Revisiting Hurricane Katrina

"A Failure of Initiative," the House report on Hurricane Katrina, is now available for public viewing -- all 379 pages of it, plus 141 pages of appendices.

It's dense reading to say the least. For a summary of the findings, see page 16 of the PDF file. The report's conclusions start on page 359 of the PDF, and include this telling passage:

We are left scratching our heads at the range of inefficiency and ineffectivness that characterized government behavior right before and after this storm. But passivity did the most damage. The failure of initiative cost lives, prolonged suffering, and left all Americans justifiably concerned our government is no better prepared to protect its people than it was before 9/11, even if we are.

There's no question that there were massive failures at all levels of government in the handling of Katrina, but the report saves some of its harshest criticism for Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, whom the Writer's Desk blog urges to fix the ongoing problems in his department. Within DHS, the most glaring deficiencies were on the part of FEMA.

It's true, as Brown recently testified, that FEMA was not given adequate funding or resources to do the job, and that the Department of Homeland Security and the Bush administration prioritized terrorism preparedness way above natural disaster planning. But FEMA was also not given competent leadership -- competent to lead an association of Arabian horses, sure, but not to manage a large-scale disaster response effort. This analysis of Brown's e-mails during the crisis makes that painfully clear.

Testifying before a House select committee back in September, Michael Brown blamed the Katrina failures on local and state governments, popular scapegoats for federal malfeasance. The Katrina report lays some blame on both New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, but looking at the facts of which powers belonged to which levels of government, it was clear even then that the federal government bore most of the responsibility for the mishandling of the disaster. (Meanwhile, Congress continued with business as usual.)

Brown finally changed his tune last week: In testimony before a Senate panel, he pinned the disaster on his superiors. (Partial transcript here.) It should be noted that he made those statements after the administration declined his proposition that he would stay silent if the White House would provide his defense for doing so.

Bush did belatedly acknowledge that mistakes were made in the preparation for and aftermath of Katrina, but the whole debacle really hurt him. His post-hurricane approval rating hit 40 percent -- see here and here -- and his numbers haven't recovered a whole lot since.

A Post editorial suggests that the president learn from those mistakes, as indeed he should. That said, how much can be learned from the report depends on how thorough it is, and in spite of its length, questions remain over the report's completeness. Popular Mechanics (yes, really) writes, "We've given the report an initial read and found it riddled with poor logic, internal contradictions and exaggerations. This is no 9/11 Commission Report." Democrats have expressed particular concern over the relative dearth of specific recommendations.

Back in September, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insisted that the American people "do not want a partisan whitewash of what went wrong in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina." Insisting on an independent investigation, she vowed, "I will not appoint any Democrats to participate in this sham." (Less than three months after refusing to cooperate with the Republican-led investigation, Pelosi released her own stinging indictment of Republican performance in handling Katrina.)

Of course, Pelosi's investigation boycott was very much akin to the boycotting of elections -- it could delegitimize the process as intended, but more often the tactic backfires, guaranteeing the protesters even less representation than they would have had if they'd just taken part.

On the other hand, the absence of Democrats could have actually encouraged the Republican members of the committee to be a thorough as possible, knowing that their party would take the heat for any omissions.

Fortunately, Rep. Tom Davis, the Virginia Republican who led the inquiry, responded to Pelosi's decision by personally inviting Democrats from Katrina-affected states to participate. Five did: Jackson-Lee of Texas, McKinney of Georgia, Taylor of Mississippi, and Melancon and Jefferson of Louisiana.

Democrats working on the House Katrina inquiry have the inside knowledge and credibility to point out anything the panel failed to investigate fully -- actually strengthening the case for an independent commission. And indeed, Jefferson and Melancon, along with Pelosi and fellow Democrats, have renewed the call for such an inquiry.

Debaters, do you think further investigation is warranted? What must be done to ensure the government doesn't compound the problem next time a huge natural disaster strikes?

By Emily Messner |  February 16, 2006; 12:38 PM ET  | Category:  Issue Updates
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What we learned from Katrina is that four years after 9-11, there were no workable disaster plans to deal with a major terrorist attack in one of our major cities.

No evaucation plan, computer modeled and ready to dust off. Previously modeled plans for only a Category 3 hurricane, but not for a nuclear strike or dirty bomb or a few fertilizer bombs to the levees.

No workable plan to drop food and water from strategic stockpiles.

No clear chain of command. Poor communication.

A President and VP so disengaged from the chain of incompetency below them that they couldn't interrupt their vacations.

I could go on.

I suspect if this had been a major hurricane that flattened, say, Hyannis Port or Martha's Vineyard or Boca Raton, that heads would have rolled lest it be the rich and famous croweded in the local convention center or clinging to the roofs of their houses.

But the real issue is, why four years after 9-11 had we no plans for how to handle a major terrorist strike that required a large scale evacuation or the provision of services to thousands of stranded citizens in desperate need of food, water, and sanitary facilitie

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 16, 2006 02:05 PM

Before you get to "government failures", multiple layers of individual, family, cultural, and neighborhood responsibility must have failed.

In early 2005, the city of Mumbai India had a 200 year flood, with both a local, province, and national gov't lacking even a remote measure of the resources that the USA has. Water was higher than in New Orleans, and over 900 people drowned. But the people there were strong and civilized, and pitched in together. Debris was cleaned up by crowds, the poor fed by others, and Mumbai was back in months.

Just like how it was in the USA when personal responsibility ruled.

Now in America we have parasitic women with 4 out of wedlock kids and no man to pitch in in an emergency and we are told that is the "government's job" to take care of her ever need. We have people building in flood plains or below sea level that think they are entitled to "be made whole again" by the taxpayers when a totally predictable storm screws up their lifestyle choices and possessions. We have family unwilling to take in family and neighbors that refuse to help neighbors - and who expect responsible people to make up for their personal shortcomings by paying for more "bennies" and more state and local Gov't which if it screws up, passes the buck to the Federal Gov't.

It's all the Federal Gov't fault for failing to properly Nanny them and order and provide all things they need in their lives????

Give me a break! The Fed Gov't was hardly involved in hurricane help until the mid-60s.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 16, 2006 02:23 PM

Terrible analogy. You cannot compare the destructive capacity of a Hurricane with that of heavy rain so arguing to effects is an excercise in futility.

I do not want to try and deny your myriad of claims that seem largely irrelevant when the topic is Government Disaster Relief Failures.

If you wish to blame the poor and dark for their own misfortunes, you will have to do better than comparing Katrina to Mumbai. It doesn't pass the smell test.

Posted by: Will | February 16, 2006 02:40 PM

When 9/11 hit, some fed agencies did not communicate well, internally or with each other. Some of that was structural (wall between foreign and domestic spying) and some of that was plain failure (FBI not following up on);

the sensible approach would have been to id the structural, functional screw-ups and fix them - can't share info betweenCIA and FBI? Fix that, narrowly, quickly. Immigration can't track anybody? Fix that (take a lot of work there.) Can't move customs people around easily? change the rule to allow it under national emergency.

probably the worst idea was to create a new "superagency" Department of Homeland Security - give the president credit, he actually opposed the idea initially, before he embraced it.

the task of defining and implementing a new public agency is truly hard, because every group with an agenda uses this re-organization to push their issue - for example, anti-union people went after civil service rules that made it hard to move customs people from location to location; turf battles exploded about who controls budgets, who does what, who's stakeholders benefit, etc.

then to compound it, appoint people who don't know how to manage effectively.

then to make it worse, tie up federal assets in a war of choice that was launched based on flawed info, thinking, and execution, and that has made our security worse because we're short of resources to fix domestic communications, local emergency response, public health crises, etc.

FEMA was buried into the DHS. DHS was the poor step-sister to Department of Defense -
we've wasted some 250+ billion of borrowed money in Iraq to hand control of s iraqi oil to Iran-sympathetic Shi'a - something they tried themselves in the Iran-Iraq war.
And our ports are vulnerable, our chemical plants are vulnerable, our energy use requires us to keep middle-east oil flowing, our deficit grows, our retirement systems are breaking down;
-the levies for New Orleans - expensive as they would be - aren't being fixed to deal with a Cat 5 hurricane - which is insane. Katrina wasn't Cat 5 when it hit, and it didn't hit New Orleans with it's worst.

and that isn't the truly expensive issue
Hurricane Katrina wasn't just a disaster for New Orleans - it showed the vulnerability of all low-lying coastal populations from Texas to North Carolina.

Any structure on the shore will flood; unless it's a fortress, it will wash away in a Cat 5 - imagine one hitting Miami, or Charleston, or any where along that large vulnerable region.

We need effective federal government, but that doesn't mean you centralize it into a DHS for domestic emergency action. It does mean you hire or appoint first on competence and skill, political loyalty after that. It means you have ways for local people to seek resources regionally or even nationally without the president being wakened from a nap, or Brownie knowing what's happening really. It means that real assets - helicopters, mobile water/food/sanitation suppliers, mobile emergency medical teams and equipment be procured, trained, and pre-positioned for fast deployment.

As any number of people have noted, if the feds, state and local people screwed up this badly when a disaster hit that we saw coming, what would it look like when something major hit without warning again?

would emergency personnel still be unable to communicate, as in 9/11 and during Hurricane Katrina? Is there ANY realistic way to evacuate densely settled areas, when a disaster hits first, not allowing lead time to prepare?

Does it make any sense to rebuild homes right on the beach in the hurricane region?

Do we need a larger National Guard, if it must fight wars overseas AND respond to domestic emergencies? Can we decentralize authority so local officials can mobilize what they need when they need it, rather than asking permission to get help?

nuff ranting .... feel better if i go lay down ... try not to have nightmares ;)

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | February 16, 2006 02:41 PM

Is it me or didn't we already have a fairly exhaustive discussion on Katrina some time back? Well anyway, Congress will form their "committees" and conduct their "investigations" and then issue a report which will promptly gather dust in some GAO office or wherever they end up. Senators will grandstand, newspapaers will huff and commentators on both sides of the fence will point fingers and such and then "POOF"....on to the next issue of the day. Nothings going to change, not with this administration or the one that follows it.

One thing that Katrina cemented for me is that you might EXPECT government (local, state, federal) to come to your rescue but don't DEPEND on it.

Posted by: D. | February 16, 2006 04:42 PM

Whether or not the federal administration makes New Orleans and southern Louisana its marker, we people of the United States will ultimately measure our value by what we do in this land. A measured and comprehensive building program to restore the city and other affected areas ought to be a top national priority. We have the means to determine the character of mini-communities: how much family-owned residence, how much rental residence, how much commercial (and what type) in a given area (9 sqare blocks, one township quadrant). Restoration to a facsimile of the former region with modernized construction standards, better drainage, water supplies, electrical service, etc. could point the way to development and redevelopment nation-wide.

Posted by: Jazzman | February 16, 2006 05:08 PM

People are much more likely to assist in an emergency when the victims have much in common with them, specifically skin color, religion, and/or ancestors. They are more likely to help when they live in more tightly knit communities with extended family nearby.

When they were ballyhooing the school buses in New Orleans and asking why they weren't used, the obvious answer was, where were they going to go? Should we have just loaded up the school buses and driven them until they ran out of gas? Hmm. Guess we needed a plan on where to drop thousands of people in urgent need of food, water, shelter and sanitary facilities. Maybe the buses could fan out in every directions and drop off 100 at every rest stop in the interstate until the buses ran out of gas and hope strangers travelling along the way tossed twinkies to the people stranded there, since there were no apparent plans to get them food? I think we should have just driven a few hundred of them to Mr. Ford's street and let him take personal responsibility for his fellow Americans.

Or, maybe the federal disaster planning agency could have enabled major regional cities to make plans to accept each other's evacuees, including plans on how they would get them there and get food and water to them.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 16, 2006 05:13 PM

D that is a pretty cynical statement coming from an obvious supporter of the party that is running on their ability to protect us.

Posted by: | February 16, 2006 05:14 PM

Cynical? Its actually pretty classic libertarianism I'd say.

Posted by: D. | February 16, 2006 05:33 PM

Yah, I'm going to have to agree with D. on this one. As far as I'm concerned, I thought his remark was dead on. At the moment, Katrina is something to talk about, but it most likely won't galvanize people enough to cause the politicians they support to actually do anything. Anything substantial, anyway.

Posted by: Freedom | February 16, 2006 05:39 PM

Chris,
"Before you get to "government failures", multiple layers of individual, family, cultural, and neighborhood responsibility must have failed."

I agree with your point here. We are extending "common purpose" at the national level well beyond all reasonable bounds.

Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes are all relatively local and predictably recurring in nature. The costs for financially insuring against them and preparing for them should fall primarily on the shoulders of the local area. Its part of the price of living and working there.

Mill's rant, whether intended or not, is actually a pretty good list of things which ought to be thought through in terms of assigning what responsibilities ought to go to what level of government.

As for New Orleans, the question that needs an answer is, are the areas subject to excessive flooding actually worth the cost of bringing the levees to CAT 5 standards? I don't know the answer but I sure don't see why I should have to pay more to protect somebody's land below sea level than the land is worth, just so he can rebuild there. Some things just don't make sense.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 16, 2006 05:40 PM

Emily,

Speaking of New Orleans....How 'bout you head down that way and try some 'ol fashion Jambalaya?

I've heard it will give you "a good cleaning out" and Lord knows you could use one.

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 16, 2006 05:49 PM

If I lived in sub-sea level area that was definitely going to get blasted by a hurricane, why on earth would I purchase insurance if I know the government is going to foot the bill irregardless of what happens to my home?

The government has no responsibility to rebuild the homes of the uninsured.

Posted by: Will | February 16, 2006 06:07 PM

The Popular Mechanics article was quite interesting. I read it before Emily helpfully linked it. It was good about debunking various myths a sloppy media reported out, and had some excellent public works proposals while avoiding politics for the most part in favor of facts. Two areas keenly interested me on their "program" observations.

A. The 5 Gulf States get more in Federal Flood Insurance Dollars than the rest of the country put together, by far....A great subsidy from the nation to them. "Mechanics" notes that only 1-2% of the claimants filed amount to 40% of the cost because of expensive infrastructure only serving a few, and high risk areas that are repetitively rebuilt. One claimant in Houston has filed 16 claims in 18 years to get 860,000 in Fed taxpayer dollars to fix and refix a property only worth 114,000. It properly notes that premiums should reflect risk or it's just a massive taxpayer subsidy (frequently to the richest Americans in swank beachfront villas) and the cost of replacement infrastructure should factor into building decisions as much as individual property risk.

2. From Galveston to Norfolk Virginia, some say even up to New England, the risk of Cat 3-Cat 5 hurricanes exist and could result in far greater damage than New Orleans (aside from the subsea part of NOLA). So the question of only protecting NOLA from Cat 5 hurricane storm surge when other cities of equal or higher risk do not get it makes a policy question of why NOLA should be the focus of all the levee money.

Both programmatic issues are as central as the collective failure of NOLA individuals to be responsible for their own lives.

A. We have to reconsider subsidies to get people to build and move into high risk locations. The alternative is to have taxpayers pay to rebuild from recklessness time and time again.

B. As New Orleans has declined, other coastal cities on the Gulf and Atlanta coast have exploded in size in the last 50 years. But NOLA remained the place of more focus of federal Corps of Engineer dollars than any other city. Not just the levees, but the bottom 1/3rd of Mississippi flood control projects are aimed at not "overwhelming" the fading city and keeping the Mississippi from taking the pathy it really has been on the verge of going on on a regular, expected geological change of course that happens once every several centuries....through the Atchafalayah Basin. The common wisdom is eventually, the Misssissippi will not be denied by man's afforts and will shift course and end NOLA as a port. Plus NOLA is sinking 1 meter a century and the Corps is desperately pumping money into stopping that.

The time has come to examine the whole coastal protection system of the US and not rob other states and cities by saying declining NOLA and it's destroyed subsea ghetto comes 1st in priority - and that it is more important to put 300,000 people behind Cat 5 barriers when the Mississippi may change course soon and the city will sink another meter in a century - while at the same cost Cat 3 hurricane protection can be provided for 40 million other coastal dwellers left unguarded by the preferential flow of Corps money to Louisiana over the past 70 years....

As for the ghetto inhabitants, there is plenty of vacant housing in other inner cities that could be rehabilitated and the former NOLA inhabitants stuck in at a fraction of the cost of rebuilding NOLA. Detroit, for example, has 80,000 units of abandoned structurally sound apartments or houses.

Will writes indignantly - " Terrible analogy. You cannot compare the destructive capacity of a Hurricane with that of heavy rain so arguing to effects is an excercise in futility. I do not want to try and deny your myriad of claims that seem largely irrelevant when the topic is Government Disaster Relief Failures. If you wish to blame the poor and dark for their own misfortunes, you will have to do better than comparing Katrina to Mumbai. It doesn't pass the smell test."

1. First, it is stupid of you Will, to insist that the topic is only about Government and the problems will all be fixed with Bigger, Better, Government - when the problems are bone-deep and mostly reside in the people and culture. To fix the "problem" of Katrina does not mean tweaking various agencies of the Federal Gov't which were only a minor player in the fate NOLA ended up being in.

2. You can compare floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic laagers (mudslides), even man-made and natural urban firestorms to hurricanes. All can be highly lethal, most worst case events of other natural disasters (like the 2004 Tsunami) far more devastating than a worst case hurricane. And rebuilding challenges can equal or exceed a hurricane's damage. But more importantly, I also implied that America got through 1,200+ hurricanes before we insisted the solution to people too inept to evacuate was 12 million dollar Federal helicopters and 6 months at the Hilton on the taxpayer tab and getting a bunch of illegal Mexicans in to work in hard and dirty conditions to rebuild...

3. If Mumbai doesn't pass the smell test for being more civilized, cohesive, and industrious than NOLA residents, with it's near non-existent looting and people all pitching in to rebuild - consider Corrida Columbia (mudslide), Kobe Japan and Tangshan China (great earthquakes), wartime Europe and Japan (bombed cities), 2004 Tsunami....all with locals coping, self-rescuing, and rebuilding with minimal Federal help.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 16, 2006 08:52 PM

I am a New Orleans native. 1.) Most people in New Orleans have family going back at least 5 generations. If I can't live here I would say that I must not be part of the USA and therefore should keep the $40,000 I send Uncle Sam every year.2.) The Popular Mechanics article has been refuted. Check out Brendon Loy's website. 3.)Flood insurance was not bought by most people because lenders did not require it because they did not live in a flood plain. If they did live in a flood plain, their lenders require flood insurance to secure their loan. Neglience in levee construction by the federal Army Corp of Engineers is the primary reason that 80% of the city flooded- not the hurricane. So many of you people who feel you have to comment just don't have a clue to the detail of the situation. It does not matter because the coastal areas of the gulf coast are repopulating and rebuilding despite the best efforts of our government to keep it from happening. 4.)People are working their buts off cleaning up without much help from the federal government. 50% of the federal expendatures for Katrina go to pay federal expenses, not to help the people in actual need. Only 3.5% of the contracts have gone to local companies to help kickstart the devastated economy. The federal response has been a crime.
http://www.jasonite.com/stbernard.htm

Posted by: doctorj | February 16, 2006 09:42 PM

Insurers should charge enough to cover for hurricane damage on oceanfront houses. But between Camille and Charlie there was a 30 year or so stretch in which hurricane weather patterns weren't as severe. So people built houses expecting affordable rates on the insurance and few hurricanes. If their insurer goes under, they still owe the entire mortgage to the bank even if their house is gone. And they can't pay for a house that's not there and underinsured and a place to live as well. So the bank takes the hit. Eventually the economy takes the hit, along with it jobs and wages and interest rates.

So, who do you propose take the hit - the insurer or the bank?

Will, were you lucky enough to go right from your parent's health insurance to insurance provided by your employer? Or did you "go naked' for a while and take your chances? If you couldn't be bothered budgeting for health insurance did you think I was going to subsidize the billions of dollars that hospitals lose on care of the uninsured? Or that I was going to pay for your Medicaid?

Do you own a home? Does your tract lie in a 100 year flood plain? If not, your lender will not require flood insurance. But what about a once every 200 year flood? The realtor and the bank said "you don't need flood insurance for this mortgage". So should my taxes bail you out for that once every 200 year flood?

Did you know that insurers are now writing policies that don't include terrorism? Does your renters or homeowners insurance cover for acts of terrorism? If Osama comes and your neighborhood is trashed and your homeowners insurance won't pay, you will still owe the entire mortgage unless I bail you out with my tax dollars. ANd I'm going to say that after 9-11 and all King George's warnings you had to have known the terrorists were coming back, so why should I bail you out because you wouldn't get a terrorism rider?

Posted by: | February 16, 2006 10:33 PM

What many do not understand is that the republicans run the federal government by keeping it from doing its job. Why? Because a lot of those jobs were created during democratic administrations and they do not believe they should be done. This is what is meant when you hear that "republicans do not believe in government". They do not believe the government should save a city, restore peoples homes, feed the hungry, provide health care, build levees, provide retirement and disability payments, and as they proved in Iraq with thousands of contractors, not even maintain a standing army.

The government is not responding because they are not allowing it to, either through direct action or negligence. In either case I do not expect to see the government of the United States respond to its constitutional duties and laws until Bush and his cronies leave office. He's got three more years. Look what he did in only five years. And Congress is just as worthless. Why the whole lot of them do not hang their heads in shame is beyond me. And why the democrats do not shout out the obvious tells me their is no leadership in that party. And therefore there is no hope. No hope at all.

The republican vision is to have a class of people who run the global corporations and the other 99% will toil for those companies at salaries just high enough to keep dissent down. The middle class is a democratic party ideal, not a republican one. A secure retirement is a democratic party ideal, not a republican one. We are the only industrialized nation without a national health care system and the republicans like it that way. As you see the gap widen, social security attacked and your health care become more expensive, you will know that the republicans are following their agenda thanks to the votes from those who do not want abortion to be legal or gays to be married. Consider yourselves played like a fiddle.

Posted by: Sully | February 16, 2006 11:13 PM

a crook is a crook...


to respond to crooks pointing at "your people" is to be led as easily as those led by the moron vote...if someone is a poor example, agree and move on...

tarbabies seek to exploit defensiveness...


keep your foot facing them, and wait until they do something besides feint...then lean forward and impale them.


louisiana, mississipi are both notorious for corruption..


what hasn't been mentioned is that Mississipi suffered about 1/3 the storm damage that louisiana did and because the Mississipi govenor is friends with dubya, he gets 1/2 the money even though by all rights he should get 1/6...

smile.

.

Posted by: to let anything degenerate into labeling is to miss the point of having people do things... | February 16, 2006 11:54 PM

the turks are stealing a page out of our disinformation systeme...

seems that they've created a movie, for $10 million dollars that shows Americans coming in and kidnapping Turkish children and harvesting their organs.....

they're showing us as the terrorists...

are they wrong?

Posted by: it is interesting though.... | February 16, 2006 11:56 PM

Why should Louisianians give up their life when the Florida Keys is not made to do the same. If you are deciding that we can't move back to "below sea level" then the people in Washington State should not have been allowed to move back after the volcano eruption. And then there is Hawaii that in the circle of fire and tsunamis due to earthquakes. Why should they be allowed to stay for the great possibility of this happening to them. I agree that there are problems down here but put yourself in our shoes for awhile and then you might not be so hard nosed as to say that WE SHOULD NOT BUILD IN LOW AREAS. FOR THE MOST PART I AM VERY PROUD OF THE PEOPLE DOWN HERE FOR WANTING TO COME BACK. When you go to Hopedale and on Christmas day and there are people living in tents on a slab where their house used to be. Or the new combers to the area that are fighting for their areas to be able to come back as though they have been here for generations. THIS IS WHAT I AM PROUD OF. Many people in this area have the flood insurance but what they are being paid for is hardly anything. The insurance companys are saying that we should not think that we are being paid because if they have the slightest chance possible to not pay they will take the chance and ask for all money back. Soooooooooo sit on your high horse and think it is ok to tell us that we should not live here. Be careful of looking down on those less fortunate. The same type of disaster might just happen in your own backyard or hometown.

Posted by: r | February 16, 2006 11:58 PM

it's one of the oldest cities in the United States

but,
perhaps it is a bad idea....


the Army Corps of Engineers suggested some changes 20 years ago that would have made it safe....those changes were ignored...

that would have been at the Federal level I think.

as far as the wrongheadedness of it...it would seem to me that if the changes were made it would be a fundamentally sound area...


the keys are in hurricane alley if I'm not mistaken.


the Dutch seem to do okay with being below sea level....that's why the mayor of New Orleans went there to look at the feasibility..


I think what most people are talking about is the lack of caring that has never been seen in America before unless you


would say the way black people or Indians have been treated....


since WWII things have been moving towards better quality of life for most until Vietnam...then the whole Nixon thing sort of moved people off like smelling something dead in the bathroom.

this is kind of blatant disregard for human life has been kind of thought of as a third world mentality, heretofore


.

but I Guess it goes with the outsourcing, offshore movement of factories, working 60 hours and glad to have a job although you're doing the work of 3 people kinda thing...


I mean who needs the american peasant any more, we can get them cheaper else where...


we'll just let them creep across the borders with the arabs that are taking our jobs at Walmart

right?

who owns the most land in the United States besides the United States?

Is it Japan, Germany, Saudi, Italy?


do you think they influence policy decision in Washington....especially the executive branch


the one you don't have any control over?

Posted by: you're ignoring the historical nature of New Orleans... | February 17, 2006 12:31 AM

overseas....


well it was created to be an in-country militia...


so the very idea that it is overseas flies in the face of why it was created...


unless you're an *sshole and decide that you can rewrite the constitution because it doesn't serve you or your cronies well...


but hey, who am I to argue with a COKEHEAD, ALCOHOLIC, DRAFTDODGER, LYING SACK OF SHIT...


I mean he is the president and deserves some respect


right?


no, not actually, not if he got there by fraud and perpetuates that legacy with more of the same...

Posted by: AS FAR AS the National Guard being | February 17, 2006 12:37 AM

We're paying 250 billion for Iraq, and the government wants Americans to 'make sacrifices'? What a joke!! Congress gives themselves a pay raise and won't even raise minimum wage for the average worker. I agree with Sully on everything he said. The republicans got in because they made it sound like democrats were only pro-choice and pro-gay. Are americans that stupid?? I have to wonder... And what's so great about the economy? Or is it great for the top 3% of the population here? For the last 5 years, our house taxes and insurance have gone up every year with our wages staying the same. Gas is high. Heating our home is high. If we complain about the Bush administration and their policies, we're accused of being "un-patriotic". The U.S. is borrowing money from China to fund Iraq? Maybe it's just me, but this whole republican administration we have right now is f#$@ scary!!!

Posted by: justacomment | February 17, 2006 12:43 AM

for Americans, since I've been alive.

and I'm not a young person...


this is very much like something out of
Dickens....

and Scrooge is "The Affluent."

the end of a dream,


so tawdry.

Posted by: Actually, I have never seen this level of lack of future... | February 17, 2006 12:57 AM

Decades from now history may show that Katrina is to America and the Republican Party what Chernobyl was to the Soviet Union and the Communists.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | February 17, 2006 04:35 AM

Americans have got the President they deserve. Stupid, Ignorant and Mean.
God Bless America?

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 17, 2006 07:33 AM

Oh yeah, if forget the most important quality: GREEDY.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 17, 2006 07:34 AM

Oh yeah, if forget the most important quality: GREEDY.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 17, 2006 07:34 AM

Why exactly are we fighting the Religious Right's Crusade in the Middle East for Israel? These type of issues get you in trouble if you post about them publicly. NSA gets interested when you critize anything about Bush's Religious War. This whole matter is not about Iraq, it is about stating a religious war by an American Administration that has failed at every step to maintain a separation of church and state.
Our founding fathers recognized the dangers of State Religion like we have today in America. Case in point the recent "relaxing" of the Air Force's rules to permit "crazed born-again christian" to inflict their radicial and cultish religion beliefs on others. For Example, their belief in the second coming. How different is that from the cult in CA that killed themselves while all wearing sneakers so they can be tranported to a passing comet?

Religion in of itself is neither good or bad, it is how it is used. Bush is using it to start a religious war.

Islam can be contained.

Radical Born Again Christians need to be contained too. To re-establish the Nation of Israel so that Christ can return to earth is not a valid foreign policy concern of this Nation.

Fundamental Civil Liberties and the Environment are much more important.

IMPEACH BUSH CHENEY FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!!!!!!!!

Finally, I have a right, within the law, to express my opinion as a Citizen. If you guys at the NSA want to make something of that, I'm ready. Unfortunately many good men and women at the NSA and in the services are wrongly supporting an American Fascist Government. WAKE-UP.
There are other ways to approach this problem.

Our current approach is one of FEAR and it must change.

VOTE IN EVERY PRIMARY AND ELECTION IN 2006 and VOTE CAREFULLY.

WE MUST RID OUR GOVERNMENT OF THESE CRIMINALS.

PS SCALIA YOU ARE THE IDIOT!!!!
TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE.

QUIT DRINKING, YOU NEED TO BE SOBER ON THE BENCH, OR YOU SHOULD BE IMPEACH TOO.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 17, 2006 07:53 AM

The Religious Rights Governmental Conspiracy revealed.
Harper's Magazine of course.
http://harpers.org/JesusPlusNothing.html

Jesus Plus Nothing
Originally from Harper's Magazine, March 2003. By Jeffrey Sharlet.

And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
--Matthew 10:36

This is how they pray: a dozen clear-eyed, smooth-skinned "brothers" gathered together in a huddle, arms crossing arms over shoulders like the weave of a cable, leaning in on one another and swaying like the long grass up the hill from the house they share. The house is a handsome, gray, two-story colonial that smells of new carpet and Pine-Sol and aftershave; the men who live there call it Ivanwald. At the end of a tree-lined cul-de-sac, quiet but for the buzz of lawn mowers and kids playing foxes-and-hounds in the park across the road, Ivanwald sits as one house among many, clustered together like mushrooms, all devoted, like these men, to the service of Jesus Christ. The men tend every tulip in the cul-de-sac, trim every magnolia, seal every driveway smooth and black as boot leather.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 17, 2006 08:00 AM

It's really killing you people that Bush won (again) and you lost (again). Good 'ol "I haven't had a decent movement since the Clarence Thomas hearings" Emily sits around putting back Metamucil and prune juice while re-hashing the same topics that failed to gain any traction the last time they were so painfully presented.

You Democrats and liberals are so pathetic. You can't see that even with an incompetent ass like Bush in the Whitehouse your still the "minority party" and have no real chance of regaining power.

As long as you turn to Kennedy, Hillary, Pelosi, Schumer, and the rest of the usual suspects you will loose. In fact, with "we hate Bush and hold abortion sacred" as the only message conveyed by your party you have not only lost political superiority but have become irrelevant.

So Emily, keep increasing your fiber intake and hope for some sort of fecal epiphany while the rest of you continue to genuflect at the alter of government handouts and dead fetuses.

In the meantime, Karl Rove is busy selecting your next President....Again!!!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 17, 2006 08:37 AM

Mr. Lonemule (well put):

To be more accurate we are pissed because they stole the last election.

See Harper's for Hack the Vote and articles in the WASHINGTION POST about how easy it is to hack Diebolt's voting machines.

Stealing is illegal or does that not apply to King George the W as in Wrong.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 17, 2006 08:56 AM

Lonemule,
You have been saying a lot about liberals and many of the "liberal bloggers" on these blogs, but I have yet to hear what you really care about. Are you simply for anything the republicans are for or do you have real cares and concerns? Do you care about the high price of gasoline? How about your federal, state, local and property taxes? Do you have health insurance?

Its one thing to continually criticize, its another to say what you would like to see happen in this country. You accuse "liberals" of only being "against Bush" without proposing any alternatives. Well, that is what I see you doing to the "liberals". So, how about it? What is your vision of America?

Posted by: Sully | February 17, 2006 09:23 AM

It's pretty clear he would be happiest with a steady diet of exlax and diet coke - why are you bothering to pester this 'person' with questions that require he use the other end of his body for something other than shifting his/her butt around??

And what the *** does any of this have to do with the discussion topic anyway?

Posted by: Lonemule on a desert island | February 17, 2006 09:43 AM

You guys lost because you have no message. You are going to lose again because you have no leader. You blame your loss of election after election on vote tampering, voter intimidation, stupid american voters, Karl Rove dark powers, etc. the reality is, a majority of americans just don't believe you.

The republicans can be as incompetant as all get out, from Iraq to Katrina, and the democrats can't make any traction. How pathetic.

Posted by: | February 17, 2006 09:50 AM

Popular Mechanics states that "this is no 911 report". Thank God it is not because the 911 report is the biggest set of lies ever to be foisted onto the American public! Don't take my word for it see: Scholars for 911 truth .com Enjoy

Posted by: sid | February 17, 2006 10:37 AM

Lonemule,

What's with your obsession with bowel movements? Are you some sort of coprophile?

Posted by: Curious T | February 17, 2006 11:00 AM

Chris Ford write-

"1. First, it is stupid of you Will, to insist that the topic is only about Government and the problems will all be fixed with Bigger, Better, Government - when the problems are bone-deep and mostly reside in the people and culture. To fix the "problem" of Katrina does not mean tweaking various agencies of the Federal Gov't which were only a minor player in the fate NOLA ended up being in."

And I said you were welcome to address those issues with an analogy that wasn't clearly broken.

"2. You can compare floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic laagers (mudslides), even man-made and natural urban firestorms to hurricanes. All can be highly lethal, most worst case events of other natural disasters (like the 2004 Tsunami) far more devastating than a worst case hurricane. And rebuilding challenges can equal or exceed a hurricane's damage. But more importantly, I also implied that America got through 1,200+ hurricanes before we insisted the solution to people too inept to evacuate was 12 million dollar Federal helicopters and 6 months at the Hilton on the taxpayer tab and getting a bunch of illegal Mexicans in to work in hard and dirty conditions to rebuild..."

But no mention of heavy rainfall in your list of natural disasters. I am not arguing that our "solution" to New Orleans is great, good, or even mediocre. I'm reluctant to attribute too much of the disaster to a cultural problem with dark or poor people.

"3. If Mumbai doesn't pass the smell test for being more civilized, cohesive, and industrious than NOLA residents, with it's near non-existent looting and people all pitching in to rebuild - consider Corrida Columbia (mudslide), Kobe Japan and Tangshan China (great earthquakes), wartime Europe and Japan (bombed cities), 2004 Tsunami....all with locals coping, self-rescuing, and rebuilding with minimal Federal help."

Mumbai didn't pass the smell test because locals are still protesting how it was handled. It doesn't represent the perfect Local Initiative Plan. It also wasn't a hurricane, it was rainfall. There were not 130 mile per hour winds in Mumbai, nor have there likely ever been.

Really? Japan and Europe were rebuilt during wartime? Or did it take a massive international investment to rebuild those areas?

Really? Tsunami victims just kind of picked themselves up with no government or international aid? Surely not the 300,000 dead ones though, right?

I don't even want to disagree with you. There are great examples of locals taking care of things by themselves. Some disasters cannot be staved off merely by the locals, however. I think Katrina represented one of those, though I acknowledge that this was so for many reasons that had nothing to do with the strength of the hurricane.

Posted by: Will | February 17, 2006 11:09 AM

"Do you own a home? Does your tract lie in a 100 year flood plain? If not, your lender will not require flood insurance. But what about a once every 200 year flood? The realtor and the bank said "you don't need flood insurance for this mortgage". So should my taxes bail you out for that once every 200 year flood?"

No.

"Did you know that insurers are now writing policies that don't include terrorism? Does your renters or homeowners insurance cover for acts of terrorism? If Osama comes and your neighborhood is trashed and your homeowners insurance won't pay, you will still owe the entire mortgage unless I bail you out with my tax dollars. ANd I'm going to say that after 9-11 and all King George's warnings you had to have known the terrorists were coming back, so why should I bail you out because you wouldn't get a terrorism rider?"

Yes.

Posted by: Will | February 17, 2006 11:13 AM

Chris Ford reminds me of a lot of conservatives I know. They are weaned on bogus stereotypes and sweeping oversimplifications much of which they pick up by listening to the winded puffings of bloated, self aggrandizing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh.

I believe Limbaugh--a fat, sour, offensive windbag who could not hack college because of his revisionist view of history--has turned the brains of a generation of young people into nothing more than snot. I hear their piteous bleatings on C-SPAN and read their vapid screeds on blogs such as this one and lament because I know that no amount of sound, reasoned, critical analysis is going to penetrate and push through that thicket of snot that resodes between their ears.

Their virews on government are completely unrealistic. They are wedded to agendas that are unworkable in a modern, hi-tech, hi-growth state. And their pronouncements on morality and values are so malleable, so steeped in moral relativism, that in one breath they can condemn Bill Clinton viciously for "not inhaling" marijuana, while giving Limbaugh a pass for skulking around parking lots procuring illegal pain killers, Bill O'Reilly a clean bill of mental health for engaging in illicit phone sex. and letting Bill Bennett off the hook form gambling away his grandchildren's inheritance.

Anyone who listens to the sort of mushy claptrap preached by conservatives today deserves the crappy state of affairs they get.

Posted by: Jaxas | February 17, 2006 11:24 AM

Just to clarify (to anonymous)-

No, I do not think the government should pay for uninsured homes that were built in reoccurring flood plains. I am especially against the idea if the homeowners have 199 years of forewarning that the flood will arrive.

Yes, I do think the government should pay for terrorism "uninsured" homes that are destroyed by terrorists.

Posted by: Will | February 17, 2006 11:30 AM

if this is the level of rhetoric that you have to contend with...


simply talk about what you want to.


make them chase you.

quit responding to those that would pander with slurring parties....either party


labeling is the easiest bait and switch tactic...


who's telling the truth, what difference does party make...

if Tom Coburn is willing to kill a deal for Alaska's Highway to Nowhere, and give the money to New Orleans and he's republican....that's alright isn't it?


quit making it into a party thing.


Kerry, went against the senate after Vietnam, and he "took a dive" against bush...


that's the reality you're working with.


if the affluent are your leaders, find the few within "the system" that actually have ideals that include "a good life for everyone"


and a methode to achieve that.

you really need to get this:

the citizens are the water of this country, food the body can live without for a couple of weeks....

without clean water you die within a couple of days


marginalized, constantly-working, service-sectored citizens without health benefits are sewage in the water of the united states....

give them something to hope and move for.


the best citizen is one that is getting enough, and owns a home...


sort of like the leave it to beaver days...


well, this country has more resources and more money than any other country on earth as well as enough weapons to destroy the world 10 times over...


we need to direct the focus to a domestic level....


it's the affluent money managers that want to spend your milk money on war.....destroy them...


while your president is rapin you with tales of terrorists, he's also selling the United States out from underneath of you with the help of congress...

look at this:

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the number of insiders alleging wrongdoing in government - either through whistleblower channels or directly to the press - has surged, as have reprisals against them.

That's the message from this week's congressional hearing on protections for national security whistleblowers - the first in more than a decade. "The system is broken," says Rep. Christopher Shays (R) of Connecticut, who chaired the House Government Affairs subcommittee hearing.


does that seem like you're paranoid or understanding something that the "moron voters" didn't?

Posted by: this is sort of cool... | February 17, 2006 11:30 AM

No more investigations are warranted that pertain to leading up to, during, and a few weeks after Katrina struck, any investigations at this point should focus on why much of the city still remains in ruins and is clogged with debris. After several investigations it's very apparent who did or didn't do what, before after the hurricane. The clean-up, rebuilding, and housing of displaced seem to be taking a backseat to investigations.

No long term, hundreds of years into the future, solution is on the table for New Orleans or the Mississippi Delta. At the present delta erosion rate, New Orleans (N.O.) is rapidly losing a buffer that has helped protect the city since its founding. Restoring some of the natural flow of Mississippi river sediments to the delta, instead to the deep water gulf, is part of a viable long term solution. When Katrina struck New Orleans it was a high end category three. If a level four or five struck, the levies most likely will not hold. The administration has a chance to buy most of the land lying below sea level, but has opted out, even when this was proposed by a fellow republican.

Chris, Mumbai India is above sea level, N.O. is not, land above sea level will eventually drain naturally, land below has to be pumped. I'm not sure if you have ever traveled the Gulf Coast or any United States Coast for that matter. A good part of the housing destroyed by hurricanes is wealthy beach front condos and vacation homes. Yet a poor working United States Citizens have to pay taxes to rebuild a vacation beach front second homes for the wealthy, who bush wants to give a permanent tax cut to.

Chris wrote: "We have family unwilling to take in family and neighbors that refuse to help neighbors - and who expect responsible people to make up for their personal shortcomings by paying for more "bennies" and more state and local Gov't which if it screws up, passes the buck to the Federal Gov't.""
Chris, in numerous large areas where Katrina struck entire families and neighborhoods were displaced. What you said does not make any since. Many out of state people took strangers into their homes.

Chis wrote: "parasitic women with 4 out of wedlock kids and no man to pitch in in an emergency and we are told that is the "government's job" to take care of her ever need." Many people were displaced, but like bush on Iraq WMD, you want to "cherry pick" who was displaced to spew your biased "Archie Bunker" rendition of the truth.

George Bush, in a staged New Orleans photo-op, promised to rebuild the city. At the time he was dropping in the polls, his false promise was stop his poll plunge, not to rebuild the city. Just more false promises from the false prophet.

Posted by: Jamal | February 17, 2006 11:44 AM

Lonemule,

Good for you! You finally clarified where you stand.
Lonemule wrote: "The republicans.....incompetant as all get out, from Iraq to Katrina"

How many kick-backs you're getting from Metamucil and Exlax for doing their advertisement in this blog?

Posted by: Jamal | February 17, 2006 12:28 PM

You know, libertarianism is a great idea. I'm sure all the people living in utopia can't possibly imagine another way to live.

Let's talk about the bell curve for a moment. By definition, half of people are "below average". If there are 3 million people in the USA, there are 1.5 million "below average" intelligence Americans.

The "above average" people design our infrastructure, but these "below average" people build it. The "above average" people are doctors and nurses who take care of sick people, the "below average" people clean the patient rooms and take out the waste so that you don't die from what the patient in the bed the day before you had. We're all in this together.

In New Orleans the "above average" people could afford health insurance and sick days and flood insurance and houses in the tonier sections of town, and the "below average" live below sea level and prayed they didn't get sick.

The essence of libertarianism (at least as I understand it from Ayn Rand) is the grasping of the fact that all contribute to society. When the "above averages" do their job, the benefits from their higher paying jobs "trickle down" to the "below averages". When GM does well, the employees get better pay and benefits, and have more to spend buying houses and getting their hair done, and then the construction workers and the hairdressers have more money to buy cars with, etc. This isn't communism, the "very above averages" still live in their McMansions and the working class in tidy little working class homes, but with a reasonably comfortable standard of life for their efforts.

But what happened since the Reagan revolution is that corporate profits have NOT "trickled down", they have stayed at the top among stockholders and bloated executives. As the economy has tightened the "above averages" are looking down their noses at the contribution of the "below averages". Executive perks and bonuses have gotten larger and larger while benefits for the working class have gone down and down. This is a problem.

The buld of those flooded homes in New Orleans didn't belong to the welfare state. They belonged to "below average" working class Americans. People who were lucky to have jobs at all, and who didn't have money for flood insurance the realtor and the bank told them they didn't need. They paid taxes too.

You people make me sick with your superiority and your "pseudo-libertarianism". When the efforts of workers are held equal to (not below) the profits of the stockholders, THEN we will have a libertarian society. Don't use libertarianism to justify screwing the guy who empties your trash - he works 8 hours a day too but when he has a health crisis in his family he's bankrupt and can't "pull himself up by his bootstraps".

I am right now trying to help a wayward neice pull herself up by her bootstraps now that she has decided to get her life together. She just got accepted into nursing school. I had to help her with the 250 admission fee because the money she saved went to emergency dental surgery. And the money before that went into an expensive car repair for her clunker that she can't afford to replace. I think she will make it, but if she did not have me to take her in when she did not have a roof over her head and to help with the nursing school admission process, she would never make it. You try living independently on the $7/hr she currently makes at a convenience store. Always one step away from bankrupcy

Posted by: | February 17, 2006 12:29 PM

in toto...


there is a class of people that are seperated by money and lack the experience of being without money that would make them sympathetic to those without...


you're not on their shopping list unless you threaten to take away their toys..


if you really wanted to put america right


you'd sue the president of the united states for his corrupt activities in civil court and attach his estates, and those of his cronies...


affluence is only a tool


but think about this,


could george walker bush get a job without his family backing him....


I mean besides used car salesman?

and pat robertson, was there ever a better spokesperson


for


the


ANTICHRIST?

"you shall know them by their deeds, the false prophets"

corrupt souls.....send me the money kinda people...


that's right pat. I see you.


in league with the devil....you got to change your evil ways baby.

Posted by: it's more complex than a single view point but... | February 17, 2006 12:54 PM

no doubt : george bush IS the biggest fuck-up : look at the mess he created with his neocon-plotted iraq-attack. sadam hussein was THE most secular ruler of all "islamic nations"! he had turned his country in a well-developed well-educated state----the envy of its neighbours----WITHOUT the rampant corruption---plutocracy and downdumbed fundamentalist fervour----which is so typical for the staunch theocracies of the arab-peninsula----from whence muhamed`s ideology of supremacism emerged. hussein hated al-queda and was a bulwark against the insanity of supremacist theocracy ! iraq : an old culture-----and like persia-iran----only fallen (temporarly ?) under islamic religious influence due to the territorial aggressive nature of this creed. the iraqi were propabaly the most "westernized" of all islamic states-----and bush has fucked it up---big time. not only fueled his stupid and illegal agression the propaganda mills of the deluded mullah`s all over the world----emboldened them with the finger-pointing that they had so desparately needed to show the "decadent and imperial" nature of the west----but he also created thousands of revenge-thirsty would-be islamic terrorists in iraq and everywhere----who base the justification of their "jihad" on the ongoing revelations about carpet-bombings---napalm----torture---renditioning---depleted uranium and other horrors in iraq---- still--- bush-idiot believes he can have his "victory".... (which is highly improbable)---- the hornets nest he stung into blows up right into his smirking face. personally---i believe that hussein was`nt even a "follower"---but rather pragmatic about this religious nonsense and fervour----its obvious--that he is not really---like most of the iraqi`s --of the demented gene-pool of the mohamed-anians. sure he ran his country with an iron fist----but so do many regimes----that USrael is in bed with. the way is see it----bush wanted HIS war----so he could run around with a stuffed flight suit and all the pseudo-masculine crap he needs--- to feel like a "man"(and become a "war-time-president"). the zio-neocon`s ----who plotted all this----and gauded bush into this desastrous fuck-up can`t be too happy either. things have gone terribly awry----and the recent revelations tied to the caricature-events show the emboldement of the hard-core fundamentalist islamist in a highly alarming way-----bush played right into the hands of these crazies------and fueled a fervour of rightous world-conquest----that make the zionist protocols look like a picnic.

Posted by: Rebellion To Tyrants | February 17, 2006 01:11 PM

While I don't like the war and advocate against it, I feel I need to say something in regards to Rebellion's description of Saddam. Please recall that Hitler did a great job of revitalizing Germany's economy and making it into a large power compared to the countries around it.

As I said, I don't like the war and feel the reasons for it have distorted over time from things that were false to reasons that do not justify our actions. However, please do not try to argue that Saddam was a great guy.

Posted by: Freedom | February 17, 2006 01:15 PM

"So Emily, keep increasing your fiber intake and hope for some sort of fecal epiphany while the rest of you continue to genuflect at the alter of government handouts and dead fetuses."

Bravo Lonemule. I am a Republican, and I am embarrased by the current administration, but I still would vote for them as the lesser evil.

Stop the this liberal boilerplate madness and decide who the **** you are.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 17, 2006 01:55 PM

then pointing at who you think is the stronger will make sure that you're right if you have a ghetto mentality....


marion.

Posted by: I guess i fyou have no opinion that stands on it's own... | February 17, 2006 02:08 PM

altar not alter...


ps. if there is a gawd, you can be sure s/he doesn't choose sides based upon greed and fear...

baby foetidness is more like it....


by the by, church doctine: there is no life in the child until "quickening" that's a papal ruling....from 400 years ago.

Posted by: appeal to emotion... | February 17, 2006 02:13 PM

Yea m fker?, **** god too! I am an athiest and god has nothing to do with it. It is a civil matter to me, and to me it is murder.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 17, 2006 02:22 PM

As a victim of Hurricanes, Francis, Jeane and Wilma, I can feel some sorrow for the victims of Katrina. However in my region of interior South Florida that was hit directly by all three storms, we are still suffering from government incompetency and indifference. Not just on a Federal Level, but from state and county agencies would find it easier to push paper rather than services. As of this date, I am being evicted from a building damaged by Wilma. I have no place to go. FEMA provided me with some rental assistance, but there is no place to rent. Even if there was the amount of money provided would have not paid for one mopnths rent.

Posted by: roswell_harrington | February 17, 2006 02:36 PM


otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info

www.wsws.org

Unresolved questions in the Cheney shooting incident

By Patrick Martin
16 February 2006

Last Saturday, Vice President Dick Cheney, an experienced hunter, was hunting quail with several well-heeled Republican acquaintances, including Texas lawyer Harry Whittington. The two men had been drinking throughout the afternoon, and at one point began to quarrel about a business venture of mutual interest which had gone awry. The argument became heated. Whittington sneered at Cheney's declining public standing and the most recent disclosure, by Cheney's former chief of staff Lewis Libby, that Libby had leaked classified information to the press at Cheney's direction. When Cheney responded with an obscenity-laced remark, Whittington, a man who knows where many bodies are buried in Texas politics and business, suggested he might arrange for certain facts of a sensitive nature to become public knowledge. Cheney, enraged, stormed away, then turned, lowered his shotgun and discharged it, hitting Whittington's face and upper body.

Is that what happened on February 14 at the Armstrong Ranch in southern Texas? We have no idea, but it is no less likely than the official explanation. And the "angry drunk" scenario would more plausibly explain both the long delay in reporting the event--which made it conveniently impossible to perform the blood alcohol test that would otherwise be routine in such an incident--and the obvious disarray in the White House for days afterwards.

For all the media attention to the Cheney affair, it is remarkable that with virtual unanimity the official claim that the shooting was accidental has been uncritically accepted and reported as though it were established fact, despite the lack of any serious investigation or public presentation of the actual circumstances in which the vice president of the United States shot and seriously wounded another man.

Until the migration of one of the shotgun pellets lodged in Whittington's body triggered a heart attack on Tuesday, the incident was largely dismissed with joking references to the "gang that couldn't shoot straight" or criticism of a poor White House communications strategy. Even after the shift to a more serious tone, the major daily newspapers and the television networks continue to refer to the incident as an "accidental shooting," without either interviewing eyewitnesses or investigating any alternative theory of what took place.

With Cheney's interview Wednesday evening on Fox television, two conflicting accounts of the shooting have now been given. Kathleen Armstrong, daughter of multimillionaire ranch owner Anne Armstrong, a former ambassador in the Reagan administration, contacted a Corpus Christi, Texas newspaper Sunday to report Whittington had been shot accidentally. She put the responsibility for the incident on Whittington, indicating that he had wandered off the line maintained by his hunting partners and failed to announce himself when he returned from retrieving a quail.

Three days later, Cheney abandoned the "blame the victim" story and told Fox interviewer Britt Hume that he was the one responsible because he had pulled the trigger.

Cheney also admitted to having a drink earlier that day, although he said it was only a single beer at lunch, five hours before the shooting. He denied that any alcohol was being consumed on the hunt.

Cheney made an even more damaging admission, remarking that he "didn't know until Sunday morning that Harry was going to be all right." This throws a different light on the decision not to make public any information about the shooting for nearly a full day.

During that period, when Cheney and his aides could not be sure whether the vice president might be facing involuntary manslaughter charges, there were undoubtedly discussions about how to handle the story--perhaps even consideration of whether someone else might have to take the fall for the shooting. Only after Whittington was out of immediate danger was the press contacted with the news that Cheney had been the shooter.

The police were also kept away during the first critical half-day. Secret Service agents contacted the local sheriff's department immediately to report a shooting accident, but there is no indication that they supplied any details or identified the shooter.

A captain in the sheriff's department went to the ranch Saturday evening but was told the victim had been transported to a hospital in Corpus Christi. He left without interviewing any eyewitness.

Two local policemen also arrived at the ranch, after learning of the shooting, but they were denied admission by ranch security guards, and went their way. Finally, at 8 a.m. Sunday--after Cheney had been assured that Whittington would survive--the vice president was interviewed by a sheriff's deputy and made his first declaration that he had pulled the trigger.

What is known about the circumstances of the shooting cast some doubt on the accident theory, especially given Cheney's long experience as a hunter and the relative rarity of such incidents--only a handful during the most recent Texas hunting season.

According to the account Cheney gave to Fox, Whittington was partially obscured because he was standing in a gully lower than the ground on which Cheney was standing. This suggests that Cheney, in order to hit Whittington, would have had to fire his blast either level or slightly downwards--a strange angle for shooting at a flushed quail rising into the sky.

Press accounts suggest that Whittington was hit by as many as 150 to 200 pellets, meaning that he received nearly the full charge of birdshot from a single blast. This fact and the nature of the wounds seem to confirm the reports that Whittington was standing about 30 yards from Cheney when the vice president opened fire: any closer, and the wounds would have been far more serious; much further away, and dispersion would have caused many of the shot pellets to miss.

There are other aspects of the incident which appear to undercut the "pure accident" theory. How could such an accident occur when the vice president was accompanied by his normal entourage of Secret Service and medical personnel?

The role of the Secret Service is particularly puzzling: if Whittington was in range of Cheney's gun, then Cheney was likewise in range of Whittington's. How could the Secret Service have been unaware that a man armed with a loaded shotgun was approaching the vice president from an unexpected direction? If they were aware of Whittington's movements, how could they have allowed the vice president to open fire on him?

Whittington's turn for the worse on Tuesday morning raises the possibility that he could suffer long-term physical consequences from the shooting, or even death. In either event, Cheney could be liable for criminal charges involving at least negligence and recklessness, or even involuntary manslaughter, a felony charge never before brought against so high-ranking a public official. His continuation in office under such circumstances would be in question.

The press, however, has been virtually silent on this possibility. It has focused almost entirely on the subsequent handling of the public relations fallout, not on the underlying event in which a man was nearly killed by the vice president.

In a rare exception, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, in a commentary Wednesday devoted to the exposure of illegal NSA spying, remarked in passing: "Nobody died at Armstrong Ranch, but this incident reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969. That story, and dozens of others about the Kennedy family, illustrates how wealthy, powerful people can behave as if they are above the law."

The comparison is an apt one, not only in its implicit questioning of the credibility of the account given by Cheney, but in its reference to the seeming immunity of the top echelons of American society from all normal legal and social constraints. There is indeed one law for the masses of ordinary people and quite another for the financial and political elite. If anything, this is more the case in the far more socially polarized America of 2006 than it was nearly four decades ago.

Cheney's four-day silence demonstrated the vice president's arrogant indifference to public opinion. His eventual decision to give an interview with Fox News expresses both contempt for the public's right to know and personal cowardice--Cheney is willing to be questioned only by a network which has repeatedly demonstrated a slavish political loyalty to the Bush administration and its ultra-right policies.

The rejection of accountability--for the 9/11 attacks, for the lies which were used to engineer the war with Iraq, for the failures in the response to Hurricane Katrina, for the devastating social and fiscal impact of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy--is the hallmark not only of an administration, but of the ruling elite as a whole.

In that sense, Cheney's conduct at the Armstrong Ranch and its presentation by the media provide a vivid example of the social relations that prevail in contemporary America, ruled by a financial oligarchy that feels itself as far above the common people as the Russian Tsar or the French aristocracy before 1789. There is one set of laws, one set of prerogatives for the modern equivalent of the ruling estates of the feudal past, and another for the rabble.

See Also:

Posted by: che | February 17, 2006 02:45 PM

Jamal - I echo'd the Popular Mechanics article in strong criticism in a past post of the folly of taxpayers rebuilding millionaire's beachfront villas again and again just as much as I criticized the folly of spending half a million in per-person costs to recreate a subsea, sinking ghetto with the nations' 3rd worst educational system simply so "they can go home". Just as there are other places multimillionaires can site their Shangri-La McMansion other than a vulnerable taxpayer-nourished money pit in hurricane alley, there is plenty of structurally sound abandoned dwellings in other ghettos with superior education and infrastructure compared to NOLA to stick those ghetto denizens into.

Jamal becomes outraged: "Chis wrote: "parasitic women with 4 out of wedlock kids and no man to pitch in in an emergency and we are told that is the "government's job" to take care of her ever need." Many people were displaced, but like bush on Iraq WMD, you want to "cherry pick" who was displaced to spew your biased "Archie Bunker" rendition of the truth."

Call it unfair accusations of parasitism if you want, even Archie Bunkerish - but it's not the underclass of NOLA that is taking the jobs to recover NOLA. Why do that when government provides all needs? It is hard-working Americans from other sectors of society and even hard-working illegal aliens that are living hard in bad conditions, doing the needed dirty work and the heavy lifting. Many of those Mexicans who are making a 100 bucks a day while a feckless underclass family sits in Holiday Inn waiting on their new double-wide and locale for their new subsidies - those Mexicans and hard-working Americans from elsewhere?? Some will stay and be part of the new energy of a new city. You can excuse the parasites and say they can't work if they are "tendin' to they chillun' and another on the way from some Texas hotel encounter" or "too drug dependent to work or too long a rap sheet" but they are still, bottom line, parasites..

There will be no waving of the magic wand once the work is done so the underclass can return "home" to a brand spanking new, taxpayer-built subsea paradise. The people in other areas that were displaced like Metairie, Biloxi, Bay City are back recovering their own properties. And within New Orleans, the non-parasites will find a way to work and live there - black and white alike.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 17, 2006 02:51 PM

"It is also in the interests of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion." - Aristotle

Full Circle

Mission Accomplished:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/05/01/bush.transcript/
We are helping to rebuild Iraq where the dictator built palaces for himself instead of hospitals and schools.

Rumsfeld, today:
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/ecf74b6c-9f15-11da-ba48-0000779e2340.html
We're not there to do nation-building.

TAR & FEATHER THE LIARS
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/lies.mp3

Posted by: Rebellion To Tyrants | February 17, 2006 03:27 PM

I have personally spoken with personnel at Crawford and also with one accredited newsperson with the Presidential party and have learned that for three days, George W. Bush was "totally unavailable" for any kind of report on the terrible damage caused by Katrina and the urgent need to help the suffering population. Bush did, and said, absolutely nothing.

Why is this?

Quite simply because the President was drunk.

Yes, Bush was, and is, a so-called "binge drinker." This means that from time to time, often when under pressure, he goes to Crawford for privacy and during his visit, gets royally drunk. During this time, it has been proven impossible to communicate anything to Bush, and his aides and his wife not only shield him from hostile eyes but endeavor to fill in until he is back amongst the living again. In this case, the White House staff in Washington, horrified by the mounting news stories and well aware of the President's chronic drinking problems, compiled a DVD containing urgent television programs on the progress of the disaster and sent it by courier to Crawford to play for the President.

Three days after the levee collapse and the mounting chaos in New Orleans, Bush apparently regained some degree of sobriety and then decided to leave Crawford...for a fund-raising dinner in Arizona and a photo opportunity in California!.

In spite of the frantic attempts on the part of his staff and senior advisors, he refused to either go to New Orleans or return to Washington. If nothing else, Bush will not be told what to do by anyone and this was the situation here. He duly flew over the flooded city, pointed at the mess for the press cameraman and then relaxed with a nice lunch with his staff.

Realizing that the President could be accused of dereliction of duty, Clever Karl, the Fat Viper, decided to blame the neglect on Brown, released enough material to make a fool out of him and then forced him to retire. Brown, however, had the foresight to keep his communications with the White House and presented them to a Congressional committee.

He certainly managed to overcome the image of a bumbling failure and although very careful about accusing the President, he nevertheless pointed directly to a complete failure on the part of the President and his staff as well as the Director of Homeland Security. He gave much better than he got and now the public, and Congress, has a nice bone to chew on.

To be blunt, Bush and his gang couldn't run a mechanical whorehouse and the sooner we can rid ourselves of them, the better. If you come up behind Bush, he might like it but Cheney will shoot you. What a guilty conscience this bunker-living bombastic idiot must have.

Pop a paperbag near him and his pump would give out on the spot."

Posted by: White House Souse | February 17, 2006 03:32 PM

Binge drinker? Holy moly, that would explain the unexplainable things that occur from time to time. Who knows?

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 17, 2006 03:47 PM

he couldn't have been drunk...he was with me, shooting up heroin under the aok tree out back!

how pathetic the left has become...

Posted by: Manuel!! | February 17, 2006 03:49 PM

ha ha ha!

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 17, 2006 03:58 PM

Emily writes: " Fortunately, Rep. Tom Davis, the Virginia Republican who led the inquiry, responded to Pelosi's decision by personally inviting Democrats from Katrina-affected states to participate. Five did: Jackson-Lee of Texas, McKinney of Georgia, Taylor of Mississippi, and Melancon and Jefferson of Louisiana. Democrats working on the House Katrina inquiry have the inside knowledge and credibility to point out anything the panel failed to investigate fully -- actually strengthening the case for an independent commission. And indeed, Jefferson and Melancon, along with Pelosi and fellow Democrats, have renewed the call for such an inquiry. Debaters, do you think further investigation is warranted? What must be done to ensure the government doesn't compound the problem next time a huge natural disaster strikes?"

Pelosi made a very stupid tactical decision in ordering Democratic committee members to boycott. The Republicans came up with a reasonably objective report that did not spare the Bushies or whitewash conduct of individuals. That the freelancing Dems who did participate now toe Pelosi's line and call for a grand 9/11 type panel doesn't help her case much. 4 of the 5 have somewhat odious reputations in Congress - Cynthia McKinney, Shiela Jackson-Lee, Melancon and Jefferson. The two black women are such crackpots even the PC MSM cannot totally shield them from their idiocies. Melancon is under investigation for corruption, and Jefferson is indicted for corruption.

This was just another Cat 3 hurricane, albeit hitting in America's most vulnerable place in one of America's most incompetent cities in America's most corrupt state while a Fed Gov't that responded OK to past hurricanes and ones after Katrina showed vulnerabilities and transition troubles. The Bushies were right that the Almighty 9/11 Commission's recommendations to bin a bunch of well-working Federal agencies in a brand new bureaucratic structure would indeed temporarily hamper the effectiveness of many of those agencies. It is good that we are beginning to understand what really happened after all the rampant false reporting by the media, starting to see what the long term problems are - from 6X replaced by taxpayer money millionaire beachfront homes and the utter inability of welfare mammies to act like human beings in an emergency.

It would be good to know - hurricane aside - what exact things contributed to the massive expense and mess of Katrina and other natural disasters. Why did the folly of New Orleans deciding to build a subsea ghetto proceed? How are the taxpayer dollars of people in safe areas sucked up to be spent on millionaire land developers encouraging settlement of high-risk land? What of the solutions spelled out in Popular Mechanics and other reports shall we impliment? What in the New Orleans mess or the Biloxi mess is the fault of individuals and culture? Is it the job of Gov't to provide a nanny to each moron down there that failed to do anything themselves? What is the exact fault of state and local gov't? There has been an entirely undue focus on the Federal Gov't "failure" to do individual's and local society's and gov't "jobs and responsibilities". How the Federal Gov't should have taken care of driving Mayor Nagin's school buses, stepped in and corrected Blanco's many leadership failures.

Realistically, the Fed Gov't looks like it can be blamed for only minor parts of the pre-and post hurricane mess, and if we focus too much on the small part the Fed Gov't response contributed, we ignore the bulk of the problems that came from other sources...

But hurricane season is 4 months away. Time to stop investigating what screwed up in just one of the last 2,000 hurricanes America had - and get ready for the next 12-20 of them in 2006 and thank luck that other dysfunctional cities as bad as New Orleans - like Detroit, Washington DC, Camden, East St Louis - are located well away from hurricanes.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 17, 2006 04:08 PM


Curious T wrote:

"Lonemule,
What's with your obsession with bowel movements? Are you some sort of coprophile?"

You know Curious, I can understand how you could come to that conclusion given the fact that I am willing to wallow in Emily's little (I mean little read) cesspool called "The Debate". I'm afraid my desire to return each day is simular to that same, sick compulsion most individuals have to look at auto accidents. This Blog (as irrelevant as it is) fascinates me. Becuase it answers one of my burning questions:
Are Liberals really so stupid they can't over take Bush and his policies (I mean incompetence)?

Then, Sully goes on to ask me this question:
"You accuse "liberals" of only being "against Bush" without proposing any alternatives. Well, that is what I see you doing to the "liberals". So, how about it? What is your vision of America?"

Sully, unlike so many of you "La La Liberals" that spend time counting the failures of the Bush administration (like an insomniac counts sheep), I spend my time intoxicated by the vision of an America and Americans free from the addiction of "When's Uncle Sam going to fix it for me" malaise.

FDR never envisioned the Social Security system we fight over today (like dogs over a bone with no meat left). Kennedy never believed that Americans would only answer the call to service if they get paid i.e., AmeriCorp and the "All Volunteer Army". Truman (the only President to authorize the use of an Atomic Bomb) would probably see today's Presidents (Democrat and Republican) as abusers of the "War Powers Act" and Congress as cowardly for not preventing them from that abuse.

You all have it right...Republicans are greedy, incompetent, and self serving. The only problem...You accept those character flaws in your anointed politicians as long as they tow the Democratic party line (i.e, higher taxes, abortion should not only be legal it should be encouraged, and what ever goes wrong it not the individuals fault but it is governments responsibility to fix it and make sure it can never happen again just don't punish the real culprit).

That recipe has been failing you for many years. I dare say Bill Clinton (the last truly "smart" politician the Democratic party showcased) would agree that the party of FDR, Truman, and Kennedy are on the road to ruin or at least irrelevance (and in politics irrelevance is ruin).

So Sully, my vision is for a government full of statesmen (or stateswomen) not of talking-point spouting pinheads,....regardless of their party affiliation. Unfortunately what you find here in "Emily's Outhouse" is just more of the same, juvenile "George Bush is mean, cruel, and stupid" banter that pervades American Liberal circles.

.........and for that reason if I focus on Emily's or as I like to call her among my liberal friends, Miss "fecaly challenged'.
You see, its her constipation of the mind (that won't allow her to tackle Democrats) that may be as constraining as the knotting of her colon..

"For gentle, overnight relief try Haley's M.O. But, if you really want to get the job done...Take a Starbucks double espresso enema!"

Posted by: | February 17, 2006 06:43 PM

Oh I'm sorry. That last post was from me...The Lonemule.

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 17, 2006 06:44 PM

of course you're right...


a crook is a crook...


what you're not talking about is this:


most affluent/landed/plutocrats/americanaristocracy....

are born into their lives.


they get taught about connections and being above the law as they are introduced to society...

they go to private schools, they make connections....regardless of how poor they are at the jobs that they are doing, at least they know how to continue to do what

... _the family_


.


wants done.

the only way to change things is to talk about _that_ aspect.


once you understand the real infrastructure, family deals, sometimes disguised as corporate deals then you can work with what is going on.


to talk trash about liberal or conservatives is to lose sight of one essential thing....


what the job is that needs done.


the job is this, include everyone in the nations business.


and help them to understand what that means.


what really pisses me off is the level of disinformation that is being spun out as the middle class is disappearing....

the middle class appeared after WWII, as soldiers went to college on the GI BILL...


that class is disappearing.


they had leisure time.

time to think, to discuss to examine things.


the current crop of bullshite ers keeps everyone confused while they rape liberty...


the obfuscation needs to be removed and some people publically whipped, and then pilloried


if not in fact then with words.

if you want to know what would get this country working quickly it would be to


destory a couple of families as

_an example_


nothing brings home the truth faster than a shot across the bow of a pirate ship.

Posted by: nice to see that your bias is towards a viewpoint... | February 17, 2006 07:13 PM

.

.

who thinks about the destruction of bluecollar middle-class america when factories are closed and moved overseas?


no one that could do anything about it.


again: GMC had a Gross National Product greater than all of Europe and the USSR combined...


did they prepare for the future when the Japanese started making better engineered cars? did they change their engineering strategy?


why is it okay to dump 30,000 workers in your laps after they gave, and their parents gave most of their lives to their companies....


your bluebloods are willing to use your children to maintain their stock(s)....


but they're unwilling to help you have a future too....

take them down, destroy their ability to manipulate you....

Posted by: you really need to get this..... | February 17, 2006 07:18 PM

george w. has been drinking again...


he's a good example of someone that had never really learned how to do anything, and has been protected from knowing that...


he's a scapegoat, a puppet dancing in front of the crowd while deals are made....

it doesn't matter who's in front of the machine, that's why they're teaching


condeleeza to be able to stand up in front of a crowd and keep a straight face while they ask her to talk the party line....just training, she's the next president unless you get some starch in your spines...

Posted by: ps. my sources agree with you... | February 17, 2006 07:25 PM

you're a small time hood.

Posted by: you're a liar johnnie g... | February 17, 2006 07:46 PM

Why am I a liar, mr./mrs. "you're a liar ... ?"

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 17, 2006 07:50 PM

Emily, the crisis is over...Cheney has apologized (or, should I say he has done the politically correct "taken responsibility) and the man really injured has been discharged from the hospital in what appears to be pretty good shape. Let's get ready for the next one...hmm, what will it be this time? Let's see, in the past 12 months we've had Quailgate, KatrinaGate, Abramoff-gate, NSA-gate, Plame-gate, Scooter-gate...the list goes on. For many at this site (a fair number of whom appear to not have day jobs given the frequency of their rants), this list of endless issues serves as sustenance for their crackpot conspiracy theories. The truth, however, is that the endless "one after another" issue mill is evidence that these cretins have nothing to offer but endless, tiresome attempts at throwing shit against the wall and hoping that something will stick...somewhere...on somebody. Well, the old adage is that shit runs downhill and those at the bottom...well you get the point. One positive Emily - if the grassy knoll idiots who post here ever leave for another blog, you can always go back over to the DNC/People for the American Way/whatever-PIRG and crank out another winning campaign strategy.

Posted by: The Other Will | February 17, 2006 08:09 PM

To you chris, I am from St. Bernard Parish and lost not just my home from this event but also my job, my famly, (as we are all scattered) and friends. I lost my past (50 years) my present and my future. Mine and my daughter's. To have any symblance of a normal life for my child we have to start over in another state just her and I ( and no I don't have a child out wedlock. I'm a single mom thru death and I work very hard to take care of us without help from the government because I learned when my husband was dying and I had an eight month old child that we didn't qualify for any assistance because I was stupid enough to keep trying to work to save my husband dignity.) But these loses from Katrina were not caused by nature. And I did have some flood insuance even though I didn't live in a flood zone. I lost everything because I foolishly trusted my government to do their job and do the right things in protecting it's citizens. All of it's citizens. But my government let me down. They knew this was going to happen but didn't take the neccessary steps to repair or replace the levee system that we trusted because of the cost. But we are rebuilding Iraq no matter what the cost. After we were left unprotected by our government to be destroyed not by Katrina as she didn't have enough rain for this damage we were abandoned during this national crisis until the Canadians came to our rescue, and still we wait to hear something positive, concrete, r just the littlest it encouraging to get us going again but now our government fails us again. Yes, as citizens we expect our own government to potect us, and yes we need and expect help to recover from this but we have been let down on both. To all of the people who have helped all of us in any way I truly thank them and wis that I could repay their kindness but I don't want anyone to go thru what we have and are still going thru. Except maybe you. Maybe then you could find some understanding and compassion in you deep, dark and cold soul for others in times of crisis. As I pray for my family, friends and neighbors who have all lost ad suffered so much, I will pray for your enlightenment so that you may become a caring member of the human race.

Posted by: Cindy | February 17, 2006 08:23 PM

The truth, however, is that the endless "one after another" issue mill is evidence that these cretins have nothing to offer but endless, tiresome attempts at throwing shit against the wall and hoping that something will stick...somewhere...on somebody

You said it. those damn dems couldn't even come up with a creative thought to discredit this adminstration, they had to sneak a copy of the Repubs play book.

Posted by: | February 17, 2006 08:27 PM

The truth, however, is that the endless "one after another" issue mill is evidence that these cretins have nothing to offer but endless, tiresome attempts at throwing shit against the wall and hoping that something will stick...somewhere...on somebody

No, you got it all wrong. The Democrats love the Republicans. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, don't you know.

But Cindy, most of us saw the pictures of the working class neighborhoods under water. But it assauges the guilt of abandoning you to pretend its only the unproductive dregs of society we abandoned down there.

I have a proposition. Since Archie thinks its only the stupid lazy welfare mothers who lost everything and expect a handout, I say instead of giving handouts lets refund all the taxes paid by NOLA residents going back to age 18 years whose homes are too damaged to move back into.

Posted by: | February 17, 2006 08:34 PM

After both his elections George Bush has always claimed to have a "Mandate" and political capital to spend. To his followers he was going to be one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States. In his first nine months in office he languished. 911 came and he was a "Deer in the Headlights". Then the "napoleon of politics" Karl Rove put the spin on 911 and wrapped George in the American flag, you criticize George, you criticize the America Flag. He climbed in the popularity polls to proclaim himself a "War Time President". As time went on and it became apparent Osama Bin Ladin may not be caught as promised he began to drop in the polls.

Then an idea, one that had been buzzing around the administration since it first took office. George, always with an eye on Sadam, the one that got away from his father. And Dick, head of the VP office, always with an eye on the oil fields that got away from his company. The "perfect plan" was hatched get Sadam, get the oil fields, get the polls up, and go down in history as a great president. Karl the "Napoleon of politics" worked the PR side. But Karl could not "spin the people of the Middle East" and the "Napoleon of Politics" has met his Waterloo. But the line was crossed and George has bet his presidency on his private little war in Iraq. He knows that time is running out, and his undeniable "Victory" must be won before he leaves office. He knows when his term is over, Victory or no victory, the United States will pull out of Iraq. He feels he will be judged in history by Iraq and his Middle East Policies. All other national priorities are secondary, Katrina, Health Care, conservative fiscal responsibility, his promises, even his own Republican Party and many more. As his time is going down, so is the high tide of the Republican Party and conservative movement, for they have gambled all on George.

Posted by: Jamal | February 17, 2006 10:38 PM

but only this much, there are cretins involved and they are your friends...


.


as far as shit, I think you're trying to sell some...

but that's your job, just like Karls.

alcoholic, cokehead, marginal student, draftdodger....both of you...


concerned citizen, I think not.


selfish? without a doubt.


honest, no question about it, you're not.

bullying, intimidating.....4th graders.

Posted by: there is some truth to what you say...theother | February 17, 2006 11:49 PM

Jamal, I think you got it backwards. The intent to go into Iraq was there all along. 9-11 just spared them having to invent an excuse - you know, dressing up planes in UN colors and letting Saddam shoot them down, etc.

If it had gone better we'd have been in Syria next, and eventually Iran, certainly one of these other countries would have over-extended our reach. People all over this blog keep reminding us of the Japanese general who advised against invading the US because there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass. These same bloggers who keep reminding us that Muslims are "violent and easily incited". Then they say "but we never imagined there'd be an insurgency", an IED behind every grain of sand.

I was at Napolean's tomb in Paris last fall. The tour guides always tell a joke that when Hitler came to Paris he went to see Napolean to pay his respects to another great conquerer and to ask his advice. Napolean is reported to have said "Don't go to Russia in the winter", but Hitler couldn't hear him because of the 7 coffins Napolean asked to be buried in. Only this time the joke was changed for the benefit of the American tourist group to having Napolean say "don't go to Iraq".

As of today I see no candidate who can do what this nation needs - to be unified, to find our principles again, to discover the meaning of liberty again. Guliani just doesn't seem to have the international statesmanship to me, McCain is some one both parties might be able to get behind on a lot of issues, but his hotblooded little temper next to the button worries me a bit, the right would never accept Biden and they would hound Hillary and make Ken Starr look like an amateur at it. Colin Powell could have led us until he sold his soul - I blame it on too ingrained military discipline that he took the fall for his Commander in Chief. Condi Rice is a bold faced liar. George Allen's shirt is too brown. Pataki is a weakling who would be easily controlled by the neocons. Actually, Christie Todd Whitman is making some sense these days - she sold her sould too but did manage to get out.

Senator Snowe, can't we convine you to run? Please?

I just can't imagine who could genuinely lead us right now.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 18, 2006 12:15 AM


"Senator Snowe, can't we convince you to run? Please?"

Give me a BREAK!!!!!!

Don't you get it...Stop asking government to "Fix IT".

One of you morons wrote:
"I say instead of giving handouts lets refund all the taxes paid by NOLA residents going back to age 18 years whose homes are too damaged to move back into.

Are you saying that if you pay taxes you should be cradled by Uncle Sam and protected from any pain??? any event??? Even those brought on by the God you don't believe in?

Quit demanding government make your life better and start acting like you deserve to be on this planet.

You lazy, liberal, hypocrites disgust me.

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 18, 2006 12:30 AM

Patriot,
Howard Dean...
No joke intended either.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 18, 2006 12:51 AM

Patriot,
Hagel is also worth a look,
But Howard is more up front so I like him better.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 18, 2006 12:53 AM

The Republican Party places priority on winning elections at all cost ($). The end justifies the means. Many republican voters view winning elections the same as rooting for a football team, the Libs vs the Cons. The conservative Republicans before the Reagan era would never pile up deficits and many old time conservatives are rolling over in their graves over domestic spying. The people that turned "Liberal" into a filthy word to insult anyone how disagreed with them are in many ways not even conservative, they're power hungry. Yet they have bound together a coalition of blind voters by constantly pushing a few emotion buttons, some based on bigotry and hatred.

What it takes to win an election is not always what it takes to govern. Placing your loyal (but incompetent) party followers, in positions they're not qualified for....blaming subordinates for your faults, these and many more are weakening the republican party from within. It has already begun. And what many Cons in here call liberal spewing is in reality the wakening up of more and more citizens to the truth. Cons, it's not just in this blog. The discontent with the ruling republicans is spreading.

Posted by: Jamal | February 18, 2006 01:31 AM

Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee has the experience and has been able to successfully work with the entire political spectrum in his state, but he's an unknown nationally.

Posted by: Jamal | February 18, 2006 01:37 AM

Cindy -

"I lost everything because I foolishly trusted my government to do their job and do the right things in protecting it's citizens. All of it's citizens. But my government let me down. They knew this was going to happen but didn't take the neccessary steps to repair or replace the levee system that we trusted because of the cost."

The first Imperial troops arrived after eyewitness reports of the calamity came in. Top people were dispatched. Everyone had watched the event unfold and knew of all the predictions, but in years and decades and centuries past had never believed that the day would come - not to the most special, powerful people on the planet. The troops walked through the rubble and tried rescue of people that shouldn't have lived there anyway, given what all thought was inevitable. Riots hit the city.

Many who owned property there requested the government make it all better, just like it was before. The city was never rebuilt, despite the memories of the beauty of the place, because they knew another disaster could happen - as bad or worse - to a city with a terrible location. They were smart enough to believe that evacuation or rescue was not doable despite the best soldiers and military machinery in the world..not since they saw and understood how the red-hot pyroclastic flows worked..

Sure enough, subsequent eruptions of Vesuvius added more ash layers on top of the abandoned city. The land was used for 1600 years following that by a much smaller number of farmers and vacationers enjoying the rich land that had formed above the ruins and corpses. The lost city was rediscovered in the late 1700s.

Pompeii.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 18, 2006 02:17 AM

We need someone with the sensibilites of George Washington.
1) Tell the Truth
2) Stay out of Foreign Affairs (like Israel)
3) Brave (Crossed the Delaware - this is a great story)
4) Determined (Only Washington's men crossed the Delaware. THe commanders of the flacking armies decided it was best to spend the night in the Tavern laughing at Washington).
5) Freed his Slave (human rights)
6) Liked to dance with the girls (knew how to have fun).

George where are you?
Should I run?

Posted by: Impeach Bush and Cheney | February 18, 2006 09:15 AM

And Washington wasn't GREEDY or CORRUPT and FULL OF CRAP like the present administration.

Posted by: Impeach Bush and Cheney | February 18, 2006 09:21 AM

Now Washington did throw his money around, the silver dollar he threw across the Potomic.
Have a nice day.

Posted by: Impeach Bush and Cheney | February 18, 2006 09:23 AM

Oh yeah, and we need to remember what he grew in his garden too.

Posted by: Impeach Bush and Cheney | February 18, 2006 09:27 AM

Jame Comey

Posted by: | February 18, 2006 09:34 AM

James Comey

Posted by: | February 18, 2006 09:34 AM

James Comey

Posted by: | February 18, 2006 09:35 AM

I don't understand how any thinking patriotic American could still be a Democrat OR Republican! If there were planes flying into buildings every 20 minutes, I would say President Bush, do whatever you have to do. Where are the truck bombs we were promised? Don't you think if there really were "Islamic Terrorists" they would drive simultaneous truck bombs up to the glass studios of Fox News, NBC, ABC, cBS, etc LIVE? Have you ever seen a terrorist? George Bush is a terrorist. Over 250,000+ Iraqis have been killed by US Airstrikes. As horrifying as car bombs are, smart bombs are worse. Do we see any of this on "the free press"?

New Abu Ghraib images stoke US fears
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4718666.stm
Detainees are forced to perform sexual acts. A young girl holds up her shirt, bearing her breasts for the soldier's camera.

Bad Publicity Puts Pentagon on Defensive
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/02/17/national/w005435S62.DTL
"We're not seeing any increased hostility as a result of those pictures being released," he said Thursday. "We see no repercussions."

I guess this dead US soldiers life isn't worth shit then? (WHINE) support the troops

OCCUPIED BAGHDAD, New Iraq- The U.S. military said a U.S. soldier was killed in a roadside bomb attack in eastern Baghdad on Saturday. The latest death brought the toll of U.S. military personnel in Iraq to more than 2,270 since the territorial pissings began in March 2003.

It's been 1,615 days since GWB said he'd catch UBL 'Dead or Alive!'

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/lies.mp3

Missing From ABC's WMD 'Scoop'
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2825
Star defector Hussein Kamel said weapons were destroyed

DON'T THE US NEWS? WHORE$$$ HAVE GOOGLE?

There are about 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Many have been held for nearly four years.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/02/17/national/w103517S73.DTL
///Most were captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan in late 2001 after U.S. forces invaded in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.///

Only 8% at Gitmo 'Qaeda fighters'
http://talkleft.com/new_archives/013976.html
Only 5% of the detainees were captured by United States forces.

"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information."
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/spyring.html
-- US official quoted in Carl Cameron's Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring and its connections to 9-11.

Posted by: Death to Israeli Spies | February 18, 2006 09:58 AM

I hate to repeat myself but I must: The reason the Federal Government failed to respond to Hurricane Katrina lies in the fact that it is now almost exclusively controlled by those who subscribe to the do-nothing, know-nothing philosophy of modern neoconservatism.

The neoconservatism of which I speak was born out of the writings of economic theorist Friedrich Hayek and put into actual practice after the election of Ronald Reagan. The economic team Reagan and subsequent republican Presidents employed earned their reputations under the tutelage of economist Milton Friedman who wanted to take America back to the original tenets of Classical Liberalism, a philosophy of limited government and pure lazzez faire capitalism.

The implementation of that thinking during the Reagan Presidency resulted in a largely "bubble financed" economy predicated on the creation of huge amounts of private and public debt. The same phenomenon is now bewing employed under George W. Bush.

Reagan was luckier than Bush in that the more negative consequences of his agenda--the huge amount of debt, the monumental financial scandals such as the Thrift Savings bailout and the necessity to raise interest rates to tamp down the boiling of the economy--came late in his term and afflicted mightily the fortunes of his successor to the point that he had to renege on his on pledge not to raise taxes.

Bush is not so lucky. The demons that thrive in this unserviceable economic theory and do nothing philosophy on government are now savaging the sweetmeats of his hindward parts. Bush--and in the future I suspect, the GOP as a whole will continue to suffer because they are wedded to this unwholesome philosophy of limited government at a time when government action is required and huge amounts of revenue are needed to pay the bills they are unwisely building up.

The only way out of this is an electoral one and it is going to be up to the American people to decide just what it is they want their government to be and to do. They cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand and rear up every four years or so only to be deceived into thinking that abortion, gay rights, gay marriage, gun control, preventing flag burning and putting God back in our schools are the main issues of the day.

Posted by: Jaxas | February 18, 2006 10:50 AM

CHRIS FORD----YOU SOUND AS THOUGH YOU NEED TO TAKE VIAGRA AND YOU HAVE A COMPLEX. The hurricane hit all of the people from the coast of La., Ms., Al---black, white, young, old, rich, poor--and took a part of their lives that they will never replace. But you in your nice comfortable house without any ecconomic, natural disaster, no POOR people, corrupt politicians, etc choose to belittle what my people in NOLA want to hold onto with what pride they have left. Some of these people that were flooded are people that may have never owned a house in their lifebefore their house. They worked hard to get their house and to get off the welfare line. These people deserve respect, because they work for a living just like you do (I guess you do-you might just be all talk and no show). Are each of you aware that the gulf produces the seafood you eat. If the coastline is not replaced then the nursery grounds for the fish and crabs you go to the store to buy won't be there. The commercial fisherman of La. live in all of the affected parishes. They have no processing plants to bring in their catch, some don't have boats anymore----THESE ARE HARD WORKING CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES THAT PAY TAXES AND HAVE INSURANCE. But the insurance company's are not taking care of their clients. Yes some of our people were not even fit to be called animals-WE HAVE A BIGGER BRAIN (AT LEAST SOME OF US DO). Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and come down to see the "Big Easy" cause it is not easy anymore. There were kids that were left to die in attics by some of those people. When they were saved by a hero (it did not matter what color-- THEY WERE A HUMAN THAT CARED). And yes I was one of those that left (I leave every time with all of my family and animals) the city because of "big one" and I will do it again. I will always come back to the area that I love and that is my right as a US citizen to choose where I live. Yes I believe that the river will take over someday. But until it does I'll be here. There is no other place with as diverse and rich an area in wild animal populations as we are. Mississippi lost a large part of their culture too. Alot of the homes had been in their families for generations that were washed away. What I regret was the loss of life due to ignorance about the water problems. It has always ben a water not so much as a wind problem. CHRIS--I bet you don't even have flood insurance in your city that is required. But maybe you should get it---YOU never know what might happen. We as a city have been looked down on as a whole because of the looting but which of you can cast a stone without a problem when it comes down to your city. There is trash of all colors that lives in each and every part of the US. My point is that we are not all bad people that live off the system. I too have a job and have been putting in many overtime hours to help my customers. We will rebuild a better city that will be here for another 200 years. I don't guess you remember the flood that hit missouri due to a levee break. I bet those people did not have flood insurance even though they live next to the biggest river in the US and they were allowed to return to their land. California has the mudslide, fire and earthquake issues. At least you can run away from a hurricane. We should use our common sense when it comes to our lives.

Posted by: r | February 18, 2006 11:00 AM

The response to Katrina was horrible period.

You can not prepare for a Katrina (too expensive to leave that amount of resources waiting to be deployed-as well as impracticle).

My wife's brother lives in the Bi-water community with his family (they were not submerged when the levees gave way), and he says if you look around down here you would really see why NO ONE!! could have been prepared with/or dealt with this situation in a "satisfactory" way- the affected area is immense.

And he is pretty much a left winger, conceeding the point that Dems would have been just as ineffective.

http://anticdevices.livejournal.com/

Posted by: 11bravo | February 18, 2006 11:37 AM

Death to Israeli Spies (but not to Islamoid butchers) writes:

"Where are the truck bombs we were promised? Don't you think if there really were "Islamic Terrorists" they would drive simultaneous truck bombs up to the glass studios of Fox News, NBC, ABC, cBS, etc LIVE?"

Because Ayman al-Zawahiri has counseled that half the struggle of the Islamoids is to get the media battle won - and the US media is a critical ally. Instead of cartoons spoofing Islamic beliefs, they get through intimidation self-censorship while the media make American "atrocities", torture, "Abu Ghraib", precious enemy civil liberties and relentless Bush-bashing vs. Islamoid-bashing the MSM agenda. The MSM would be the LAST target in America Al Qaeda or other Islamoids on Jihad would want to hit. Unless they are taken out as collateral damage in a nuke strike on SF, LA, DC, or what the Islamoids call "Jew York". Of course if the Islamoids do somehow get control of the global oil supply and get to dictate terms, they could say one of their conditions is elimination of Jewish management, reporters at Jewish-controlled mass media businesses like the WP, NYTimes, Hollywood..

"Have you ever seen a terrorist? George Bush is a terrorist."

Actually, I have met a few "government people" overseas and in DC that started as terrorists. Sharks in Armani. Bush is no terrorist by what makes a terrorist unless you get into the whole moral equivalency bullshit that a soldier is no different than a murderer and a democratically elected leader is no different than a thug in a terrorist cell who is outside all rule by law.

"Over 250,000+ Iraqis have been killed by US Airstrikes. As horrifying as car bombs are, smart bombs are worse. Do we see any of this on "the free press"?"

Lefties may be disappointed that a MSM that runs 300+ Abu Ghraib stories and hundreds of pics but refuse to run "Islamophobic" cartoons or pictures of people diving out of the WTC would refuse to cite the Lefties 100K-250K "murdered by troops" Lefties. The problem is that rectal pluck "megadeath" claim by Lefties can be fact-checked and a MSM entity risks the global discrediting the Lancet suffered and the shakeup in people after it was discovered their politics led to sloppy science. Nor are Lefty-sympathetic MSM outlets going to do something as stupid as claim that car bombs directed at Shiite heretic children at a school the same as a smart bomb that wipes out a houseful of Islamoid jihadis and civilians dumb enough to hang with them after they engage US and/or Iraqi forces.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 18, 2006 11:41 AM

The only connection to Katrina in the following link is the administrations continual focus of not admitting wrong doing or errors, scapegoating, lying, and general incompetence. I admit this is a stretch linking this to Katrina, but then bush conveniently kinks, oops, links issues to terrorism. Thus, following the precedence set forth by the bush administration, I link this article to Katrina.

Chris, I would love to hear your comments pertaining to "flip-flop" stories of the cheney shooting incident, you were so loud the day after, but since you have become quiet.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060218/ap_on_go_pr_wh/cheney_fact_check_1;_ylt=Ak05cUKVr75K7pfqI5S5aEtqP0AC;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Posted by: Jamal | February 18, 2006 12:39 PM

I agree that one of the main reasons why this administration 'seems' so incompetent is because they believe in very limited government and are operating accordingly.

Unfortunately for them, the general public does not share their view of total governmental non-responsibility, so when there is a problem, they are forced by public opinion into acting (with no plan)- then when they both unintentionally and deliberately screw it up, they can trumpet the "see, I told you that large government is incompetent" mantra that suits their original aim of making big government look bad.

They believe that a combination of that and slashing taxes to starve government will eventually 'wean' the public off of expecting any "dependable" services from the government beyond tax collection and war-making. They know that the public won't accept outright elimination of many of our large programs, so they plan a backdoor maneuver to deep six the programs through lack of funding or competing
'programs' that sound good but aren't, or don't really address the core problem.

(ex: personal accounts for retirement which don't fix the basic lack of funds in SS, or health savings accounts that mainly benefit the wealthy and the banks that get to manage the accounts, and will do nothing to curb the sky high cost of health care and drugs, which is the biggest problem, and will encourage employers to stop offering insurance entirely - a decades long 'safety net' for workers that would be quietly deep sixed by this "ownership society/small government" maneuver.

I don't believe that the taxpayer owes everyone else a house, a living and protection from all of life's travails - however, we cannot have a productive society when the population is close to 300 million and large swaths of the public are drowning in debt, and only one illness away from bankruptcy. A civilization is similar to a perennial plant in the way that it lives and dies. For a long time, growth is sustained by the middle of the roots - the middle class. When growth extends so far that the middle of the root mass can no longer support the energy needs of both the expanding outer roots and the plant, the middle starts to
die. That is exactly what we are seeing.

Posted by: Cynthia | February 18, 2006 12:48 PM

Howard Dean.

Cayambe you surprise.

I do not think Dean's record is as ultra- liberal or as "take no prisoners" as he has been portrayed. And he and Feingold weren't afraid to speak their minds when it wasn't politically expedient to do so. But I'm surprised to hear his name from someone who seems centrist but leans right. Tell me more about what you are thinking. It seems to me he's been too ruined by the Rovian spin machine to be able to get anything done.

Cynthia, you make an erroneous assumption that this administration is for less government control. They certainly want less government control over the business regulations of their cronies. But they have increased federal government intervention in less visible areas traditionally considered state or locally controlled, or in the case of science not governmentally controlled. Education, marriage, religion, science, all come to mind quickly.

My brother has been a government employed global warming scientist since Reagan days. After the first Iraq war there was indeed a measurable effect on global warming from the Kuwait oil fires. Since Bush II, he is only allowed to study things cannot be used to make a conclusion about whether global warming exists or what should be done about it. His bosses are not allowed to say global warming exists or discuss how our behavior contributes to it. It amazes me that we went from Congressional hearings on how the bad man Saddam worsened global warming with the oil fires to "the science on whether global warming exists isn't certain yet" in only about a decade.

And to whoever said it was a stupid plan to give back the taxes on NOLA residents - I think you missed the point. I think the it was a slam agianst Ford et al who are accusing the flooded NOLA residents of being shiftless welfare mothers. So giving back their taxes instead of giving them a handout means the government would be absolved of any responsibility because they didn't pay taxes. But of course those single family homes all required that someone pay property taxes on them, and the working class income that paid for the mortgages and the taxes was taxed too.

MOst of the working class in this country live one emergency away from financial ruin. Should we blame "shiftlessness" for the fact that Congress got a raise but the working class has had constantly eroding buying power?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 18, 2006 02:33 PM

I have hear the heroin thing before, from a little old lady from TX. She said Bush hung out with the cowboys and they like to do heroin to kill the pain of their hard living and so did he.

I understand once you are hooked you really never can get off.

Posted by: | February 18, 2006 02:54 PM

I seems to me if we were not screwing around in the Middle East we would have a lot more money and resources to handle diasters like Katrina.

Posted by: | February 18, 2006 02:58 PM

I seems to me if we had not cut taxes on the rich who can pay for it, we would have more money and resources to handle disasters like Katrina.

What do the rich do with all that money anyway? What do they need so much money for? Rich people are nothing but a bunch of selfish egotical assholes.

Posted by: | February 18, 2006 03:01 PM

What was I saying about the failure of the Executive Branch to enforce the Constitutional Requirement of Separation of Church and Ctate? This should be ILLEGAL!


The North Carolina Republican Party asked its members this week to send their church directories to the party, drawing furious protests from local and national religious leaders.

"Such a request is completely beyond the pale of what is acceptable," said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The politicians must stop this horrid and dispicable pandering.

Posted by: Impeach Bushcheney | February 18, 2006 05:11 PM

Anonymous:

"It seems to me if we had not cut taxes on the rich who can pay for it, we would have more money and resources to handle disasters like Katrina.

What do the rich do with all that money anyway? What do they need so much money for? Rich people are nothing but a bunch of selfish egotical assholes."

So, all financially successful people are selfish egotistical a-holes. It should be pointed out that the vast majority of those having more money than others do pay a ton of their cash in taxes, tax breaks or not. Also, it is not easy to make a lot of dough. If you worked yourself as hard as the minority of the population that you hate, and your income grew as a result of your tireless efforts, I'm sure you would feel a completely different way.

Our family now pays as much in taxes each year as our gross income was not so many years ago. When we first were married, we were dirt poor and proceeded with having children, but never asked for assistance from the government (except for "low interest" loans to finish our studies, which we paid back in full). After years of struggling, we finally see the fruits of our labor.

So now we are to give more of our cash to subsidize people living below sea level in a hopeless fight against mother nature? Not. Immediate disaster relief, if possible, but no long-term rebuilding cash.

I don't believe anyone, rich or poor, who makes a conscious decision to live in a high-risk area, such as the shore, deserves any breaks from the feds. If the rich can afford the insurance, then that is a matter between them and the insurance company (not the government!).

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 18, 2006 05:48 PM

"What do the rich do with all that money anyway"

The US is special in a good way because private property and private wealth is allowed and encouraged -- doesn't matter what the rich do with their coin - that's a dimension of freedom.

ON THE OTHER HAND .... if we're at war, if we're not covering the cost of the war - and many other federal activities .... it is insanity to argue that taxes should be kept low .... the rich have benefited greatly from tax policy changes over the last few years, and they gain the most from the US system of democracy, justice, defense, ... and when you tax, you have to go where the money is ...

the top folks in our society earn huge money, and control vast wealth ... they (and the rest of us too) need to kick to cover more of current government costs, instead of pretending it doesn't matter if they kick in ....

OR we don't spend half a trillion dollars on defense, we don't provide social security, medicare, medicaid, disaster assistance -- we don't maintain a court system, an immigration control system, a federal highway system ....

if foreigners quit buying our government bonds (how we're borrowing lately ) we're going to be in a very real problem ....

so few are asked to do so much as soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere, the least the rest of us can do is maintain a society worth returning to ..

Posted by: | February 18, 2006 06:34 PM

I am not arguing that taxes should be kept low if the US defense budget requires increases. _Everyone_ should chip in in times of a national security crisis. The poster's attitude pisses me off. It is pure communistic garbage the lazy poor always spew.

The availability of defense dollars for war is quite different from an internal crisis whose magnitude is based in bad choices made over the course of generations, or on decisions by those now moving to areas that for good reason were not considered geographically sound for permanent homes.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 18, 2006 07:00 PM

My Revisiting Hurricane Katrina comment is a political cartoon, seeing that they are rather popular of late:

Global Warming Mardi Gras
http://spin-doctor.us/cartoon8.html

Posted by: Spin Doctor | February 18, 2006 07:08 PM

Cheney said we were turning the corner in Iraq. Guess he failed to tell us what was around that corner. ..............
CHARACTER IS DESTINY


The Sadrists have kept a highly mobile militia numbering in the thousands. They follow a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law and, according to residents in areas where they are dominant, often resort to violence to enforce it.

They are suspected of running death squads, primarily targeting Saddam loyalists and militant Sunni Arabs known for anti-Shiite sentiments. They are closely linked to Iran, maintain contacts with some factions of the Sunni-dominated insurgency and, like other Shiite groups, have allowed hundreds of militiamen to infiltrate the security forces.

In the southern city of Basra, for example, residents say al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militiamen bomb stores suspected of selling liquor or permissive entertainment material. They intercept, and in some cases beat up, men and women whose appearance they deem immodest.

Last year, Mahdi militiamen burned three offices belonging to the Supreme Council after al-Sadr's Najaf office was torn down to allow for the expansion of a plaza outside the mosque of Imam Ali, Shiism's founding father.

In the southern city of Kut, residents say the Mahdi militiamen have stopped parading on the streets as they used to in 2004, but were suspected of bombing liquor stores and barber shops.

Muzafar al-Moussawi, al-Sadr's representative in Kut, denies the Mahdi Army was involved in the bombings, but acknowledges that its fighters "assist security forces when asked."

Officials of the Shiite alliance say the Sadrists' intervention in favor of al-Jaafari may have endangered Shiite unity, jeopardized the alliance's close links to the Kurds and could prompt some of the alliance's partners to join other blocs.

They hinted that intimidation, or even veiled threats of violence, may have been used by the Sadrists to help independent lawmakers make up their minds.

"The Sadrists moved in forcefully in the 24 hours that preceded the vote," said Ridha Jawad Taqi of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, the country's largest Shiite party. SCIRI's candidate, Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, lost to al-Jaafari.

A close Sadrist alliance with Iraq's next prime minister would not be good news for Washington.

"The United States is targeting Islam, the Muslim and Arab states in the Middle East and beyond," al-Sadr told Syrian television in a Feb. 13 interview. "It wants to control the world."

Al-Sadr, between meetings with Jordan's leaders, stepped up calls Saturday for the United States and other foreign troops to leave Iraq.

"The aim of my visit to the region is to improve relations with neighboring countries, which is a very important issue, and to free this area from the Western, American war, whether it be in Iraq, Iran, Syria or the rest of the region," al-Sadr said

Posted by: BaggedCheneyDad | February 18, 2006 07:17 PM

Patriot,
"I do not think Dean's record is as ultra- liberal or as "take no prisoners" as he has been portrayed."

Sure isn't. I went to high school for a couple of years in next door New Hampshire many many years ago. Summer job was delivering concrete tanks all over NH, Vermont, and Southern Maine. Very practical and hard-working people live in those parts. They give real meaning to "laconic humor" too. So I keep up with those states, and I was familiar with Dean and Angus long before Howard tumbled out on to the national stage.

Angus ran Maine as an independent you know. He could probably run the country too. I'm kind of surprized no one has mentioned Maine's other woman, Susan Collins. If you like goody goody school-marmish types, she is a stereotype for that.

Dean is not at his best being a partisan. He still needs to learn that. He is at his best focusing on issues and policy where that straight forward New England pragmatism and get to the heart of the matter in simple English stands out from the wishywashy mush you hear from everyone else. So yeah, I like him a lot. I just hope he grows up soon.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 18, 2006 08:02 PM

BaggedCheney wrote:

"Cheney said we were turning the corner in Iraq. Guess he failed to tell us what was around that corner. ..............
CHARACTER IS DESTINY"

We are turning the corner in Iraq, but it's a right turn and all Cheney can do is right turns, so we going in circles.

Posted by: Jamal | February 18, 2006 08:47 PM

Thanks Cayambe re Dean. Interesting guy. And actually Susan Collins is kind of interesting too. I am convinced that the only way we can go in 08 is a moderate Repub who has the strength to cut off the neocons before they cut him or her to shreds. The Dems seem to have no one with the leadership ability to counter the Rovian spin machine and the course of this nation must be changed or we are in deep doo-doo.

Johnnyg interesting answer to the "what do rich people do with all their money" part. You remembered personal welfare/handouts, but you forgot corporate welfare.

So what do rich people do with all that money? For one thing, they buy stock. They buy stock in banks and insurance companies, among other things.

Now we have thousands of wrecked homes on NOLA. The owners who had insurance may have still lost everything, as some insurance companies will be forced out of business from all the claims, while others are finding creative ways to not pay their claims - my favorite one is "act of God". The government will allow them to get away with nonpayment, because the Bush cronies own these companies or their stock. If things get bad enough, the insurance companies will insist on an "emergency subsidy" to help them pay their claims, claims they over-wrote when they gambled the big one would never come during their tenure. Oh no, we must not help the working class people who had the bad judgement to buy the only house they could afford on the bottom land. That would be rewarding their gamble that someone else would bail them out. But the insurance company that overwrote policies they now can't pay? That's not a handout, its a "subsidy".

So, the without deep stock portfolios of their own to cash in and without their old jobs back, the working class folk will be forced to either let the bank foreclose on their mortgages or declare bankrupcy. Now not only are they ruined, but the Bush cronies who own the banks/bank stocks are now the proud owners of thousands of worthless homes and parcels of real estate.

Now the savings of millions of American voters will be at risk if the health of the bank is impaired, enough of them Republicans for there to be calls to do something. And the bank owners and their stockholders will go to their cronies in Washington and demand relief. Which they will receive in the form of a bailout, aka subsidy. Oh no, must not reward the working class who had the bad judgement to listen to the bank that flood insurance was not required. But the bank who made that determination? Time for a subsidy so the Republican owners and stockholders feel no pain for their bad judgement.

What we will end up with is the working class of NOLA financially ruined, and the executives of the banks who own the mortgages getting golden parachutes, fat bonuses and solid gold shower curtains thanks to corporate welfare disguised as a "corporate subsidy". Their reward for the sin of not requiring flood insurance in houses that sat below sea level, or for writing more insurance claims than they can pay.

Nobody remembers the last federal S&L bailout of brother Neil?

This was an expensive disaster and someone will get screwed. We have a choice - hand out the money to the people with the bad judgement to buy a house below sea level and believe their bank when they said no flood insurance was required, or hand the money out to the insurers who overwrote their ability to pay claims, and to the banks who wrote the mortgages to the people below sea level not requiring flood insurance.

Guess where the money will be going?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 18, 2006 10:15 PM

I want to address the rest of johnnyg's bootstrap pulling thing.

I too ate my share of ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese when I was a student. In graduate school I got by on a $425/month stipend that I was grateful for. In grad and medical school I drove a clunker that mercifully managed to last until I was a resident and had a paltry but steady income and I walked to work from hospital housing.

But I had safety nets many people don't have today. For starters, my instate undergrad tuition was $325 a semester for up to 16 credits, and my stipend paid my gradutate tuition. Health care was free at the campus infirmary. The savings from my summer job easily paid my books, fees and incidental living expenses, and my parents paid my tuition and dorm bills. I was lucky enough to be on a campus with a dental school and when I needed two emergency crowns and an emergency root canal and infected wisdom tooth pulled I was able to get all for only $30/ each. My parents bought me my winter coats and interview suits and let me take my old bed from home, and dad used to slip me an extra $50 a month under the table when mom wasn't looking when I was in grad school.

I was lucky enough to have a family to bail me out when unplanned emergencies struck. When I made a math error and bounced a check in grad school, my brother wired me money. If I was black and poor and had no family to bail me out I might well have gone to jail.

Yes, I worked my ass off and ate boxed mac and cheese, but it was the safety net of family behind me that made it possible for me.

When you do not have that safety net, all it takes is one major illness or other emergency to knock your feet out from under you and you may never catch up.

The mother of one of my patients was living in a residential program to turn single moms from welfare to work. I made a home visit there. It was educational. Posters on the wall telling them how to dress and conduct themselves for a job interview. How to answer a phone. How to speak to a customer. To look someone in the eye when speaking and stand about 3 feet away. Its incredible that they had no one to teach them these things. They can't pull t hemselves up by their bootstraps because they don't have bootstraps. Oh, and the money for that very successful program is on the chopping block. My pts mom only works part time because her child almost lives in the hospital. But she has turned her life around. And when she first moved here from another state she drove straight to the hospital because her child got sick on the trip and spent 3 months in the hospital. She didn't think about changing her car registration. Then she got pulled over for an expired out of state sticker. When that happened to my lilly whiteness when I moved to another state for grad school I got a ticket that was forgiven when I registered the car there in 48 hours. My black family had the car impounded on the spot and mom was left on a streetcorner late at night in winter with a chronically ill child and her other child who is retarded, not enough money to get home and a huge bill to release the car from impound. Johnnyg the system makes it a lot harder for some people to pull themselves up.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 18, 2006 11:51 PM

patriot 1957, that sounds like "the producers!" I know this stuff does happen. It started appearing shortly after 9/11. It should not be tolerated.

Being Republican does not equate to being an unethical, selfish, egotistical thief and scoundrel. I am for good business and am sick of hearing this Republican branding crap.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 18, 2006 11:59 PM

I missed your last post patriot. (Start the violins playing) I feel you pain and can one up you on hardship stories like my family eating canned corn and pancakes for dinner many nights of the week, having a child diagnosed with terminal cancer, no freaking health insurance for a few years (I paid cash for the first two births), practically no financial help from my family, and so on, but we did pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, finished undergrad (BSEE for me) and graduate school (wife) and persevered through these tough times by sheer hard work. I'm no brainiac, and certainly not a superman. I believe anyone with the amount of determination required can be just as successful.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 19, 2006 12:13 AM

Quite sincerely, I am particularly sorry for your child. No one should ever have to see the inside of a children's hospital.

I wasn't meaning to tell a hardship story. I was meaning to say that I was able to succeed because my parents gave me bootstraps and a safety net. All it took on my part was the desire to succeed and a lot of ramen noodles.

But I work with a lot of the "dregs" of society who didn't have parents that gave them bootstraps. They are not what you would call the sharpest knives in the drawer. They are treated with almost no respect at work; I often have to have someone from my office call their supervisor to ask for the time off so they can bring their child to the doctor. And then, particularly for people of color, it stacks the deck against them.

Doctors who accept Medicaid see a different view of the world. I see a cycle of spiritual and financial poverty and no easy way out short of allowing a generation of helpless children to starve or developing more welfare to work problems. I do have families that were hurt by the Clinton welfare reform package - the parents could manage either a job or their child's chronic illness, and the increased use of home nursing probably more than offset the mother's minimum wage salary. But overall the welfare to work programs in my community have been a significant success in giving single moms bootstraps that they can then decide if they want to pull themselves up by.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 19, 2006 12:52 AM

I look back over the years in DC, I see welfare as a destroyer of a culture. The black population here, prior to the 50's, was a close knit group, like the Irish in many ways.

There is a housing project here called Sirsum Corda. I had a friend teaching there and I offered to give a talk on black inventors (I'm a white guy, but this is really interesting stuff). The presentation givent to two out of three classes was complete failure. The children were out of control. I asked the teacher what the hell happened.

She told me that only one child in her class had a father at home, and the situation was similar in the other classes. In most cases, there wasn't even a mother around. Grannys were the ones who showed up for any parent/teacher school events. It was depressing. As I drove back to work, I realized that the only solution to this disaster was to break the cycle, and it would be tough.

I think the welfare-to-work program was a great beginning, and I thank President Clinton for that. I also believe that the parents of these children should be jailed for their dissertion. This cruelty has to stop. Being tough while keeping the goal in mind is the only way this cycle can be broken. Throwing money at it is not.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 19, 2006 01:12 AM

The teacher friend taught at a school called Walker-Jones, which next to Sirsum Corda.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 19, 2006 01:17 AM

The most telling statistic regarding Katrina was that 70% of those who died were age 60 or older.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 19, 2006 08:59 AM

For accuracy, I need to amend my statement about deaths due to Kartrina. 70% of those who dies in New Orleans were age 60 or older.

What does this tell us about directing emergency resources?

First, an analysis of how people died would be important to know, whether by drowning, hypothermia, shock, heart attack, weakness due to lack of medication or food, etc. Some solutions might relate to the specifics of how individuals were made more vulnerable, given they were in a group left behind.

Second, what are the implications for planning of America having other cities with large numbers of older persons in Hurricane and flood-prone locations?

Many lessons of Katrina directly connect to exactly who were the casualties and what were their circumstances.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 19, 2006 10:07 AM

I'm sorry Massa Bush, Don't Hit Me Massa Bush

Posted by: Kind Of Sleezy Rice | February 19, 2006 10:24 AM

To the neocon, diehard "Conservative Republican", "Religious Right", flag wavin', racist Bushies, and their ilk:

Bush said we'd rebuild NOLA. He didn't have to say it, but he did. He's a liar. You find honor or patriotism in this? Have you no scruples? Have you no shame? Have you no backbone? (except for the lonemule - he ate so much exlax that he accidentally shat his out.)

As for the "lazy poor, seeking a handout" - are they, or are they not, your countrymen? Can an "American" be black? Female? Poor? Atheist? Weak? Retarded? Can an "American" be unlike YOU?

I hope you all have your way with America. Why? Because I come from the likes of that which you hate, and I know I can survive the scenario. You, on the other hand - the party loyalists who have apparently never been in a situation that truly tests your mettle, would rather be raped and robbed by your gangster friends than to disavow the creedo - are not high enough in the pecking order to get a share of the spoils. You will be down there with those you despise, and will be at their mercy.

Cast your bread on the water.

I'll be waitin'.

Posted by: smafdy | February 19, 2006 12:12 PM

smafdy,

I don't hate the poor, weak, retarded, blacks and females. And I don't hate you. This isn't Sparta.

Also, linking the poor, blacks and females with the retarded and weak is a strange genus.

I don't like blanket and stupid statements that characterize a group of people for the actions of a minority within that group. Sounds familiar with the recent talk of moderate Muslims and such.

Is it your contention that the feds should have been on the ground before Katrina hit to evacuate those on the entire Gulf Coast? I believe it was the local government's responsibility to heed the warnings and initially help those who are helpless to higher ground. I do not apologize for the administration's crappy foot dragging response in the aftermath, but the fact that those helpless (i.e., not including knuckleheads who chose to stay) were ignored by their own elected officials is unforgivable. At one point, the Governer of LA refused federal help offered early as events unfolded. I find this decision unexplainable.

What the Lonemule shat out is that the Democratic party appears based on things such as goverment handouts and the right to about babies. Less of the former is what I addressed above, and it is what I believe in as a Republican.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 19, 2006 01:14 PM

It's important to me that things work from an engineering perspective.


what you all don't understand is that everyone in the United States is here and is either a resource or an impediment....


your stupid ass blathering about whose fault it is is useless....


demorats rescmublicans who gives a rats ass?

Posted by: lazy people are really boring... | February 19, 2006 02:28 PM

understand that every aspect is a factor to consider....


IF YOU SHOW UP FOR A MEETING AT A HIGH LEVEL FORTUNE 100 Company with:


what the problem is....

you will be looked at as if you were some kind of ROADKILL....

no one with any level of understanding raises a problem with out a solution and an understanding of why that solution would work....


right now: A MAJOR PROBLEM IS THAT


YOUR LEADERS DON'T SUFFER ECONOMIC HARDSHIP WHEN THEY *UCK UP....


THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE.

THEY NEED TO BE SUED OR HELD ACCOUNTABLE, FINANCIALLY IF NOT PHYSICALLY FOR LEADING US DOWN A PATH THAT IS BENEFICIAL TO THEM BUT NOT TO THE CITIZENS OF THIS NATION....

There needs to be some redressment for a president that would take us to war, kill and allow our citizens to be killed for purely economic reasons that address his families and the families of his friends financial needs.....

don't you think?

talking about it is one way of communicating that things could go that way....


it puts ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS in the presidential equation....


wiping out a family line, sort of prevents inbred-stupidity from taking a country down the tubes with it...

Posted by: you want the system to work better, you need to | February 19, 2006 02:37 PM

stupid blatherings about poor people deserving this or that is repugnant...

you really should be talking about what they've been taught as one poster did...

when I worked with disadvantaged children it became abundantly clear that their level of familial training for preparation for the real world was non-existent....


it isn't going to magically appear in them if they don't see it somewhere....


intervention needs to occur, not with money with some form of INTERVENTION.

starters:

1. social skills taught in grade school.


2. disrupting alpha-behavior by taking the alpha-males and females out of circulation by teaching the leadership....which stresses how to get the people working together and dee emphasizes the importance of power-over....


most poor neighborhoods use the bully mentality, and it breaks up neighborhood coherence, as it is survival of the fittest and sort of a warlord mentality...


that needs to be destroyed, by replacing that behavior in toto.



grade school behavior modification.


taking bullies out of circulation by having them discussed in school by the students in monitored discussions.

inviting the parents in....


at the middle school level simultaneously having talks about birth control and sexuality allowing children to learn to take care of themselves by letting them know that unprotected promiscuity leads to a lifetime of being chained to the rock of not-enough...


at the high school and middle school level

have local merchants, companies come in and talk about what they expect from people that they hire....

phone skills, resume writing, presentation, clothing skills, etc.


at all levels:

REQUIRE COLLEGES to send all senior year students out to do a live working in a marginalized community, an unpaid semester in a designated community for all seniors to help prepare the college students for the real world and to help the marginalized to know what the rest of the world was like and help the


affluent to understand what the rest of the world was like....


I'm not talking working in a bread kitchen.


I'm talking about, law enforcement, architectures, social work, teachers, city-planning, mechanical engineers....and so on.

Posted by: about katrina... | February 19, 2006 02:52 PM

Talking about Karina,

I happen to agree with much of your last post. There is a great private high school here in the District run by the Jesuits that does something similar to what you mentioned about preparation of young adults for real world experience. It is also right next to Sirsum Corda.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 19, 2006 03:02 PM

you really need to understand:


this isn't about some theoretical bullshit....


YOU exist within an ecological setting.

there are limited resources and limited things that may occur in a certain ecological setting...


ecology is class based as well as ability based....

you may not be able to control it but you can become aware of it...


to use this old fashioned bull-shit of the poor deserve it or they're just like us is to miss the point...


they are not just like you, they need training to come out of it....


the wealthy are not fit to lead, because they don't know who their citizens are nor do they care for them....


how can a president who has never failed because he wasn't good enough, even though he never has been good enough know what it's like to live without a safety net?

he can't, he's as disadvantaged at being able to do his job from the perspective of being informed


as a black kid who's raised fatherless, running drugs at age six, doing time before 15, with no peers of another income level, is capable of fitting into the american dream...

what is happening is we're importing the third world dream, and our wealthy will be getting fewer, our peasants more numerous, and our quality of life more like south america, with heaviliy armed police that protect the plutocracy....


you either address the ecology for what it is, without blame or your


quality of life is disappearing to be replaced by the peasant dreams....

and you "don't know what happened"

just like GM didn't know what happened in 1969 when they decided not to compete with the Japanese and just keep riding the ship until it sank.....making money and not planning for the citizens on board....


there are no effin mysteries, address what is in front of you or suffer the consequences


no one likes a police state.

Posted by: I'm talking about the ecology of humanity.... | February 19, 2006 03:07 PM

you really need to understand:


this isn't about some theoretical bullshit....


YOU exist within an ecological setting.

there are limited resources and limited things that may occur in a certain ecological setting...


ecology is class based as well as ability based....

you may not be able to control it but you can become aware of it...


to use this old fashioned bull-shit of the poor deserve it or they're just like us is to miss the point...


they are not just like you, they need training to come out of it....


the wealthy are not fit to lead, because they don't know who their citizens are nor do they care for them....


how can a president who has never failed because he wasn't good enough, even though he never has been good enough know what it's like to live without a safety net?

he can't, he's as disadvantaged at being able to do his job from the perspective of being informed


as a black kid who's raised fatherless, running drugs at age six, doing time before 15, with no peers of another income level, is capable of fitting into the american dream...

what is happening is we're importing the third world dream, and our wealthy will be getting fewer, our peasants more numerous, and our quality of life more like south america, with heaviliy armed police that protect the plutocracy....


you either address the ecology for what it is, without blame or your


quality of life is disappearing to be replaced by the peasant dreams....

and you "don't know what happened"

just like GM didn't know what happened in 1969 when they decided not to compete with the Japanese and just keep riding the ship until it sank.....making money and not planning for the citizens on board....


there are no effin mysteries, address what is in front of you or suffer the consequences


no one likes a police state.

Posted by: I'm talking about the ecology of humanity.... | February 19, 2006 03:07 PM

I enjoyed the cogency of cynthias post as well..

Posted by: thanks johnny... | February 19, 2006 04:55 PM

and persistent with the poor or marginalized...

they need intervention, not money...

you can intervene without spending money.

Posted by: I think you need to be tough on the affluent | February 19, 2006 05:02 PM


otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info

www.counterpunch.org
Who Is Osama? Where Did He Come From? How Did He Escape? What About Those Anthrax Attacks?
A Half-Dozen Questions About 9/11 They Don't Want You to Ask

By WERTHER

The events of September 11, 2001 evoke painful memories, tinged with a powerful nostalgia for the way of life before it happened. The immediate tragedy caused a disorientation sufficient to distort the critical faculties in the direction of retrospectively predictable responses: bureaucratic adaptation, opportunism, profiteering, kitsch sentiment, and mindless sloganeering.

As 9/11, and the report of the commission charged to investigate it, fade into history like the Warren Commission that preceded it, the questions, gaps, and anomalies raised by the report have created an entire cottage industry of amateur speculation--as did the omissions and distortions of the Warren Report four decades ago. How could it not?

While initially received as definitive by a rapturous official press, the 9/11 Report has been overtaken by reality, not only because of unsatisfying content--like all "independent" government reports, it is fundamentally an apology and a coverup masquerading as an exposé--but because we now know more: more about the feckless invasion of Iraq, more about the occupation of Afghanistan and the purported hunt for Osama bin Laden, more about the post-9/11 stampede to repeal elements of the Bill of Rights, more about the rush to create the Department of Homeland Security, an agency to "prevent another 9/11," which, in retrospect, is plainly about cronyism, contracts, and Congressional boodle.

Many of the amateur sleuths of the 9/11 mystery have based their investigations on microscopic forensics regarding the publicly released video footage, or speculations into the physics of impacting aircraft or collapsing buildings. But staring too closely at the recorded traces of subatomic phenomena involved in a one-time event can deceive us into finding the answer we are looking for, as Professor Heisenberg once postulated. Over 40 years on, the Magic Bullet is still the Magic Bullet: improbable, yes, but not outside the realm of the possible.

But there is surprisingly little discussion of the basic higher-order political factors surrounding 9/11, factors that do not require knowledge of the melting point of girder steel or the unknowable piloting abilities of the presumed perpetrators. Let us proceed, then, in a spirit of detached scientific inquiry, to ask questions the 9/11 Commission was unprepared to ask.


1. Who is Osama bin Laden, and where did he come from?

On this point, the report retreats into obfuscation. While acknowledging that he had something to do with resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the report suggests, without explicitly so stating, that the links between Osama and the United States were practically nonexistent. This will not parse: until the present Global War on Terrorism, the CIA's operation against the Red Army in Afghanistan was the biggest and most expensive covert operation in the agency's history. The 9/11 Report provides no convincing documented refutation of Osama's links with the CIA, given that the agency was running a major war in which he was a participant. Similarly, the report's authors did not plumb the informal U.S. government connections with the same Saudi government whose links with the bin Laden family could have provided a cut-out for any CIA-Osama relationship. [1]


2. When were Osama's last non-hostile links with the U.S. government?

Consistent with its view of Osama's relationship with the CIA during the anti-Soviet enterprise, the 9/11 Report ignores the possibility that he may have had a continuing relationship with the U.S. government, particularly with its intelligence services. The report brushes this hypothesis aside with a footnote to the effect that both the CIA and purported second-ranking al Qaeda figure Ayman al Zawahiri deny a relationship. [2]

One may doubt the veracity of Langley's denials of a relationship with Osama bin Laden and his associates, given the lack of truthfulness of its earlier statement to the Warren Commission about not having had a relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald. Or in alleging that an employee named "Mr. George Bush" whom the agency cited in its reporting of the events of 22 November 1963 was a completely different person from the George Bush who subsequently became the 41st U.S. president, after serving as Director of Central Intelligence.

Likewise, Mr. Zawahiri's assertion of not having received a penny of CIA funds deserves the searchlight of skeptical scrutiny. What the report describes as Zawahiri's "memoir" is actually a broadside published in a London-based newspaper in December 2001, i.e., after the events of 9/11. It was obviously intended as a call to the Muslim faithful for a holy war against the infidel desecrator of the holy places; would such a person, conscious of the need to gain recruits in a war of pure faith against the Great Satan, have confirmed having been on the payroll of his principal enemy? It is no more likely than for the current President of the United States, in drawing parallels between the war in Iraq and World War II, to advert to the fact that his grandfather's bank was seized by the U.S. government in 1942 for illicit trading with the Third Reich.

Indeed, U.S. intelligence agencies have had, purely as a function of their charters, relationships with most of the world's scoundrels, con-men, and psychopaths of the last 70 years: from Lucky Luciano and the Gambino Mob, to Reinhard Gehlen and Timothy Leary, to the perpetrators of the massacre of 500,000 people in Indonesia in 1965, to the Cuban exiles who blew up an airliner in 1976 [3], to such shady characters as Ahmed Chalabi and his friend "Curveball." Among such a gallery of murderous kooks, bin Laden and his cohorts do not especially stand out.

More dispositive than these speculations, however, are the very real connections between Washington and Islamic jihadists in the Balkans throughout the 1990s. The report hints at this relationship by mentioning the presence of charity fronts of bin Laden's "network" in Zagreb and Sarajevo. In fact, the U.S. government engaged in a massive covert operation to infiltrate Islamic fighters, many of them veterans of the Afghan war, into the Balkans for the purpose of undermining the Milosevic government. The "arms embargo," enforced by the U.S. military, was a cover for this activity (i.e., using military force to keep prying eyes from seeing what was going on).

A key Washington fixer for the Muslim government of Bosnia was the law firm of Feith and Zell. Yes, Douglas Feith, one of the principal conspirators involved in launching the Iraq war under the banner of opposing Islamic terrorism, was a proponent of introducing Islamic terrorists into South Eastern Europe. Do the "Islamofascists" of pseudo-conservative demonology accordingly seem less like satanic enemies and more like puppets dangling from an unseen hand? Or perhaps the analogy is incorrect: more like a Frankenstein's Monster that has slipped the control of its creator.


3. How did the President of United States React to the August 6 2001 Presidential Daily Brief?

Although the August 6 PBD had been mentioned in the foreign press since 2002, it did not come to the attention of official Washington until then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice impaled herself upon the hook of 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben Veniste's artful line of questioning in mid-2004. Blurting out the title of the PBD, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," she let the cat out of the bag--or perhaps not. Having opened Pandora's Box, the commissioners displayed no troublesome curiosity about its contents.

What concrete measures did the president take after receiving perhaps the most significant strategic warning that any head of state could have hoped to receive about an impending attack on his country? Did he alert the intelligence agencies, law enforcement, the Border patrol, the Federal Aviation Administration, to comb through their current information and increase their alert rates? Did the threat warning of the PBD (granted that it did not reveal the tail numbers of the aircraft to be hijacked), in combination with the numerous threat warnings from other sources [4] elicit feverish activity to "protect the American people?" Not that we can observe.

So what was the actual response of the U.S. government? Here the 9/11 Report exhibits autism. As nearly as we can determine from contemporaneous bulletins, the president massacred whole hecatombs of mesquite bushes and large-mouthed bass, perfected his golf swing, and hosted various captains of industry in the rustic repose of Crawford, Texas. In other words, he presided over the most egregious example of Constitutional nonfeasance since the administration of James Buchanan allowed Southern secessionists to take possession of the arms in several federal arsenals. The 9/11 Commission's silence on this point is an abundant demonstration of its role as an apologist, rather than a dispassionate truth-teller.

The testimony of federal officials about what they did up to and during the attacks is telling, in so far as the false and misleading statements of witnesses provide clues. Ms. Rice, her tremulous voice betraying nervousness, averred, against the plain evidence of the public record and common sense, that a PBD stating that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike within the borders of the United States was too ambiguous to take any action.

Likewise, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft may have perjured himself when he denied under oath that acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard came to him on July 5, 2001 with information of terrorist plots--information that the Attorney General "did not want to hear about anymore," as NBC News reported on June 22, 2004. It might be considered a matter of Ashcroft's word against Pickering's, except for the fact that Pickering had a corroborating witness.


4. Who wrote the script for the rhetorical response to 9/11?

The smoke was still rising from the rubble of the World Trade Center complex and the Pentagon when the unanimous and universal cry erupted in government circles, and was relentlessly amplified by the media, that this was "war," not a criminal act of terrorism. How very convenient that this war, declared against a diffuse and stateless entity, would trigger long-sought legal authorities and constitutional loopholes which would not apply in the case of a criminal act. [5] Torture, domestic spying, selective suspension of habeas corpus, all the unconstitutional monsters whose implications are only clear four years after the event, all slipped into immediate usage with the rhetorical invocation of war.

This was not merely war, it was unlimited war, both in the sense of total war meant by General Ludendorff (civilian rights being trivial), and in the sense of lacking a comprehensible time span. "A war that will not end in our lifetimes," said Vice President Cheney on Meet the Press on the very Sunday following the attacks. How could he be so sure during the fog of uncertainty following the strike?

If bin Laden and his followers were merely a limited number of fanatics living in Afghan caves, as we were assured at the time, why did the Bush administration relentlessly advance the meme that a decades-long war was inevitable? Could not a concerted intelligence, law-enforcement, and diplomatic campaign, embracing all sovereign countries, have effectively shut down "al Qaeda" within a reasonable period of time--say, within the period it took to fight World War II between Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender?

Four years on, Vice President Cheney, doing a plausible imitation of the radio voice of The Shadow, continues to publicly mutter, in menacing tones of the lower octaves, that the war on terrorism [6] is a conflict that will last for decades. [7] This at the same time as the junior partner of the ruling dyarchy, the sitting president, is giving upbeat speeches promising victory in the war on terrorism (i.e., Iraq, the Central Front on the War on Terrorism) against a papier maché backdrop containing the printed slogan "Strategy for Victory."

It is curious that no one--not the watchdogs of the supposedly adversary media, nor the nominal opposition party in Washington, nor otherwise intelligent observers--has remarked on this seeming contradiction: victory is just around the corner, yet the war will last for decades. Quite in the manner of the war between Eastasia and Oceania in 1984.

In earlier times, this contradiction would have seemed newsworthy, if not scandalous. Suppose President Roosevelt had opined at the Teheran Conference that the Axis would be defeated in two years. Then suppose his vice president had at the same time traveled about the United States telling his audiences that the Axis would not be defeated for decades. An American public not yet conditioned by television would at least have noticed, and demanded some explanation.

So question number 4 concludes with a question: why does the U.S. government hive so firmly to the notion of a long, drawn-out, indeterminate war, when Occam's Razor would suggest the desirability of presenting a clear-cut victory within the span of imagination of the average impatient American--a couple of years at most? Or is endless war the point?


5. Why did the mysterious anthrax attacks come and go like a wraith?

For those in immediate proximity to the events, the September 11attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were frightening in the extreme, but they had not the slow accumulation of dread that the anthrax scare of October 2001 presented. Far more than any anomaly concerning 9/11 itself, the anthrax mystery is the undecoded Rosetta Stone of recent years.

The anthrax attacks were the most anomalous terrorist attacks in history: clever, successful, unpunished, causing five deaths and a billion dollars' damage. Yet never repeated. This alone makes them remarkable in the annals of criminal activity, but there is more--the intended victims (at least those with an official position) were warned in writing of their peril in sufficient detail that they could take steps to administer an antidote. Is this characteristic of terrorist attacks by "al Qaeda," or by any known Middle Eastern terrorist group?

Except for the ambiguous first attack (which killed a National Enquirer photo editor), all the deaths resulting from the anthrax plot were incidental--mail handlers and innocent recipients of mail which had been contaminated by proximity to the threat letters. Evidently the West Jefferson anthrax strain was more powerful and had greater accidental effects than the plotters had intended.

But what did the plotters intend, if they did not will the deaths of the addressees of their anthrax letters? It was pure coincidence, perhaps, that the anthrax scare was at its height, producing psychosomatic illness symptoms among members of Congress and staffers, just as the USA PATRIOT Act was wending its way through the legislative process. This measure, which originated among the same Justice Department lawyers who legally opined that torture was wholesome, was rammed through the Congress after enactment of the authorization of the use of force in Afghanistan. Why is this sequence significant?

The then-majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle, wrote a curious op-ed in the Washington Post four years after the events just described. [8]. In attempting to refute the administration's allegation that it had been granted plenary wiretap powers in the Afghanistan authorization, he stated that he and his Senatorial confreres explicitly rejected an administration proposal to authorize an effective state of war within the borders of the United States itself.

Given the administration's repeatedly demonstrated refusal to accept any limitation on its powers, it is logical that the rebuff on the war powers authorization was followed by the prompt submittal of the Justice Department's draft of the PATRIOT Act, containing many of the domestic authorities the Bush White House had sought in the use of force legislation. How doubly coincidental that two of the limited number of addressees of the threat letters should have been the offices of Daschle himself, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, then-chairman of the committee of jurisdiction over the PATRIOT Act.

Needless to say, the measure was passed by an even more comfortable margin than that enjoyed by the 1933 Enabling Law in the Reichstag. [9] Notwithstanding buyer's remorse exhibited by many members of Congress, and current efforts to amend its more onerous provisions, it appears we are saddled with the main burdens of its edicts in perpetuity.

How the government placed this perpetual burden on its citizens is bound up with the mysterious anthrax scare of October 2001, an outrage that, unlike 9/11, does not even merit an official explanation. No one has been charged.

6. Why did Osama bin Laden escape?

"Wanted, dead or alive!" "We'll smoke 'em out of their caves!" All Americans know the feeling of righteous retribution that attended the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the autumn and winter of 2001. Yet, suddenly, it fizzled out and became subsumed in attacking Iraq and its oilfields.

We know the explanation. Somehow, bin Laden escaped in the battle of Tora Bora, because "the back door was open." Only after the invasion of Iraq, more than a year later, was there general acknowledgement that resources intended for Afghanistan had been diverted to the buildup for Iraq. The public was lead to believe that supplemental appropriations for Afghanistan were siphoned into the Iraq project beginning about mid-2002.

But the strange apathy about Osama's whereabouts began sooner than that. In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, then-Senate Intelligence Committee Bob Graham states the following:

"I was asked by one of the senior commanders of Central Command to go into his office [this presumably means the CENTCOM Commander, GEN Tommy Franks. Underlings do not summon senior Senators into their offices]. We did, the door was closed, and he turned to me, and he said, 'Senator, we have stopped fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. We are moving military and intelligence personnel and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a future war in Iraq.' This is February of 2002 [emphasis added]. 'Senator, what we are engaged in now is a manhunt not a war, and we are not trained to conduct a manhunt.'"

Senator Graham elaborates on this matter in his book, Intelligence Matters, on page 125:

"At that point, General Franks asked for an additional word with me in his office. When I walked in, he closed the door. Looking troubled, he said, 'Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan.'

"'Excuse me?" I asked.

"'Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq,' he continued. 'The Predators are being relocated. What we are doing is a manhunt. We have wrapped ourselves too much in trailing Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. We're better at being a meat axe than finding a needle in a haystack. That's not our mission, and that's not what we are trained or prepared to do.'"

In the first excerpt, the military officer might be ambivalent about the change in mission, merely saying that the U.S. military is supposedly not trained for conducting manhunts. The second excerpt provides more substance, suggesting that Franks himself agrees that looking for Osama bin Laden is a mug's game ("We have wrapped ourselves too much in trailing Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar.")

There we have it: as early as February 2002, the U.S. government was pulling the plug. Or was it even earlier? Gary Berntsen, a former CIA officer, says in his book Jawbreaker that his paramilitary team tracked bin Laden to the Tora Bora region late in 2001 and could have killed or captured him if his superiors had agreed to his request for an additional force of about 800 U.S. troops. But the administration was already gearing up for war with Iraq and troops were never sent, allowing bin Laden to escape.

Now, Berntsen is a typical Langley boy scout who buys into most of the flummery about the war on terrorism; but it is precisely for that reason that his testimony is worthwhile. Here is no ideological critic of the Bush administration and its foreign policies--on the contrary, he shares many of its assumptions. Like fellow Agency alumnus Michael Scheuer, he has experienced the cognitive dissonance of dealing with the administration's policies at first hand, and wishes to report on his findings.

Is it plausible that the United States Military, disposing of 1.4 million active duty troops and a million reservists, could not scare up 800 additional troops to capture what was then characterized as a fiend in human form? Perhaps the then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, explained it best in a CNN interview on 6 April 2002, well after the hunt for bin Laden had apparently been concluded:

"Well, if you remember, if we go back to the beginning of this segment, the goal has never been to get bin Laden." [10]

What can one conclude from this series of questions? If the 9/11 mystery is like other great, mysterious events--such as the Kennedy assassination--the course is probable. For a year or two, raw emotion over the event forecloses inquiry; for the next several years after that, the public's attention wanes, and the desire to forget the painful memory predominates.

In a decade or so, though, some debunker will bring new facts into the public arena for the edification of those Americans, then in late middle age, who will view 9/11 as an intellectual puzzle: far from the urgent concerns of their daily lives.

Many people may, by that time, accept that the official explanation is bunk, and suspect that the government had once again tricked the American public, those ever-willing foils in the eternal Punch-and-Judy show. But the majority will neither know nor care about obscure international relationships during a bygone era.

In 1939, the English author Eric Ambler wrote a brilliant and now-disregarded novel whose theme was that the political events culminating in World War II were indistinguishable from the squalid doings of ordinary criminals. Let us quote from that novel, The Mask of Dimitrios:

"A writer of plays said that there are some situations that one cannot use on the stage; situations in which the audience can feel neither approval, sympathy, nor antipathy; situations out of which there is no possible way that is not humiliating or distressing and from which there is no truth, however bitter, to be extracted. . . . All I know is that while might is right, while chaos and anarchy masquerade as order and enlightenment, these conditions will obtain."

Werther is the pen name of a Northern Virginia-based defense analyst. Werther can be reached at: werther@counterpunch.org

[1] Bob Woodward's 1987 book Veil describes the informal connections between personages in the U.S. government and the Saudi government, including the ubiquitous Prince Bandar. A tête á tête between CIA director William Casey and the Prince supposedly resulted in a false-flag "terrorist" bombing in Beirut to retaliate against the bombing of the Marine barracks there in 1983. Regrettably, the dead were mainly civilians.

[2] 9/11 Commission Report, 23rd footnote to chapter two, page 467.

[3] This is the case of Cuban "freedom fighter" Luis Posada Carriles, who is suspected of sending the jet-borne Cuban Olympic fencing team to Valhalla in order to express his opposition to Fidel Castro. The incumbent administration, otherwise so steadfastly opposed to international terrorism, has been resistant to extraditing Mr. Posada --no doubt the administration is casting an eye on Florida's electoral votes.

[4] To include the Phoenix Memo, FBI agent Colleen Rowley's urgent bulletins from Minnesota, tips from foreign intelligence agencies, warnings from the Federal government to its high-ranking government placemen not to fly by commercial airliner, the contemporaneously noted presence of art students-cum-Mossad agents within two blocks of 9/11 operative Mohammed Atta, and other indicators.

[5] Long sought by Messrs. Cheney and Rumsfeld, whose formative and traumatic experiences in the executive branch were shaped by their revulsion against attempts by Congress, the federal bench, and the American people, to restrain Richard M. Nixon's assertion that the Constitution does not apply to a sitting president.

[6] The phrase "war on terrorism" is, as many people have commented, a somewhat hazy conception, being a war on a tactic, much as if FDR had declared war on naval aviation after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Significantly, the popular mind has contracted this phrase into "the war on terror," an even more illogical coinage. If the U.S. government is truly at war against a mental state that gives rise to ill-defined dread, it should disestablish itself forthwith, to the benefit of our rights, our bank balances, and our physical safety.

[7] "Cheney Warns of Decades of War," BBC, 6 October 2005.

[8] "Power We Didn't Grant," by Sen. Tom Daschle, Washington Post, 23 December 2005.

[9] The Enabling Law passed the Reichstag by a vote of 444-94, whereas the PATRIOT Act passed the House by a margin of 357-66, and the Senate by a vote of 98-1. Curiously, the Enabling Law was supposed to sunset in four years: on April Fool's Day, 1937, precisely paralleling the four-year expiration of many of the PATRIOT Act's provisions. Perhaps the eerie similarity reflects the influence of Nazi legal scholar Carl Schmitt on neoconservative lawyers of the Bush administration like David S. Addington, John Yoo, and Viet Dinh.

[10] News transcript: Gen. Myers Interview with CNN TV, http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2002/t04082002_t407genm.html

Posted by: che | February 19, 2006 05:25 PM

Johnnyg in NE DC writes - "Smarfy, I don't hate the poor, weak, retarded, blacks and females. And I don't hate you. This isn't Sparta. Also, linking the poor, blacks and females with the retarded and weak is a strange genus."

I doubt many "hate" any of those groups, particularly those who have just been put in a position where they need help by circumstances, rather than lifestyle choices.

But we have all seen the utter helplessness of those who have lived off the government teat all their lives to fend for themselves or even act in a civilized, disciplined manner - when an emergency or natural disaster hits.

We can add others with their lips locked on the taxpayer teat....The mullionaire beachfront dwellers on their public barred private beaches getting their 3rd replacement house from public funds or the taxpayer subsidy for flood insurance in coastal areas that nevr should have been developed or subsea landlord owned property. The Add the "poor working stiff" who thinks the Fed gov't should replace their homes or all their belongings because "hurricanes aren't their fault and insurance is too expensive after you buy a satellite dish and a new SUV...

The other problem is a "Most Special Victims Ever" mentality that says that certain victims in certain disasters are entitled to far more taxpayer largess than other victims. Where a 9/11 "Super-Victim" is worth 3-5 million in taxpayer comp while an ordinary murder victim is worth zero state compensation, or only Katrina victims of the last 2,000 hurricanes deserves special programs, a 2,000 cash reward, and 6 months in upscale hotels with free room service.

Among the "lessons" of 9/11 and Katrina is that catastrophies without warning or even entirely predictable disasters involve at least 3 days for out of state help to get there, so it behooves people to be prepared and not depend on Gov't. And a million in prevention for Nagin's buses to be ready to run in an emergency is a better local expense and better for the nation than spending 40 million in "rescue helicopter flights" of people to lazy or poor to evacuate and too lazy to fill some bottles with water...

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 19, 2006 07:25 PM

CHE - You are one Spamming cocksucker....

Ever learn how to link 9 pages of your tripe rather than smear a blog thread with the whole thing?
Ever learn what copyright protection is?

I doubt you care. That makes you a cocksucker.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 19, 2006 07:29 PM

you do suck the crawford texas salami...fact I see it coming out you anus...


feels good don't it?

Posted by: I agree with you Chris ford.... | February 19, 2006 08:04 PM

no matter how much you try and whittle it into shape, so just shut up...


okay?

Posted by: anything with your name on it is spam... | February 19, 2006 08:06 PM

Chris, you once again put your little size 6 foot in your large size 12 mouth. It's just not big enough to shut you up. Put both feet in next time.

Great analysis Che

Posted by: Jamal | February 19, 2006 10:32 PM

No matter where Che's screed came from, some of it's elements pose valid questions.

As far as "crawford texas salami" coming out of someone's ass - I see very little complaining from those who like the "crawford texas salami" going INTO theirs. Bush is punkin' y'all up da' butt, and you really seem to enjoy it. Ream 'em Cowboy!

That was fun.

Posted by: smafdy | February 19, 2006 11:27 PM

Word on the range is, that when you drop your drawers on Bush's ranch, something better be coming out, 'cause if it's not, someting else will definitely be going in (and it ain't no salami).

Posted by: smafdy | February 19, 2006 11:30 PM

Typical Jamal. So stupid he doesn't even realize the analysis isn't CHE's, but simply the analysis of the copyrighted writer's material CHE stole from Counterpunch Magazine & pasted in toto. To Jamal, oblivious of the real author, that is evidently an accomplishment worth congratulating CHE on.

Pity it is you that is so dumb you self-parody yourself about size 6 feet inserted into a big mouth. Of course, in your case, with lot's of room because the Jamal brain cavity is no impediment to inserting a leg up to the shin.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 20, 2006 12:17 AM

Mora said Navy intelligence officers reported in 2002 that military-intelligence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were engaging in escalating levels of physical and psychological abuse rumored to have been authorized at a high level in Washington.

"I was appalled by the whole thing," Mora told the magazine. "It was clearly abusive and it was clearly contrary to everything we were ever taught about American values."

Posted by: Great Nation? | February 20, 2006 07:39 AM

I WISH THE BEST TO YOU ALL (YES CHRIS, YOU TOO, I KNOW THAT YOUR WIFE HAS ABANDON YOU AND HAS TAKEN THE KIDS WITH HER, BUT LIFE IS HARD DUDE!!!!)

PLEASE BOOKMARK THE FOLLOWING SITES:

WWW.COUNTERPUNCH.ORG
WWW.ONLINEJOURNAL.COM
WWW.TAKINGAIM.INFO
WWW.WSWS.ORG

TAKE CARE!!!

Posted by: CHE | February 20, 2006 07:56 AM

It's been 1,617 days since GWB said he'd catch UBL 'Dead or Alive!'

http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/thedebate/2006/01/conspiracy_theo.html#comments

Bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/02/19/D8FSISC01.html
Shouldn't be hard since he is dead!

"The jihad is continuing with strength, for Allah be all the credit, despite all the barbarity, the repressive steps taken by the American Army and its agents, to the extent that there is no longer any mentionable difference between this criminality and the criminality of Saddam."
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/lies.mp3
With the implied criticism of Saddam, bin Laden appeared to be denying assertions by the Bush administration that the former Iraqi leader had ties to al-Qaida _ ties that were given as one rationale for invading Iraq.

Posted by: UBL - RIP | February 20, 2006 08:47 AM


It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all it's powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extention, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/rice_hart_9-11.html

Condoleezza Rice Warned Sept. 6 About Imminent Terror Attack

http://www.newsmax.com/showinside.shtml?a=2002/5/28/231650

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 12:15 a.m. EDTFive days before Sept. 11, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was warned that a terrorist attack inside the United States was imminent, a former U.S. senator who headed up a blue-ribbon commission on terrorism revealed late Tuesday."I've known the national security advisor, Professor Rice, for about 20 some years," former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart told WABC Radio's John Batchelor and Paul Alexander. "She was a supporter of mine in my first presidential campaign as a graduate student in Denver."After giving a speech on the terrorist threat in Montreal on Sept. 5, Hart said he requested an urgent meeting with Dr. Rice in Washington. "I said to her, 'You must move more quickly on homeland security. An attack is going to happen.'"That was Sept. 6, 2001," Hart told WABC, without characterizing Dr. Rice's reaction. The night before, Hart said, he issued the same warning to an air transportation group in Canada.Three years ago Hart and former New Hampshire Sen. Warren Rudman co-chaired the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, which warned specifically of a domestic terrorist attack.In a Sept. 15, 1999 report, the Hart-Rudman Commission concluded, "America will be attacked by terrorists using weapons of mass destruction and Americans will lose their lives on American soil, possibly in large numbers."

WWW.TAKINAIM.INFO
OTHERSIDE123.BLOGSPOT.COM
WWW.ONLINEJOURNAL.COM

Posted by: CHE | February 20, 2006 08:51 AM

I'd like to note with glee that the Great WaPo has reopened the Famous Closed Blog, and that the moment it did so, the comments on the Howell Fiasco returned.

Funtime!

Posted by: Taniwha | February 20, 2006 10:55 AM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/19/AR2006021900307.html?referrer=email&referrer=email
The bush administrations approval of the sale of major six major east coast ports to United Arab Emirates with known ties to terrorism (http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/entity.jsp?id=1521846767-531) goes beyond the realms of conservative vs. liberal or republican vs. democrat. I can't even say it borders on stupidity; it's the heartland of stupidity and incompetence. After hearing all the reasons for fighting terrorism, NSA spying and all the reasons to be in Iraq, to name but a few, and this administration wants to allow an Arab Company to be the "gate keepers" to some of most important ports in some of our major cites. The National Security ramifications should make his most adamant supporters think twice about his ability to be president.
Perhaps the administrations thought reasoning is with the Port of New Orleans included in the deal, the new owners will rebuild the city damaged by Katrina???????

Posted by: Jamal | February 20, 2006 11:41 AM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/19/AR2006021900307.html?referrer=email&referrer=email

The bush administrations approval of the sale of major six major east coast ports to United Arab Emirates with known ties to terrorism ( http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/entity.jsp?id=1521846767-531 ) goes beyond the realms of conservative vs. liberal or republican vs. democrat. I can't even say it borders on stupidity; it's the heartland of stupidity and incompetence. After hearing all the reasons for fighting terrorism, NSA spying and all the reasons to be in Iraq, to name but a few, and this administration wants to allow an Arab Company to be the "gate keepers" to some of most important ports in some of our major cites. The National Security ramifications should make his most adamant supporters think twice about his ability to be president.

Perhaps the administrations thought reasoning is with the Port of New Orleans included in the deal, the new owners will rebuild the city damaged by Katrina???????

Posted by: Jamal | February 20, 2006 11:45 AM

It is all about the money, maybe now Halliburton will get a drilling contract with the United Arab Emirates.

www.wsws.org

Posted by: che | February 20, 2006 12:19 PM

www.wsws.org

Hurricane Katrina and the "war on terrorism"
By Joe Kay
18 February 2006

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

On Wednesday, a House Select Committee issued a report on its investigations into the government's preparations and response to Hurricane Katrina. On the same day, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee and was questioned about the actions of his department in the disaster.

The 520-page report by the House committee contains a wealth of information on different aspects of the government's lack of preparations and inadequate response. It would be well worth a serious examination as a partial exposition of the responsibility of Bush administration and other government officials in compounding the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed most of the city of New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

However, both the report and the Senate investigations are designed ultimately as whitewashes, obscuring the most essential questions raised by the hurricane.

There has, for example, been no examination of the role of social inequality and the consequences of decades of right-wing policies, as a result of which the maintenance of social infrastructure, such as the New Orleans levee system, has been ignored. The House report, written by a committee composed entirely of Republicans, begins with a reference to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's statements about the inherent inefficiencies of "bureaucratic" as opposed to "entrepreneurial" government. This is a clear signal that there will be no proposals for increased spending on social programs or planning as a response to the conditions of poverty and infrastructural decay revealed by the hurricane.

There is another question that is nowhere being seriously raised, let alone answered, in the various investigations and accompanying media commentary. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration announced a "war on terrorism." As part of this war, it was claimed, the government has dedicated itself to the protection of the American people, to the preparation for another massive attack, and to planning for the subsequent disaster management. How is one to explain the fact that, after four years of supposedly single-minded focus on this question, the government demonstrated itself utterly incapable of dealing with precisely such a disaster?

No one can touch this question in the media or political establishment because it reveals clearly the complete fraud of the "war on terrorism"--the central lie upon which the Bush administration's domestic and foreign policy depends.

The focus in both the House report and the Senate investigations has been on the incompetence of certain administration officials, particularly the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, and DHS secretary Chertoff. The central lesson that the House report seeks to draw is that "Katrina was a failure of initiative. It was a failure of leadership."

The report cites several examples of this failed leadership, including the absence of preparatory measures taken before the hurricane hit, even though the "crisis was not only predictable, it was predicted." It states that "critical elements of the National Response Plan were executed late, ineffectively, or not at all" and that many of the problems created by the hurricane were not anticipated. Communications were hindered, medical personnel and supplies were not deployed, evacuations were delayed for days, housing plans were "haphazard and inadequate."

According to the report, the blame for this state of affairs lies largely with certain officials who lacked "initiative." In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the report states, the US was "again confronted with the vast divide between policy creation and policy implementation ... between theory and practice." In other words, what is at issue is the failure of the government to carry through on plans that had been drawn up, implementing the policies established as part of the "war on terrorism."

The Senate investigations have proceeded along the same lines. The Homeland Security Committee has heard testimony from a number of officials, including Brown and Chertoff. Brown's main line of defense against charges of incompetence has been that he had in fact informed top administration officials early on about the magnitude of the disaster, and that he has been used as the scapegoat for wider governmental failures. On Wednesday, Chertoff responded to criticisms from senators by claiming that he had delegated responsibility to Brown who, he was given to understand, had everything under control. Taken together, the Senate testimony reveals a government in which no one much cared about what was going on in New Orleans, in which no one felt they had a particular responsibility for dealing with the crisis.

Senator Susan Collins, the Republican chairman of the committee, listed some of the examples of gross negligence in her opening remarks: "The failure to promptly order the buses Michael Brown promised. The failure to deliver essential commodities for victims at the convention center until two days after Mr. Brown apparently became aware of their plight. The failure to quickly process requests for vital commodities throughout Louisiana and Mississippi and to track their delivery. The failure to field more search and rescue and emergency medical teams at the onset of the flooding. The failure to respond rapidly to a devastated telecommunications system." And so on.

However, the Senators deliberately avoided dealing with any of the more basic issues, focusing their questions on secondary matters and questions of individual "initiative." Collins's two questions to Chertoff were: Why did you appoint Michael Brown as the principal federal official in charge of responding to Katrina?--and, Why did you go off on the day after the hurricane to attend a conference on avian flu? Senator Joseph Lieberman, the ranking Democrat, took a slightly different tack, asking why more decisive action was not taken before the hurricane hit the coast.

No one sought to deal with issues of social inequality revealed in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane and in the ensuring months. The chasm between the senators and executive branch officials, on the one hand, and the masses of ordinary Americans on the other, was revealed in an incident near the beginning of the hearing. One man in the audience spoke out and denounced FEMA's decision to start evicting hurricane survivors from their homes. He was told to stop talking and that he could stay if he agreed not to say anything further. A security guard nevertheless took him away, although he was apparently allowed back in later to hear the remainder of the hearings.

No one thought to ask Chertoff, the head of the department that is nominally charged with responding to natural disasters and terrorist attacks, what precisely the huge agency has been doing since it was established three years ago. According to the DHS web site, the department is tasked in part with "preparing for natural disasters and terrorist attacks through preventative planning, technology, and coordinated efforts" and with utilizing "a full range of state, local, and private partnerships to alleviate the effects of a potential disaster." What has the war on terrorism been about if not developing mechanisms for preparing for the type of situation created by Hurricane Katrina?

Since the attacks of September 11, Bush has declared on innumerable occasions that his "most sacred duty" is to "protect the American homeland," that the greatest responsibility of the executive branch is to secure the safety of the American people. And yet when a situation arises in which the "American homeland" is threatened, when the safety of the American people is in danger, when a disaster response is required, all of these preparations amount to ... zero.

There were no preparations for dealing with an event such as Hurricane Katrina because the entire purpose of the "war on terrorism" has not been to respond to a disaster, natural or otherwise. Rather it has been used as a pretext to carry out a massive expansion of US militarism and an unprecedented attack on democratic rights in the United States.

The Homeland Security Department in particular was established to coordinate US intelligence agencies and beef up the military-police apparatus of the American government. The purpose of the department was reflected in the personnel chosen to run it. Chertoff's main qualification to replace Tom Ridge, the first DHS secretary, was his role in the Justice Department, where he helped push through the Patriot Act and oversaw the mass round-up of Middle Eastern and South Asian immigrants in the weeks following September 11. He received the near-unanimous support of both the Republicans and the Democrats during the confirmation hearings.

Chertoff was chosen only after Bush's initial choice, Bernard Kerik--who can best be described as a police thug--was compelled to withdraw his nomination to avoid revelations of incessant criminality. FEMA, the disaster response agency, has been burdened with a series of political hacks and cronies of Bush, of whom Michael Brown was only the most incompetent. The agency was treated as a means of granting political favors.

The "war on terrorism" has been used as a catch-all pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Patriot Act, domestic spying, and a host of other right-wing and antidemocratic measures. Both at home and abroad, the American ruling class has used the attacks of September 11--for which there has never been a proper investigation--to pursue a policy designed to further enrich itself, while laying the groundwork for the suppression of any political opposition to its rule.

The entire political and media establishment in the United States accepts the lie of the war on terrorism. This is why the Democrats are never able to seriously challenge the administration on anything. To challenge to the charade of the war on terrorism is to challenge the social interests it has been manufactured to support, but both political parties support these interests. Hurricane Katrina exposed to the world not only the enormous level of social inequality in the United States, but also the massive fraud used to bolster this inequality. Everything will be done to obscure these lessons.

See Also:

Posted by: che | February 20, 2006 12:24 PM

Hey, I hear Bush announced in a speech today that our dependence on foreign oil was a national security risk. No kidding! He's going around the country hawking "energy saving measures".

Now, I ask myself - after doing nothing except counting his 30 pieces of silver for the past 5 years as vehicles got bigger, mileage tanked, public transportation crumbled, imports soared and oil companies made record profits, why now? Was national security not at risk when he killed improving CAFE standards only a year after 9-11, or pushed an energy bill that was a mortal sin? So why now?

My guess is that people are finally figuring out the extent to which he sold us out for oil profits. I will reserve judgement on whether this is a renaissance or more window dressing.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 20, 2006 01:45 PM

George Bush travels to Pakistan to meet Pervez Musharraf .....amid chaos......sounds like a setup.

Hello President Richard Bruce Milhouse Cheney.

USA! NUKE IRAN! USA! NUKE IRAN! USA! NUKE...

Posted by: Hello phase two.... | February 20, 2006 02:08 PM

Bruce?

Posted by: | February 20, 2006 03:27 PM

Katrina and Palestine -- what's the similarity?

In terms of political rhetoric, Jimmy Carter's "Don't Punish Palestine" editorial in today's WP is exhibit number one.

Since when is waking up and ceasing to reward sociopathic organizations, or ceasing to reward stupid decisions (building below the water line), to be considered punishment?

Let's all remember from whence the money ultimately comes. 90% of the givers couldn't make sense of the taking of their earnings to subsidize either behavior.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 20, 2006 03:44 PM

Mr. Plantation:

The Netherlands is below the water line.


Sometimes compassion is the only solution.

Other times, it is the only solution.

And in that regard, is Israel a sociopathic organization?

Is the Bush Administration a sociopathic orgination?

IS THE WHITE HOUSE APPROVAL OF THE PURCHASE OF OUR PORTS BY DUBI, A TERRORIST NATION LIKE SAUD, A SOCIOPATHIC DECISION??????

Also, what exactly are US forces doing in Iran?

Why exactly after making 35 Billion in extra profits, the oil companies are getting a royalty break??

IMPEACH THE RIGHT WING SOCIOPATHIC REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRACTS THAT PANDER TO RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY.

Posted by: impeachbushchaneyscalia | February 20, 2006 04:39 PM

Has anyone else noticed how much l'Sadr looks like a young Scalia?

Posted by: Just an Idiot too stupid to know | February 20, 2006 04:56 PM

Patriot57 wrote:

"Now, I ask myself - after doing nothing except counting his 30 pieces of silver for the past 5 years as vehicles got bigger, mileage tanked, public transportation crumbled, imports soared and oil companies made record profits, why now? Was national security not at risk when he killed improving CAFE standards only a year after 9-11, or pushed an energy bill that was a mortal sin? So why now?"

The Bush Administration assumed as soon as we entered Iraq the major divisions of the Iraqi population would unite and join us in overthrowing Sadam. And upon victory, the three major divisions would unite and form a United States style of Democracy. All the while flooding America with cheap Iraqi oil and proving American Companies with lucrative contracts in Iraq to spur an economic boom in the United States.

His about-face on energy is an admission he was wrong on Iraq and victory will only be won when the United States is independent of energy from the Middle East. No contingency in the war for or listened to for:

1. Insurgency.
2. Iraq's population remaining divided.
3. The economic drain on the U.S. (present and future).
4. Natural disasters such as Katrina.
5. A real military crisis occurring while we are bogged down in Iraq.
6. The negative effect on oil prices and insurance for transportation of oil.

Plantation wrote:

"Since when is waking up and ceasing to reward sociopathic organizations, or ceasing to reward stupid decisions (building below the water line), to be considered punishment?"

It's easy to say no federal intervention for those that lived below the water line because it would "reward stupid decisions". I can take the same stance on terrorism since I don't live anywhere near a terrorist target, why should 1/3 of my taxes go toward the military to fight a terrorist foe that will never touch me? That's why we are called the UNITED STATES. The problem is we have to choose now where to spend our money and who to save. And 1/3 of your budget going to military spending is going very shortly economically destroy this country.

Posted by: Jamal | February 20, 2006 05:13 PM

impeachblablabla-

"The Netherlands is below the water line."

I am certain Mr. On the Plantation was referring more to areas which are severely at risk of future destruction by natural cause. New Orleans turns out to be one of those areas because of hurricanes. The Netherlands are auspiciously located away from hurricanes.

There is nothing dangerous about building next to an inactive volcano. Building next to one would constitute a poor decision that should not be rewarded financially by the public funds should the (predictably) terrible occur.

"And in that regard, is Israel a sociopathic organization?"

The easy answer to your question is no, Israel is not classified as a Terrorist Organization by the International Community. Even those countries that frequently repremand Israel recognize its sovereign right to exist. Hamas does not.

Your question is probably more about what consitutes a sociopathic organization. I won't argue that Israel is a saint, but it doesn't elect leaders who promise to fund suicide bombers.

"Is the Bush Administration a sociopathic orgination?"

Again, in the strict sense of "Is the Bush Administration classified as a Terrorist Organization" the answer is no, the Bush Administration is not a sociopathic organization.

If you are an American, and you think the Bush Administration is a sociopathic organization, then you are complicit in that crime because we are a democracy. That's how things go.

If you are not an American, then you should hope that the Bush Administration is not a sociopathic organization, since sociopathic organizations have even less incentive to fund unfavorable foreign regimes (say, Palestine) than those that give a hoot about the international community.

I am an American, and it is, partially, my tax dollars that we are discussing sending to Hamas. I should have a say in whether or not Hamas is worthy of my tax dollars. Let me clarify: Hamas is not.

"IS THE WHITE HOUSE APPROVAL OF THE PURCHASE OF OUR PORTS BY DUBI, A TERRORIST NATION LIKE SAUD, A SOCIOPATHIC DECISION??????"

Perhaps you and I have a different understanding of the word "sociopathic". It's hard to grasp what is antisocial about increasing the amount of foreign entities involved in our port security. Some would define that action as dangerously friendly. I would define it as ill-thought. Sociopathic though? Probably not.

"Also, what exactly are US forces doing in Iran?"

I'm not sure. What are US forces doing in Iran?

Posted by: Will | February 20, 2006 05:29 PM

Jamal said: "It's easy to say no federal intervention for those that lived below the water line because it would "reward stupid decisions". I can take the same stance on terrorism since I don't live anywhere near a terrorist target, why should 1/3 of my taxes go toward the military to fight a terrorist foe that will never touch me? That's why we are called the UNITED STATES. The problem is we have to choose now where to spend our money and who to save. And 1/3 of your budget going to military spending is going very shortly economically destroy this country."

People who worked in the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 were not making any catastrophically stupid decisions by going to work. Terrorism is not a natural event. They did not make calculated risks each and every day on the way to work because it was a preemptive strike by Al Quada on the United States.

If I build my home next to a leaking dam and I demand the Government pay for it when the dam breaks (even though all evidence has suggested that the dam would break), then I am trying to get something for nothing.

The plight of those in Katrina falls somewhere between the decision to build in a perfectly safe area and the decision to build in a place certain to be destroyed by a natural event. We get to decide how "certain" the damage to New Orleans was. If it is determined, as has been argued by many, that this was a disaster just waiting to happen, then we should not reward people by putting them back into a Disaster Prone area. That seems fairly uncontroversial to me.

As to your assertion that our troubling (and I agree, it is troubling) investment in defense is going to bankrupt us, you are demonstrably false. We spent over half our Discretionary Spending on defense last year, about 500 billion of 960 billion. 2005 also represented the most Americans have ever paid for defense, about 40 billion than the historic 460 billion we spent in 2004 (which was over 50 billion more than our historic 2002 Defense Budget)

But do not be confused by those numbers. We spend considerably less on Defense, as percent of our GDP, than we did 11 years ago. Currently we spend around 4.0% of our GDP, which is less than it was in 1994. In 1990, for instance, we spent well over half our total discretionary income on defense (300 of 500 billion).

But even in 1990, when we spent 5.2% of our GDP on defense, we were still getting a great deal relative to previous governments. The average in the 1960s was nearly 9% of our total GDP. In fact the first time the United States actually spent more of its discretionary spending on Domestic programs then it did on defense was 1978. Of course that wouldn't happen again until 1999, so don't think 1978 was a trend setting year.

Furthermore, and this should shock you (it shocked me!) we spent more on defense as percentage of our GDP on average in the years between 1992-1999 than we did from 2000-2005.

Those are the numbers and I'm sticking to them.

Posted by: Will | February 20, 2006 05:48 PM

Mr. Plantation:

The Netherlands is below the water line.


_______________

To: impeach etc.

I wouldn't spend U.S. tax proceeds on building in the Netherlands either.

As to your compassion argument, I don't get it. Be compassionate by reinforcing stupidity? Surely Louisiana has some places above the water to build anew.

Posted by: | February 20, 2006 06:11 PM

Jamal observes and asks:

It's easy to say no federal intervention for those that lived below the water line because it would "reward stupid decisions". I can take the same stance on terrorism since I don't live anywhere near a terrorist target, why should 1/3 of my taxes go toward the military to fight a terrorist foe that will never touch me?

___________

The damage from terrorist attacks isn't limited to targeted places. Perhaps you noticed the impact of 9/11 on stock prices for the next several years. If you didn't, never mind, as you seem to be aware that the continuing costs in federal expenditures for the ongoing responses are huge.

Maybe you don't own securities either directly or indirectly, and maybe you don't pay much in taxes either. In that case your argument has perfect and elegantly self-centered logic. Just hope for yourself that you don't outlive the consequences of your peculiar logic.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 20, 2006 06:24 PM

how is it that someone can come in and give the exact details of the 9/11 cia funded attack on the world trade center and everyone's like...


nothing.

and when I say everyone, I mean the FBI, NSA, CIA, National Security Council and the Park Police, as well as Secret Service, Interpol....and whoever has taken NSA's place as the real intelligence agency...

'cause, the job is not to create security it is to get control of commodities, and benefit particular families and groups of businessmen...


like why are we selling America to people that have no interests in the people that live here?

and why are we letting people that don't care about the real citizens of the United States run it.....into the ground....


they own stock in m o n e y

they can buy whatever they want to....


see if you can in twenty years.


take your country back.

and put some effin doors on it, arrest the bush family in toto.

Posted by: you know, it's interesting to me... | February 20, 2006 08:13 PM

Jeeez, I was going to respond to Jamal, but you guys beat me to it. Great points made Will, plantation.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 20, 2006 08:21 PM

solving the israeli palestine issue would immediately diffuse


the


entire


middle east


situation.


most of the animosity is from the uneven handling of Israel


over Palestine.


even people that don't like

Arabs would tell you that.


ask a Kurdish person.


they are the indigenous people of Northern Africa.

Arabs are wanderers

nomads.

Kurds are/were farmers, sort of like Navajo vs Apache...

the middle eastern people are having to pay for Europes rape of the Jews.....


that's all right with you isn't it?

after WWII, no one would help the Jews or give them space to create an autonomous nation...they were abandoned by the Europeans completely....

the Palestinians are paying the price for Europe and whoever is pretending to be the voice of America is spreading horseshit on your forehead....


ask a kurd....they don't care, they hate arabs....ask them about Israel, and read about WWII and how the Jews were supported at the end of the WAR, a real war...


the war for your credulity is going on now, wake the *uck up and listen to Carter....


he's got no ax to grind...he puts his money where his mouth is....Habitat for Humanity


while chris puts his mouth where his money is Crawford Texas Salamii coming out his shall we say rear entrance>>>>> .


ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Posted by: actually you hypocritic asshole... | February 20, 2006 08:40 PM

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....


can you say pork, disguised as need...


if we are the terrorists, and we're spending countless dollars reseraching and correcting the CIA FBI miscommunication that was _supposed to happen_....

get your tongue out of my ass...

Posted by: defense spending..... | February 20, 2006 08:44 PM

*hit...


than be a citizen of the country that is paying you to stock this blog with disinformation....

you are a house slave, someone that is and will suffer the same fate as your brother and sister slaves and you act like you're better that your slavery is different...


well, bend over put in the vaseline and let your crawlass buddies put it into you one more time for democractyNOT....

punk.

Posted by: what's interesting to me, is that you would rather suck some hard... | February 20, 2006 09:02 PM

his job was to clip items of interest and explain them....


seperating the explanation from the clip with bars

-------------------

===================

*******************


of whatever flavor he preferred, it's called....


"what's going on" in readers digest form..


cheers assholes....

you may have a few here doin the reverse.

Posted by: ps. I had a friend that worked for the CIA breifing the president.... | February 20, 2006 09:19 PM

Yes, Carter is the name we need to lead this country. He still have a term to serve. Draft Carter for President. Ronnie was just as old.

His words ring of such wisdom in understanding of what is needed to get people to work toward agreement. Respect, listening, understanding and discussion to find a mutually acceptable arrangement that addresses all concerns.

Posted by: Impeach THE ASSHOLES | February 20, 2006 09:37 PM

Plantation,

My statement was only to prove a point as to how easy it is for someone that was not affected by Katrina to spout nonsense about it being the fault of the people living there and that they not be allowed federal funds. And maybe you don't live NOLA. In that case your argument has perfect and elegantly self-centered logic. Just hope for yourself that you don't outlive the consequences of your peculiar logic and be wiped out by a natural disaster. And what you left out of your quote was "That's why we are called the UNITED STATES.", meaning we help each other. In an earlier post I recommended buying out the land below sea level, and I still stand by that statement. And perhaps some did not return to NOLA for fear of living below sea level. Natural disasters can happen anywhere in this country, some places more prone than others. I don't know where your plantation is, other than in your imagination, but I doubt if it were destroyed by a tornado, you would turn down federal assistance.

The damage from natural disasters isn't limited to small geographic places. Perhaps you noticed the impact of Katrina on gas prices for the next several weeks and the continued economic impact to the Gulf Coast for years to come. If you didn't, never mind, as you also seem to be aware that stock prices where already in decline before 911.

As for your statement:

"Maybe you don't own securities either directly or indirectly, and maybe you don't pay much in taxes either."

I do own securities directly and indirectly, and I do pay taxes. But on the other hand, maybe you don't own securities either directly or indirectly, and maybe you don't pay much in taxes either or none at all.


Will wrote:

"People who worked in the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 were not making any catastrophically stupid decisions by going to work. Terrorism is not a natural event. They did not make calculated risks each and every day on the way to work because it was a preemptive strike by Al Quada on the United States."

What you neglected to add to your statement was the World Trade Center was bombed once before and was a known target for terrorists. I don't think that is any reason for anyone not to go to work in NYC before 911, just as it was not for anyone not to work or live in NOLA, before Katrina. And statistics prove more deaths and damage is going occur from hurricanes than terrorist attacks. Although, it may seem more patriotic with many people to choose terrorism as the greater threat. No matter what the reason, deaths, injuries, and destruction of property occurred to American citizens, whether by hand of god or human. After 911, the nation united, not just to find those responsible, but to help those affected. Katrina is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States and still many have not been helped.

The response to my previous post only further illustrates why NOLA and the Gulf Coast were over looked before, during, and after Katrina. The impact from a single Cat. 3 hurricane can cause more damage than several nuclear weapons. Future predictions for hurricanes call for greater severity and frequency.

What the Bush Administration has done is redirected so much spending into the needless Iraq War, the government now has to choose who to help. The administration has also convinced many citizens that a terrorist strike is eminent/preventable if he is given money and power to combat it and that natural disasters may or may not occur, as administration puts it "dodge the bullet". When the reality is a terrorist attack may or may not occur and a natural disaster will occur.

Excessive spending on defense is linked GNP, however the effect of excessive federal deficits in the future can not be exactly predicted, because GNP can not be exactly predicted. For instance an interruption in the flow of oil similar to the mid-70's would have a negative effect on the economy and GNP would decline. It doesn't take an economist to tell that continued accelerated deficit spending, at present mostly due to Iraq, may if continued have dire economic implications in our country.

Posted by: Jamal | February 20, 2006 09:43 PM

This port sale APPROVED BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION to the UAE is so outrageously stupid (after we prevented China from buying a refinery) from a security perspective IN COMBINATION WITH the timing of this most recent alleged tape from OSAMA, once again makes me wonder if: 1) IS BUSH HELPING OSAMA? 2) IS OSAMA REALLY DEAD AND THIS IS JUST A SET UP SO THEY CAN EXPLODE A NUKE IN THE USA.

Posted by: Hey Assholes | February 20, 2006 09:44 PM

and declare marshall law.

War powers and all that.

Right Alito?

Posted by: | February 20, 2006 09:47 PM

those 3,500 people don't exist except on paper.....


I mean, 4.5 million illegal aliens come in every few years that we can't seem to prevent, how hard is it to set up a mock WTC?


just curious.

Posted by: I'd like to know if our country killed 3,500 innocent people or if | February 20, 2006 09:48 PM

and again what is the "common good"?

Did free slaves and slaves alike critically help that bastard Jackson win the Battle of New Orleans and bring a close to the War of 1812 what had already resulted in the burning of our capital.

Is our proper response the destruction of an entire people and way of life to just ignore the consequences to these people suffering such a terrible lost. There entire lives are gone. Disappeared. This are people who only new the Gulf. Wonderful colorful people full of so much life and now, for them, those that were poor, there is nothing.

Is New Orleans a vital though vulnerable port that connects the heart land of america to the world and makes shipping grain and heavy products more cheaply by water?

Is our cultural conscious one that says, I NEED NOT CARE THAT AN ENTIRE PEOPLE, CITY, AND WAY OF ARE DESTROYED WITHOUT ANY CONSTRUCTIVE HELP TO THOSE DISPLACED OR PLANS TO DEAL WITH IT.

shall we condemn them to wander in the desert of life?

Is that what America stands for?

Where is the ......compassion?
OR did you use a different definition of that word like the Texas Two Step we always get out of you Asssholes.

Posted by: CHENEY IS A ROMAN | February 20, 2006 10:00 PM

Jamal wrote-

"What you neglected to add to your statement was the World Trade Center was bombed once before and was a known target for terrorists."

The WTC is a target because people worked there (which is why they did not bomb a farm in Idaho, for example). Since, in the 21st century, people have to work together, this is the kind of "calculated risk" that we have no choice but to take. Living in the direct path of a hurricane below sea level is not the kind of "calculated risk" we need to encourage. The United States would be just fine if no one had ever lived in New Orleans.

"I don't think that is any reason for anyone not to go to work in NYC before 911, just as it was not for anyone not to work or live in NOLA, before Katrina."

There are a lot of reasons not to live in NOLA. One is that it's one of the poorest and poorly managed cities in the entire United States. Add in a corrupt local and state government, high crime and, oh yea, Hurricanes that could decimate your below-sea level city? Yes, there are tons of reasons not to live in NOLA. I wouldn't build a house on a fault line or at the foot of an active volcano either, no matter how good the jazz/gumbo was next door. Would you?

It's unfortunate that we make such poor decisions as a society. That Southern California lies on a fault is unfortunate. That, good example Chris, Pompeii happened to be near a volcano was unfortunate. But why would we repeat these mistakes? We have an opportunity to abandon New Orleans, which is demonstrably a bad place to put people. It is one of the few places in the United States that really *just might* KILL you to live there. So why would we want to spend federal dollars to needlessly put future lives at risk?

"And statistics prove more deaths and damage is going occur from hurricanes than terrorist attacks. Although, it may seem more patriotic with many people to choose terrorism as the greater threat."

I am unsure what this has to do with patriotism. I don't know anyone in this thread, or America, who has said "Hurricanes are great, we need to support them." I am trying to make a rational argument for why New Orleans might be a bad place to invest federal dollars in. I am also arguing that subsidizing bad decisions is itself a bad decision. Do you challenge that?

"No matter what the reason, deaths, injuries, and destruction of property occurred to American citizens, whether by hand of god or human. After 911, the nation united, not just to find those responsible, but to help those affected. Katrina is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States and still many have not been helped."

Who has not been helped? Are you talking about the people who just spent the last 6 months on government paid vacation in hotel rooms that were likely nicer than their homes? Or the Tulane students that now occupy the University of Texas law school but do not want to ever return to Tulane? Or the thousands of new Houstonites who don't want to leave?

I am sympathetic to suffering, but it is on you to explain this hidden mass of people that suffer in silence. Who, exactly, are you asking me to feel sorry for?

Posted by: Will | February 20, 2006 10:04 PM

Jamal-

"Excessive spending on defense is linked GNP, however the effect of excessive federal deficits in the future can not be exactly predicted, because GNP can not be exactly predicted. For instance an interruption in the flow of oil similar to the mid-70's would have a negative effect on the economy and GNP would decline. It doesn't take an economist to tell that continued accelerated deficit spending, at present mostly due to Iraq, may if continued have dire economic implications in our country."

But your theory about government spending doesn't mesh with the facts. The FACT is, George Bush spends less on war as per capita of the GDP than Clinton did. The FACT is discretionary domestic spending (on like... subsidizing houses in dangerous places for example) has tripled since 1986 whereas defense spending has gone up by about 50%.

I agree with you that we need to spend less on defense. We spend too much on defense in 2004 which is less than we spent in 1994 which is less than we spent in 1984 which is less than we did in 1964... etc.

But I don't believe you sincerely care about stemming costs. You pine about the horrible costs of the Iraq war. Do you know how much those are? If you were really keen on saving money, why no concern that our mandatory spending is now higher than it has ever been? If you want us to cut corners on soldiers, are you willing to be consistent? Do non-insured home owners *really* deserve my taxes?

What is your insistence with rewarding poor decisions?

As to your garbage about "It doesn't take an economist to tell that continued accelerated deficit spending, at present mostly due to Iraq" well... we only have to check the numbers. We spend about 80 billion a year in the War on Iraq and Afghanistan combined, yet we run a deficit of about 350 billion dollars a year. So when you say "mostly due to Iraq" what you *really* mean is that "Even if we didn't spend a single penny on Iraq, we would still have one of the highest deficits in history." Isn't that what you meant?

Posted by: Will | February 20, 2006 10:13 PM

why are you asking anyone to side with you?

and why did you stop seperating quotes with the

__________________


briefing lines?

what's so important about being believed?


and why don't you quote what the 9/11 Commission said?

The presidential response to the suggestions to make sure that the United States "bordered on the criminal"


you know, the guy who immediately after 9/11 said that what citizens needed to do to protect themselves was


"buy duct tape and plastic"


sounds pretty worried doesn't he?


and his non-response to katrina?


and appointing someone's whose greatest credentials was being a former head of the ARABian Horse Society.....where do you buy these arabian horsed from....don't a lot of them come from SAUDIA ARABIANS? Small ankles and all....not American Quarter Horses or The American Appaloosa Society....but the MoFo ARABian horse society....not that I care but come on peter....


gotcha.


and then 5 years later, the action that he takes to make America safer from terrorist activit while throwing bombs into Pakistan, calling Korea part of the Axis of Evil...


while he cuts social security payments for medical by $30 a month to our seniors and reduces VA benefits by 15 % while he's trying to sell us a war....


............... ON TERROR ...........


Y
E
A
H


kiss my ass.

Posted by: let's reframe that.... | February 20, 2006 10:15 PM

Please, please, ohhh Emily puhleeese......
Change the subject...save us from ourselves becoming so foul.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 20, 2006 11:36 PM

Is this the "Real Will" or the "Other Will"
Will wrote-

"The WTC is a target because people worked there (which is why they did not bomb a farm in Idaho, for example)."

So people don't work on farms in Idaho? People work all over the country. To the Islamic Terrorists the WTC represented American Imperialism, that is why it was targeted twice.

"Since, in the 21st century, people have to work together, this is the kind of "calculated risk" that we have no choice but to take."

People have always had to work together in any century, but don't always do, fact of life. What's your point?

"Living in the direct path of a hurricane below sea level is not the kind of "calculated risk" we need to encourage. The United States would be just fine if no one had ever lived in New Orleans."

For the third time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level, but the Old City is above sea level and your blanket statement for NOLA is wrong. You seem to think the entire city is below sea level.

"There are a lot of reasons not to live in NOLA. One is that it's one of the poorest and poorly managed cities in the entire United States. Add in a corrupt local and state government, high crime and, oh yea, Hurricanes that could decimate your below-sea level city? Yes, there are tons of reasons not to live in NOLA. I wouldn't build a house on a fault line or at the foot of an active volcano either, no matter how good the jazz/gumbo was next door. Would you?"

For the forth time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. And for the first time, I don't recall anyone asking you to live in NOLA.

"It's unfortunate that we make such poor decisions as a society. That Southern California lies on a fault is unfortunate. That, good example Chris, Pompeii happened to be near a volcano was unfortunate. But why would we repeat these mistakes? We have an opportunity to abandon New Orleans, which is demonstrably a bad place to put people. It is one of the few places in the United States that really *just might* KILL you to live there. So why would we want to spend federal dollars to needlessly put future lives at risk?"

For the fifth time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. But NOLA is a part of this country, the more historical area's of the City are above sea level, why are you wanting to abandon those area's?

"And statistics prove more deaths and damage is going occur from hurricanes than terrorist attacks. Although, it may seem more patriotic with many people to choose terrorism as the greater threat."

"I am unsure what this has to do with patriotism. I don't know anyone in this thread, or America, who has said "Hurricanes are great, we need to support them." I am trying to make a rational argument for why New Orleans might be a bad place to invest federal dollars in. I am also arguing that subsidizing bad decisions is itself a bad decision. Do you challenge that?"

For the six time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. You seem to want to make derogatory statements about all the citizen of NOLA. NOLA has contributed much to this country and the entire city should not be abandoned. My stance is between those who want to totally restore the city and those who want to totally abandon it, as you do.

"Who has not been helped? Are you talking about the people who just spent the last 6 months on government paid vacation in hotel rooms that were likely nicer than their homes? Or the Tulane students that now occupy the University of Texas law school but do not want to ever return to Tulane? Or the thousands of new Houstonites who don't want to leave?"

Once again Will, you want to generalize, but you neglect to add those who went back to try and rebuild their lives or those who never left. Many didn't go back, because there is nothing left to return to.

"I am sympathetic to suffering, but it is on you to explain this hidden mass of people that suffer in silence. Who, exactly, are you asking me to feel sorry for?"

I never asked you to feel sorry for anyone and from reading some of you comments, doubt that your capable of sympathy. I'll explain the hidden mass when you explain why you have stated all city should be abandoned, why you feel it was the fault of the citizens of NOLA why this disaster happened to all of them and why you keep indicating all the citizens left?

"But your theory about government spending doesn't mesh with the facts. The FACT is, George Bush spends less on war as per capita of the GDP than Clinton did. The FACT is discretionary domestic spending (on like... subsidizing houses in dangerous places for example) has tripled since 1986 whereas defense spending has gone up by about 50%. I agree with you that we need to spend less on defense. We spend too much on defense in 2004 which is less than we spent in 1994 which is less than we spent in 1984 which is less than we did in 1964... etc."

There is more to statistics than is revealed in your stats and as my old statistics professor use to say "statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics".

"But I don't believe you sincerely care about stemming costs. You pine about the horrible costs of the Iraq war. Do you know how much those are? If you were really keen on saving money, why no concern that our mandatory spending is now higher than it has ever been? If you want us to cut corners on soldiers, are you willing to be consistent? Do non-insured home owners *really* deserve my taxes?"

Will, don't pull that crap on me about not supporting troops, I support the troops, it's ass holes like you that put them in Iraq in a no-win war, seems to me you don't support them. And if you think that war is worth it, then get your fat ass off the PC and over there fighting it, shut up or put up.

Bail outs for natural disasters happen all over the country, your cherry picking NOLA. I don't see you whining over other areas getting federal natural disaster relief efforts from your taxes. Mandatory spending is going to grow, some deservedly and some not and we agree on that, but saying the cost of the Iraq War doesn't have an impact??? What world do you live in?

"What is your insistence with rewarding poor decisions?"

For the seventh time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. And for two reasons, the first is safety and the second is cost. Although we agree on this, you're reversed cost first, safety second.

"As to your garbage about "It doesn't take an economist to tell that continued accelerated deficit spending, at present mostly due to Iraq" well... we only have to check the numbers. We spend about 80 billion a year in the War on Iraq and Afghanistan combined, yet we run a deficit of about 350 billion dollars a year. So when you say "mostly due to Iraq" what you *really* mean is that "Even if we didn't spend a single penny on Iraq, we would still have one of the highest deficits in history." Isn't that what you meant?"

And when I wrote that sentence the words "continued accelerated" were intentionally added, because that's exactly what's happening with this administration.

Posted by: Jamal | February 21, 2006 12:33 AM

This is the real Will.

Jamal-

"So people don't work on farms in Idaho? People work all over the country. To the Islamic Terrorists the WTC represented American Imperialism, that is why it was targeted twice."

I guess my point was too nuanced. If you wanted to kill a few thousand Americans, you wouldn't do it by running a plane into an Idaho farm (though people work there, there are not thousands of people nearby). It is a high-density civilian target.

"People have always had to work together in any century, but don't always do, fact of life. What's your point?"

Working in an office building is one of those necessities forced upon us. We do not calculate likelihood of some insane Muslim blowing themselves up in this building as a "calculated risk". You cannot predict insanity, but you can (and we did) predict hurricanes.

"For the third time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level, but the Old City is above sea level and your blanket statement for NOLA is wrong. You seem to think the entire city is below sea level."

Then we agree, putting people in dangerous areas that are below sea level and also in the path of hurricanes is a poor use of federal dollars, yes?

"For the forth time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. And for the first time, I don't recall anyone asking you to live in NOLA."

You said in an earlier post: "I don't think that is any reason for anyone not to go to work in NYC before 911, just as it was not for anyone not to work or live in NOLA, before Katrina." Since I am part of this ambiguous group "anyone" I felt entitled to defend that point. I had a lot of good reasons not to live in New Orleans prior to Katrina. One of them had to do with hurricanes.

"For the fifth time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. But NOLA is a part of this country, the more historical area's of the City are above sea level, why are you wanting to abandon those area's?"

I like your "for the x time" act. It's cute.

I do not want to put large amounts of federal dollars into a losing investment. For the bla bla bla time, my central point has always been that we should not subsidize the uninsured in New Orleans by welcoming them back to their old homes. This is not an aggressive point.

"For the six time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. You seem to want to make derogatory statements about all the citizen of NOLA. NOLA has contributed much to this country and the entire city should not be abandoned. My stance is between those who want to totally restore the city and those who want to totally abandon it, as you do."

I will qualify my position for you: I do not want to give taxes so that people in dangerous areas can rebuild their uninsured homes just so we can pay to rebuild them when the next big hurricane hits New Orleans. Are you ok with that?

"Once again Will, you want to generalize, but you neglect to add those who went back to try and rebuild their lives or those who never left. Many didn't go back, because there is nothing left to return to."

And you accuse me of over generalizing? Here you speak constantly in terms like "Many" and "those who went back" (really? Who?). You live in a world of ambiguity yet you accuse me of vagueness?

There are thousands of people (that general enough for you?) who have spent the past 5 some odd months in hotel rooms paid for by tax dollars. Do you disagree with that? Am I overgeneralizing?

"I never asked you to feel sorry for anyone and from reading some of you comments, doubt that your capable of sympathy. I'll explain the hidden mass when you explain why you have stated all city should be abandoned, why you feel it was the fault of the citizens of NOLA why this disaster happened to all of them and why you keep indicating all the citizens left?"

I think many parts of New Orleans should be abandoned; they are unsafe areas to develop homes in.

I never said it was the fault of New Orleans residents that Katrina destroyed their home. I think it is their fault for not having insurance or, if they cannot afford it, for taking a risk and building on dangerous lots. I do not begrudge them this mistake, I am just unwilling to pay for that mistake.

Thousands of the citizens of New Orleans left. This is an undisputed fact. Hundreds of the residents died because they did not. This is also an undisputed fact.

"There is more to statistics than is revealed in your stats and as my old statistics professor use to say "statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics"."

I would much rather argue using Statistical Facts than Irrelevant Anectodes About Former Professors. Do you find fault in my statistics? Do you challenge my numbers? If there is more to statistics than what is revealed in my stats why don't you enlighten me, guy? What am I missing, exactly?

"Will, don't pull that crap on me about not supporting troops, I support the troops, it's ass holes like you that put them in Iraq in a no-win war, seems to me you don't support them. And if you think that war is worth it, then get your fat ass off the PC and over there fighting it, shut up or put up."

You sir, are insane. I did not say you did not support the troops. I did not say that I think the war in Iraq is a good idea. I did not make any value claims about the war in Iraq or your support for troops whatsoever. I even agreed to the point where I said we should spend less on troops. Why the rant about me not fighting in Iraq? Why go overboard trying to defend your own support for the troops?

You look insecure.

"Bail outs for natural disasters happen all over the country, your cherry picking NOLA."

Wierd. I "cherry picked" NOLA in a thread devoted to... KATRINA! I'll take a principled stance on any wasteful disaster handout. I happen to take one that disagrees with yours here because this is, *gasp* a thread about New Orleans and Katrina!

"I don't see you whining over other areas getting federal natural disaster relief efforts from your taxes."

Whine whine whine. Whine whine whine. I am now whining about wasteful federal disaster relief efforts everywhere.

However, not all natural disaster relief efforts are wasteful. I support any/all that save actual lives. I do not support any that subsidize people for making ill-informed decisions about where to build a home.

"Mandatory spending is going to grow, some deservedly and some not and we agree on that, but saying the cost of the Iraq War doesn't have an impact??? What world do you live in?"

Listen... I am the only actual person who has actually discussed the actual cost of the actual war in Iraq. Whereas you sit there and go "The budget deficit is mostly caused by the Iraq war!" I respond with "Actually, the actual war in Iraq has actually cost around 80 billion actual dollars a year." That is the first real assessment of the IMPACT in this thread. Between the two of us, I'm the only one who actually does know the actual impact of the Iraq war because I actually know how much the war actually costs. Did I say that it didn't matter? No, I said there were a lot of things that caused a budget deficit, and I pointed out that about 1/8th of that deficit is spent on Afghanistan and Iraq.

You continually extrapolate some ridiculous position that I've never espoused from my posts. Somehow pointing out the real cost of the war in Iraq means I am apathetic to that cost?

You have an interesting argument strategy. Without actually disputing any of the factual claims I make, you engender me to some ridiculous position. I think 80 billion dollars is a ton of money. I think cutting down that 80 billion would go a long way towards eliminating the budget deficit. Ok?

I also think that when someone says "The war in Iraq (which costs 1/8th the amount of the total deficit) is the main reason we have a deficit" they are lieing. They are making a demonstrably false point. Do you disagree (but remember to do so without actually disputing any facts)?

"For the seventh time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level. And for two reasons, the first is safety and the second is cost. Although we agree on this, you're reversed cost first, safety second."

Safety? Have I ever said we shouldn't save people during a hurricane? Somehow from "What is your insistence with rewarding poor decisions?" you've taken that to mean I think we should worry about cost first and then safety? I am happy people were saved during Katrina. I am happy to spend tax dollars to do this. The one issue I disagree with (though it's not even clear we disagree, since you obviously just marry me to a bunch of crazy positions I've never taken and then dispute those) is that we should subsidize uninsured homeowners for making bad decisions.

"And when I wrote that sentence the words "continued accelerated" were intentionally added, because that's exactly what's happening with this administration."

As a matter of fact, the deficit was 100 billion lower in 2005 than it was in 2004. Not that I'm trying ot make a Bush apology, the guy is the biggest spender in White House history. I do worry about accellerated deficits because that is precisely what we have. Not-paying for people to live in Holiday Inn for the rest of their lives is a fiscally responsible measure and a position I have espoused. Spending less on defense, which I also prioritized, is another a fiscally responsible measure to decrease the deficit.

Disagree?

Why are you so defensive?

Posted by: Will | February 21, 2006 01:20 AM

Jamal repeats and repeats himself:
1,2,3,4,5,6, and finally 7 times---- For the seventh time, I don't believe we should have people living below sea, level.

But Jamal said early on that the taxpayer should "buy-out" the property owners in the subsea ghetto who lacked insurance...because....according to Jamal, people need to be made "whole" on their losses even if they were stupid and then negligent on top of that by refusing to carry insurance thinking the taxpayer was obligated to come to the rescue for a Big Bailout (no pun intended)...

"It's easy to say no federal intervention for those that lived below the water line because it would "reward stupid decisions". I can take the same stance on terrorism since I don't live anywhere near a terrorist target, why should 1/3 of my taxes go toward the military to fight a terrorist foe that will never touch me? That's why we are called the UNITED STATES."

The United States protects all citizens by a proviso providing for the common defense and is one of the few things the Constitution mandates Federal taxes be levied for. Nothing in the Constitution about an obligation to pick up the tab for reckless, uninsured people in only "special cases". There is no good legal case or moral case to be made that 20 uninsured homeowners who get flooded out on the Snake River are not "owed" taxpayer money, but that all goes out the window when "a really big disaster" happens and 30,000 property owners flooded out "deserve other peoples money".

===========================

Will made some very good, reasoned points about Jamal and others whining about how money for the military and soldiers was "robbing" Katrina victims of the Federal largess they somehow deserved for poor lifestyle choices or choice of residency. Military spending is at a lower level than ever as a percentile of GNP and the whole notion of the military "robbing" the victims of one particular hurricane to the generous public welfare they think is owed as an entitlement is specious. As is the Lefties lame attempts to link soldiers doing their primary job serving America in combat to the failure of military to be immediately available a day after a disaster to rescue a pack of thirsty welfare mammies and they chilluns' from rooftops where they forgot to take some water supplies with them...Truth was there were plenty of troops and the delay in using them was on Democrats Nagin and Blanco and force protection concerns as the NOLA police dept went missing..

But forgetting his past "We are All Americans" exhortation saying that the taxpayer is under unlimited obligation in "certain media covered disasters" to succor each and every victim and every victim's needs.....Jamal shows he really doesn't like the troops much or the war...

"Will, don't pull that crap on me about not supporting troops, I support the troops, it's ass holes like you that put them in Iraq in a no-win war, seems to me you don't support them. And if you think that war is worth it, then get your fat ass off the PC and over there fighting it, shut up or put up."

No, Jamal, a democratic decision was reached to go to war - that you disagree with but instead of unifying behind the President and Congress, you wish to make it all partisan shots and also call anyone like Will that thinks the troops should have full backing "asshole". Lefty creeps made the same whines about Afghanistan....

Worse, you seek a free ride...let others fight for you while you condemn their efforts or worse, call them dupes for serving the execution of American policy - And even when they are volunteers who believe what they are doing, you and others of your ilk cry for more Abu Ghraib pictures to be plastered in the global press to dishonor and discredit them and claim that a few Lefty "mothers" like the nutty media whore Cindy Sheehan - who the anti-Americans have annointed with "absolute moral authority", actually speak for the troops.

Then Jamal does the usual Lefty "dare" they think is so persuasive - about how War should only be fought by those favoring it - when everyone knows they mainly hope to avoid risk and hide behind skirts of those who will sacrifice. Their "dare", coming from cowardace, has no credibility - unless they wish to go with a la carte government instead of a collective democratic one...A government where people can volunteer for the military but be free to scream that they are only in for the benefits and demand to "opt out" if they have any risk of dying or "aren't into fighting fellow whites/brown people/Muslims, etc." An a la carte system where conservatives are free to contribute more to NASA and to fund and staff the military all on their own, move all bases and defenses to conservative states...and let the Leftists fund all welfare, health care for the poor, and criminal legal defense, etc...I say Lefties would definitely not like Government services broken down to an a la carte status where local regions and states would fund what gov't does based on ability to designate what their taxes go for and pay for staffing....

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 21, 2006 02:35 AM

When FEMA was reorganized into DHS, it lost power. It became more of a coordinating agency dependent on local and state disaster planning. Its not clear whether that situation was understood by New Orleans City government and the state of Louisiana. FEMA was not the agency that responded to many hurricanes in years past such as Andrew and Hugo. Unfortunately local and state plans were deficient in terms of transportation for those without cars and financial resources. Also many of the responders they were depending on - the National Guard units - were already committed in Iraq. Then when the hurricane hit many of the would-be responders were in fact victims and either didn't respond at all or they could only manage part-time responses. There were many brave souls that did respond full time and by so doing they put their families and themselves second. That is tough to do, and I'm not sure I could have done the same.

Then FEMA responded to the situation slowly because they were expecting the local authorities to be taking the lead. Where Brown's inexperience hurt the most was in not realizing how the magnitude of the situation hurt the local authorities ability to enact their plans and that the local authorities lack of transportation planning had to be remedied aggressively early on. Poor communications and rumors hampered operations throughout.

The City of New Orleans and the Army Corp of Engineers knew for a long time that the levees were not going to be able to withstand a major hurricane, but years went by and nothing was ever done.

As far as recovery, its a tough call to make, but I think they should take the lowest lying areas and convert those areas to parkland and historic uses (e.g. museums, recreation, or other non-residential uses. Perhaps even some scenic waterways, or another lake to take some pressure off levees. Find ways to compensate landowners there. Find a new way to rebuild New Orleans.

Posted by: DK | February 21, 2006 03:18 AM

Cayembe, I finally read through the Iran topic and responded to your post at the end of the Cartoon Topic. Check it out if you wish

Posted by: DK | February 21, 2006 03:23 AM

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info
www.wsws.org

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/02/20/uae-military-equipment/

UAE Would Also Control Shipments of Military Equipment For The U.S. Army

There is bipartisan concern about the Bush administration's decision to outsource the operation of six of the nation's largest ports to a company controlled by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of that nation's troubling ties to international terrorism. The sale of P&O to Dubai World Ports would give the state-owned company control of "the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia."

A major part of the story, however, has been mostly overlooked. The company, Dubai Ports World, would also control the movement of military equipment on behalf of the U.S. Army through two other ports. From today's edition of the British paper Lloyd's List:

[P&O] has just renewed a contract with the United States Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide stevedoring [loading and unloading] of military equipment at the Texan ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi through 2010.

According to the journal Army Logistician "Almost 40 percent of the Army cargo deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom flows through these two ports."

Thus, the sale would give a country that has been "a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia" direct control over substantial quantities U.S. military equipment.

Posted by: CHE | February 21, 2006 03:28 AM

I hope this issue regarding a UAE co. controlling our ports is the next debate topic. I want to know more!

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 21, 2006 03:41 AM


SO, WE CAN TAKE OVER THE WHOLE WORLD, BUT THEY CAN NOT TAKE OVER OUR PORTS?? IS THAT WHAT CAPITALISM MEANS? IT SOUNDS MORE LIKE IMPERIALISM TO ME.

OTHERSIDE123.BLOGSPOT.COM
WWW.WSWS.ORG

Posted by: CHE | February 21, 2006 04:44 AM

There you go again Mr. President.
"My presumption is, and my belief is, that the president and his secretary of state and the Defense Department and others have adequately cleared the Dubai government organization to manage these ports," Carter told CNN. "I don't think there's any particular threat to our security."

Posted by: Ronnie | February 21, 2006 07:23 AM

Someone will have to pay for the damage in New Orleans.

The homeowners made a bad decision to buy the best house they could afford, which happened to be below sea level where the cheap houses are, and some of them made a bad decision to listen to their banks and not get flood insurance. They could have moved away to other cities and other jobs, away from the place their families lived, where they would have had to buy the best house they could afford in some other risky part of town, but they didn't. I guess they figured Uncle Sam would bail them out. Tut tut, they deserve their fate.

The insurance companies made a bad decision to sell more insurance than they could cover there in the event of "the big one". So instead they figured out they can just not pay the claims. I guess they figured Uncle Sam would either bail them out or let them screw their customers. Apparently a good business decision. Hurray for them for keeping their stock prices up.

The banks made a bad decision to sell mortgages below sea level and not require the owners to get flood insurance, and not expecting those they did required to get insurance would not have their claims paid. I guess they figured Uncle Sam would bail out them or the customers. Hurrah, another good business decision. Must keep stock prices up at all costs, and the owners and CEO's need those golden parachutes and solid gold shower curtains and its unAmerican to deny them their due.

So, the homeowners will either default on their loans or declare bankrupcy. The bank and its stockholders will get stuck with the bad debt.

Then, in true compassionate conservative form we will trash talk about the poor, lazy, stupid homeowners and not rewarding their bad decisions, while we bail out the insurance companies and banks and their stockholders and reward their bad decisions.

Hey, no one ever said life was fair.

Posted by: America the beautiful | February 21, 2006 09:02 AM

Carter told CNN. "I don't think there's any particular threat to our security."

_______

Ronnie,

But you must admit that Carter knows things about port management, having paved the way for Chinese operational control of the Panama Canal plus ownership of the former American airbase in Panama.

Seems pretty consistent with today.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 21, 2006 09:03 AM

it was a fiasco.

There were no National Gaurd troops in-state, as well as some equipment overseas.


George Walker Bush was in the National Gaurd to avoid war...


without regret, or concern for other people he ignored their concerns and shipped them off to a desert country without proper "wartime" training, because he doesn't care about other people....


he appoints someone to the Federal Emergency Management Association that has no experience in that role, displacing someone that does, without making sure that das HomeLund Security take take up the role....making FEMA a plum appointment...plus the only management Brownie has is as head of the ARABian horse society....


people die in unprecedented numbers, are stuck without rescue in the United States for weeks....in an historic American city....not in timbuktu Alaska in remote territories...


and the presidents response is to appear there in a photo op and to ship 143 New Orleans people to Washington DC, without asking them if they wanted to go for another photo op...


now let's talk about the current fiasco going on down there....and the administration apologists posting here...


they are better writers, but I will bear down on them later, right now I need to feel of them...


ha ha ha

Posted by: Hi, let's review what was so onerous about Katrina... | February 21, 2006 11:06 AM

the president has painted us as being in a "war"


this war has us being attacked by CIA forces disguised as Arabic peoples...


that we trained.


if he wants to be consistent, he shouldn't be having Arabic peoples controlling our ports otherwise it looks like he knows we have nothing to fear from Arabic peoples...


he's being inconsistent.


let's look at "war powers"

very simply, we weren't attacked by Iraq....we're attacking them, it's an operation not a war....pretty simple....the president, cheyney, powell have admitted that...rescind the war powers and investigate for fraud...

I know for a fact that they planned on invading Iraq before 9/11, right?

if an action is fraudulent, there are criminal charges that can be filed as well as civil ones...

when asked about terrorist acts the president reframes the "shoe bomb guy" into a terrorist attack....doesn't mention that there have been other violent actions during the past two years that have to do with suicidal people getting angry about life....that his terrorist action foiled is at a lesser level than someone taking a gun on board...but in that range.

the president and his people want war powers so that they can change the country to benefit the affluent that have been in charge and to destroy democracy.

voter fraud, outsourcing, moving factories overseas

removing the middle class and replacing it with a service-sector

using the threat of outsourcing as a way to get people to accept lowered expectations.


we should be requiring companies that move their production overseas to be paying reparation to the Americans that they took those jobs from.

don't you think?


ask Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen

or Ford, GMC or Chrysler workers.


bottom line, poverty is increasing


the just passed a tax break to give the richest of the rich more money while dropping $385 million from foodstamps before Katrina is solved, and reducing Social Security medical benefits by $30 amonth for peoples on fixed income, primarily aged..


we're talking about leaders that care about people in the same fashion that

cattle farmers care about their cattle...


they sell them to slaughter...


if they die, they'll buy some more from Mexico....


do you think the wealthy mind paying someone half of what they would have to pay a citizen to do your job?


hell no.

Posted by: I think what you're missing regardless of what Carter said is this | February 21, 2006 11:25 AM

Will-
"Working in an office building is one of those necessities forced upon us. We do not calculate likelihood of some insane Muslim blowing themselves up in this building as a "calculated risk". You cannot predict insanity, but you can (and we did) predict hurricanes."

I agree with a lot of what you've said, save this point. Insurance companies now adding terrorist attacks into policies or noting them as not viable reasons for protection do suggest that these have now become 'calculated risks.'
And along the line of reasoning that you can predict hurricanes, as well as your comments that we should not build in areas prone to disaster, do you suggest that we should outlaw building in coastal cities on the Gulf so that the cities are slowly fazed out and the populations deported elsewere? By logic, that supports the idea of not building in the path of future disasters. Why should people live in Miami et al. when they are prone to being hit every year? Should other areas of the country be fazed out also, based on the inclement weather/conditions they face, such as the areas of Southern California that lie on the fault line, as you have mentioned?


Chris Ford states:
"No, Jamal, a democratic decision was reached to go to war - that you disagree with but instead of unifying behind the President and Congress, you wish to make it all partisan shots and also call anyone like Will that thinks the troops should have full backing "asshole". Lefty creeps made the same whines about Afghanistan...."

Chris, are you joking or do you actually believe that crap? This is America. We are a country founded on dissent and disagrement. Are you seriously suggesting that once a decision is made, you cannot speak out against it? And that your suggestion was made regarding Iraq is laughable in itself. The decision to go to Iraq was pushed because Bush insisted wrongly that "our freedoms were threatened by the evil Iraqi overlords with their WMDS," before an upcoming election. It was a purely political move based on the idealogy of getting his way or making the his democratic adversaries appear weak. Many democrats asked for a delay to discuss and put time and thought into it. But apparently it was too urgent.

Also, the fact that you use Afghanistan as an example is hillarious. Yes, the left complained about Afghanistan, though not to the same extent. And look at the state of Afghanistan now. And this is your shinning example? If anything, this proves the left correct.

Finally Ford, I cannot believe that you of all people attempt to criticize someone of calling someone a name during a heated arguement; one in which both sides had already exchanged taunts. You, who criticizes anyone as a horrible 'lefty' at the very hint of disagreement with you. "Kettle? This is the Pot. FYI.... You're black."

Posted by: Freedom | February 21, 2006 11:28 AM

as if a "thrown fight" is an election...


that the coverage of any of the candidates was underneath of front page reporting of 2.5 people died in Iraq today...


every frickin day there was a deluge of canned whitehouse sourced "war" footage, that the media played or displayed w/o question...


all the web pages, of the major news sources had any "election news" buried...


there was an orchestrated effort to bury campaign information under the facade of we're thinking of you...


well they're not, and you as a nation need to understand that, including the writers protecting their honky asses by inserting into this blog disinformation.


riche kids, neil bush silverado look it up.

check out if he and Jeb made any windfall profits in oil futures recently....maybe they got "insider" information from Unca DICK.......be brave, look.

Posted by: you're also ignoring the fact that during the time leading up to the "election" | February 21, 2006 11:38 AM

Does anyone here understand that the Bush administration does not know how to govern (e.g., 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, US Port Security, etc...) simply because they do not believe in government? These neocons do not believe that government is to provide directly to individuals for the general welfare. They only believe it is to protect America from foreign and domestic enemies and provide for corporate welfare. They believe that they help individuals (general welfare) by helping corporations and any help that comes to individuals trickles down from that corporate welfare. If it does not then in their view of the ownership society, you own your bad luck so live with it.

Katrina was not an attack by an enemy, so it is not to be handled by government. If the levees had been blown up by foreign or dmoestic terrorists, the respnse would have been very different even if the result was the same. That is the republican mindset.

Its really that simple. The democrats believe government should directly and indirectly provide for the general welfare. The republicans only believe it should be provided indirectly. The democrat's history of direct support include social security, welfare, school lunch programs, AFDC and others. Many republicans do not support those programs. So direct aid to Katrina victims is antithetical to their viewpoint. What we see happening in the recovery of NOLA is a classic example of republican beliefs being displayed. The incompetence is a separate issue caused by Bush's cronism and inability to manage any project properly. Don't intertwine Bush administration incompetence and neocon thinking. Both are going on in America and both are destructive, but if you had a competent administration, NOLA would still have turned out the same, just fewer unfulfilled promises and less money spent.

Posted by: Sully | February 21, 2006 11:58 AM

Freedom-

"Insurance companies now adding terrorist attacks into policies or noting them as not viable reasons for protection do suggest that these have now become 'calculated risks.'"

As Chris Ford pointed out, this is the type of Calculated Risk that is explicitly protected by the Constitution of the United States of America. Hurricanes are not. There is nothing predictable about preemptive strikes. I don't think anyone in this thread or elsewhere has seriously argued that the dead at the WTC were making a poor decision when they went to work.

If it became the case that terrorists targeted specific American areas for good and predictable reasons, which will never be the case, then yes we could begin to have a discussion about the "calculated risk" of any decision to live in those targeted areas. We are miles away from this so far.

Even if we do determine that people are making poor decisions by living in areas that are targets of terrorist attacks, however, as the Constitution explicitly says we protect our citizens from Foreign Powers in the Common Defense.

"And along the line of reasoning that you can predict hurricanes, as well as your comments that we should not build in areas prone to disaster, do you suggest that we should outlaw building in coastal cities on the Gulf so that the cities are slowly fazed out and the populations deported elsewere?"

No, I have made a much weaker claim. I do not care if John Doe builds his home below sea level in New Orleans, directly on top of a fault line, or on the inside of a volcano. I just do not think it is feasible to rebuild his home with federal dollars when we run 300 billion dollars in deficit every year.

"By logic, that supports the idea of not building in the path of future disasters."

Precisely my point. People who live in the path of predictable future disasters are being illogical. I have very little patience for rewaring stupid decisions.

"Why should people live in Miami et al. when they are prone to being hit every year? Should other areas of the country be fazed out also, based on the inclement weather/conditions they face, such as the areas of Southern California that lie on the fault line, as you have mentioned?"

I don't think I want to "faze out" anybody. If people want to move to New Orleans, even below sea level, they are free to do so. I do not think the Federal Government should build their homes, though.

Unfortunately, our government has set the perfect precedent for bad decision making. No one has an incentive to purchase flood/earthquake/anything insurance because the Government predictably overreacts and covers the uninsured. How must the insured feel, the ones who actually made the right decision that turned out to be incredibly stupid? Now they have been making insurance payments for naught. Do you think these people will repeat their mistake?

I wouldn't buy hurricane insurance if I lived in New Orleans, because apparently Uncle Sam doesn't care whether I did or not.

I do not want to repair New Orleans once every 20 years because it keeps getting blasted by a hurricane and we decide that people have some kind of innate "right" to live in Hurricane alley below sea level. I doubt that any such "right" exists, either morally or constitutionally. Therefore, I do not wish to fund it with federal dollars. This is an unaggressive point.

Posted by: Will | February 21, 2006 12:34 PM

Will-
Fair enough.

Posted by: Freedom | February 21, 2006 12:40 PM

I thought it was a failure of the levee system that was the primary cause of damages by Katrina. Is that incorrect?

If it's essentially correct, then how does the NO "rebuilding plan" ensure avoiding a sequel event..?

Posted by: gonzo | February 21, 2006 01:02 PM


gonzo -

Go a little deeper: The primary cause of destruction by Katrina was too much water at once.

A "failure of the levee system" was just the means for water assisted by winds to do what was destined to be done. Even government disaster planners foresaw the outcome as a virtual certainty.

In constructing any structure, from the deck on the back of one's house, to a hydro dam, the approach can either to work with or against nature and physical forces.

Undertaking replacement new construction belong the water line in New Orleans would be against nature and physics, as well as financial nonsense. N.O. is not the isle of Manhattan; there's more land in Louisiana.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 21, 2006 01:40 PM

Will - "Precisely my point. People who live in the path of predictable future disasters are being illogical. I have very little patience for rewaring stupid decisions."

All that sub sea level housing in NOLA wasn't built by the working class. Some builder had to buy up that land and finance building those houses so he could sell them cheap. Who wrote the paper for that? Whose fault is it that the modest working class housing available to them was in the ninth ward? Why did the bank let the builder develop that land in the first place if it was unsuitable? This bad decision started before the houses were even built, much less sold.


They could not have bought that house in the path of danger if the bank had not given them a mortgage. So who made the worse decision, the bank or the homeowner? People in California have gargantuan mortgages - when the earthquake or the mudslides hit, who will have made the bad decision, the buyer or the bank? Is your town teeming with affordable alternatives so the guy who empties your trash or who built the building you work in or cleaned your room and served your breakfast on your last vacation doesn't have to live below sea level or on a fault line to be able to live the American dream in 1300 square feet of his own? It seems to me more than a bit callous for you to pass judgement on working class Americans who can't afford to buy on Nob Hill and give a pass to the bankers who made them the loans to live there and the insurers welching on claims.

For those who the bank did require to buy flood insurance but who will not have their claim paid because the insurer sold more policies than reserves to make good on, who made the bad decision, the homeowner who depended on the insurance or the insurer who oversold policies?

I agree with Beatiful. When push comes to shove the citizens of NOLA will be defaulting on their mortgages or going bankrupt. The banks and their stockholders will indeed be the proud owner of acres of worthless real estate.

Then the federal reserve will bail out the bank. You know, like we did for Neil Bush, a billion dollar bailout for the bank and a Republican friend and family fund raiser to chip in for the lawsuit and fines. And like we did for the S and L industry to the tune of 152 billion dollars (see link below).

There's no such thing as a free lunch. We do indeed have a choice. We can give corporate welfare, or public welfare. We, the taxpayers can rebuild working class NOLA after either filling in the land or making a park out the ninth ward and finding higher ground. Or, we can bail out the bank CEO's and stockholders for their bad debts from the foreclosures and bankrupcties, enabling their stock prices and dividends to stay high and the CEO and investors to buy another vacation home on the waterfront in the path of a hurricane. Either way, we the taxpayers will pay through the nose. I'd rather see my money go to the guy who earns it with sweat equity, not the one who inherits it and then grows dividends.

Here is a non-partisan article on the S and L bailout: http://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/banking/2000dec/brv13n2_2.pdf
and here is its conclusion:

"Thus, the combined total for all direct and indirect losses of FSLIC and RTC resolutions was an estimated $152.9 billion. Of this amount, U.S. taxpayer losses amounted to $123.8 billion,
or 81 percent of the total costs. The thrift industry losses amounted to $29.1 billion, or 19 percent of the total."

I don't want to hear any more about how we should screw the little guy in NOLA for buying the only house he could afford while we're in the process of giving corporate welfare to the bank who made the bad loan.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 21, 2006 02:15 PM

Two wrongs don't make it right patriot.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 21, 2006 02:20 PM

Patriot-

I'm sorry, did I say we should reward bad decisions by banks/insurers? The entire emphasis of my posts has been to punish those who make bad decisions. If those bad decisions start with banks and insurers, I don't have any plans on paying them back with federal funds either.

Insurers who oversold their plans should go bankrupt. I could feasibly justify paying out the "insured" who don't get paid because the insurer went bankrupt, so long as there is a criminal trial for the bozo(s) who made that bad of a decision (to oversell the policy).

I am not picking on poor people because they are poor, I'm picking certain people because some made a bad decision and I don't feel any great imperative to pay them for that bad decision. My only qualification is "bad decisions" should not be rewarded with federal funds.

Is that so ridiculous?

Posted by: Will | February 21, 2006 02:46 PM

Of course its not ridiculous.

But if you read back on this thread there are two main sentiments - the Ford-esque "they're all lazy parasites", or the more prevalent "its not my fault they were stupid enough to buy a house below sea level".

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I mean that seriously. Did people buy tracts of land, hire a builder, build houses that flooded every year, and then whine for local, state and federal tax dollars to build a levee to protect their homes?

Or did the city see that more housing was needed if the city was to grow, build levees to allow city expansion, allow a builder to get fat on draining the land and developing and selling houses, let the bank and its stockholders get fat selling the paper, and create an expectation that the infrastructure of the levee system must be safe if it was built and funded? If it was not safe to build there, why were the levees built, why was the builder allowed to build there without raising the land first, and why did the bank sell mortages without insisting on flood insurance, raising the land, private levee inspection, etc.?

The bad decision was shared by the city officials who decided to drain the land and build there, the levee designers who though their design and construction was adequate, the local, state and federal officials who accepted and funded the idea, the local, state and federal officals who decided better levee protection was not a priority, the builders who got rich off the land, the banks who got rich off the land, and, finally, the people whose crime was buying the affordable housing that city planners made available to them in that location and trusting them to have gotten the levee system right.

Yet, the blame is placed solely on the people who only wished for affordable housing near their families, jobs and heritage and who trusted the people who designed it, funded it and built it.

I am curious why there has been this heaping of blame on the homeowners and nary a word on the chain that produced and funded the house they believed to be safe.

I agree it is only fair that if we refuse to bail out the homeowners, that we should also refuse to bail out the banks who will take the hit when they default. I just don't believe this government will allow their cronies to take the hit and that we will soon see government bailouts for the bad Katrina debts. The tax dollars of the middle class will pay for the bad debts of the Katrina victims, either by payouts to victims or payouts to stockholders. I promise you in this administration the stockholders will not feel the pain.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 21, 2006 04:15 PM

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the department dispatched "heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, (and had them) openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans," reported journalists Jeremy Scahill and Daniela Crespo on Sept. 10, 2005.

Noting the reputation of the Blackwater mercenaries as "some of the most feared professional killers in the world," Scahill and Crespo said Blackwater's presence in New Orleans "raises alarming questions about why the government would allow men trained to kill with impunity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to operate here."

Posted by: | February 21, 2006 05:20 PM

Well said patriot1957..

I'm still waiting for "my share" of the Chrysler bailout. I don't see any of the mythic accountability getting applied to the "big guys".

Posted by: gonzo | February 21, 2006 05:28 PM

I do not think that people that put themselves into harms way should recieve government help. Unless they had no other choice. In patriot's dicussion of banks responsibility, they should get no help, because banks by and large had the choice to not finance the areas. Yet they did. On the other hand, the people that lived there often had no choice. Lack of funds could easily drive people into unsafe areas so they can work their minimum wage jobs. It's that, or starve.

And before the arguement is stated that they could have moved or that they are liable for where they live, this is often not the case. When you don't have money, it can be very difficult to pick yourself up (assuming you are born in the area) and move to another area/city, You probably have no contacts, no job, and no idea of what the area is like. This means that you might have to spend money to visit the area, search for affordable housing, and search for a job. So it either needs to be during timeoff (weekend/equivalent if you even have that), which doesn't give you much time, or during unpaid time off. So during this time, you have to be living off of your savings. You have to have money for the initial rent. And you have to have money for the move. To many people born in the area, this is money they do not have. It's not always so simple as "you made a bad choice, deal with it." Most of these 'bad choices' are a result of the current socio-economic problems that face this country.

Posted by: Freedom | February 21, 2006 05:52 PM

I didn't live in NOLA, and from what if I have seen in these comments very few have. The scale of devastation in NOLA and the Gulf Coast was beyond what most predicted. Entire communities were wiped out, people with homes paid off, renters, subsidized housing, churches, home with mortgages, and even banks. But one fact is the local, state, and federal governments told communities in areas below sea level the levies would hold during a Cat. 3, they didn't.

Several posts have a negative slant to ALL citizens of the city. NOLA had diversity and I hope it does once again. The city will not be moved and I stand by that. I hope after it's repaired it's better than before, avoiding the mistakes of living below sea level. But you can not just go in and take land for parks, lakes, or whatever with out compensating the owners, be it banks, homeowners, businesses,......

This is the second time the levies didn't hold, just as 911 was the second attack on the World Trade Center. I would never live below sea level or in a building with the same number of hits. Even if it's a new structure as is being planned. And yes it is true the levies were dynamited the first time, but not the second time.

Will, I won't comment on your rebuttal, several people have already. And besides its insulting enough to you to have little feet Chris Ford endorse your statements.

Posted by: Jamal | February 21, 2006 08:33 PM

Transforming a constitutional republic into a socialist democracy. Isn't this amazing?

TAXES

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Local Income Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and
local surcharge taxes
Telephone mi nimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
Trailer Registration Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

COMMENT

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the most
prosperous in the world, had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What the hell happened ?

Posted by: Paul Revere | February 22, 2006 03:28 PM

U.A.E being Arab country (its not a democratic country and ruled by a authoritarian sheiks) is the only one of the three countries in the world along with Pakistan to recognize and encourage Taliban in Afghanistan and in turn supported Mulla omer ,Osama Bin Laden which eventually led to 9/11 bombing in U.S.A.

I have lived in U.AE and know that, In U.A.E,Dubai government has harbored international criminals , mafia dons and terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim and his allies chota shakeel etc(Who are living in Pakistan at present and wanted by Interpol, he is regarding and widely believed by CIA and other agencies to have connections with Al-Qaida, U.SA. termed him as terrorist).Dawood's son recently got married to an Pakistani man's daughter in Dubai(U.A.E) hotel in the presense of all the mafian and terrorists, this is only possible with the help of Dubai(U.A.E)muslim rulers.

Even though U.AE has handed over some terrorists to Indian and other countries under pressure after 9/11, they still patronise, illegal money laundering and give shelter to some of the world's most dangerous criminals and terrorists.

This country facilitated and shipped nuclear material from Pakistan to Iran.(Even U.S authorities knows that, Pakistan and it's A.Q.Khan network is involved in this) its high time that U.A.E and its terror supporters should be contained and condemned.

I agree with free trade but,in my opinion trusting this country to handle six of U.S.A ports is inviting another disaster like 9/11.This is danger sign not only to U.S.A but to all free and democratic countries all over the world.

I request you to consider my point of view and judge my argument in a impartial way to allow us live in free and peaceful world.

Anil Kumar
India.

Posted by: Anil Rao | February 23, 2006 05:01 PM

this isnt a debate.. all your doing is kissing emily's butt

Posted by: thekid | February 27, 2006 11:25 AM

omg lord jesus

Posted by: iC3BaBii | March 1, 2006 08:54 PM

omg lord jesus

Posted by: iC3BaBii | March 1, 2006 08:54 PM

omg lord jesus

Posted by: iC3BaBii | March 1, 2006 08:54 PM

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