Friday, September 30, 2005

Breaking News: Judith Miller to testify

Is Plamegate getting closer to resolution?

Judith Miller was last night released from prison after reaching an agreement to testify with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

I find this statement interesting:

"In recent days, several important things have changed that convinced Judy that she was released from her obligation"

Also interesting is the fact that her source appears to be connected to the office of Vice President Cheney.

Details here...

The Last Passion of the Democratic Party

Here is a well-written plea to Democrats to remember their purpose:

Justice for all

I'm seeing a lot of this type of thing as the majority who don't support the war in Iraq have nowhere to turn, as Democratic leaders try to nitpick the nuances of an ill-gotten, poorly planned, catastrophic failure dead ahead of us.

This is perhaps because many Democrats neglected their duty and handed the Bush administration a blank check to wage war. Perhaps they feel it is now better to abandon American soldiers than to change their minds before voters?

For shame.

We should get out of Iraq because it is the right thing to do. It was wrong to go in and it is more wrong to stay in. Our presence there is getting our soldiers killed for no oil.

Have D.C. Democrats noticed that every three months the President himself warns us to expect more violence inside Iraq? How much violence does that now add up to?

Are we supposed to stay in Iraq to flatter your opinion of yourselves?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Frist may be next

The Security and Exchange Commission has upgraded it's inquiry of Bill Frist to "formal" status:

Details here...


The President will say that Bill Frist is doing a heck of a job.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

DeLay indicted in campaign finance probe

Yet another Republican makes a defiant exit due to corruption, this time under indictment, this time one Tom Delay (and stay tuned for Bill Frist and Karl Rove).

Hammer time

Mr. Delay ought to be thankful that the Ronnie Earle scandal reached him before the Jack Abramoff scandal did and do us all a favor and go quietly.

We, the American people, are the ones that deserve to be outraged, not him! He abuses his position and we're supposed to allow him to publicly trash the conclusion of a grand jury?

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

The march on Washington

The march on Washington on September 24th was huge but hard to see on T.V.

Here is some video footage from the march in Quicktime format. Other formats are available on the TruthOut website.

My favorite chant was,
"Arrest George Bush!"

Why aren't the major news outlets embedded in the peace movement?

ADDENDUM: Kudos to the Washington Post for their coverage, including this photo exhibit.

A day in the life of a Swedish schoolchild

The reason we pay taxes is to live in a civilized society. As we chop our taxes down society itself falls for it.

Often, I think, money reduces things to such an abstraction that everything becomes a number. As Lilly Tomlin put it, "Accountants know the cost of everything and the value of nothing."

Let's step back.

Imagine you went to sleep normally. You turned out the lights, laid down and fell asleep. When the alarm went off you woke up and zombie-like searched out the coffee machine. You sat down with your coffee and as you looked at the paper you spat coffee all over the table.

There on the front page of the Swedish Washington Post was an article about guests staying at an ice-hotel, made entirely of snow and ice, enjoying vodka.

You were, it seems, in Sweden.

You pinch yourself, but feel it and assume you are awake.

Your children come down to breakfast. Confused you pack them lunches (unnecessary as you'll see) then send them off to school, dressed in typical American fashion (just like those folks on MTV).

Here is what your child's day would be like when they arrived:

A day in the life of a Swedish schoolchild

The difference between what we have here, McDonalds encroaching in the schools, insufficient resources, and factory-based education, and what they have there, small class sizes, individualized curriculums, free lunches, and safe and clean environments, is a life-based tax-distribution (PDF) and enough taxes to fund the programs which benefit all citizens (the common good).

What are corporate taxes in Sweden like?

Here are the details (PDF).

When you talk only of taxes you talk only of money. When you talk only of money you talk only of numbers. When you talk only of numbers one has no more meaning than two or three or four except that one is easier to afford.

This has driven us to where we are, discussing schools as if they were budget items instead of budget items as if they were schools. We discuss healthcare as a number and therefore as if it were a burden on society rather than a life-affirming, citizen pleasing, benefit to society. It goes on-and-on in this manner up and down the budgets.

My shocking conclusion is that even the rich can benefit from a well-educated, well-cared-for society. It is perhaps more pleasant to believe that hard work or good morals or good breeding makes one better, more entitled, or worthy of extravagance though.

Numbers insulate us from suffering, they protect us from despair, and they keep our dreams in little boxes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Bush or LBJ?

Which Texas President said this:

"America is committed to the defense of [insert country name] until an honorable peace can be negotiated. Despite the obstacles to victory we shall stay the course."

Find out here

Eating less at Gitmo

When I think about the new hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay I can't help but wonder, darkly...

Wouldn't it be convenient for the Bush administration if everyone there died, since Guantanamo Bay is illegal under international law, US law, and contrary to kindness.

One must admit that this would be a perfect solution to such wondering. The detainees get to be heroic, the US gets to be absolved of responsibility, US courts don't have their rulings openly ignored anymore, and the solution is final.

But...I suppose we should just let them starve and go about our business of watching the next Survivor champion crowned. I wonder if there will be any sexual tension in this years season.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Phil Donahue for President

Phil Donahue takes on Bill O'Reilly on the Iraq war in this video:

Phil vs Bill

It surprised me how much respect Bill showed Phil, and also how good Phil was at pressing his case. I take it that Phil is really upset with the Iraq war and its' cheerleaders.

Friday, September 23, 2005


This is the man people thought would be a better President than John Kerry?

Speaka da English much?

Song of protest

If you have iTunes you can download this song for free. It is Bright Eyes performing "When the President Talks to God".

I like it and maybe you will too.

At least the price is right.

When the President Talks to God

This weekend there will be large protests in Washington D.C. on the 24th. If you're going you can load this tune up on your mp3 player and impress your friends.


Often liberals define themselves negatively, by which I mean they trumpet what they are not, not what they are.

If you don't believe me go to any health food store frequented by your local liberals and take a look at the shelves where you'll see:

Chips with no salt.
Bread with no gluten.
Coffee with no caffeine.
Soap with no scent, or no phosphates.

With politics it is much the same. Liberals are anti-Bush, anti-monopoly, anti-war, and anti-discrimination.

I confess I am guilty of falling into the same trap.

This is too bad because a lot of ideas on the left are very good for America. It is time, I think, to transform the way we talk. It is time to talk about what we are rather than what we are not.

One thing many on the left are for is energy independence, particularly sustainable non-polluting energy sources. This makes sense for our foreign policy, or environmental policy, our economic policy, and our security (no vulnerable dependencies).

With wind-mills, for instance, we all breathe cleaner air and forgo nuclear meltdown dangers and furthermore have enough wind to harness to supply all of America's power. Yet this progressive, forward-looking vision gets discussed as anti-nuclear, anti-coal, and anti-oil talking-points, which are nowhere near as unifying or constructive.

To that end here is a great idea my wife had.

She is a fan of old-time country music and heard that Willie Nelson was starting a bio-diesel company. She asked me what biodiesel was and I explained it was diesel fuel made from vegetable fats and how we could make our own using a kit sold by Home Power (I'm a subscriber).

She thought about that for a few moments and said, "Wow! McDonald's is sitting on a gold-mine. Why don't they take all that grease, team up with Willie, and add bio-diesel filling stations at their locations? You could buy McFuel with your McNuggets!"

In that moment I knew once again I made the right choice when I married.

Can you imagine the immense good this would do to McDonald's reputation among environmentalists?

Why not have our cars filled up as we wait in the drive-thru lane anyway? Now that's what I call convenient!

I'm lovin' it!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

From hell's heart...

In a way I feel bad for Laura Bush, whose popularity suffers collateral damage by way of marriage. Unlike her husband she is interested in books, and in literature, and in American culture. Unlike her husband, who disdains opinion polls (and no wonder), she seems saddened by the snubs of people whom she obviously admires.

But, I guess she has made her bed and must now lie in it. She must accept that it is not easy to make friends when your husband is casting shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism on American soil:

A poet says no

Poets are haunted by war.
It wakes them up at night.
They forget the children-damage least of all.
Their eyes are wells of poetry.

Good night, and good luck

George Clooney is one of my favorite actors.

He has a new movie called "Good Night, and Good Luck" slated for release on October 7th that I am looking forward to.

Here is the trailer:

Edward R. Murrow

I believe that McCarthyism is just around the corner because Americans are so scared they will soon seek the safety of persecution through herd-hysteria. Perhaps this movie will remind Americans that more was lost than gained when the greasy-haired high inquisitor was allowed to run amok in our land.

I hope the American press is ready for this new McCarthyism, but when I look into the vacant stare of what passes for a news anchor today I have my doubts. Can the sensation salesmen and the disembodied divas protect our liberties when we really need them the way Edward R. Murrow did?

"Give me liberty or give me death", said John Henry at St. John's church in March of 1775. What will Americans say 230 years later?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pauline Robinson Bush

The way the Bush family reacted when Pauline Robinson Bush died on October 11, 1953 is something that might help to explain the President's personal disconnect from humanity in the wake of Katrina.

It turns out that the young George W. Bush was kept in the dark about his little sister's leukemia, was told to stop playing with her, not present when Robin died, nor taken to the funeral. The day after the funeral George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush reportedly spent time golfing in Rye.

I forget that sometimes.

No wonder he had no empathy for the victims of Katrina.

About Robin Bush

Recalling this musters up symptoms of compassion for the President in my bunkered heart.


My sympathy for the President doesn't usually last long. No longer, in fact, than it takes me to recall that stem cell research is an avenue of hope for those suffering with leukemia today.

The president's position on stem cell research is well known.

What is going on?

Here is another story which highlights the fact that something isn't right in the Katrina relief effort:

You're on your own

I am no longer prepared to excuse the US government's awful response to the disaster as mere incompetence, because too much planning went into the failure.

For instance:

FEMA sends aid away, leaves it idling uselessly in Maryland.

British food aid to be incinerated

Chertoff delays Katrina response

FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations

FEMA turns away experienced firefighters

FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks

FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel

FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food

FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans

FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid

FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board

FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck

FEMA turns away generators

FEMA urges First Responders Not To Respond

FEMA shows "lack of urgency and lack of respect" handling dead bodies

Visit the Daily KOS for updates to this list: here, or you can also check here.

Consider that these were not things FEMA failed to do, or to consider, but did consider and did do. They were actions in other words and not a lack thereof. They were actions that would not make sense to an idiot. Why then, should they make sense to Michael Chertoff and Michael Brown?

I think it is time for the American press to do some digging. There's a story here that I think they are missing. Something about the poor response seems deliberate.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Worth seeing

I say again that I personally don't feel President Bush is racist. I think he's incompetent and feels that poor people are untouchable (whatever their color).

However, here is a video by K-Otix that I think is worth seeing...

(Be forewarned that it may have a few naughty words in it):

Gold Digger

Thanks to the folks at One Good Move for posting the link.

9/11 And The Sport of God

Know what a Patriot Pastor is?

Heard of the book, "Is Religion Killing Us?"?

Does a literal interpretation of the Bible inevitably lead to the conclusion that God is "sadistic, brutal, vengeful, callow, cruel and savage"?

Who did Pat Robertson blame 9/11 on?

What is a Christocrat?

What is the "Ohio Restoration Project"?

What is America 21?

What is a Christian Realist?

Read on and find out in this article by Bill Moyers on the radical right.

Why context matters

Context is the difference between parroting and Truth telling.

Few examples are as clear-cut as this segment by the Daily Show. Most network news outlets would not take the time to set Tom's words into perspective the way Jon Stewart does here:


Without context one almost sympathizes with Mr. Coburn's aching heart and passionate call to less partisanship. Contrasted against his own hate-speech, though, one sees a hypocrite exposed rather than a genuine appeal to civility.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Average family health policy nears $11,000

As the average health insurance plan tops $10,000 dollars I wonder if a single-payer insurance program like they have in Canada isn't a better system after-all.


1. A lot of fear would be lifted from many American's lives, particularly the fear of not being able to care for a sick child. People that are afraid make bad decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities.

2. Our economy would get a boost if we put $10,000 dollars in every family's pocket. Furthermore, that money will be well spent.

3. American companies would be more competitive. For instance, Ford Motor Company claims $1,000 of the cost of every car is due to health insurance costs.

4. A lot more small businesses would be added to our economy, since a chief obstacle now is the burden of health insurance premiums.

5. A new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Public Citizen estimates that national health insurance could save at least $286 billion annually on paperwork, enough to cover all of the uninsured and to provide full prescription drug coverage for everyone in the United States. That is called a win-win scenario.

6. A high percentage of America's personal bankruptcies are fueled by health-care costs. A single-payer system would eliminate this strain on our financial system.

7. The last time I checked Canadian economic growth met or surpassed U.S. performance in seven of the past ten years.

8. There is a strong moral case to be made for caring for the sick.

9. Government should provide for the common good and any one of us can become sick or disabled. This, therefore, seems like a duty of a good government.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hiding the Truth

Once again Republicans are putting party before country, even when it comes to matters of national defense:

Disloyalty to America

If it is true, as the Bible says, that "the Truth will set you free", then what does that make us in this moment?

Maybe memere was right

My grandmother believed that there was no need to worry about going to hell because we were already there. Her worry was staying in hell, that is to say being reincarnated here on Earth. Her idea of heaven seemed to be somewhere else.

I can't say I blame her. As a young girl she had to wait in bread lines during the great depression. She worked in a mill, but found love and married. After becoming pregnant her husband was drafted into WWII and sent overseas for four years.

Yet, my grandfather survived and life became somewhat normal until the Korean war, to be followed by the Vietnam war where three of her sons served.

So, she had a lot to worry about during her lifetime and I didn't blame her for feeling the way she did about Earth being hell. But, I didn't believe her until last night, when we learned that Karl Rove, a political assassin, is going to be in charge of the Katrina rebuilding effort.

Maybe memere was right?

Instead of being fired for exposing a CIA agent in time of war, or held in jail as a traitor (if intent were established), Karl Rove is going to be the face of compassion in the Bush administration! The man that defeated John McCain by insinuating he had an illegitimate black child is going to repair the President's image with the predominantly black Katrina refugees!

I'm sorry Jesus. I must have been terribly wicked to deserve this punishment, but I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.


ADDENDUM: Here is a great post by Josh Marshall on this subject.

It's easy being green.

Here is an angry article which says Mike Brown was the result of Bush's type of affirmative action, that is preferential treatment for rich white men.

Old-boy network

That's a really good point that I hadn't thought of and perhaps a new way for Democrats to talk about race. Discrimination isn't just about black or brown people being held down, but also about those that are held up without merit.

However, I claim that class issues are more discriminatory than race issues today and think John Edwads really nails the issue with his "Two America's" theme.

Green, I feel, is the only color that power cares about, and Kermit the Frog was wrong. It's easy being green...

When you're green you have healthcare.

When you're green your children go to good schools.

When you're green your neighborhoods are safe.

When you're green your neighborhoods are quiet.

When you're green you can afford healthy food.

When you're green no predatory lenders call.

When you're green you can defend yourself like Michael Jackson or Ken Lay, or ensure any jail time is comfortable like it was for Martha Stewart.

Yes, when you're green, life is good.

When you're not green you are stranded on rooftops after a flood waiting for help that is slow to arrive.

When you're not green you lose your home because you want the hospital to save your daughter's life and have no other way to turn green.

When you're not green they find out you are innocent after they kill you on death row.

When you're not green the food on the grocery store shelves is rotten before you bring it home.

The reason that affirmative action is focused on economic opportunity is because the racism you experience is in inverse proportion to your green. When you're green, in other words, nobody cares if you're black. They also don't care if you're a moron.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

12 Explosions in Iraq Kill at Least 152

It seems that billions of dollars of expense and years of patience has not allowed the US to secure Baghdad, let alone Iraq. So why is everybody in the Bush administration so confident of their course?

The captain of the Titanic, I am sure, was confident of his course. That didn't make him correct did it?

Bombs in Baghdad

It should not escape your attention that Al Qaida in Iraq took responsibility for the bombing. As was predicted before the war began Iraq is becoming a breeding ground for terrorists, just like Afghanistan turned out to be for Russia.

People foresaw that icebergs were in northern waters too. Those that paid no heed and confidently stayed the course seem to have learned the hard way that they were mistaken.

ADDENDUM: Today there are fresh bombings.

Preying on Katrina

This article points out that the same corporations getting no-bid contracts to redestruct Iraq are now circling the Katrina devestation and licking their lips. They look with hunger to the President in hopes of a publicly-financed nest egg.

It's a small world afterall

One man's loss

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Click photo for clarification by George Lakoff Posted by Picasa

Pat Robertson is nutty

It seems that every time Pat Robertson opens his mouth these days it is to sputter hate-speech, paranoid delusions, or outright crazy-talk.

For example, he is currently blaming Hurricane Katrina on Ellen Degeneres, when we sane people know that God is really punishing Pat Robertson for recently calling for Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to be assassinated.

Paranoid Pat

Could Pat be trying to deflect attention from the log in his own eye?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

To put it kindly

The soft bigotry of low expectations in action:

Praise for George

Refugees or Evacuees

I have never liked the politically "correct" movement, particularly it's penchant for controlling language (thought?).

Lately I have heard the thought police trying to enforce the notion that people should say evacuee, not refugee, when speaking of Katrina's displaced.

I am somewhat perplexed, since a refugee is essentially one that seeks refuge, and not to my knowledge a term of derision:

Full definition here

Perhaps some people can't stand the notion that we in America can have our own refugees and so their response is to sanitize the language, thereby comforting themselves with righteous indignation and a linguistic wall of obscurity.

I do know that I am going to continue to say refugee here because I believe it is a phrase that garners sympathy, and sympathy is the mother of giving. I also feel that the hardest-hit victims of Katrina were not evacuee's (that is to say people that were evacuated) and that was indeed a large part of their problem.

I smell a rat

The center for disease control has, since 1969, compiled abortion statistics. They have been unpolitical about it, which means they were one of the few sources of trustworthy objective analysis out there.

As you may know the abortion rate is tied closely to the poverty rate. This historic trend was reinforced during the Clinton years where 7 million families moved out of poverty and the abortion rate went down, down, down.

See for yourself

Given that historical trend I had to wonder, since George W. Bush has produced an economy with 4 straight years of families moving into poverty what was happening to the abortion rates.

CDC abortion statistics seem to have stopped being published in 2001.

My inquiries to the CDC on the subject have not been answered.

I suspect that Republicans have a dirty little secret that they want to hide from their base of religious supporters, namely that supporting Republican economics requires supporting an increase in the abortion rate.

I could be wrong, but I find it highly unlikely that Karl Rove would keep a decline in the abortion rate a secret from da base.

I smell a rat.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Here's an idea

I have an idea.

People now are talking about independent commissions to get to the bottom of the Katrina disaster.

I say a commission is a big fat whitewash independent or not, but at least an independent one has the potential to be less obvious.

Why not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the mess?

Those guys seem pretty thorough and we might actually learn something.

Of course, there must be a pretext of a crime I suppose....

Is there such a thing as criminal negligence?

Friday, September 09, 2005

That's A Dodge

I've just been watching a press briefing that you should see:

David vs Goliath

It clearly emphasizes the disconnect between the Bush administration and the American people right now. It looks to me like Scotty McClellan here is flustered, angry, (watch his color change), and confused. It's as if he doesn't realize that when there are thousands of AMERICAN dead bodies in the streets of one of our greatest cities it's time to produce answers. It's time for some accountability.

How I hope the era of a stagnant press politely allowing themselves to be marinated in B.S. is over. How I hope that next time this happens the next questioner takes up where the last one left off until an actual, factual, answer to a direct question is given. How I hope the objective Truth will stop being treated like a ball in a shell-game, elusive, blurred, and concealed.

Don't let them lull you back to sleep boys!

You're making me proud.


Race and Katrina

Here is a video that many of you may have missed, or seen in edited format. Rapper Kayne West speaks from the heart at a Red Cross fundraiser while sharing the stage with Mike Myers.

I disagree with Kayne and think the slow response to Katrina was not driven by racism but instead by really ineffective ideology in conjunction with nepotism. However, I am white and I am sure that I can't see racism through Kayne's eyes.

Maybe you agree with Kayne?

In any case I respect someone testifying from their heart (as opposed to a teleprompter). I have to admit the second time Kayne spoke I laughed like hell. I might not agree with his position, but I am really weary of B.S. and find candor refreshing.

Maybe it will become a trend?

The third world

Today I find myself wondering about that term the third world. I have heard it a lot lately in the aftermath of Katrina. People are saying that Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana look like the third world.

It is a rather curious turn of phrase.

What do we mean when we say it?

The history of the phrase, which you can get in full here is: "This expression originated in the mid-1900s, at first denoting those countries in Asia and Africa that were not aligned with either the Communist bloc nations or the non-Communist Western nations."

But I wouldn't say that it was used that way anymore.

I think that when we say it we think of, literally, another planet.

On this other planet there is a lot of suffering human beings, but what makes it special is that we don't care. It is somehow normal on this third world for people to starve, or be exploited as indentured servants, as long as they keep making our cheap sneakers.

I think that is a more modern, honest, and sober definition of the phrase third world don't you?

I suppose it could also be argued that the phrase third world is also a planet of predominantly dark-skinned people, which seems to be the case for those left behind in Katrina's wake.

What do they mean on the newscasts when they compare New Orleans, then to the third world? Are they trying to harden our hearts, or garner sympathy, as in these poor devils have it so bad they look like they are on the wrong planet.

I understand, now, those people who say One World as if it weren't an astute observation of the obvious. Their wish is to live on the planet where it is not OK to suffer, where someone will come to their aid, where the compassion is.

I think maybe I'll stop using the phrase. Maybe forgotten world would be better?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Pressure drop

I usually restrain myself from these kinds of things.

Today I don't feel like it.

Take another vacation
You lazy blockhead!
Take another vacation
while we tally our dead.

Go ride your bike with Lance Armstrong!
Go strum guitar and sing Nero's song.

Go back to your ranch.
Go back to your brush.
Go dine on pretzels.
Be a born-again lush.

What you gonna do
when they come with Voodoo?
Where can you hide
from eyes that have died?

America, I know,
can survive quite a blow.
America, I hope,
can survive such a dope.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

FEMA Chief Waited Until After Storm Hit

President Bush doesn't really need another reason to fire the twin disasters Michael Brown and Michael Chertoff, but one has just been made public all the same.

It seems Mr. Brown waited until hours after Katrina struck before making a request to his boss to dispatch 1000 Homeland Security employees to the region, and gave them two days to arrive, and they were to serve in PR roles.

It also seems that Mr. Chertoff, Mr. Brown's boss, wasn't competent enough to send the people on his own, nor in a useful capacity.

President Bush tolerates failure in the performance of Donald Rumsfeld even as American GIs die and die and die, so I fully expect him to stand behind these twin pillars of fault as well while Americans die and die and die.

Accountability is about as far from the province of Mr. Bush as satisfaction with his performance is to Katrina's survivors.

You just can't make this stuff up

I fully expect the "leak" in this case to have been orchestrated by Mr. "loose-lips" Rove, but I don't care if the story is true. There is enough information to act already.

How much failure in such a critical role is too much?

How many people get to die for lack of competence before the President restores credibility?

What to do

I suppose I shouldn't simply berate the Bush administration for its faulty relief effort without offering a few suggestions. So, here goes.

First and foremost, I think, President Bush needs to steal a quiet moment and reflect upon what it means to lose everything. By everything I don't just mean possessions, I mean also family members, neighborhoods, places of employment, transportation systems, access to food and water, access to television and telephones, control over your own safety or that of your family's. I mean living in an environment that is unclean, unsafe, and laden with despair. I say this because I feel the President is out-of-touch with his compassion (perhaps it got lost to politics), and I feel that he needs it now so that he can rise up and be a beacon of hope, or at least stop saying incredibly stupid cold-hearted things.

Secondly, I'd say, reassign those twin disasters Michael Chertoff and Michael Brown. They have done enough damage and I'm sick of their excuse making. Marshall Whitman suggests a competent replacement would be Rudi Giuliani and I agree with him. I say this can't happen soon enough.

Thirdly, the world community is extending offers of help. Accept them with thanks. In fact accept any and all help. Refusing help at a time like this is as daft as it gets. This might even help you with your foreign policy as it will restore some old friendships the way nothing but tragedy can.

Fourthly, here is a guiding principal. If an idea decreases human suffering approve it immediately, if it increases it abandon it. So, if truckloads of water appear at a time when water is desperately needed you can approve of the idea immediately. If Canada wants to help with the rescue effort you can approve the idea immediately. If a FEMA middle-manager wants to obstruct relief efforts to show-off his authority you can fire him immediately (which upholds both principals).

Lastly, take your economic ideology and shove it. Be guided simply by what works. What works will be anything that fulfills the needs of those in trouble. If they need housing open a closed military base, bring in cruise ships, direct people to MoveOn. If they need food put New Orleans immense hospitality industry to work. If they feel abandoned give them hope. This is no time for high ideals but a time for lowly human compassion. In other words, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Harry Reid has a host of suggestions too. You can read them here.

President Bush people are desperate for help and to let them die expecting it is about as noble as leaving the fallen on the battlefield. You were in the Guard, you know what that means don't you?

Be the uniter we're overdue.
Bring on your compassion.

A forgiving nation awaits your redemption.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A little rhyme

Told the truth?
You're demoted!
Told a lie?
You're promoted!

Accountability rules and sincerity prevails?
Sincerity tales and nobody's fools!

Go back to your holes.
Go back to your pits.
Go lurk in the dark.
Stop giving me fits.

On second thought

When I'd first heard that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stopped three truckloads of water sent to New Orleans by Wal-Mart I was fit to be tied.

Details here...

"How could people be so stupid as to render vocabulary merciless to describe it?", I raged.

"How could anybody be so incompetent as to send away the needs of great despair?", I stormed.

"What kind of an idiot does it take to be so monstrously ineffective?", I howled.

But on second thought a deeper disgust dawned.

For years the President has been a promoter of privatization, and of smaller government (in words alone, not deeds). Here, unbidden, was an opportunity to score from third base on a solid single. A PR paradise ready for the plucking!

Wal-Mart, the best company in the world at getting goods to people efficiently, generously (it must be said) decided to respond to the Katrina disaster by sending desperately needed water. They were, in effect, a sterling example of a corporation taking the lead and filling holes left by receeding government services. "See?", the President could have said, "it is possible to privatize and to down-size government without pain!"

Instead, stupidly, Wal-Mart's generosity was turned away.

It seems this President can't even recognize a good idea when it pulls up in three trucks and honks its horn!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bad plans produce bad results

Here is a timeline put together by Kevin Drum that clearly shows the polices of George W. Bush as contrasted against their shabby end-results for Katrina disaster victims:

The Washington Monthly

I think the most important point made is that a response to this type of disaster is nearly identical to, say, a terrorist attack on a major city; and there was a weeks warning with Katrina, and there have been years of preparation (at great expense) since 911. In other words the Bush administration excuse-making about structural re-adjustments that are terrorism related just don't add up (as Bugs Bunny liked to say).

One point I would like to add in light of the recent warning by Herr Chertoff of the H.S.S. (Homeland Security Services) to expect an "ugly scene" in the aftermath of Katrina is, "Yes, of course you idiots! Why do you think we've been impatient with your accursed foot-dragging?"

Am I wrong?

I Wrote Bush's War Words -- in 1965

Thanks to the Prissy Patriot for pointing out this article on her blog. It is an opinion piece written by Daniel Ellsberg in the L.A. Times.

Daniel compares President Bush's recent speech to those he advised in 1965 to keep us in Vietnam:

Learn some history

The question now seems to be, "How long will we stay the course? Will it be until 58,000 American GIs die to uphold the honor of a pack of liars?"

I, for one, hope not. It seems that Daniel makes two.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Another way to help

Hurricane Katrina has left a lot of people temporarily homeless. It is also a tragedy that is hard to face without help from neighbors.

So, MoveOn has put together a site which allows Americans with room to spare to put up survivors in need of somewhere to stay.

This allows one to reach out and make life better for at least one family in need.

It is also a place that those in need can turn for shelter.

In other words, it is neighbor helping neighbor, and what Americans have always been good at.

Details here

A Disaster for President Bush?

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was heartily trimmed by the Bush administration and many argue that the Federal response to hurricane Katrina was hampered by this decision.

Here is an article published in Sept. 2004 which complains:

Bush administration policy changes and budget cuts, they say, are sapping FEMA's longterm ability to cushion the blow of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados, wildfires and other natural disasters.

Full details

If news like that got out it could be bad for the President's reputation.

Lord knows that ridiculous speech he gave yesterday isn't going to help.

Then there's this news. It is so bizarre and smacks of such incompetence that one has to wonder if the President is playing with 52 cards in his deck.

Krugman on Greenspan

Like Paul Krugman I cannot forgive Alan Greenspan for selling the Bush tax cuts while warning America about paying down the deficit too fast.

While I admit that the economic stewardship of President Bush has indeed been a competent solution to worries about a freedom from debt, and I further admit that the Presidential tax-cuts have been so effective that there is absolutely no danger at all now that the deficit will be paid down too fast, I argue that the debt will become an anchor around opportunity's neck, dragging students out of schools, services out of communities, and healthcare away from Americans.

My understanding is that the role of the central bank (aka "The Fed") is to maintain the debt levels as high as possible, but not so high that interest payments to the investors (such as the Rockefeller's and the Communist Chinese) cannot be made.

In light of this understanding, Mr. Greenspan's warnings and actions have made perfect sense, although he may have bit off more debt than America can eschew with his backing of Republican economics.

In light of this understanding, it also makes perfect sense why the mouthpieces for the mega-rich (aka Republicans) were railing against Greenspan when the debt was going down under Democrats, but are largely silent now that it has been brought to record-setting levels.

So, given my understanding, you may perhaps forgive me if I view Alan Greenspan as a traitor to America's young, a deliverer of debt, and a selfish human being.

Unlike me, Mr. Krugman maintains civility and here is what he has to say on Mr. Greenspan's career:

Greenspan and the Bubble

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin