allow the Coast Guard to deliver diesel fuel to his parish and cut off emergency communication lines without notice.

He said that Sheriff Harry Lee reconnected the lines Saturday and posted armed guards to protect them.

Mr. Broussard quoted the sheriff as saying that if the "American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis."

The parish president pleaded for help. "Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody."

There was no immediate response from FEMA to the criticism.

Then Mr. Broussard put it all on a personal level. He said the man who runs the building where he is based spoke every day last week to his mother, who was trapped in a nursing home in St. Bernard, near the city.
"Every day she called him and said, 'Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?'

"And he said, 'Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday.' "

Breaking into sobs, Mr. Broussard said, "And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night."

E-mail mprecker@dallasnews.com

Complete transcript available, including the interview with Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff.

A Besieged-in-Crawford Reading List for the President

[snip] "As the berms go up and the universe closes in, what the President really needs is a genuinely useful summer-of-Cindy reading list and, as a longtime editor in publishing, I decided I could provide exactly that. So I took an informal survey of editors and writers I know, asking for their thoughts on a presidential reading list that might bring closure to George's beleaguered August. The books, I suggested, should be attention-grabbing, informative, and above all utilitarian."

For the list, check his article out!

by Tom Engelhardt
August 22, 2005

More lies?

As long as Americans continue to allow the wool to be pulled over their eyes and as long as we do not demand accountability, this administration will continue to treat us as stupid little children. "Because I said so" seems to be a favorite response. Don't get me wrong... I use that phrase with my children myself! But our home is NOT a democracy (sorry to break it to you, kids!).

Another favorite response is "It's not my fault". Well, I'm used to it when one child is caught misbehaving, that child tries to distract me by telling me what another did. I know better than to get sucked into that game. Unfortunately, American citizens as a whole are still letting this administration to do it to them.

But to FAKE responsibility, compassion, and hard work (don't you love that phrase anymore?) is NOT acceptable. It's LYING. And that should NOT be acceptable to Americans.

Recent example... according to a press release from Senator Mary Landreiu (D, LA) and other media, Bush completely staged a photo op showing levy repair and food distribution.

[snip] "Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment."

We let the "Mission Accomplished" photo op get by and God knows how many others... must we allow this to continue? Don't we expect honesty from our government?

I guess I already know the answer to that. Never mind.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Clueless: Some of us are NOT surprised!

From the Washington Monthly "Political Animal" by Kevin Drum
(Sources of quotes available via links, just in case you have doubts about the accuracy!)

CLUELESS....Could the people in charge of managing the catastrophe in New Orleans possibly be more clueless?

George W. Bush, President of the United States, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina: "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, following widespread eyewitness reports of refugees living like animals at the Convention Center: "I have not heard a report of thousands of people in the Convention Center who don't have food and water."

Mike Brown, Director of FEMA, referring to people who were stuck in New Orleans largely because they were too poor to afford the means to leave: "...those who are stranded, who chose not to evacuate, who chose not to leave the city..."

Patrick Rhode, deputy director of FEMA, commenting on his agency's performance after four days of steadily increasing urban warfare, deeply flawed coordination, and continuing inability to evacuate refugees: "Probably one of the most efficient and effective responses in the country's history."

Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, providing needed reassurance to the newly homeless: "It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level....It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed."

This is beyond belief. What's with these people?

UPDATE: Another gem from Julie at Red State Rebels... and I have to admit that this one DID surprise me...

George W. Bush stated:
"The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

Many others are noticing Bush's continuous failure to grasp tragedy and history . I wish all of the people who are still worshiping at the Bush altar would review these observations before gushing their praise and accolades for what a great job this man is doing for us...

Third Millennial Prayer for Children

Third Millennial Prayer for Children
by Marian Wright Edelman

O God of all time
Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and eternity
Give us courage in our lifetimes
To make war on war
Which leaves behind waifs and widows
Rubble of spirit, home, and community.

Mothers, grandmothers, and all with a mothering spirit
Let us declare and demand:
No more war
No more violence and abuse
No more killing of our young.

O God of yesterday, today, tomorrow, and eternity
Our dwelling place in all generations
Give us courage to sow seeds of life and hope for the future
And to fight with all our moral might for justice for every child
Help us to pluck the thorns of despair from our children’s lives.

Mothers, grandmothers, and all with a mothering spirit
Let us declare and demand:
No more hunger
No more homelessness
No more poverty.

O God of yesterday, every child’s history
O God of today, every child’s birthright
O God of tomorrow, every child’s inheritance
O God of eternity, every child’s hope
Lift our voices against the spiritual and cultural pollution
Which leave dreamless and purposeless the fruit of our wombs.
Mothers, grandmothers, and all with a mothering spirit
Let us stand together and build a world fit for children
Calling all to serve, to care, and to act to leave no child behind.

A moment of Prayer

A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless you with Discomfort…
at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with Anger…
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for Justice, Freedom, and Peace.
May God bless you with Tears…
to shed for those who suffer from
Pain, Rejection, Starvation, and War,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
and to turn their Pain into Joy.
And may God bless you with enough Foolishness…
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can DO what others claim cannot be done.
Amen.

Other sources for updates

There are two places where I find most of my information (not counting Tina, Sharon, Julie, Caroline, Jim, and several others who share with me). I want to share these with you also, in care you aren't aware of them.

DailyKos... it's diaries and blogs but I've found that posters will include legitimate links and sources to their information. I rely on those sources because I really try to get away from "rumors" and determine accuracy before I share the information. The discussions are huge and time-consuming but very informative. For example, here is a diary about a meteorogist who explains from HIS point of view how our federal government dropped the ball. Here is Cindy Sheehan's diary about how our movement (Gold Star Families for Peace) is addressing the tragedy. (And yes, it is my opinion that the lies, mismanagement, egos, and personal agendas that has Americans dying in Iraq also has Americans suffering and dying in Mississippi and Louisiana. How many more Americans need to die before we demand a change in our leadership?)

MakeThemAccountable.com... Like DailyKos, it includes information about the source of their information. In addition, I've signed up for the newsletter and receive a summarized update about current events. One article that I found here is about the problems of evacuating the poor: "It's not that no one had thought of this problem. They just didn't consider it important enough to spend any time on."

Open Letter to Bush

Whether you love or hate Michael Moore, he does have a way with words... you really should read his letter to Bush... Moore calls it like he sees it.

In addition, you will find on his site the following:
FEMA Director attributes blame to the VICTIMS...
[snip] "I don't make judgments about why people chose not to leave but, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," he said.

FEMA prevents airboaters from rescue work...
[snip] "On standby since Monday, the pilots -- many from Central Florida -- have spent thousands of their own dollars stocking their boats and swamp buggies with food, water, medical supplies and fuel. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency will not authorize the airboaters to enter New Orleans. Without that permission, they would be subject to arrest and would not receive security and support services."

Friday, September 02, 2005

It is TOO about politics!

Despite statements from some of those "in charge" ("This isn't a time for fingerpointing, blaming, etc."), it is amazing -- and reassuring-- at how many eyes have been opened to the problems our country is having related to our leadership (or lack of). I really don't care who's fault it is or what party they belong to... it is "unacceptable" (to borrow Bush's description). The American media and the citizens are waking up to the reality of mismanagement, lies, prevailing attitudes of fear of reprisals within the government, and looking out for the rich while disregarding the poor. The people who weren't paying attention when we were saying that our military consists of a high number of low-income minorities (which makes it easier for the fat white conscience to allow them to die?) cannot ignore the tragedy taking place in New Orleans (to more low-income minorities). Maybe it's easier for American citizens to notice the cruel, negligent, and discriminating impact of these policies when thousands and thousands are suffering, rather than a handful at a time?

For more about how bad federal policies impact our country, read "A Flood Of Bad Policies".

As of this morning (9/3/05), I have noticed some of the hard-core pro-Bush talking-heads attributing responsibility to the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans. I will not deny that it seems as if there were some things that they could have done themselves (mainly coordinating transport for those who needed it prior to Hurricane Katrina) but it shouldn't replace the need of accountability for the federal failure to provide funds to repair the levies BEFORE Katrina and rescue efforts AFTER Katrina.

I'd like to share what I found on Red State Rebels (thank you, Julie!):
They're Americans, not refugees
Most of the people stranded in New Orleans and elsewhere are not refugees. They're displaced citizens of the United States. According to my Encarta dictionary, the definition of refugee is: "Somebody who is seeking of taking refuge, especially from war or persecution, by going to a foreign country."

UPDATE: This morning (9/3/05) I keep hearing the media refer to the "evacuees"... they are getting the message!

I encourage everyone to check out the following links...

Make your Demand Known To Congress: Hold Bush Accountable!
[snip] "Congress must hold this administration accountable for its mistakes and failures to adequately plan for this catastrophe, as well as delays in mounting an effective response. The vulnerabilities of New Orleans -- such as levees in desperate need of reinforcement -- were known for decades, but necessary preventative steps were never taken. Why not?"

Read letters to Congress and Bush and write your own!

Political Effects of Hurricane Katrina
[snip] "Within days of Hurricane Katrina's Aug. 29 landfall, public debate arose about the United States government's role in the preparations for and response to the storm, especially among partisans in the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties. The discussion may affect elections and legislation enacted at various levels of government."

"Man Made Disaster"
Quote to remember: "One lasting lesson that has to be drawn from the Gulf Coast's misery is that from now on, the National Guard must be treated as America's most essential homeland security force, not as some kind of military piggy bank for the Pentagon to raid for long-term overseas missions. America clearly needs a larger active-duty Army. It just as clearly needs a homeland-based National Guard that's fully prepared and ready for any domestic emergency."

Flushing out the ugly truth
[snip] "The horror in New Orleans has exposed the nation's dirty secrets of race and poverty. Americans are ready to help. Will our leaders show the way?"


FEMA Dir. Mike Brown fired from prior job at Horse Assoc
[snip] "An unmitigated, total f****** disaster." That's not a quote from Mike Brown, but rather, a quote describing him. And most disturbingly, it's not even a reference to his dismal performance as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). [NOTE: This site contains strong language.]

Fire Michael Brown as FEMA head,Rep. Wexler urges President Bush
[snip] "Wexler cited reports in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that FEMA under Brown's management inappropriately gave away $30 million in disaster relief funds to people in the Miami, Florida, area even though they were not affected by Hurricane Frances, which made landfall more than 100 miles away."

FEMA has been sharply criticized before!
[snip] August 2004 “We’re slowing the process down,” Fugate said in an interview. “A large-scale disaster will occur and there will be another hue and cry about why we were not able to get the aid faster.” And it's different now ...in what way?

It is obviously not FEMA's first screw up with this administration
[snip] "It's really quite troubling that after all of this time and after everything uncovered from the situation in Miami-Dade that the director of FEMA still says that nothing happened," said Lale Mamaux, spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton.




Thursday, September 01, 2005

GOP Values: "Let Them Eat Cake!"

He needs to get on with his life, he said...
How long will GOP allow this woman to grieve
before she starts annoying them?
Order "BUSH: THE END" bumper sticker...
Proceeds go to Red Cross!
{How ironic!}

We need our resources home in America!



Write letters to your Congress and BUSH...

Tell them that you want our HUMAN resources and our FINANCIAL resources back on American soil where they belong.

Let the troops guard OUR borders and OUR airports and OUR factories, let them help build OUR schools and OUR infrastructure.

I think Americans can promise not to suicide bomb our troops, put in land mines, etc. They will be MUCH safer here at home. And we NEED them.

Republican Priorities

Not that it surprises any of us that the same party which gave us the President who attends million dollar fundraisers or plays golf on the days American families are burying the soldiers who died in his war...

...but it is still in poor taste to push their greedy and badly timed tax cut plan while our country is going further into debt and we see no end in sight.

I am proud to be included in the party which is focusing their energy on protecting the victims of Hurricane Katrina from further pain and suffering under the harsh new bankruptcy laws.

Thank you, Julie at Red State Rebels, for bringing this to our attention!

Hurricane Katrina & Bush



Okay, I realize that holding Bush responsible for the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina may seem like I'm reaching for reasons to vilify the man... but we need to recognize the impact upon our country by his poor leadership. How much more are we willing to sacrifice for his personal agenda? How much longer can we pretend the emperor has NO CLOTHES?

Our National Guard was designed to protect our country (on AMERICAN soil) during times like this. Louisiana has perhaps 7,000 National Guard Members CURRENTLY in Iraq. Idaho and Oregon's governors expressed their own concerns in the past if our states had forest fires and were unable to tap into our National Guard resources. But we still let it happen, didn't we...?

It also occurred to me that we have our financial and human resources building schools, providing power and infrastructure etc. in IRAQ when we need them here in America NOW. Do we have any hope that Bush will bring them home to help American citizens? Who knows.

So while I'm thinking about these things, I'm discovering that there are even more aspects of this disaster which reflect poorly on our administration...

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?
Why the Levee broke...
Bush Cutbacks Blamed for Flooding
June 2005 article about budget cuts/impact/concerns
Did Bush listen to the Army Corps of Engineers?
{Doesn't Bush have a history of ignoring people who know more than he does? Of FIRING people who challenge his own agenda? Yup. So who is suprised at this?}

And, for those of us who are asking if other countries will help America like we seem to always be willing to help them, find out how well America accepts their help:
Canada is on their way...
Oh... never mind...

Others offer aid (hopefully, we'll let them!):
France May Mobilize Relief From Caribbean
Tsunami Victims Remember U.S. Help

Good grief, our OWN country won't re-allocate resources to help our own...
Military won't relocate soldiers in Iraq

But maybe Bush has it all under control... or maybe not...
Biloxi: Where's the help?
Efforts "bungled"
Lack of preparation? Slow response? No way! Not Bush!
"Nobody could have anticipated the breach." Tell me he did NOT say that!
Completely caught unaware? HOW??
{Does anybody else remember Bush's reaction in the classroom when told about the attack on the towers? The briefing provided months earlier suggesting the possibility of bin Laden's plan to use planes, etc.? Repeat after me... "deja vu"! How much more can our country handle while the driver is asleep at the wheel?}
Bush saw for himself the destruction of Hurricane Katrina... from his plane!

But I'm sure he's been busy working hard ("It's very hard") on addressing the needs of our country after Hurricane Katrina... because he sincerely cares... right? RIGHT?
What has Bush been doing...?
What a busy boy he's been!
And his advisors have been busy also!
Condoleeza is focused on...
shopping?

And many people are noticing this appalling lack of awareness, leadership, intelligence, honesty... (better late than never?)
It's a time for action, not vacation!
Waiting for a leader
Mayor blasts failure to patch levee breaches
Wes Clark questions leadership
Federal government wasn't ready...
FEMA being destroyed (to give room for Dept of Homeland Security?!)
Disaster...
Summaries of multiple editorials...
If we had a real president...{what he would say}
Bald-Faced Liar or Complete Idiot?
Presidential Stupidity So Unbounded It Defies Description
{My favorite quote from this article: "Forest Gump sounds smarter than this man."}

Do you think Bush is realizing that he is in trouble yet?
Headed back to Washington...
Bush just doesn't get it, does he?
Babbles on delusionally while disaster strikes...

Here are a few links that I've found to help stay informed about the situation in Louisiana, Mississippi, etc.:
The Times-Picayune (Louisiana)
Hattiesburg American (Mississippi)

And a good history about
New Orleans (curse and blessing)...

History about the
rise and fall of FEMA (or "If you are in Florida right before the Presidential Election, you'll be taken care of...")

To REALLY help with Hurricane Relief (rather than wait for our leadership to re-allocate funds from Iraq to America!), go here!