Month: September 2005

You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an…

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Socialist

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness. loc: (99, -119)
modscore: (11, 46)
raw: (1543)

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Politics

ductTapeRolls.jpg:

My, oh my

“In another gesture symbolizing the continued confusion of the federal response, the man President Bush immediately named to succeed ‘Brownie,’ proves to have been the same FEMA official who, two-and-a-half years ago, suggested that Americans stock up on duct tape to protect against a biological or chemical terrorist attack.”

Politics

If you didn’t catch This American Life’s After The Flood over the weekend, go listen now.

“In the days following Hurricane Katrina, Denise Moore was trapped in the New Orleans Convention Center, with her mom, her niece and her niece’s two-year-old daughter. There she witnessed acts of surprising humanity by armed thugs, taking charge and doing good.”

Hearing Moore’s story literally brought tears to my eyes. She described how the so-called ‘gangs of armed thugs’ stole juice for the children and made sure that nobody besides them was armed, how they protected people trapped in grave circumstances from getting out of control and hurting anyone, especially the old and young, and how they stole yellow raincoats to use for makeshift uniforms, so that they could keep track of each other.

All this while the ‘officials’ at the scene made the survivors line up over and over again for busses which would never come, under 100-plus-degree sunlight, and with little or no regard for age or infirmity.

What does it say when thugs and gang members did more to organize relief for the people trapped for days in the New Orleans Convention Center, than FEMA or anyone else in government, local or otherwise?

Also, the Prologue focuses on the little covered issue of when the Federal Government was allowed to take action to help the people of New Orleans and the rest of the affected Gulf Coast: New Homeland Security Laws enacted while Bush was in office eliminate any pre-requisite for requests for help by state and local officials.

Go listen now.

Politics

On ‘The-Truth-About-Michael-Brown’ front, Scott Rosenberg comments:

“If you … reward people who tell you what you want to hear and fire people when they tell you unpleasant truths, you should not be surprised when truth becomes a scarce commodity…

“… Any organization run on such principles is, of course, a juggernaut of dysfunction, headed for the ditch.”

Amen, and here’s to The Truth. If it were only even a little less scarce.

More later with audio…

Politics

I thought I’d share this with the people of the Gulf Coast and particularly New Orleans, and also with the rest of Americans who are reaching out with their hearts, their homes, and their pocketbooks.

I don’t think Jaco would mind.

Music

I heard this on CNN early this morning, just after my last post. If you happen to have not heard Ray Nagin’s interview yesterday afternoon on WWL Radio, go listen right now. If you need a work-safe version, you can read the transcript on CNN.com.

Here are some important quotes:

“I told [President Bush] we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we’re outmanned in just about every respect…

“I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. We ain’t talking about — you know… they were talking about getting public school bus drivers… I’m like, ‘You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans.’… hey’re thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal. And I can’t emphasize it enough, man. This is crazy.

“You know, God is looking down on all this, and if [Bush and Governor Blanco] are not doing everything in their power to save people, they are going to pay the price. Because every day that we delay, people are dying and they’re dying by the hundreds, I’m willing to bet you…

“And I don’t know whose problem it is. I don’t know whether it’s the governor’s problem. I don’t know whether it’s the president’s problem, but somebody needs to get their ass on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now…

“I don’t want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don’t do another press conference until the resources are in this city. And then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can’t even count.”

I must say that Nagin seems to be the only politician I’ve heard who is publicly acknowledging the magnitude of this disaster, in human terms, and not spinning and downplaying. Hopefully his pleas, and the pleas of everyone still trapped after Katrina will be answered soon. Call your Senators and Congressmen and tell them to urge the President to act, and act now.

CNN is still re-broadcasting Nagin’s interview, but they’ve since edited it for brevity, and bleeped out bad language. Personally I find it offensive that they dumbed it down, since it de-emphasizes the content of Nagin’s criticisms, but whatever — this is CNN after all.

Yesterday afternoon, I saw on the local news that there had been basically no communication from any public official directly to the people who are stuck in the Superdome and Convention Center. Of course they have no power and no phones, we all know that. And it may well be too dangerous for officials to show up in person yet. But what about low-tech solutions? Drop some flyers out of a flippin’ plane or something, and tell these people what’s happening and what to do. Kinko’s headquarters is in Dallas across the street from my house — I know they’re still operating. Let’s get our shit together, people!

Politics

Apparently the Army Corps of Engineers is currently “aggressively battling” to close breaches in the levees in New Orleans. In the meantime, there are tens of thousands of people still stranded at the Superdome and the Convention Center, with no food, no water, no electricity, no security and no information from the officials who are supposed to handle the relief efforts.

To the Corps: Stop what you’re doing right now and go get those people out of there. They’re dying right now of thirst, heat stroke, starvation, and soon disease. Some are injured, some are elderly or in-firmed or infant. Some are opportunist-criminals, hoodlums, or rapists. All are frightened for their lives and in mortal peril.

The flood has already happened. Get those desperate people out to safety now, and deal with the water later.

Politics

There’s no byline, so I assume it’s a staff piece: “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.”

Politics