Gone with the Water
By Joel K. Bourne, Jr.
National Geographic OCTOBER 2004
The Louisiana bayou, hardest working marsh in America, is in big trouble-with dire consequences for residents, the nearby city of New Orleans, and seafood lovers everywhere.
It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they
watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.
Ask Your Congress Member to Co-Sponsor H Res 375, which will be acted on in the International Relations Committee on Sept. 14. Every member should co-sponsor, whether or not they serve on that committee.
If passed, H Res 375 will require the White House and the State Department to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq."
We have the Downing Street Memos from the UK. This Resolution, if passed, will demand similar evidence from the US. It has the support of most, and possibly all, of the Democrats on the IR committee, and of at least one Republican on that committee. We need every Dem and three Republicans to pass it.
Email Your Congress Member.
Phone and Fax Your Congress Member.
Or call switchboard tollfree at (888) 818-6641.
Fill out feedback form.
Here are current co-sponsors.
Send this letter to all your friends!
By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Saturday 03 September 2005
Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died.
What is Cuban President Fidel Castro's secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America, "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go."
Meets at noon for debate and at 2:15 p.m. to consider the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 and the estate tax bill.
2:30 p.m. -- Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on gasoline prices and factors contributing to high prices. Witnesses include Guy Caruso, administrator of the Energy Information Administration; James Overdahl, chief economist for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and Johnnie Burton, director of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service.
Meets at 2 p.m. to consider commemorating the 60th anniversary of V-J Day and the end of World War II in the Pacific, and calling on the president to issue a proclamation recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.
By Patricia Goldsmith
The chickenhawks have put the war back in class warfare.
Under globalization, Baghdad and New Orleans really are interchangeable. It’s not just the American worker, but the American citizen, who is being brought down to the same level as a citizen of the Third World. Apparently, human rights are only for those with the money to buy them—and the price is going up, up, up, right along with oil.
In the future, I believe September 11, 2001 will become identified with peak oil. While oil production did not actually peak on that particular day, it’s close enough for government work. Our entire civilization, with its quaint middle classes and obsolete Geneva Conventions and Bill of Rights, is based on the false assumption of unlimited access to cheap oil.
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
The Sept. 1 letter from Melrose and Betty Beal, who are shocked that a veterans group and a
Blue Star mother are protesting the Blue Angels air show in Brunswick, is sad.
Cindy Sheehan's son is dead, for no rhyme or reason. He died for weapons of mass deception.
Being a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and former Republican, I am not a Veteran for Peace. But why in the world would we be putting on an air show when millions of people
are in need after being hit by
the worst hurricane in years?
The Blue Angels, like the Thunderbirds, are around for one reason: recruitment, to dupe
By Benj Buck
September 6, 2005
As the troops continue to fight and accomplish their goals in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan has her own goals to fight for.
Beginning August 31, Sheehan has been a player in sending out three tour groups from the protests in Crawford, TX to the country abroad. The Bring Them Home Now Tour began in three seperate cities--Dallas, Austin, and Oklahoma City. The Southern Tour plans to be in Columbia, SC September 13 through September 15.
Past stops have included speaches and forums, pot luck meals, and candlelight vigils. The only mentioned plan so far for Columbia is a rally at Martin Luther King Junior Park. However, possibilities exists for a meeting with two congressional reps--Joe Wilson (R) and Jim Clyburn (D).
Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon
September 6, 2005
Bravery: to encounter with courage; defy; dare. Dictatorial: stresses autocratic, highhanded methods and, often, an imperious manner.
God bless you, Cindy Sheehan. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world understands your pain. Patriotism does not include, and it never did, ignoring flag-draped coffins, or supporting an inherently immoral war.
Let's hope that the flicker of light shining forth from a few brave souls who have the fortitude to stand up for what is right, becomes a flame for truth and justice and a beacon for peace.
September 6, 2005
By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
Here's something I don't understand. The golden goose was about to lay another 9/11-type golden egg for Bush & Co. to pick up. And they didn't.
Surely, Karl Rove, who had seen Bush's approval ratings drop to all-time lows, knew days ahead that a Category 5 Hurricane was bearing down on New Orleans and a calamitous disaster was likely to unfold there if and when the levees were unable to hold back the water. What better way to improve those ratings than for Bush to be photographed the day after the disaster struck, standing on top of debris, bullhorn in hand, vowing that the government would help Gulf Coast states rebuild from the Katrina catastrophe?
The writer of "President sees bigger picture" implies war protestor and Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan is guilty of treason. She further indicates everyone should support the president.
Did the writer ever write such a letter when Bill Clinton was president, imploring everyone to support the president?
President Bush sees the bigger picture, as in "What is in it for Bush and the GOP?" As America was experiencing one of the biggest natural disasters in our history, instead of being in the White House writing out a personal check for relief of misery and imploring Americans to sacrifice to help in this tragedy (as well as in the Bush-created tragedy of Iraq), Bush was out wasting resources making a political speech.
By Crystal Bonvillian
Linda Waste's voice quivered as she told the crowd on the steps of the state Capitol on Monday night about her three sons and two grandchildren who are serving in Iraq.
The Hinesville, Ga., resident and her husband, Philip, were two of the participants who rode into Montgomery on Monday on the Bring Them Home Now Tour. The tour, a traveling anti-war rally, was launched last month by Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother who staged a war protest outside President Bush's ranch near Crawford, Texas.
The tour is expected to end Sept. 21 in Washington.
Mark Wright's "Clinton ignored terrorism's threats" (Sept. 1 Ozark Voices) is an example of the incredibly irresponsible blame game Republican elected officials are playing.
His convoluted logic places responsibility for the war in Iraq on former President Clinton. His mixed-up references include false claims that "numerous attacks of terrorism ... went unanswered."
On what planet does Rep. Wright live? Where does he get his information?
It has long ago been reported that those responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, etc., have been identified and brought (or are being brought) to justice — peacefully, it should be noted.
Published: Tuesday, September 06, 2005 -- The Truth, A4
Cindy Sheehan lost her son in Iraq and protested in Crawford, Texas, during Bush's vacation, asking Bush to come out and tell her what noble cause her son died for. She sure got the Bush group going. I see where different groups on both sides went around Crawford wasting gas at $2.50-plus per gallon to line the pockets of Prime Minister Cheney and King George's oil-rich buddies. They all need to stay at home, especially the Bush gang, and read "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward telling how we got in this mess.
People could then read "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush" by John W. Dean, who is telling how horrible the Bush-Cheney-Karl Rove bunch is, then "The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell" by John Crawford, who is a Florida National Guard soldier who was in Baghdad the first year telling a soldier's story about Bush's war.
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Letter: Waters made the effort
Regarding David Rossie's suggestion not to hold your breath for a visit to Cindy Sheehan's encampment visit by a Democratic member of Congress, MichaelMoore.com reported that Congresswoman Maxine Waters visited Camp Casey on Aug. 14.
I've been a fan of Rossie's columns for many years. How about a follow-up, giving credit to at least one Democratic member of Congress?
Press & Sun Bulletin (New York)
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Letter: Gathering no 'hate fest'
An Aug. 25 letter described the Peace Gathering at Confluence Park as a hate fest. I wonder if the writer was there. If so, he saw something far different than I did.
It was a wonderful gathering of people solemnly recognizing the sacrifice many have made in the Iraq war. It also supported Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son in this dreadful conflict. This is not a fringe Marxist movement of hateful, hardcore anti-Americans. We are mainstream people from all walks of life who recognize the horrible cost of this war on our country as well as the people of Iraq.
September 6, 2005
More should be done to help vets coming home from Iraq with mental health problems
It's a tale of two tragedies.
In Las Vegas, former Army soldier and Iraq combat veteran Matthew Sepi heads to a convenience store with an assault rifle tucked under his trench coat. An argument breaks out, Sepi opens fire and one person is dead, another wounded.
He now faces murder and attempted murder charges.
In Lawrence, Mass., former Marine Sgt. Daniel Cotnoir, who recovered the remains of soldiers blown up by roadside bombs in Iraq, erupts in anger when someone from a group of noisy nightclub patrons apparently throws a bottle at him.
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
Published: September 05, 2005 7:25 PM ET updated 8:00 PM
NEW YORK -- Accompanying her husband, former President George
H.W.Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in
Houston, Barbara Bush said today, referring to the
poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated,
"This is working very well for them."
The former First Lady's remarks were aired this
evening on National Public Radio's "Marketplace"
She was part of a group in Houston today at the
Astrodome that included her husband and former
President Bill Clinton, who were chosen by her son,
A lot of unions are going to be donating aid in the coming days and weeks.
One of two things will happen.
1) They will give to Red Cross and other mainstream aid organizations and
then walk away.
2) They can support grassroots, democratic, people-of-color-led
organizations who are fighting for a say in how (or if) New Orleans is
reconstructed. These grassroots organizations will be fighing for, among
other things, stable, union jobs for those doing reconstruction. Aside from
being the right thing to do, it is also in labor's direct interest to
support these organizations.
By BOB HERBERT Published: September 5, 2005
The Toronto Star
What Boneheaded Design Guides Dubya's Moves?
by Linwood Barclay August 22, 2005
How does one explain all the misguided, unwise, sometimes outright boneheaded things the Bush administration has done since taking over nearly five years ago, and continues to do on a pretty much daily basis? How is it possible for a group of supposedly intelligent, experienced individuals to take this many wrong turns? Wouldn't you think that once in a while, even by accident, that George W. Bush and his advisers would make a decision that made sense?
Can this much mismanagement happen totally at random? Would the occupants of the Bush White House have us believe that all these things, these missteps, these miscalculations, these attempts to deceive, that they all, you know, just kind of happened?
Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it all, starting his news briefing Saturday afternoon: "Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater..."
Well there's your problem right there.
If ever a slip-of-the-tongue defined a government's response to a crisis, this was it.
The seeming definition of our time and our leaders had been their insistence on slashing federal budgets for projects that might’ve saved New Orleans. The seeming characterization of our government that it was on vacation when the city was lost, and could barely tear itself away from commemorating V.J. Day and watching Monty Python's Flying Circus, to at least pretend to get back to work. The seeming identification of these hapless bureaucrats: their pathetic use of the future tense in terms of relief they could’ve brought last Monday and Tuesday — like the President, whose statements have looked like they’re being transmitted to us by some kind of four-day tape-delay.
Viewpoint: Has Katrina saved US media?
By Matt Wells
BBC News, Los Angeles
As President Bush scurries back to the Gulf Coast, it is clear that this is the greatest challenge to politics-as-usual in America since the fall of Richard Nixon in the 1970s.
Then as now, good reporting lies at the heart of what is changing.
But unlike Watergate, "Katrinagate" was public service journalism ruthlessly exposing the truth on a live and continuous basis.
Instead of secretive "Deep Throat" meetings in car-parks, cameras captured the immediate reality of what was happening at the New Orleans Convention Center, making a mockery of the stalling and excuses being put forward by those in power.
Amidst the horror, American broadcast journalism just might have grown its spine back, thanks to Katrina.
I just spoke with Dennis Kyne in Covington, LA. Our VFP Peace Tour group kept a shelter going and is working now hand-in-hand with Natl'l Guardsmen just in to town. They're continuing to cook and distribute meals - the propane kitchen on the bus has been the only working equipment in the community. They're continuing to assist with first aide & medical triage. Their generator has been the only operating system. Their satellite link has been one of the only reliable means of communications in the area.
They are no longer able to purchase any of the following in Baton Rouge or communities within reach of the Big Easy and need them desperately:
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 05 September 2005
President Bush has evaded Cindy Sheehan's question, "What was the noble cause that my son died for?" But he provided a partial answer on the day that the New Orleans levees gave way.
The media coverage was scant and fleeting - but we should not allow the nation's Orwellian memory hole to swallow up a revealing statement in Bush's speech at a naval air station near San Diego.
In the August 30 speech, moments after condemning "a brutal campaign of terror in Iraq," the president said: "If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks. They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions." In other words, the US war effort in Iraq must continue because control of Iraqi oil is at stake.
DEMOCRACY NOW! DAILY EMAIL DIGEST
September 5, 2005
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HURRICANE KATRINA: Viewers and listeners who have been
affected by hurricane Katrina can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with
a brief description of their experience and their contact numbers.
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TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW! - Including an Online Exclusive Hour special:
*Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff Refuses To Resign Over Handling Of Hurricane Katrina Relief*
Michael Chertoff appears on Meet the Press and defends the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. [includes rush transcript]
ACORN's Headquarters, in New Olreans, LA, and the homes and neighborhoods of many of its members there, have been devestated by hurricane Katrina. We are working to find and relocate out 9,000 New Orleans member families, provide mortgage counseling, and ORGANIZING to get the victims of Kartina the voice and services they need. Read more at www.acorn.org. Please donate to the ACORN Hurricane Recovery and Rebuilding Fund to help us reopen, rebuild, and serve our communities in this time of need. Read more about how your donation will be used.
All donations to ACORN® are used to better the lives and communities of low- and moderate-income Americans.
Committee on Homeland Security Democrats Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member
For Immediate Release:
September 5, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Porter Gore
House Homeland Security Democrats Question the Coordination of the National
Guard's Response Efforts
WASHINGTON- Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the
House Homeland Security Committee along with Congressman Bill Pascrell
(D-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology, sent a letter today to
Phantoms of Lost Liberty: The U.S. Constitution in Crisis
It is often said that September 11th changed everything. Does this mean the U.S.
Constitution, too? There’s a Constitutional debate raging right now and it is over
how much power the government has in its War on Terror. Are secret arrests
permissible? Torture? Surveillance? Restrictions on speech and protest? Lying
by police and government officials? Is the Constitution even relevant in this
new kind of warfare? Or is it quaint and outmoded? Many people have argued
that Americans now face the greatest Constitutional crisis of our history.
(September 05, 2005 -- 01:17 AM EDT // link // print)
As noted, the Washington Post got burned today by a "senior Bush official" who told them that Gov. Blanco of Louisiana had never declared a state of emergency in the site -- a claim the Post printed as fact. Yet the claim was demonstrably false and by late afternoon the Post had been compelled to print a correction.
This week's Newsweek contains the same false claim -- and though their recital of the anecdote is unsourced, common sense suggests that someone or some operation fed them both the same line, which neither organization checked out before running.
Monday's Times, not surprisingly, confirms that the White House damage control operation is being run by Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett.
Add it up.
And who will report this out?
-- Josh Marshall