By Stephen Elliott
Louisiana black leaders, along with Maxine Waters and Jesse Jackson, want to take Katrina victims to a shuttered Air Force base instead of shelters. And I'm going with them.
Baton Rouge, LA - I got on a bus with California Rep. Maxine Waters Saturday afternoon, not sure where we were going, just knowing we were headed to New Orleans to pick up Hurricane Katrina victims. Even as television news is showing pictures of people being rescued by military helicopters and chartered buses, local and national black leaders are seething at the mismanaged evacuation, as well as the haphazard way even the rescued people are being handled. So they've come up with their own plan: to load the remaining residents on buses they've chartered and bring them to England Air Force Base, a shuttered military installation in Alexandria, La.
As in Iraq, so in Louisiana:
When Katrina hit, I was at Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, where I had gone to support Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother who encamped outside of Bush’s ranch to demand a meeting so she could ask him one simple question, “What noble cause did my son die for?
Published on 9/4/2005
Letters To The Editor:
Cindy Sheehan, the mother protesting the Iraq War on the President's doorstep, is a bit disingenuous. She says she wants to know what noble cause her son died for, but the answer to that question becomes ever more painfully clear.
Her son died because our current president could never measure up in his father's eyes. A poor scholar, an absent soldier and a failed businessman, he had to impress Dad in a big way, a really big way.
That's why from the beginning of his first term, long before Sept. 11, 2001, he had his sights set on Iraq. He wanted to win the war that Daddy muffed. The war wasn't about spreading democracy because there are much better ways to do that. It wasn't about thwarting terrorism because it is creating new terrorists daily. It was and still is about ego.
Is that a noble cause? Apparently the Bush twins don't think so and neither do I. Ms. Sheehan, tell it like it is, even though it's way too painful for 1,870 mothers to bear. Otherwise, there is no end in sight.
This picture of President Bush's meeting with a victim of Hurricane Katrina supports Cindy Sheehan's recollections of her first (and only) meeting with President Bush.
Cindy described her meeting with him this way:
"After Casey's death, Cindy Sheehan was invited to the White House for a visit with Mr. Bush in June of 2004. Her first memory of Bush's appearance that day was when he walked into the room and said in a loud, bluff voice, "Who we'all honorin' today?"
September 03, 2005
By Michael Parenti
The free market played a crucial role in the destruction of New Orleans and the death of thousands of its residents. Armed with advanced warning that a momentous (force 5) hurricane was going to hit that city and surrounding areas, what did officials do? They played the free market.
They announced that everyone should evacuate. Everyone was expected to devise their own way out of the disaster area by private means, just as the free market dictates…
On Day One of the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina, it was already clear that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of American lives had been lost in New Orleans. Many people had "refused" to evacuate, media reporters explained, because they were just plain "stubborn."
TIME, July 10, 2000
The Pulse Of America
The Big Easy On the Brink
If it doesn't act fast, the city could become the next Atlantis
By ADAM COHEN
If a flood of Biblical proportions were to lay waste to New Orleans, Joe Suhayda has a good idea how it would happen. A Category 5 hurricane would come barreling out of the Gulf of Mexico. It would cause Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans, to overflow, pouring down millions of gallons of water on the city. Then things would really get ugly. Evacuation routes would be blocked. Buildings would collapse. Chemicals and hazardous waste would dissolve, turning the floodwaters into a lethal soup. In the end, what was left of the city might not be worth saving. "There's concern it would essentially destroy New Orleans," says Suhayda.
By: Art Cribbs
Date: September 3, 2005
Source: The writer himself.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
- Jesus Christ, quoted in John 8:32 of the Bible (New Revised Standard
Do we know the truth? Are we free? Perhaps not.
All-too-frequently President George W. Bush lies, and all-too-often the media
broadcast his every word without question or criticism. For instance, he lied
about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He can parse it any way he likes,
but his casus belli was still a lie. Then he covered his lies with more lies
about how "regime change" would bring liberation and democracy to Iraq. Two
And Bush Photo Ops Delaying Real Aid Efforts:
PRESS RELEASE FROM SENATOR LANDRIEU:
Landrieu Implores President to "Relieve Unmitigated Suffering;" End FEMA's "Abject Failures"
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., issued the following statement this afternoon regarding her call yesterday for President Bush to appoint a cabinet-level official to oversee Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts within 24 hours.
Published on Saturday, September 3, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
by Ralph Nader
For over two years I have been saying that the Mayor of Baghdad, George W. Bush, should be paying attention to America, including its massively unmet public works needs. But the President, who scheduled five weeks in Crawford, Texas, to assure "a balanced life," is now finding his political status unbalanced and hanging by fewer and fewer threads.
The unfolding megadisasters in New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama have torn the propaganda curtain away from this arrogant President and is showing the American people just what results for their daily livelihoods from an administration obsessed with the fabricated Iraq war and marinated with Big Oil.
300 U.S. airmen return home from Iraq and Afghanistan
9/3/2005 8:00:00 PM GMT
The airmen have already begun redeploying (from Iraq and Afghanistan.)
alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">
Image created by highacidity on Sat Sep 3rd, 2005 at 23:55:56 PDT at the Daily Kos. LINK TO ORIGINAL PHOTO AND DIARY
Truth is stranger than fiction. Thanks to jpgod for the heads-up here.
Link to CSPAN video of briefing here. Sorry, I did not keep track of the time this quote occurs, but it is somewhere around halfway through, when they are taking questions.
If I Screamed It, Would You Hear Me?
From our own Christy Cole:
Not too long ago I wrote an article entitled 'Preaching to the Choir.' in which I discussed the political abandonment of the deep south. When I wrote it, I was blissfully unaware of exactly how right I was. Or how it would bring death so close in plentiful amounts.
As a resident of Louisiana I would like to tell you about what you have lost. I would like you to see it, as I saw it.
New Orleans. Or, as they say if you’re from here, "Nuuuw 'Awwwlins'. So famous, most think her our capital city. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, but New Orleans was our crown jewel. World wide she was known for her parties, her history, her engineering feats, her defiance of nature itself. And on top of it all was a culture unlike any place on earth. A place where history is beloved and alive.
Survivors' fury at relief efforts
By Adam Harvey in Louisiana
September 04, 2005
ARMED soldiers were jeered and sworn at as they delivered the first supplies of food and water to desperate survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans yesterday.
Anger boiled over as 7000 National Guards rolled into the devastated city with much needed relief five days after the massive storm hit.
With a Louisiana senator predicting the death toll could hit 10,000, United States President George W. Bush toured the area and admitted the response had been inadequate.
During a land and air tour of hard-hit areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama - but not downtown New Orleans - President Bush said of the relief effort: "The results are not enough".
Sunday, September 4, 2005
Katrina takes a toll on Bush
From L K Sharma DH News Service, Washington:
Hurricane Katrina destroyed the lives and livelihood of thousands of poor Americans and has made President Bush vulnerable.
The natural disaster that wiped out a coastal city and was compared by a few Americans to “Hiroshima
Sunday, September 4, 2005
US South drowns in bitterness
New Orleans, reuters:
Louisiana Gov Kathleen Blanco said engineers and crews rebuilding the levees symbolised the beginning of the end of the nightmare.
The desperately sought arrival of government help was bringing a measure of hope to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans on Saturday but officials warned the city faced a long, difficult climb out of crisis.
After days of waiting that magnified their despair, the survivors of Hurricane Katrina greeted military convoys arriving in the flooded city to confront rampant lawlessness and bring desperately needed food, water and medical care.
Bush panics and sends in the marines
RICHARD GRAY, JACQUI GODDARD IN NEW ORLEANS AND ALEX MASSIE IN WASHINGTON
A PANICKED George Bush yesterday ordered elite troops on to the streets of New Orleans in an unprecedented attempt to stop violence in the disaster-struck city spiralling out of control.
The deployment, nearly a week after Hurricane Katrina struck, will see 7,000 marines and airborne troops sent to the emergency zone, where they are expected to crack down on the gun-toting gangs terrorising survivors.
Despite a blitz of TV appearances, Bush faces mounting criticism for failing to act fast enough to avert the crisis affecting millions on the Gulf Coast.
Sunday, September 4, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
Compounding the tragedy
The Bush administration came close to a failure of leadership, communication and organization in its response to Hurricane Katrina. The government was too slow in helping thousands of people left stranded, hungry and dying — the sick, elderly and poor.
A measure of any government is how it responds in a crisis. When the richest nation on Earth cannot get water and food to stricken citizens for three or four days — our citizens, our people — something is wrong. New Orleans' mayor grew so weary of waiting for federal help that he issued a "desperate SOS" for aid. President Bush conceded results have been unacceptable. One New Orleans emergency official called the federal response a national disgrace, and it is.
Bush sends marines as flood fury grows
· 20,000 still trapped in burning city
· We let citizens down, admits President
Julian Borger and Jamie Doward in Baton Rouge
Sunday September 4, 2005
President George Bush ordered an extra 17,000 troops - including 7,000 elite airborne troops and marines - into New Orleans and the devastated Gulf Coast yesterday to try to bolster the stumbling flood relief effort and salvage the reputation of his presidency.
The order was announced after it became clear that National Guard troops sent into the city on Friday were no match for the scale of the disaster unleashed by Hurricane Katrina and the consequent collapse of the levees around the city. Within two days the number of military personnel in the area is hoped to reach some 54,000 people.
Milvertha Hendricks, 84, waits in the rain with other flood victims outside the convention center in New Orleans Thursday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
It's appears only poor black folks and not rich campaign contributors get to wait in the rain while a third of the Louisiana National Guard that might have helped with recovery is stationed in Iraq.
Falluja Floods the Superdome
By FRANK RICH
Published: September 4, 2005
AS the levees cracked open and ushered hell into New Orleans on Tuesday, President Bush once again chose to fly away from Washington, not toward it, while disaster struck. We can all enumerate the many differences between a natural catastrophe and a terrorist attack. But character doesn't change: it is immutable, and it is destiny.
As always, the president's first priority, the one that sped him from Crawford toward California, was saving himself: he had to combat the flood of record-low poll numbers that was as uncontrollable as the surging of Lake Pontchartrain. It was time, therefore, for another disingenuous pep talk, in which he would exploit the cataclysm that defined his first term, 9/11, even at the price of failing to recognize the emerging fiasco likely to engulf Term 2.
Master of Disaster George Bush Made Fatal Changes to Render FEMA Ineffective in Responding to Disasters in America.
By Frank James and Andrew Martin
Published September 3, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Government disaster officials had an action plan if a major hurricane hit New Orleans. They simply didn't execute it when Hurricane Katrina struck.
Thirteen months before Katrina hit New Orleans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill that Ronald Castleman, then the regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, called "a very good exercise."
More than a million residents were "evacuated" in the table-top scenario as 120 m.p.h. winds and 20 inches of rain caused widespread flooding that supposedly trapped 300,000 people in the city.
"It was very much an eye-opener," said Castleman, a Republican appointee of President Bush who left FEMA in December for the private sector. "A number of things were identified that we had to deal with, not all of them were solved."
Still, Castleman found it hard to square the lessons he and others learned from the exercise with the frustratingly slow response to the disaster that has unfolded in the wake of Katrina. From the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to the Mississippi and Alabama communities along the Gulf Coast, hurricane survivors have decried the lack of water, food and security and the slowness of the federal relief efforts.
Katrina: Predictable, preventable, ignored
Posted by Matthew Wheeland at 1:24 PM on September 2, 2005.
Right now, looking back is easier than looking forward.
Joel K. Bourne Jr. writes in National Geographic:
The storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however -- the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.
The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level -- more than eight feet below in places -- so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.
Nowhere to run
Posted by Jan Frel at 8:45 PM on September 1, 2005.
New Orleans is no distraction for George Bush -- it's the summation of his failures and bankrupt ideology.
Unlike, say, the death of the Pope, the recovery efforts related to Hurricane Katrina offer no distraction for George Bush -- indeed, he can find the effects of his falied and bankrupt policies from the past five years in the facets of this disaster. And a lot of it spells mass political alienation, even from the most die-hard of Southern Red State suckers. Much of this is now blogged about/public knowledge ...
--A third of the Louisiana National Guard that might have helped with recovery is in Iraq.
Meanwhile...another recess appointment from Bush
While most of us were paying attention to Cindy Sheehan's efforts to get to the truth about why her son Casey died in Iraq, the impending Supreme Court appointment hearing on Roberts and the most devastating natural disaster in the century, Bush was making another sneaky recess appointment. The Associated Press:
President Bush has used a constitutional provision to bypass the Senate and fill a top Justice Department slot with an official whose nomination stalled over tactics at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility.
Bush used a "recess appointment" Wednesday to name Alice S. Fisher to lead the agency's criminal division. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., had blocked the nomination because he wants to talk to an agent who named Fisher in an e-mail about allegedly abusive interrogations at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo.
Friday, September 02, 2005
How long until the Bush Administration starts blaming the media?
We know it's inevitable. When will it happen and who will it be? I predict it will happen on one of the Sunday morning shows. But who? Will Cheney be back from vacation?
It was tough to watch President Bush and the assembled politicians congratulating and applauding each other today shortly after Air Force One touched down. I guess it's a good thing that so many victims have no elecricity to operate their televisions, or homes still standing where they can watch TV. Or they might just lose their minds at the Orwellian sight of politicians pretending that they are doing a "heck of a job."
Monument to a Rotten System
By Dave Zirin, AlterNet. Posted September 3, 2005.
Governmental hypocrisy is personified painfully in the monument to corporate greed that has rapidly become the earth's most damnable homeless shelter: the Louisiana Superdome.
There is nothing "unnatural" about the disaster of New Orleans. When politicians smirk at global warming, when developers look at our wetlands and dream of mini-malls, when billions are flushed in the name of war and tax cuts, when issues of poverty and racism don't even register in presidential debates, all it takes is wind, albeit 145 mph wind, to expose a sturdy superpower as a house of cards.
Can't impeach for negligent homicide? Bust Roberts; Block Rehnquist replacement
by glennwsmith [Subscribe]
Sat Sep 3rd, 2005 at 21:06:07 PDT
"White House Shifts Blame" says the WaPost headline over a story that details Bush's efforts to strip the Louisiana governor and New Orleans mayor of authority and absolve himself, FEMA, or any of his loyal lackies of any responsibility.
Thousands dead. Bush fakes photo op; food, construction props removed when cameras leave. Northcomm says it waited days on Bush order to enter New Orleans. Quarter million refugees. Iraq war rages. Now Rehnquist has died. Roberts nomination up. Estate tax repeal up. We must bury this monster in defeat at every turn.
As White House Anxiety Grows, Bush Tries to Quell Political Crisis
By ELISABETH BUMILLER and ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: September 4, 2005
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 - Faced with one of the worst political crises of his administration, President Bush abruptly overhauled his September schedule on Saturday as the White House scrambled to gain control of a situation that Republicans said threatened to undermine Mr. Bush's second-term agenda and the party's long-term ambitions.
President Bush delivered his weekly radio address from the Rose Garden of the White House on Saturday.
In a sign of the mounting anxiety at the White House, Mr. Bush made a rare Saturday appearance in the Rose Garden before live television cameras to announce that he was dispatching additional active-duty troops to the Gulf Coast. He struck a more somber tone than he had at times on Friday during a daylong tour of the disaster region, when he had joked at the airport in New Orleans about the fun he had had in his younger days in Houston. His demeanor on Saturday was similar to that of his most somber speeches after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.