Monday, September 26, 2005

Plus Ca Change: A Country Without a Soul

During Vietnam, some soldiers created necklaces of hacked-off human ears. During World War II, some soldiers brought home skulls, and ears, and bones as trophies.

During Gulf War II/Afghanistan, some American soldiers brutally beat prisoners entrusted to them--some broke bones, some beat the prisoners to death. Some appeared to delight in torturing and humiliating their prisoners. Many troops believed that their commanding officers supported the suspension of the Geneva Conventions during this conflict, and said they were under the impression their brutal treatment was just following orders.

There came a time when pictures from one jail, Abu Ghraib, were made public--pictures of the torture and mistreatment of prisoners at the hands of American guards. When these pictures were made public, it was the existence of the pictures--not the behaviors of the guards, grinning and pointing at the genitals of their prisoners--that excited concern from the Bush administration. "These pictures will make us look bad!" was their thinking--not "these behaviors are immoral."

There came a time when pictures from the battlefield became publicly known--pictures of mutilated Iraqi corpses with grinning, pointing American solidiers posed next to them, pictures of the genitals of wounded Iraqi women, pictures of charred corpses, pictures of hacked-off limbs, pictures American troops had brought to post on the internet at, trading sadistic death porn in exchange for sex porn, in a scandal known as "Do-It-Yourself Abu Ghraib."

There came a time when treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was made public--tales of torture and mistreatment of prisoners by their American guards, and tales of sacrilegious treatment of the Koran, the prisoners' holy book. This concerned the Bush administration. Not the behavior--the discovery of the behavior. "These stories will make us look bad!" was their thinking--not "these behaviors are immoral."

There came a time when the existence of CDs showing the rape of children by American troops was made known, but their release to the public was prevented by the Bush administration. "These pictures will make us look bad!" was their thinking--not "these behaviors are immoral."

In the Bush administration, everything is weighed by its spin; will action A. provide us with more power, or less? Will we gain more profit, or less? Will we look better, or worse?

Nothing said about right vs. wrong.

Nothing about preferring good to evil.

With Bubble Boy and his black-heart neo-cons, the culture of chickenhawks, America is utterly empty of any moral leadership. What attracts their "moral" attention is evaluating the sexual practices of grown men and women, and protecting the so-called "human rights" of embryoes who cannot in any case survive on their own.

When it comes to the human rights records of their authoritarian oilist allies--sexual slavery, indentured servitude, women's rights count for absolutely nothing.

Something's missing.

Winston Churchill said, "A country without a conscience is a country without a soul, and a country without a soul is a country that cannot survive."

Is Winston speaking about us, boys and girls?

Compare and contrast with the following:

A Task.

by Czeslaw Milosz

In fear and trembling, I think I would fulfill my life

Only if I brought myself to make a public confession

Revealing a sham, my own and of my epoch:

We were permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and demons

But pure and generous words were forbidden

Under so stiff a penalty that whoever dared to pronounce one

Considered himself as a lost man.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

America, America, America: Torture For Fun? No problema!


From the New York Times, "3 in 82nd Airborne Say Beating Iraqi Prisoners Was Routine: Told Rights Group Goals Were Intelligence and Fun."

You heard that right.

Torture, American-style: that would be torture "for fun."

Recall tubby druggie Rush yapping about torture at Abu Ghraib and at Gitmo as being nothing more than frat boy high-jinx?

Recall Rummy's comments that since he stands for eight hours a day, "stress positions" couldn't be all that bad?


"Three U.S. army personnel-two sergeants and a captain-describe routine, severe beatings of prisoners and other cruel and inhumane treatment. In one incident, a soldier is alleged to have broken a detainee's leg with a baseball bat. Detainees were also forced to hold five-gallon jugs of water with their arms outstretched and perform other acts until they passed out.

"Soldiers also applied chemical substances to detainees' skin and eyes, and subjected detainees to forced stress positions, sleep deprivation, and extremes of hot and cold. Detainees were also stacked into human pyramids and denied food and water. The soldiers also described abuses they witnessed or participated in at another base in Iraq and during earlier deployments in Afghanistan.

"According to the soldiers' accounts, U.S. personnel abused detainees as part of the military interrogation process or merely to 'relieve stress.'

"In numerous cases, they said that abuse was specifically ordered by Military Intelligence personnel before interrogations, and that superior officers within and outside of Military Intelligence knew about the widespread abuse.

"The accounts show that abuses resulted from civilian and military failures of leadership and confusion about interrogation standards and the application of the Geneva Conventions."

Gee, why would that be? Thanks again, future Supreme Court Justice, "No-Genevas" Gonzalez.

"They contradict claims by the Bush administration that detainee abuses by U.S. forces abroad have been infrequent, exceptional and unrelated to policy.

"'The administration demanded that soldiers extract information from detainees without telling them what was allowed and what was forbidden,' said Tom Malinowski, Washington Director of Human Rights Watch. 'Yet when abuses inevitably followed, the leadership blamed the soldiers in the field instead of taking responsibility.'"

Hmm. Sounds like Rummy, sounds like Bubble Boy.

"Soldiers referred to abusive techniques as "smoking" or "fucking" detainees, who are known as "PUCs," or Persons Under Control. "Smoking a PUC" referred to exhausting detainees with physical exercises (sometimes to the point of unconsciousness) or forcing detainees to hold painful positions.

"Fucking a PUC" detainees referred to beating or torturing them severely. The soldiers said that Military Intelligence personnel regularly instructed soldiers to "smoke" detainees before interrogations.

"One sergeant told Human Rights Watch: "Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent. In a way it was sport… One day [a sergeant] shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy's leg with a mini Louisville Slugger, a metal bat."

"The officer who spoke to Human Rights Watch made persistent efforts over 17 months to raise concerns about detainee abuse with his chain of command and to obtain clearer rules on the proper treatment of detainees, but was consistently told to ignore abuses and to "consider your career." He believes he was not taken seriously until he approached members of Congress to raise his concerns.

"When the officer made an appointment this month with Senate staff members of Senators John McCain and John Warner, he says his commanding officer denied him a pass to leave his base."

I love black-heart neo-con moral values. Don't limit the size of your family; go ahead and beat the crap out of jailed furriners.

When we will be able to see Rush and Rummy hamstrung into pretzel-positions and hung out over a boiling vat of Katrina's toxic waste?

When will we be able to see Condi and Cheney with in black KKK hoods, their arms outstretched, teetering above a pile of slippery boxes, attached to real electrodes?

When will we be able to see John Bolton, naked and humiliated, forced to urinate and defecate all over himself, whacking off at the pleasure of his captors?

And--what about George?

It would be just for fun!

Tell me once again about the 'moral values' of these wretched neo-cons, crying crocodile tears about all the lonely embryoes whilst encouraging our boys to break the legs of their boys with baseball bats.

For fun.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

In Nightmares Begin Responsibilities

Time to kiss Roe v. Wade goodbye, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome in the official Judge John Roberts era of forced maternity.

That's where we are now, brought there thanks to Bubble Boy, foreshadowed by repeated heh-heh-heh "Dred Scott decision" heh-heh-heh nudge-nudge wink-wink innuendo moments during his 2004 campaign.

Bubble Boy sure can smirk, but I'm not smirking about his plan to repeal women's reproductive freedom. That's a tragedy.

Not Judge Roberts' simplistic "tragedy of abortion"-type tragedy--alright, he's Roman Catholic, he can get away with it--at least they're consistent within their tradition, well, pretty much, except for that big fat "just war" loophole--but the actual American tragedy is that of post-born women, and their actual post-born kids and their actual post-born families.

Let's welcome, then, the coming upsurge of unwanted babies, thanks a lot.

Let's have more and more babies we can't care for, we can't afford, we can't deal with. Let's have a little more child abuse, because, really, stressed out moms and dads who can't make ends meet, well, they're not going to be the poster boys and girls for patient parenting, are they? Let's up the general quota of maternal/child suffering.

And crime. Let's not forget crime. "Unwantedness leads to high crime," according to economist Stephen Levitt and Steven Dubner. "When a woman does not want to have a child, she usually has good reason. She may be unmarried or in a bad marriage. She may consider herslef too poor to raise a child. She may think her life is too unstable or too unhappy, or she may think that her drinking and drug use will damage the baby's health. . . for any of a hundred reasons, she may feel that she cannot provide a home environment that is conducive to raising a healthy and productive child. . . . Two factors--childhood poverty and a single-parent household--are among the strongest predictors that a child will have a criminal future."

But that's ok with the people ordering mothers to bear children against their will.

It's all about being a selfish, black-heart neo-con with no capacity for empathy, much less compassion: as in Bubble Boy, and his anti-choice lynch mobs.

It's about punishing women for being women, punishing the poor for being poor, and punishing the pregnant for the act of conception itself.

The crackpots across the street from Camp Casey said it best: WE DON'T CARE. WE DON'T CARE. WE DON'T CARE.

They don't.

No surprises there.

We'll shriek hysterically about the horror of murdering embryoes, but are fine with sending the grown-up ones to die in Iraq. We'll weep sadly about fetuses, but put our own accumulation of wealth first, putting ourselves always at the head of every line. We'll yap endlessly about culture-of-life, culture-of-life, but we really couldn't give a shit about anyone but ourselves. We'll squawk about culture-of-life, culture-of-life, but we'll cause pain whenever we please, to whomever we please; we'll do anything to anyone whenever we want to--so long as it's not residing in a womb or in a petri dish.

The so-called "culture of life" is really a culture of death; a culture of ego, a culture of me-first, a culture of "gimme," a culture of torture in which your pain is perfectly permissible.

It's not really very Christian at all.

Friday, September 16, 2005

In Nightmares Begin Responsibilities: The Tao of Bubble Boy

"Poor people are poor because they are lazy."

The Tao of Bubble Boy.

Dear Bubble Boy:

Despite what your insensitive, racist, college dropout mom taught you, poor people are poor because they don't earn enough money to be rich, or because they have not inherited sufficient funds to live on (interest from inherited) bread alone.

Poor people are poor--oh, and sick--because even when they work, they don't earn enough money to pay for rent, or clothes, or health care. Oh, and they get sick because they eat cheap junk food because--it's cheap.

Recently, the cost of health care rose to equal earnings from minimum wage jobs. The latimes reported that "average annual premiums for family coverage grew more than 9% since last year to $10,880. A minimum wage worker earns $10,712 before taxes. "

You, Bubble Boy, recently reduced the hourly wages for reconstruction workers in the aftermath of Katrina. Isn't that nice?

As for Katrina evacuees, here's the picture from the Washington Post:

Six in 10 evacuees had family incomes of less than $20,000 last year. Half have children younger than 18. One in eight was unemployed when the storm hit. Seven in 10 said they have no insurance to cover their losses. Fully half have no health insurance. Four in 10 suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or are physically disabled.

That's pretty seriously poor--and ill. All their fault, of course.

And what about that unemployment thing? Wow. Must be so lazy.

On the other hand, neither one of your college graduate daughters works. That makes them both unemployed. Is that why neither one, much less you you, cares about the minimum wage? But why aren't they starving, if they're not working? "Daddy's friends"? "Daddy'?

You, Bubble Boy, a noted dunce, got into Yale and Harvard because of your "Daddy's friends." This, according to you.

Do poor people have "Daddy's friends" who can help them get into Yale? Do poor people have "Daddy's friends" who can help them get into Harvard? Do poor people have disproportionate incidence of diabetes and obesity because they have less access to vegetables, protein, and dinners at the Fairfield Country Club with Muffies and Binkies?

Do poor people have "Daddy's friends" to get them into the National Guard as a a way to avoid going to Vietnam, even though they, like you, might support the fighting of that war, but just not want themselves to be exploded? Do poor people have "Daddy's friends" to cover-up one's illegal drug use, and one's derelictions of duty, so that one suffers no consequences pretty much however deeply one screws up?

Do poor people have trust funds? Do poor people have financial advisers? Do poor people get tax breaks? Do poor people know how to scam like Halliburton, Bechtel, and CACI? Do poor people have "Daddy's friends" who can help them get into the oil business, and into the Texas Rangers business?

Why don't they?

Are they too lazy?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

In Nightmares Begin Responsibilities: We Can't Care for the Children We Already Have

Eleven Children Found Caged in Ohio Home

"Sheriff's deputies found 11 children locked in cages with alarms in a north Ohio home, and prosecutors are looking into possible charges of abuse and neglect.

The children, ages 1 to 14, were in nine cages in the walls of a house outside this city of about 1,000 about 50 miles west of Cleveland, according to the Huron County Sheriff's Office. They had no blankets or pillows, and the cages were rigged with alarms that sounded if the cages were opened, Lt. Randy Sommers said.

The children told authorities they slept in the 40-inches-high by 40 inches-deep cages at night. Doors to some of the cages were blocked with heavy furniture.

Sharen and Mike Gravelle are adoptive or foster parents for all 11 children, officials said. Prosecutors are reviewing the case, but no charges had been filed as of Monday night.

A children's services investigator saw one of the children in a cage Friday, Sommers said. The sheriff's office obtained a warrant and returned to the house around 5 that evening and removed the children."

Stories like this one are why I strongly object to putting embryo rights ahead of the rights of the post-born, you know, ahead of the rights of actual infants and children.

Oh, and here's another:

For torturing kids, couple get 15 years

The Dollars say their strong religious beliefs led them to pull out toenails of five of their foster children, starve them and give them electric shocks.

Published September 15, 2005

INVERNESS - A Citrus County couple accused of torturing and starving five children agreed Wednesday to 15-year prison sentences, then said the crimes occurred because they took their religious beliefs too far.

"We are sorry that the children are hurt," John Dollar said. "We are firm believers in the God almighty ... because of those principles we were led to do certain things."

Those "things," prosecutors say, included pulling out the children's toenails with pliers, starving them and shocking them with a cattle prod.

John and Linda Dollar faced 150 years in prison if convicted at trial. . .

The story of the Dollars - an educated (sic), financially stable, devout (sic) couple - shocked the local community and the nation in January when the accusations surfaced.

Their 16-year-old boy weighed 59 pounds. Twin boys, age 14, weighed 36 and 38 pounds. The children were compared to prisoners of war because of the abuse they suffered and the traumatic effects that still haunt them.

Wednesday's hearing was likely the final chapter in the criminal case, which first caught the public's eye after the Dollars' 16-year-old son was taken to a hospital emergency room with a head wound and red marks on his neck.

He was severely underweight, which sparked an investigation by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Children and Families. Shortly after, the Dollar children were removed from their adoptive parents and placed in foster care. The couple fled to Utah, where they were apprehended.

Disturbing details of the Dollars' life soon surfaced.

The family had operated a private Christian (sic) school in Tennessee, but many of the students rarely saw the Dollar children.When the family moved to the Tampa Bay area, they changed homes frequently. Between 1990 and 2004, the Dollars bought and sold a half-dozen homes in Hillsborough County, from Plant City to Riverview to Valrico.

A closet door at one of their Hillsborough homes had a lock installed on its outside, as if it were meant to keep someone inside, not out.

A bag of what appeared to be toenails was found in the family's motorhome . . . "

The fact is, we in America, supposedly the richest country in the world, do not properly care for the children (and families) we already have.

Why would one want to make a bad situation even worse, having the government force women to bear children they know they are unable to care for?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Gag Barbara With a (Silver) Spoon.

Dear Non-College-Graduate and Unrepentant Me-First-ist Barbara Bush:

I'm wondering, why does your beautiful little mind feel "sort of scarey" about the prospect of people of color moving into your white-bread neighborhood? Are you afraid property values will go down?

Are you the one who taught your pig-headedly-ignorant, egomaniacal, animal-abusing, borderline-sociopathic son that "poor people are poor because they're lazy"*?

(*See below: "Bubble Boy Deja Vu: MIA All Over Again")

Are you the one who taught your Bubble Boy not to bother about counting body bags, perhaps because those persons they contain are dead already, so therefore one's beautiful mind might as well be pointed elsewhere as the dead can provide one with no particular advantages?

Are you the one who taught Bubble Boy that being an abortionist of the post-born was karmically correct but that, on the other hand, all the embryoes in test tubes with big round sad eyes are the ones who much more truly deserve Bubble Boy's help and compassion? Just asking.

Say, Babs, considering your remark that it was "scarey" that all these black folk might be movin' into your Texas neighborhood, what's your response to Rep. Baker of Baton Rouge's comments: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

Do you agree? I'm betting you do.

You know who else agrees with Rep. Baker that God did this, and agrees with you, that this Katrina disaster is "working very well'?

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

Yo. Politics does make strange bedfellows.

Miz Bush, here's another fun fact about New Orleans. It's going to be hard to identify corpses there from dental records--because so many people in Louisiana can't afford to go to the dentist. Bet that's a state of affairs you personally have never had to worry about, eh? Yes, and as the Grover Norquistian destruction of this country continues on unabated, I have been noticing that dental care, once even within the reach of the moderately poor, now counts as a luxury item that the middle classes have to scrimp and save toward--a thousand dollars a pop.

Oh, and tell me, Babs, I'm worried, why don't your grandchildren have jobs? They wouldn't be lazy, would they? They better watch out, or they'll end up in New Orleans without health care, dental care, livin' in a swamp. Gee. Wait. No, that probably won't happen to them, will it? Why would that be? If they're not working, they're lazy, if they're lazy, they're poor, and deserve to be poor. What am I missing here?

Say, Missy Babs, what about this one? Do you find this a scarey story? Suburban police officers from Gretna, LA, deliberately prevented a minimum of two hundred New Orleans citizens from fleeing Hurricane Katrina over the Crescent Connection Bridge into the city of Gretna. Gretna Police confiscated their food and water, threatened them with guns, and fired shots over their heads to prevent their flight into their city. Wasn't that nice and neighborly and Christ-ist and right-to-life-ist, protecting property over people?

Here's a simile, Babs. Do you know what "simile" means? Bet your dumb angry son neither knows nor cares.

Anyhow, Babs, that's kind of like the Brooklyn, NYC cops preventing citizens of Manhattan from fleeing the World Trade Center disaster by escaping over the Brooklyn Bridge, turning them back, and making them go back into Manhattan. Do you think this would have been the right thing to do? Do you think that happened because New York is not a slave state? Do you find this story "scarey" or not? If not, why not?

Hey, Babs. One more story for you.

Your son, the apparently terminally spoiled brat, Bubble Boy personally saved no one from Hurricane Katrina. He was on an important vacation followed by important photo opportunities, after all. I liked the implication in the Newsweek story that Bubble Boy's temper tantrums are so bad these days that it took his staff until Thursday to grow enough cojones to draw straws and be the one to tell him that his response to Hurricane Katrina was--uh--totally inadequate.

Here are examples of people who actually did something to save people: Harry Connick (drove in water truck), Sean Penn (went out in boats), three college students from Duke in a Hyundai (drove in supplies and drove out evacuees), Oprah Winfrey and friends (33 trucks filled with supplies) and the real winner, Al Gore. Remember him? The guy who beat your son in Florida before your minions on the Court selected Bubble Boy as Preznit? Mr. Gore, in addition to having correctly predicted the super-importance of the Internet well before the general public figured it out, was himself personally responsible for planning and executing the chartered plane evacuation of 270 people from New Orleans.

Gore started his disaster response planning before your Bubble Boy even got back from vacation! Gag me with a spoon, Barbara, but doesn't that blow your beautiful body-bag-averse little mind?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

If This Doesn't Make You Weep, You're a Black-Heart Neo-Con. It's Diagnostic

Well, I still haven't had time to do the drowning Grover Norquist in the toxic water bathtub of New Orleans thing yet, but I came across a Mark Fiore cartoon that looked like it might do as part of the No Blood for Hubris Mental Health Interlude, Part Deux.

Oh, and then it ended.

Not funny. Painful. I remember that guy, Arron Broussard, the President of Jefferson Parish.

Beautiful work, Mark Fiore.

Oh, and, really, this is diagnostic.

Responses to this piece instantly will reveal all those who still buy the Bubble Boy line hook, line, and sinker, those who are official Pod Persons, Stepford Republicans, as in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Krypto Zombies. Deserving of the deep, wrathful vengeance of New Orleans' Voodoo Queen, Marie Leveaux. Which might arise at any time, so get ready to duck, black-hearts. Karma's comin.'

On the other hand, what was it that Tendzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama said?

Ah, yes. He said, "Compassion, compassion, compassion."

You hear this clip to the end, you don't feel nothin, you're in big trouble and ready for the George Bush/Go Fuck Yourself Dick Cheney Heart of Darkness Award, major dudes and dudettes.

Compassion, compassion, compassion.

Official No Blood for Hubris Mental Health Interlude

Well, I meant to be posting about how to drown drown-the-government hysteric Grover Norquist in the fetid waters of New Orleans, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

In the meantime, courtesy of the Daily Show, I offer up the following as a mental health interlude, for all those interested in shoring up their senses of sanity, even on a temporary basis:

"Now, for you people who are saying, `Well, stop pointing fingers at the president... left-wing... the media's being too hard:

No. SHUT...UP! No! This is inarguably---inarguably---a failure of leadership from the top of the federal government.

Remember when Bill Clinton went out with Monica Lewinsky? That was inarguably a failure of judgment at the top. Democrats had to come out and risk losing credibility if they did not condemn Bill Clinton for his behavior. I believe Republicans are in the same position right now. And I will say this: Hurricane Katrina is George Bush's Monica Lewinsky. The only difference is that tens of thousands of people weren't stranded in Monica Lewinsky's vagina."

--Jon Stewart

Ed Helms:
While everybody else is busy setting up commissions and finding fault, through the president's leadership he'll end up building a billion dollar dam in Arkansas.

Jon Stewart: Why would he build a dam in Arkansas?

Ed Helms: His plan will be to fight the water there so we don't have to fight it here.

Jon Stewart: So no one's going to be held accountable for this at all?

Ed Helms: No. In fact, if history is any indication, they'll be hard-pressed finding enough medals to pin on these guys. My sources tell me the head of FEMA will be dipped in bronze and turned into an award to be given to other officials.

"Dipped in bronze." Not just Horse-head Brown, but all of them.

Bush, Cheney, Condi, Rummy. Dipped in bronze. Dipped in anything, really. Fudge sauce. Kippers. Toxic sludge. Shards of pretzels. French Onion Dip. Mayonnaise.

Tar. Feathers.

If only.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Bubble Boy to New Orleans: DROP DEAD

Here's the real smoking gun for Bubble Boy.

Forget the Rovian spin-attempts to swift-boat the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans. Maybe Karl, too, was vacationing so hard he failed to note that TV viewers and blogtopians heard their pleas for help in real-time, and heard their frustration at not receiving any aid.

Number one: Bush.

There were nine million MREs all ready to be delivered by thousands of troops to New Orleans--delivery was held up by Bush himself. Bush failed to authorize NorthCom, the Northern Command located in Colorado, to act at once.

Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kelly, as interviewed on the BBC last night, stated that their emergency planning for the hurricane began well before Katrina hit. NorthCom rightly anticipated that there would be a major disaster, and had millions of meals-ready-to-eat available and thousands of troops ready to deliver help to survivors. He had ships such as the USS Bataan following the storm into the port, ready to act at once to provide medical care and with the capability of delivering 100,000 gallons of water per day.

When asked by the BBC interviewer why there had been such a long delay in receiving and distributing aid to survivors, Lt. Cmdr. Kelly said that NorthCom was unable to act on its own, without authorization from the President.

Said Kelly:
Northcom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready when it hit Florida, because, as you remember, it hit the bottom part of Florida, and then we were planning once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast.

"So, what we did, we activated what we call 'defense coordinating officers' to work with the states to say, 'OK, what do you think you will need?' And we set up staging bases that could be started.

"We had the USS Bataan sailing almost behind the hurricane so once the hurricane made landfall, its search and rescue helicopters could be available almost immediately. So, we had things ready.

"The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can't just act in this fashion; we have to wait for the president to give us permission."
That lack of authorization is what held up emergency intervention.
Bush failed to authorize the military to go in in a timely fashion.

Number two: feckless FEMA.

Headed by noted Arabian horse-fancier Michael Brown, handpicked by Bush, Bush's charming FEMA, instead of helping aid to reach victims, actually prevented aid from coming in, and sent other aid back.

Wal-Mart sent aid--food and water-- and FEMA stopped it, saying it wasn't needed.

Oh, gee. Can you say "criminal negligence"?

Others sent diesel fuel, FEMA stopped it, and sent it back.

FEMA cut lines of emergency communication with Jefferson Parish. The Sheriff had to repair the lines FEMA cut, and had to send armed guards to keep FEMA from cutting them again.

Trucks bringing in water? FEMA made them wait for two days, while people died from dehydration.

And it happened again and again: check out the video at crooks and liars of Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard, in a heart-rending, shocking speech that deserves watching and re-watching and passing on: "Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us."

It's all on Bubble Boy.

How many deaths were there due to the long delay? Tens, hundreds? How many are still happening? The USS Bataan remains in the New Orleans harbor, still able to provide water, food, and medical care for victims. As of this writing, it still hasn't received orders to do so.

I'd call this a high crime. How about you?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

In Nightmares Begin Responsibility

Nightmares: Bush failures during Katrina.

K: NorthCom started planning before the storm even hit.

We were ready for the storm when it hit Florida because, as you remember, it crossed the bottom part of Florida, and then we were plaining, you know, once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast.

So what we did was we activated what we call defense coordinating officers to work with the state to say okay, what do you think you'll need, and we set up staging bases that could be started. We had the USS Baton sailing almost behind the hurricane so that after the hurricane made landfall it's search and rescue helicopters would be available almost immediately. So we had things ready.

The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can't just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission.

U.S. Xpress driver from Chattanooga, TN, fills water truck on Monday. FEMA does not permit driver to enter New Orleans until Friday.

About 100 people have died at the Chalmette Slip after being pulled off their rooftops, waiting to be ferried up the river to the West Bank and bused out of the flood ravaged area, U.S. Rep. Charles Melancon, D-Napoleonville, said Thursday.

About 1,500 people were at the slip on Thursday afternoon, where critical supplies like food and water are scarce, he said. Melancon expressed serious frustration with the slow pace of getting these items to the people waiting to finish their journey to

In St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, just south of New Orleans, victims of the hurricane are still waiting for food and water and for buses to escape the floodwaters, Melancon said. And for the entire time Bush was in the state, the congressman said, a ban on helicopter flights further stalled the delivery of food and supplies.

“I thank the president for his visit today, but it was more show than substance,” Melancon said. “Frankly, we needed action days ago.”

Friday, September 02, 2005

Bubble Boy's Boys to Poor: DROP DEAD

A bevy of beer-bellied, back-slapping white boys surround a still-smirking Bubble Boy, as they glad-hand, and slap-five and do nothing. FEMA director and political appointee, Arabian-horse-addict Michael Brown, whose responsibility it is to distribute aid and manage emergency situations is apparently just as incompetent as his boss. Ditto Ming The Merciless Uber-Doppleganger & Director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff: he's supposed to be handling major incidents? Handling? As in what? This is just the same as the aftermath of a terror attack, and all he can offer is more blather?

Message from Bubble Boy's boys to the poor: DROP DEAD.

And, they are.

Even the constant drone of Rovian spin is beginning to wear thin on the networks: it's fine, we're doin' all we can, help is on the way, it's hard work, hard work, freedom's on the march . . .

Yeah, right. We can see the bodies floating in fetid water, we can see the corpses covered up in wheelchairs, we can see patients begging for insulin, we can hear doctors and nurses begging for protection. We can hear of roving bands of well-armed (thanks, Wal-Mart!) warlords roaming around the Bush-made New Somalia of New Orleans.

And the Army would be--where? And the National Guard would be--where?

Oh, right. I-rack.

You betcha.

Mayor Nagin, until recently a Republican, says:

"They don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed...

This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans...

We're getting reports and calls that are breaking my heart, from people saying, "I've been in my attic. I can't take it anymore. The water is up to my neck. I don't think I can hold out." And that's happening as we speak...

Then they told me that they went overnight, and they built 17 concrete structures and they had the pulleys on them and they were going to drop them.

I flew over that thing yesterday, and it's in the same shape that it was after the storm hit. There is nothing happening. And they're feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning, and people are dying down here."

Forty thousand National Guard troops were needed there on Monday and Tuesday, and forty thousand National Guard troops are not in New Orleans yet. A massive helicopter food and water drop was needed there on Monday and Tuesday, and is not there yet.

It's like those Yellow Elephant fat guys in Crawford screaming at Cindy Sheehan: WE DON'T CARE! WE DON'T CARE! WE DON'T CARE!

And--they don't. What a surprise. From Condi spending her time stocking up on more three-thousand-dollar Ferragamos to Bubble Boy looking annoyed and bored as he's forced YET AGAIN to mouthe heh-heh-heh helpful platitudes and pat his useless buddies on the back.

"I don't think anyone anticipated a breach of the levees."

You didn't? You knew enough to cut funds for breach prevention. Moron. Swine.

Bush AND Chertoff was briefed about the likely breach--but now they've forgotten that briefing ever happened? Having a conveniently-timed Alzheimer's moment? Too bad for them the briefing was caught on tape. Oops.

Why couldn't Bubble Boy load up Airforce One with evacuees? Gore sent a plane. Guess he IS the real president, 'cause he's the only one of the two acting presidential.

Oh, wait. Maybe we should hold up whatever supplies we do have, and wait until Bubble Boy comes by for a photo-op. If a couple of poor sick people, or sick poor people, die in the meantime, that's just social Darwinism, which in any case we don't believe in, we believe in Intelligent Design, screw Darwin, so that'll be ok. Yeah. Let's set up another photo op. See, help is on the way. It's hard work. Sorry if you're dead already. It's your own damn fault. Poor people are poor because they're lazy.

Here's another question: on TV tonight, they interviewed a FEMA trucker bringing in water who works for U.S. Xpress, based in Chattanooga, TN. Now, besides the obvious question of why one is going ALL the way to Chattanooga for water, there is this gentleman's comment: he said he had loaded up with water on MONDAY, but "his bosses," uh, that would be FEMA, kept him OUT of New Orleans until FRIDAY.

Hel-lo? What's going ON here? Why are essential supplies being deliberately withheld from dying Americans?

Why is this pitiful excuse of a president good for nothing but clearing brush?

Which is worse, Bubble Boy bringing us into fiscal bankruptcy? Or moral bankruptcy?

Lake George counts in both columns.