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  1. #91


    Let My Inspiration Flow...That Will Not Forsake You

    By Robert Hunter

    One important lesson of 9/11, the tsunami, and of the current heart wrenching disaster in New Orleans, is that those not directly in the path of the apocalyptic hooves are left with a dwindling sense of the importance regarding their own less challenged lives. How can we delude ourselves into continuing to believe that our relatively insignificant interests are worth pursuing? Yet, those petty concerns may be all that stand between us and a depressed and even crippling fatalism. I pick up my horn, play a few notes, set it back down. What's the point? I pick it back up again with the conscious understanding that its value is strictly personal.

    Music has its own agenda, its own right to exist even though the world crumbles around us. I first realized this truth, with chilling certainty, when I played "Terrapin Station" late one night from a terrace atop a high building directly overlooking the floodlit smoking ruin of the World Trade Center in September of 2001. It felt almost like sacrilege, a wind howled up and threatened to blow me and my guitar off the roof, but I planted my feet and continued and, by the time I'd finished, realized, or chose to believe, that the City accepted my offering. It was all I had to give. My feeling of hopelessness lifted. It was not a connection such as is felt between a performer and an audience. I just added a bit of music to the acrid smoke in the wind and, in so doing, changed the course of my life for several years to come.

    Though professedly retired, the next day I accepted an invitation to appear at the closing of the Wetlands and played my first public performance in years. I continued to perform, propelled by the experience atop the roof. I felt a window had opened in the very bowels of disaster and, perhaps mistakenly, believed that the City would rebuild with a new sense of spirit and mission, emerging triumphant from the ruins; a spirit that would spread and encompass the rest of the world. I felt moved to be a part of such renaissance. Perhaps such an improbable thing might have come to pass, had not political spin snatched up the costly opportunity and transformed it into a rationale for war.

    I feel moved to write this entry in my journal, not to show how resourceful I am at fending off the personal effect of depressing circumstances through the fostering of grand delusions, but to reaffirm that, when small personal resources are all we've got, it's a mistake to devalue them just because they appear patently ineffectual faced with the constrictions of Leviathan as it attempts to crush life and spirit from the earth. Such activity may not help New Orleans, inflicted with the emergence of mob inflicted stone age values in the midst of chaos, nor should we delude ourselves it might, but there is another sphere in which small life affirming actions are never to be despised. I refer to civilization, which can be very much a personal matter.

    Robert Hunter is a poet, songwriter and performer. He wrote the words for numerous Grateful Dead songs.

    ©2005 Robert Hunter

  2. #92


    This came to us via listmember Hal Muskat, two degrees separated from the authors. This story gave me the shakes. It tells so much about this tragedy that is not being covered by the mainstream media.
    Hurricane Katrina: Our Experiences
    A harrowing first hand account of one escape from New Orleans

    By Larry Bradshaw & Lorrie Beth Slonsky

    Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's
    store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.

    The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters. We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday).

    We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the Walgreen's in the French Quarter. We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the "victims" of the Hurricane.

    What you will not see, but what we witnessed, were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators. Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded.

    Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water. On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and friends outside of New Orleans.

    We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them. We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived to the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

    By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City's primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City's only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in.

    Quite naturally, we asked, "If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?"

    The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement."

    We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group.

    He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

    We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched pasted the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

    As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

    We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

    Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

    All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated.

    Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot. Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become. Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts.

    Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!).

    This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community.

    If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the ugliness would not have set in. Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

    From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an ominous tone to it.

    Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway."

    A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water. Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot." We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups.

    In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

    The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards. They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks they were assigned.

    We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush landed briefly at the airport for a photo op. After being evacuated on a coast guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas.

    There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

    Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children, elderly, disabled as they sat for hours waiting to be "medically screened" to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases. This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heartfelt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker give her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street offered us money and toiletries with words of welcome.

    Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.

    ©2005 Larry Bradshaw & Lorrie Beth Slonsky

  3. #93
    Juan C Ayllon

    Harrowing is Right!

    That was a very moving read.

    I stand amazed at how horribly racist, cold-hearted and callous some people can be in the face of such deep need.

    Thanks for sharing that, Gordoom.



  4. #94
    Roberto Aqui

    Re: Harrowing is Right!

    There will be many sides to this story. Part heroism, part incompetence, part survival, part sacrifice, part exploitation, and part criminal from all the involved parties.

    It seems no matter how big in the britches we seem to get, we always end up humbled, scared, and uncertain, surely a metaphor for our ultimate deaths.

  5. #95

    Very Well Put

    "It seems no matter how big in the britches we seem to get, we always end up humbled, scared, and uncertain, surely a metaphor for our ultimate deaths".

    That was deep, Roberto. I mean that. Not only well said but so eerily true ...


  6. #96

    Re: Harrowing is Right!

    In this day of modern techology in regards
    to weather forecasts, communication,
    and transportation, things have changed
    dramatically since the U.S. Constitution
    came into being. As a result, there
    should be a new amendment allowing for
    the President of the United States to act
    as quickly as possible even before the
    hurricane hits an area. Yes, I know that
    states rights advocates are going to
    complain, but they have been on the
    wrong side in regards to many issues
    during the history of the United States.

    Unlike New York, Texas, or California, a
    state like Louisiana didn't have enough
    resources to deal with the disaster in
    New Orleans even for the first few
    days. It was imperative for the
    necessary personal and supplies to
    get down to New Orleans as soon as
    possible. Under the federal system of
    government, President Bush could not
    act without the request of the
    Governor of Louisiana. Let me ask
    you, what if the governor was
    incompetent or infirm?

    - Chuck Johnston

  7. #97

    in bushes defense

    Blame Amid the Tragedy
    Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin failed their constituents.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

    As the devastation of Hurricane Katrina continues to shock and sadden the nation, the question on many lips is, Who is to blame for the inadequate response?

    As a former state legislator who represented the legislative district most impacted by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, I can fully understand and empathize with the people and public officials over the loss of life and property.

    Many in the media are turning their eyes toward the federal government, rather than considering the culpability of city and state officials. I am fully aware of the challenges of having a quick and responsive emergency response to a major disaster. And there is definitely a time for accountability; but what isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible--local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The plain fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin.

    The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.

    The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.

    In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved.

    A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected.
    The New Orleans contingency plan is still, as of this writing, on the city's Web site, and states: "The safe evacuation of threatened populations is one of the principle [sic] reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan." But the plan was apparently ignored.

    Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation: His Office of Emergency Preparedness (not the federal government) must coordinate with the state on elements of evacuation and assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be encouraged by the governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he finally, belatedly, issued the order for mandatory evacuation. And sadly, it apparently took a personal call from the president to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.

    The city's evacuation plan states: "The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas." But even though the city has enough school and transit buses to evacuate 12,000 citizens per fleet run, the mayor did not use them. To compound the problem, the buses were not moved to high ground and were flooded. The plan also states that "special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific lifesaving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed." This was not done.

    The evacuation plan warned that "if an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials." That is precisely what happened because of the mayor's failure.

    Instead of evacuating the people, the mayor ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security and no provisions for food, water and sanitary conditions. As a result people died, and there was even rape committed, in these facilities. Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility to provide public safety and to manage the orderly evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans. Now he wants to blame Gov. Blanco and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an emergency the first requirement is for the city's emergency center to be linked to the state emergency operations center. This was not done.

    The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed. She failed to send a timely request for specific aid.
    In addition, unlike the governors of New York, Oklahoma and California in past disasters, Gov. Blanco failed to take charge of the situation and ensure that the state emergency operation facility was in constant contact with Mayor Nagin and FEMA. It is likely that thousands of people died because of the failure of Gov. Blanco to implement the state plan, which mentions the possible need to evacuate up to one million people. The plan clearly gives the governor the authority for declaring an emergency, sending in state resources to the disaster area and requesting necessary federal assistance.

    State legislators and governors nationwide need to update their contingency plans and the operation procedures for state emergency centers. Hurricane Katrina had been forecast for days, but that will not always be the case with a disaster (think of terrorist attacks). It must be made clear that the governor and locally elected officials are in charge of the "first response."

    I am not attempting to excuse some of the delays in FEMA's response. Congress and the president need to take corrective action there, also. However, if citizens expect FEMA to be a first responder to terrorist attacks or other local emergencies (earthquakes, forest fires, volcanoes), they will be disappointed. The federal government's role is to offer aid upon request.

    The Louisiana Legislature should conduct an immediate investigation into the failures of state and local officials to implement the written emergency plans. The tragedy is not over, and real leadership in the state and local government are essential in the months to come. More importantly, the hurricane season is still upon us, and local and state officials must stay focused on the jobs for which they were elected--and not on the deadly game of passing the emergency buck.

    Mr. Williams is president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a free market public policy research organization in Olympia, Wash.

  8. #98

    Re: in bushes defense

    You know, it's just too bad that all of the "beautiful people" who are using their silver shovels to heap the blame on the Feds (including that towering mental presence Celine Dion, of course) won't read the above report, even if they're able to read. No, they'll grandstand on TV and delight all of the other elitist beautiful people with their short-term, never-implemented, grade school "solutions" (the primary one being, naturally, blame it all on Bush and the "neo-cons").
    If cold, hard facts don't convince the interbred editorial staff of The Times that the alleged "reporter" who mounted his attack on Washington while the blamed event was still progress should be re-demoted to covering dog shows, then the entire staff should be scrapped and a group with a few more brain cells should replace them. Like six chimps from Michael Jackson's "Neverland."
    But in this culture of "don't confuse me with the facts" bias, I doubt that the report makes a burp of difference to the breastbeaters. PeteLeo.

  9. #99

    Re: in bushes defense

    >>>then the entire staff should be scrapped and a group with a few more brain cells should replace them. Like six chimps from Michael Jackson's "Neverland."<<<

    That's what I have been saying about the current presidental adminstration for a few years now, but thing is...most of my saying is based on actual fact. From what I have been reading and hearing of late, it isn't just the Times that are talking about the inept and almost retarded way the current hiearchy in charge is running the country, no it isn't just them...it's the entire country, and the tragedy that occured just really made people open their eyes, that is except the very small, very rich conservative base that would back Bush if he started killing babies! Why, well anyone that doesn't know why just does not follow current events, or they just ignore the actual facts! It's that brand of moron that has a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time, yet the blame of not being able to perform such a simple task would be asked to be overlooked, or they would avert the attention to something less provocative and more positive, like the un-canny ability to speed-read through a pop-up book!

    As to city and state taking the responsibility, they should in certain cases when their entire communications systems are not down and they themselves are not fighting for their lives. The fedral government should have been on the ball and had help down there immediately after it happened instead of just sitting around looking dumb as usual!

  10. #100

    Re: in bushes defense

    "That's what I have been saying about the current presidental adminstration for a few years now, but thing is...most of my saying is based on actual fact. From what I have been reading and hearing of late, it isn't just the Times that are talking about the inept and almost retarded way the current hiearchy in charge is running the country, no it isn't just them...it's the entire country,"

    Make that the entire world.

  11. #101

    same old

    "it isn't just the Times that are talking about the inept and almost retarded way the current hiearchy in charge is running the country, no it isn't just them...it's the entire country,"

    "that is except the very small, very rich conservative base that would back Bush if he started killing babies! "


    Wed Sep 07 2005 10:42:26 ET

    A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 609 adults taken September 5-6 shows:

    Blame Game -- 13% said George W. Bush is "most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane"; 18% said "federal agencies"; 25% said "state and local officials"; 38% said "no one is to blame"; 6% had no opinion. -- 29% said that "top officials in the federal agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be fired"; 63% said they should not; 8% had no opinion.

    I guess the 87% who don't blame bush must be in the very small, very rich conservative base.

  12. #102

    same old

    I'm just surprised Halliburton hasn't popped up yet. Obviously Bush is at fault for the hurricane. He refused to sign the kyoto accords, which led to global warming which caused this hurricane. And cheney delayed federal help arriving so halliburton could swoop in and get the contract to rebuild the city.

    If Bush had in any way contributed to any death during this disaster, i would be the first to call for his impeachment. It was a natural disaster, a hurricane. The city was supposed to have been prepared for this type of emergency. they had practiced scenerios of levees being over run and the city being under water.

    lets wait and see what an independant council concludes what the problems were before a knee jerk "its bushes fault" reaction.

    the democrats are allready screaming for someone to be fired. Can't they wait untill the people are taken care of before playing politics?

  13. #103
    Roberto Aqui

    Stupid Polls

    I don't answer polls because 90% of the questions are inept or useless and answering only serves to give otherwise useless people jobs.

    There is plenty of blame to be spread around as I noted at the start of this thread. However, the top name in the blame game should rest squarely on the slumping shoulders of our vacationing Prez.

    Aside from the incompetence of the ever expanding fed/state/local bureaucracies that disporportionately suck up tax monies faster than they can produce a needed service, the sheer masses of stupidity that seems to have large numbers of this populace in it's grip cannot be discounted in this disaster.

    Like I noted, there was plenty of forewarning about this event, yet large populations were completely unprepared. Whose fault can that be? Racism and poverty cannot be an excuse for lack of the most basic preparations.

    However, if the educated governing class above them could not make the proper preparations and responses either, just what does that say about the direction of this country at a point of unprecedented strength and prosperity in world history?

    It's something to think of. The stupidity and harshness of the political debate, the "Balkanization" of various regions of the country, the disposability of working people, hell, just the trade deficit and per capita national debt alone is enough to drive any logically based sane person bonkers. Do the poor folks in this country know they've tapped out their credit limits? Bet they didn't know between the fed/state/local governments that about 30-40 grand apiece has been borrowed on their citizenship. When does that Ponzi scheme crash like the Enron debacle?

    Perhaps the dumbest thing I've heard is the folks complaining on public airways that they couldn't take their pets with them. Where do these dummies come from?

    Well, Katrina flushed out this country big time. Should make for some interesting if not ugly times. Can't wait to see the flood of illegal Mexican nationals down that way to do the rebuilding, all under the government's nose.

  14. #104

    Re: same old

    Uh, J Young, Halliburton has already been given another no bid contract to repair the oil infrastructure in & around New Orleans ....

    You also wrote: "Can't they wait untill the people are taken care of before playing politics?"

    At first I went along & agreed with that ... Until I realised what a canard that really is. If now is not the time for finger pointing & asking why ... When is?

    Right now THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING US. & more importantly so are millions of Americans that are appalled by the response. We are the world's "super power". We started a war for all the wrong reasons & have bungled it badly. Now we have bungled disaster relief in our own country so bad that even the freakin' Cubans have offered us a 1000 doctors.

    As I wrote earlier, before Clinton left office he legislated 20 million for refurbishing the levee's. Bush never delivered the money. Yes local & state officials are to blame also but the goverment's job is to protect the nation & provide infrastructure.

    & on both counts the goverment has failed miserably. Harry Truman famously stated "The Buck Stops Here". Don't we as American's deserve some accountability from our president? Clinton's feet were put to the fire literally the day after he took office. Any criticisim of Bush creates an uproar of indignation.

    He ain't Jesus (though some seem to act like Bush was appointed by him), he's the president of the United States. Heat & criticism are part of the job description ... Unless the rules have changed & freedom of speech is no longer a part of our Constitution - he deserves & needs to be put under the microscope like EVERY president has before him.


  15. #105

    Re: same old

    I thought this was an interesting take on the moral aspects of the tragedy:

    It always lies below

    A hurricane produces anarchy. Decivilisation is not as far away as we like to think

    Timothy Garton Ash
    Thursday September 8, 2005
    The Guardian

    Before our attention wanders on to the next headline story, let's learn Katrina's big lesson. This is not about the incompetence of the Bush administration, the scandalous neglect of poor black people in America, or our unpreparedness for major natural disasters - though all of those apply. Katrina's big lesson is that the crust of civilisation on which we tread is always wafer thin. One tremor, and you've fallen through, scratching and gouging for your life like a wild dog.

    Article continues


    You think the looting, rape and armed terror that emerged within hours in New Orleans would never happen in nice, civilised Europe? Think again. It happened here, all over our continent only 60 years ago. Read the memoirs of Holocaust and gulag survivors, Norman Lewis's account of Naples in 1944, or the recently republished anonymous diary of a German woman in Berlin in 1945. It happened again in Bosnia just 10 years ago. And that wasn't even the force majeure of a natural disaster. Europe's were man-made hurricanes.
    The basic point is the same: remove the elementary staples of organised, civilised life - food, shelter, drinkable water, minimal personal security - and we go back within hours to a Hobbesian state of nature, a war of all against all. Some people, some of the time, behave with heroic solidarity; most people, most of the time, engage in a ruthless fight for individual and genetic survival. A few become temporary angels, most revert to being apes.

    The word civilisation, in one of its earliest senses, referred to the process of human animals being civilised - by which we mean, I suppose, achieving a mutual recognition of human dignity, or at least accepting in principle the desirability of such a recognition. (As the slave-owning Thomas Jefferson did, even if he failed to practise what he preached.) Reading Jack London the other day, I came across an unusual word: decivilisation. The opposite process, that is, the one by which people cease to be civilised and become barbaric. Katrina tells us about the ever-present possibility of decivilisation.

    There are intimations of this even in normal, everyday life. Road rage is a good example. Or think what it's like waiting for a late-night flight which is delayed or cancelled. At first, those carefully guarded cocoons of personal space we carry around with us in airport waiting-areas break down into flickerings of solidarity. The glance of mutual sympathy over the newspaper or laptop screen. A few words of shared frustration or irony. Often this grows into a stronger manifestation of group solidarity, perhaps directed against the hapless check-in staff of BA, Air France or American Airlines. (To find a common enemy is the only sure way to human solidarity.)

    But then a rumour creeps out that there are a few seats left on another flight at Gate 37. Instant collapse of solidarity. Angels become apes. The sick, infirm, elderly, women and children are left behind in the stampede. Dark-suited men, with degrees from Harvard or Oxford and impeccable table-manners, turn into gorillas charging through the jungle. When, having elbowed aside the competition, they get their boarding-card, they retreat into a corner, avoiding other people's gaze. The gorilla who got the banana. (Believe me, I know whereof I speak; I have been that ape.) All this just to avoid a night at the Holiday Inn in Des Moines.

    Obviously the decivilisation in New Orleans was a thousand times worse. I can't avoid the feeling that there will be more of this, much more of it, as we go deeper into the 21st century. There are just too many big problems looming which could push humanity back. The most obvious threat is more natural disasters as a result of climate change. If this cataclysm is interpreted by American politicians such as John McCain as - to use the hackneyed phrase that they will themselves undoubtedly use - a "wake-up call" to alert Americans to the the consequences of the United States continuing to pump out carbon dioxide as if there were no tomorrow, then the Katrina hurricane cloud will have a silver lining. But it may already be too late. If recent indications are correct that not just the icecaps but the permafrost in Siberia is thawing, which thawing would itself then generate further emissions of natural greenhouse gases, then we may be launched on an unstoppable downward spiral. If that were so, if large parts of the world were tormented by unpredictable storms, flooding and temperature changes, then what happened in New Orleans would seem like a tea party.

    In a sense, these too would be man-made hurricanes. But there are also the more direct threats of humans towards other humans. Thus far, terrorist attacks have provoked outrage, fear, some restrictions of civil liberties, and the abuses of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, but they have not resulted in mass hysteria or scapegoating. Least of all in London, the world capital of phlegmatism. But suppose we ain't seen nothing yet. Suppose there's a dirty bomb or even a small nuclear weapon exploded by a terrorist group in a major city. What then?

    A lmost having the force of a flood is the pressure of mass migration from the poor and overpopulated south of the planet to the rich north. (Not accidentally, anti-immigration populists routinely use the flood metaphor.) If natural or political disaster were to put still more millions on the move, our immigration controls might one day prove to be like the levees of New Orleans. But even with current levels of immigration, the resulting encounters - especially those between Muslims and indigenous Europeans - are proving to be explosive. How civilised will we remain? In the way some Europeans and some Muslim migrants are talking about each other, I see the advancing shadow of a new European barbarism.

    And then there is the challenge I mentioned in this column two weeks ago, of accommodating the emerging great powers, particularly India and China, into the international system. Especially in the case of China, where late-communist leaders use diversionary nationalism to stay in power, there is a danger of war. Nothing decivilises more quickly and surely than war.

    So never mind Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilisations". That, as the old Russian saying goes, was long ago and not true anyway. What's under threat here is simply civilisation, the thin crust we lay across the seething magma of nature, including human nature. New Orleans opened a small hole through which we glimpsed what always lies below. The Big Easy shows us the Big Difficult, which is to preserve that crust.

    In political preaching mode, we may take Katrina as an appeal to get serious about addressing these challenges, which means the great blocs and the great powers of the world - Europe, America, China, India, Russia, Japan, Latin America, the UN - reaching for a new level of international cooperation. But on a sober analysis, we may venture a more pessimistic conclusion: that somewhere around the year 2000 the world reached a high point in the diffusion of civilisation, to which future generations may look back with nostalgia and envy.

    As so often, I hope I'm wrong. Read your new-look, user-friendly Guardian in 2020, and you'll know.


  16. #106

    Re: same old

    Very well said Bucket!

    The not wanting people to point fingers is just another cop-out for republican politics! What was wrong with the Speaker of the House? The day that congress came back into office for the emergency, Denny Hastert (Republican-Illinois) just could not make it back for the emergency signing of the 10.5 billion because he had a fund raiser to attend…money, money money! Now I can name 100 other republicans that not only were inept in reaction to the tragedy, yet I somehow doubt that opposites can find 100 democrats…why, because no democrats have any of the important positions, which is not only dictator-esqe, it is ethically wrong…and to think all the Christian Reich think Bush is a man of ethics…another word different than gullible comes to mind to describe that, but I leave that alone!

    It's funny, as usual conservatives will construe everything…like democrats, such as myself, blame Bush for the tragedy happening, which in itself is simple minded and silly...I don't blame Bush for the tragedy happening...I blame Bush for sitting on his ass for nearly five days while American's died and I think that is what everyone else is blaming him for...you know, something that he is truly guilty of.

    I just read that tonight the 10.5 billion that was signed last week runs out tonight...that's cutting it pretty close don't you think? Also, one of the politicians from New Orleans, I don't recall her name, spoke personally to Bush as recommended that Bush fire his choice leader of Fema, Michael Brown, Bush's retort was "Why would I want to do something like that?" The lady stated the obvious, "Why, well after all that went wrong and did not go right." Well, in classic Bush response, he responded back with "What didn't go right." The ignorance of this man is beyond words! I could say that he is "Gump to the core," but it would be an insult to a fictional character!

    Don't point fingers, now is not the time....well, I have absolutely nothing political to gain from it, so I'm going to state the obvious and point all ten fingers on my hands. And for any idiot that wants to try to avoid the issue and say that I should be thinking about the people of the tragedy, well I think about and pray for those people through most of the day, but some of the other time I am going to spend talking about reality of the current administration! Many liberals have been overly decent, if not unsuspectingly gullible as to what republicans in congress want to ask us to do in not point fingers, well I mostly overlooked the incompetence of the current administration for close to five years, but this latest ****-up was the last straw, I mean hell, the count could reach 10,000 deaths, which many were unstoppable, but many should never have happened either!

    Speaking of Clinton, who some like to mention as a deflection from Bush, well it’s funny, the world saw who Bush immediately ran to when in dire need, President Clinton…too bad Clinton couldn’t run again, but then again, anyone would be a vast improvement over the current bunch!

  17. #107

    Re: same old

    well if some of the bush defenders here are so sick and tired of people pointing out what this administration has done wrong i for one am totaly open to your list of what it has done right....go for it...let me know...because i am sick of people saying that the leader of our country shares no culpability in the miserably slow responce time that surely caused many of the maybe 10k deaths. maybe you can explain the benefit of having resources that could have been used here siting in iraq where we are surely not wanted...maybe you can explain how oblivious this administration is to the real suffering that has taken place within its populace...the presidents own mother even made a marie antoinette-esque statement saying these evacuees were underprivaleged anyway and with a cot in the astrodome they are really better off...ie. "let them eat cake". truth is what little they did have..was theirs and i challenge you to find a single soul that says they are better off since katrina slammed them and our government left them feeling that washington d.c. stands for washington...DOESN'T CARE.

    this really does not have anything to do with politics as much as it does have a lot to do with a terribly innept performance by our leaders....and bush is at the top of that heap....so lets hear it..what good have our leaders done lately???

  18. #108

    Re: same old

  19. #109

    Re: same old

  20. #110

    Re: same old

    Yeah, what has the government done right during the tragedy? I'm sorry that it is republicans, but had it been democrats I would be saying the same thing and I sure as hell would not be defending idoits based on they're party affiliation! Although I would certainly rather that it be republicans than democrats that has made these blunders, but then again morals and ethics toward human beings is why I am a democrat to begin with!

    On a side note, today is what...11 days later and Vice President Cheney is just going to make his first appearance, now that is some speedy reaction...are these people moving along on walkers, or what...it seems more like sleepwalking to me!

    I'm surprised that not a lot has been made of the fact that speaker of the house, Denny Hastert (Republican-Illinois), chose to stay in Indiana with a dear friend for a fund raiser instead of rush back to the house for the utterly important signing of 10.5 billion for relief aide, but the again, I forgot, the speaker of the house, Denny Hastert (Republican-Illinois), said that New Orleans should just be dozed over and forgot about, or something to that effect...and he is one of the top republicans in congress, who has all the morals and beliefs of this current administration...now tell me what is wrong with that picture, or as Greg just mention, better yet, tell me what is right about it!

  21. #111


    This is from a poll conducted on AOL. AOL has 30 million plus members & is a WIDE cross section of the populace. It leans neither Democratic or Republican - It's 30 million plus AMERICANS.

    How would you rate Bush's handling of the disaster?
    Poor 52%
    Good 21%
    Excellent 15%
    Fair 12%

    How would you rate Chertoff's handling of the disaster?
    Poor 63%
    Fair 20%
    Good 13%
    Excellent 4%

    How would you rate Brown's handling of the disaster?
    Poor 71%
    Fair 16%
    Good 10%
    Excellent 4%

  22. #112


    Apparently that much-detested, ivory-tower-dwelling, careerist Hollywood liberal Sean Penn has been showing his true colors again, volunteering to help find and remove bodies from the disease-ridden waters of Lake Pontchartrain.


    Some people, huh?

  23. #113


    This is actually quite an amusing image in amongst all the awfulness...... :rollin

    Penn's New Orleans rescue efforts sunk

    06/09/2005 - 10:47:20

    Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn's well-intentioned attempt to save children from the floods of New Orleans, Louisiana, failed miserably when his decrepit boat started leaking dangerously.

    The Mystic River star, who was desperate to do "whatever I can to help", reportedly forgot to fix a hole in the rescue vessel, which promptly started sinking as he furiously scooped water out of the boat with a plastic cup.

    Penn allegedly attracted criticism from onlookers when they saw the boat was already crammed with Penn's entourage - including a photographer - before any flood victims climbed onboard.

    One onlooker said, "How are you going to get any people in that thing?"

  24. #114
    Roberto Aqui

    Mexican Army

    Seany Boy couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag. He's just looking for a life and inspiration for his next cinematic disaster.

    There are plenty of troops, authorities, and boats down there. It's just organizing them that is the logistical bottle neck.

    It's also bothersome that they are starting to use strongarm tactics to eject the survivors, most of whom are just trying to protect what is theirs from the criminals who will be the last to leave.

    Fact is the modern mantra is let "US" protect you whilst being nowhere in sight when trouble comes and then disarming the honest citizen when they arrive after the party is over.

    Now the ultimate irony or insult, depending: The Mexican Army has been deployed to San Antone to assist feeding evacuees in what is being called the largest Mexican takeout in history. The Mexican Navy has been deployed off the Louisiana coast.

    Monica is starting to look like a pretty good legacy in comparison!

  25. #115

    Re: More Thoughts

    The debacle in New Orleans was the biggest
    screwup during a domestic emergency situation
    in my lifetime. There will be enough time for
    fingerpointing later on, but I am wondering
    whether real changes are going to take place
    so that such bungling doesn't happen again.
    After all, we can send a man to the moon, but
    alot of basic measures weren't being taken to
    evacuate or help the people in New Orleans.

    I don't agree with many of Sean Penn's
    actions or political beliefs, but he is one
    heck of an actor.

    - Chuck Johnston

  26. #116

    Re: blame

    "If now is not the time for finger pointing & asking why ... When is?"

    Its been over a week now. I was upset when fingers were being pointed on the first day. the whole world WAS watching us and our highest branches of government were acting like children... its your fault, no its his fault. the joy and vileness with which the democrats went after bush with, was disgusting to watch.

    "Any criticisim of Bush creates an uproar of indignation."

    not true, any instant/unjust criticism of Bush creates an uproar.

    "he deserves & needs to be put under the microscope like EVERY president has before him."

    thats true and I have no problem with it or even with impeaching him if he is found negligent. But lets study the situation first and get ALL the facts before lopping off heads.

    "The not wanting people to point fingers is just another cop-out for republican politics! "

    The democrats are great at pointing fingers. Except at themselves.
    lets get facts before pointing fingers. Or is getting the facts first a republican thing

    "Now I can name 100 other republicans that not only were inept in reaction to the tragedy,"

    okay, name them

    …why, because no democrats have any of the important positions,

    I guess mayor of new orleans and governor of louisiana are unimportant.


    "As I wrote earlier, before Clinton left office he legislated 20 million for refurbishing the levee's. Bush never delivered the money. Yes local & state officials are to blame also but the goverment's job is to protect the nation & provide infrastructure."

    By Michael Grunwald
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, September 8, 2005; Page A01

    Before Hurricane Katrina breached a levee on the New Orleans Industrial Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers had already launched a $748 million construction project at that very location. But the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was building a huge new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge traffic.

    Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing.

    A soldier from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division helps evacuate Leroy Leaper, who decided to leave the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Some residents of the ward vowed that they would not leave, even though much of the largely impoverished neighborhood remained underwater. Story, A18. (By Steven Senne -- Associated Press)

    Katrina's Aftermath in the Gulf Coast
    Latest News, Videos and More

    Katrina Photos and Video

    Hurricane Katrina brought unprecedented destruction to the Gulf Coast. View the Post's multimedia coverage of the disaster. (Shannon Stapleton - Reuters)

    In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

    Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.

    For example, after a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations. The Corps also spends tens of millions of dollars a year dredging little-used waterways such as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the Atchafalaya River and the Red River -- now known as the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway, in honor of the project's congressional godfather -- for barge traffic that is less than forecast.

    The Industrial Canal lock is one of the agency's most controversial projects, sued by residents of a New Orleans low-income black neighborhood and cited by an alliance of environmentalists and taxpayer advocates as the fifth-worst current Corps boondoggle. In 1998, the Corps justified its plan to build a new lock -- rather than fix the old lock for a tiny fraction of the cost -- by predicting huge increases in use by barges traveling between the Port of New Orleans and the Mississippi River.

    In fact, barge traffic on the canal had been plummeting since 1994, but the Corps left that data out of its study. And barges have continued to avoid the canal since the study was finished, even though they are visiting the port in increased numbers.

    Pam Dashiell, president of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, remembers holding a protest against the lock four years ago -- right where the levee broke Aug. 30. Now she's holed up with her family in a St. Louis hotel, and her neighborhood is underwater. "Our politicians never cared half as much about protecting us as they cared about pork," Dashiell said.

    Yesterday, congressional defenders of the Corps said they hoped the fallout from Hurricane Katrina would pave the way for billions of dollars of additional spending on water projects. Steve Ellis, a Corps critic with Taxpayers for Common Sense, called their push "the legislative equivalent of looting."

    Louisiana's politicians have requested much more money for New Orleans hurricane protection than the Bush administration has proposed or Congress has provided. In the last budget bill, Louisiana's delegation requested $27.1 million for shoring up levees around Lake Pontchartrain, the full amount the Corps had declared as its "project capability." Bush suggested $3.9 million, and Congress agreed to spend $5.7 million.

    Administration officials also dramatically scaled back a long-term project to restore Louisiana's disappearing coastal marshes, which once provided a measure of natural hurricane protection for New Orleans. They ordered the Corps to stop work on a $14 billion plan, and devise a $2 billion plan instead.

    But overall, the Bush administration's funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were slightly higher than the Clinton administration's for its past five years. Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the chief of the Corps, has said that in any event, more money would not have prevented the drowning of the city, since its levees were designed to protect against a Category 3 storm, and the levees that failed were already completed projects. Strock has also said that the marsh-restoration project would not have done much to diminish Katrina's storm surge, which passed east of the coastal wetlands.

  27. #117

    Re: penn

    I would have respected penn more if he didn't take his personal photographer along.

  28. #118

    Re: penn

    >>>the joy and vileness with which the democrats went after bush with, was disgusting to watch<<<

    It wasn't nearly as disgusting as watching Bush do nothing for five days while people died! Now you know what it feels like to be a democrat watching republicans jump on and pounce at any and every thing they can to try for political gain, but the big difference is that the democrats actually do have something to be pissed off about, but of course the republicans haven’t had anything to complain about due in largely to the unfortunate gullibility of those that voted that way, but now that they (republicans) have really shown their true colors, you want us to lay off poor Bush because he’s doing the best he can…well, it’s not nearly good enough from someone that calls himself president, but then again if it hadn’t been for his brother Jeb, Florida and oh yeah, if popular vote was what won things, as they usually do in everything else it would be and should be President Gore!

    >>>thats true and I have no problem with it or even with impeaching him if he is found negligent. But lets study the situation first and get ALL the facts before lopping off heads.<<<

    With what, a completely republican ran investigation; yeah I’m real sure the facts would come out in that tribunal? I agree, the facts should come out, but anyone with any sense at all would know that nothing that is very republican in majority will be found, in fact I would be willing to bet that the “so-called” Katrina investigation that Bush has put together, to be investigated by none other than his own cronies, will find that he has done an A+ job, which is complete bullshit, it will be just another lie in the many that the republicans have become so accustomed to telling!

    >>>The democrats are great at pointing fingers. Except at themselves.<<<

    That is really funny to hear…do you honestly believe that, or do I need to remind you of all the time that President Clinton had to waste in court because republicans wanted to point their fingers at everything they could, nowing that all was bullshit to begin with? Sorry, but this current **** up is all republican...it woul;dn't have been if Bush really had any morals and ethics because every top position should not be completely ran by one party, but being that it is there is no one else that is guilty of the inept lack of ability to do their job except the republicans!

    >>>lets get facts before pointing fingers. Or is getting the facts first a republican thing<<<

    Like I said, facts are great, but nothing will come out of the Bush led tribunal, as to getting facts being a republican thing…yeah, republicans like Ken Starr did a wonderful job wasting billions of American dollars getting to the facts that would impeach President Clinton, which by the way turned out to be just bullshit, as usual! This is an argument that you will lose big time because honesty and taking responsibility for ones actions certainly is not a strong point of republican politics and it never has been and never will be, although it may play a big part in their polictics following the next elections because I really doubt that America will be fooled by any more of the bullshit rhetoric that republicans like to spew!

    >>>okay, name them<<<

    Do you really want me to go into all the dirt and bullshit of the current administration? Actually, I can cut to the chase and just name three of the very top republicans and just add a word that is associated with them…Speaker of the House Hastert---Fund Raiser, Vice President Cheney—Halliburton, President Bush---Florida and brother Jeb, Iraq, tax cuts only for the rich, one entire year of vacation time during 5 years in office, just to mention a few…not to mention that he is “Gump” to the core! Should I really go into all the positions held by people that are not qualified to do there job...like Michael Brown, or the Captain Kangaroo guy, whose name I forget, that Bush went over congress to appoint because he wanted to, why because he's president and he can do whatever he wants regardless if it is right, or not! These three are the very top of the republican chain (Bush, Cheney, Hastert), stand for 90% of the republican government, but there is a hell of a lot more, I just don’t need to go into them when the top three give plenty of representation!

    >>>I guess mayor of new orleans and governor of louisiana are unimportant<<<

    It would most certainly seem that way, because the republican ran government sure took a long time to do anything they asked, but they (Louisiana democrats) are still being turned down for a number of things, why, because there is no equaling vote in congress! I recall hearing the mayor, who by the way is African-American if that matters, begging and begging the national government for help, did he get it, yes he did...about four days later!

    So how do you honestly think Bush has done with this tragedy, honestly how do you think Michael Brown has done? You know how I feel and you know how most of the country feels, but I want to know how you feel…are you part of that small percent that thinks Bush has done an excellent job and who would follow Bush regardless of how wrong he is, because it sure sounds like it!

  29. #119

    Re: If I WERE GEORGE W. BUSH.....

    It should be pointed out that Florida has had
    alot of success in regards to handling situations
    when hurricanes hit the state, but one has to
    remember the following:

    1. Since major hurricanes hit Florida more
    often, the state authorities have much
    more experience in handling such situations.

    2. Like California, New York, Texas,
    Pennsylvania, and Illinois, the State of
    Florida is a huge governmental entity with
    a tremendous amount of resources to
    handle disaster situations. Louisiana,
    a relatively small state in terms of
    population, is less likely to have the
    resources to handle a disaster situation
    in a metropolis like New Orleans.

    - Chuck Johnston
    - Chuck Johnston

  30. #120


    jyoungfan thinks we should wait before we start pointing fingers at bush and his culpability in the needless death of thousands. i am sure the reps. would hold back if the tables were reversed...like they didn't make a big deal of bill clinton getting his weenie roasted by ken starr. those guys were tripping over themselves looking for cum stains, but the dems. should keep their mouths shut until bush and his cronies can come up with a reason an entire city in a disaster situation was left to fend for themselves.........RIGHT!

    tell ya what...i am going to question every freakin move and i am not waiting to be told when that is ok to do.

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