Saturday, September 24, 2005

Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like..

This is What Democracy Looks Like!

If you support the protests in DC, but didn't go, there is a petition at International ANSWER you can sign to show it.

Be sure to check out George Galloway's speech from Saturday's rally.

7 and 7 (a rationalization)

7 reasons to go to the protests in DC this weekend.

1. Bush is ruining Our country's economy, destroying the environment, nullifying Our credibility and standing in the world, has willfully mislead a Nation to War, appoints cronies, with absolutely no experience, to jobs that have Our Safety in their descriptions, hires journalists to sell his programs, allows fake reporters into his pressroom to float softballs, and on and on and on.

2. Bush's war of choice in Iraq has cost Us $170,000,000,000.00+ and we still have not found the weapons of mass destruction or any other urgent or unique threat posed by saddam hussein that "justified" this "preemptive strike".

3. To visibly (and audibly) show the support, solidarity, and passion of those of us against this administration and its policies.

4. The 1907 American troops and 26054 Iraqi civilians that are dead.

5. To know that you are not alone in being angry and obsessed with Our Federal government and its policies.

6. To hear what Cindy Sheehan, Ian McKaye, Steve Earle, Wayne Kramer, Jello Biafra and a slew of others have to say .

7. To yell, scream, pump your fist and flash the peace sign at a White House that is incompetent, secretive, disconnected, uncaring, unethical, and immoral.

7 reasons not to go to the protests in DC this weekend.

1. Multiple signs, slogans, and rally chanting points have made recent protests seem like an unfocused mob of radicals.

2. Hurricane Rita re-breaching the levees of New Orleans make me think now might not be the best time. Even Michael Moore is focusing his energy on helping the people of Louisiana right now, instead of attending in DC. I know he has his cameras with him, but he is providing more than his fair share of aid.

3. Hurricane Rita will take all the media's attention this weekend, especially the 30 seconds worth of coverage they had planned for the protests.

4. They didn't work before the war, at the start of the war, or before the last election.

5. Both sides continuing to scream at eachother may actually be, in the words of John Stewart, "hurting America".

6. There may be more effective ways to use my energy for the betterment of my country and against these asses of evil.

7. Giving yourself a break, and sleeping in on Saturday.

Update: 8. Going to see the Dalai Lama speak at Rutgers University early Sunday morning.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I was wrong.

Up until now, it has been very hard for me to restrain the rage that I have felt since tv cameras started to show the stranded, dying, and desperate in New Orleans. In private, that anger has been matched by guilt. I feel guilty for not mourning the death and devastation that Hurricane Katrina has caused. For the million plus people who were evacuated and have been rescued the nightmare of the past week and a half is over, but they have awakened to a life without their family, their home, their possessions or their job (those who held one). People from throughout the Country have come forward with help. For some that aid has been monetary. Others have sent food, clothing, diapers, toys, and other necessities. Cities are “adopting” cities and towns. People are opening up their homes to perfect strangers.

This is a National crisis of unprecedented proportion, and should be treated as such, by those in Our government and those of us who like to talk about Our government.

As they continue to rescue and recover Americans, the immediate focus should be on the quest to find “new lives” for the refugees of this storm. There may be towns in the US that have lost a lot of their workforce due to factory closings or other residential flight. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to set up housing where jobs exist, and get these people started as soon as possible. The feeling of abandonment must weigh heavy on those who waited for days for help, without any communication with or from the outside world. Taking these people to a place where they may have a “real” future may begin to reinstall a faith that Our government cares for Our people and does everything in its power to protect and support them. Once New Orleans is drained and decontaminated, perhaps refugees can be offered jobs in its reconstruction. Maybe this could happen in Mississippi even sooner, because there is no standing liquid there. This, too, is well off in the distance. Though, planning it certainly is not.

My only defense, and it really is not much of one, is the fear that things will be forgotten and/or covered up. There is a fear that web sites will be scrubbed of pages concerning the five days following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall and the three days before it. Such activity has occurred before. The scale and the cost of the failures that took place in response to this storm are far too large to be forgotten. An independent investigation will put together a timeline much more complete than anything we have seen as of yet. That investigation should be conducted sooner rather than later, but now is not the time.

I know this email/blog will attract negative responses, as the last one did. I am not writing it in an attempt to kowtow to any opinion, except that now is not the time. It is hard for me to contain my bile when I see Americans suffer, as these Americans did, on their/Our own land. Sympathy and support is what they need right now, not the angry focus on what went wrong or who should be held accountable. Those who are responsible for the safety of the American public failed. But first, we must figure out how to help those citizens who have survived, identify and count those that have not, and resurrect New Orleans, Biloxi, and the rest of the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi.

I apologize if my early politicizing detracted from what the people of this region of Our Country have endured and continue to endure. My anger would not have been as uncontrollable had things in the immediate wake of Hurricane Katrina gone differently.

Why were they waiting?

The aircraft carrier, USS Bataan, went under used in the Gulf from day one. They stood there, awaiting orders, as we watched Americans plead for help. Whose orders were they waiting for? Why did they wait so long to give them?

The USS Bataan can make up to 100,000 gallons of its own water a day.

For all of you talking point line toters out there.

There is a Katrina timeline (with plenty of back up) available at Think Progress. It shows that not only did Gov. Katheen Blanco declare a State of Emergency on the Friday before Katrina hit, but it was declared a FEDERAL emergency the Saturday before landfall. That gave rise to this White House statement, released on August 27, 2005 “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.” Not to mention the fact that the Gulf Coast States requested troop assistance from the Pentagon back on Friday August 26, 2005. Lack of leadership at the Federal level is what is most at fault in the response to Hurricane Katrina. The buck stops at the president. Pictures of him with acoustic guitars and birthday cakes show you where his head was.

Absolutely Disgusting!

How low can this man's politics possibly go? Firefighters are told to assemble in Atlanta. They do. They wait... and wait for orders to proceed to assist those who are crying out for help. But after handing out FEMA flyers what's their first assignment. "Stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas". Absolutely disgusting!

Friday, September 02, 2005


Finally help arrives. This after a desperate heartfelt plea from New Orleans Mayor and a pathetic photo op with the president. I only hope 7,000 Guardsman will be enough.

Update: There will be 30,000 National Guard Troops sent to the Gulf Region.

"The results are not acceptable"

You're GODDAM right they're not, Mr. president. As New Orleans police superintendent Edwin P. Compass III put it "We're in our fifth day and adequate help to quell the situation has not arrived yet,".
Why has it taken so long? Why do I not see a sky full of helicopters over New Orleans? Why are the waters not filled with boats? FIVE DAYS!!! Where is Operation New Orleans Rescue? It is absolutely unbelievable!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

They need Our help.

It's impossible to imagine what the people of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are going through. Their homes obliterated. Their belongings washed and/or blown out of existence. Family and friends killed or missing. They've gone days without water, food, electricity, or air conditioning. Thousands of refugees migrated to a Superdome shelter only to be shuttled to the Astrodome after the first fell victim to the rising waters and raging winds. Some families have lived in these southern towns and cities for generations, only to have everything destroyed. The liquid they walk through is a mix of water, sewage, gasoline, and death. There is no food left to even loot. 30,000 National Guard troops are being sent in. Why it took this long to have them sent in is part poor planning by the federal government (there was at least two to three days of warnings before this storm made land fall) and part because of the use and overuse of the National Guard as an occupying force in bush's War in Iraq. But now is not the time for that discussion.

These refugees need our help. Their lives, homes, livelihoods, and communities have been taken by Hurricane Katrina. It's going to be a long, long time before the million plus refugees of the gulf coast will be able to get their "life back in order" as the president optimistically put it Wednesday afternoon. Right now you can help by donating your money or your time to the Red Cross.

I'm not a religious person, but there is a candle wrapped in Mardi Gras beads lit in Hoboken in remembrance of one of my favorite cities in the world.

Update: There were and are plenty of National Guard in this Country to have brought aid and order to New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Regions of Lousiana and Mississippi, they were just waiting for orders.


This picture of the president of the United States was taken on Tuesday August 30, 2005. While victims of the worst natural disaster in our nation's history were wading through the south, looking for shelter, their "leader", in a "My Pet Goat" moment, was strumming away on his presidential guitar. In fairness, he is "cutting his vacation short" by two days to go back to work in Washington (poor guy only got a month off).

2.7 million people without power, families being rescued off of rooftops by helicopter, no air conditioning in 90+ degree Louisiana and Mississippi heat, hundreds of thousands evacuated not to return to their homes for months, if there is a home left at all, and what does Our president do on day one? He plays a little guitar backstage with country Singer Mark Wills. The lack of serious leadership from this man is astounding.

I'm sure there are 6,000+ National Guard soldiers, from Lousiana and Mississippi, that wish they were home to help.

You can help the relief effort by donating your money or your time to the Red Cross.