Friday, September 30, 2005

Change the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878?

If this doesn't scare you, then you need to re-read some history. Excerpt of report:

"President Bush yesterday said he wants Congress to consider putting the Pentagon, not state and local agencies, in charge of responding to large natural disasters in the future….

That would require a change of law, since the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 forbids the military from performing civilian law enforcement duties. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is investigating possible reforms to the act, which Pentagon officials consider archaic.

[C]ritics are already warning against repeal of Posse Comitatus. "Washington seems poised to embrace further centralization and militarization at home," cautioned Gene Healy, senior editor at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. "That has the makings of a policy disaster that would dwarf Hurricane Katrina."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Poor Repubs--This has been a bad month!

This article is just chockful of all their monkeyshines!

Five more mothers just lost their children

More violence in Iraq. Go, Bush, Go! I mean it...go...please....

Roberts new Chief Justice

Here's a chart of how your senators voted.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More peace march photos

I know that this photo of Sept. 24, 2005 peace marchers must be an early photo because we marched only 1 hrs less than we did at the March for Women's Lives last April, where 1.5 million women marched. photo courtesy of Jerry

The women's march of April 2004 compared to the Million Man March

There were more people present in Washington DC on Sept. 24, 2005, than the media will tell you. However, Stars and Stripes estimated 250,000 people, which is close, but I think it still is an underestimation. Why do I say that? The photo below shows a large contingent of police at 1600 hrs, however, at 0900 hrs there were 3 police officers deployed in this location. I think they were not expecting so many people. Worse yet, they were rude, and not a professional as the police officers in Crawford. The DC police should get lessons from the Crawford police.

The police, I think, did not expect such a crowd. That must be why the train from NY to DC had a "power outage" and those folks had to find another way to get to DC. I am sorry I missed the civil actions on Sunday when folks got arrested, including Cindy Sheehan. Go Cindy!

All in all, it was an amazing and historic experience as we mixed a historic peace march with historic tours....

and just plain fun

and a run in with Oscar the Grouch:

'DeLay Indicted

Scandal Brewing about Military Death Site

Americablog wrote about this a couple of days ago and now it's gaining momentum. We've created monsters in Iraq and it's all the fault of this administration.

Brownie Did a Heck of a Job Yesterday!

Poor Michael Brown. It was everybody's fault but his own. I really don't know how he sleeps at night.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Going to Washington: a Capital Idea!

When the airline asks if you mind getting bumped from a flight, and in return they'll give you a round trip ticket to anywhere they fly, I recommend taking it. That's what my daughter did three months ago when we were on the way back from vacation. The payoff? She and I went to Washington DC for a 4-day weekend.

I decided that since they weren't really teaching civics in school anymore, why not take her to the nation's capital, show her around, and exercise our right to "redress grievances" while we were there. A couple we know here got inspired by our hare-brained idea and got themselves tickets and hotel rooms to go, too.

If you don't know me, you should know that I'm really unsatisfied with the Bush presidency, the current Republican party, and the direction this country's headed. In fact, if it doesn't change directions, I think we're pretty well headed to the shitter. I apologize is this is crude language to you, but the crude language is only a small measure of the depth I feel about this. Mr. Bush is dismantling our rights, turning much of the middle class to lower class, oh, and I could go on and on. Instead though, let's talk about DC.

We stayed in Rosslyn, an affluent across-the-Potomac suburb from the Mall. A half-block from the hotel was an underground Metro stop. The Metro is the great equalizer. The poor, the middle class, and even some of the hoi paloi (you know, the rich) ride the Metro. In DC they're clean and safe and pretty user-friendly. If they just had a stop on the Mall, I'd have been one happy camper.

So Saturday morning dawned cloudy and about 68 degrees. This was the day of the demonstration that would see a quarter million anti-war demonstrators--and 400 pro-Bush folks--gather on the Ellipse to let the powers that be know that LOTS of folks didn't agree with the direction they were taking this country. Unfortunately, a really demanding lady named Rita took the attention of the ADD news media away from what a huge number of its citizens were peacefully trying to get across.

It was really a great time for the four of us. It re-affirmed that my country IS about freedom and about having an opinion other than what the powers that be might have. I've been amazed to find so much anger amongst those who do support the President. And this is one of my big personal themes: The United States of America crows loud and long about being the land of the free and the home of the brave, yet it screams mightily when people actually exercise that right. Well, last Saturday we did exactly that. We re-affirmed our love for the USA, and our love of freedom through actually exercising that freedom.

The foundations didn't crack. The terrorists didn't win. The founding fathers didn't spin in their graves. Other than the small coverage the media gave it, what happened is what should have happened. People gathered and redressed grievances. We're Americans and believe in that, right? Right?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Some of our Pics from the DC Rally

Here's Cindy Sheehan addressing the Code Pink crowd.

Little Dem gets her Code Pink hoodie signed by Cindy.

Cindy Sheehan gives a warm hug to Little Dem.

Little Dem is amazed at some of the sentiments she sees!

Where are VTex and Progressive Granddaddy? Can you spot them in this crowd?

Now here's a real head scratcher....

Brownie has a new job!

Another Daily Show Posting

The Daily Show schedule might be a bit trivial while so many arrests are going on in Washington, D.C., but at least Jon will cover the protests honestly while the mainstreet media just downgrades them.

Monday, 9/26: Ken Mehlman, Republican National Committee Chairman

Tuesday, 9/27: Viggo Mortensen, actor, A History of Violence

Wednesday, 9/28: Jeff Garlin, actor, Curb Your Enthusiasm

Thursday, 9/29: Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY

Cindy is Arrested

It was just a matter of time. I can't wait to see how THIS plays out!

Welcome Back, Rally Crew

"I'm not gonna shut my mouth
I'm for the truth to come out
About the leader with the iron will
And his allegiance to the dollar bill"
--"Till I Go Down," Jackson Browne

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Next Step: The Department of Peace

"On Wednesday, Dennis Kucinich and 57 (now 59) cosponsors introduced H.R. 3760, a bill to establish a Department of Peace and Nonviolence.

"Among its many domestic and educational responsibilities, the department will develop policies and create programs that promote peace in America by implementing field-tested strategies that reduce and prevent violent crime, and teach tolerance and peacemaking skills. The department will serve as an ethical guide and checkpoint for Federal law and national domestic programs administered by all agencies of the Federal Government. Some areas of domestic and educational focus include:

* Peace in our homes: prevention of spousal abuse, child abuse, and mistreatment of the elderly;
* Peace in our schools: prevention of youth and gang violence;
* Peace in our streets: prevention of racial and ethnic violence and violence against gays and lesbians, reducing the causes of violent responses by police, and work on criminal justice reform;
* Peace in the media: studying the role of the media in the escalation and de-escalation of domestic and international conflict; and
* Peace in our hearts: fostering a culture of peace by actively injecting consideration of peace and nonviolence into civic life."

I don't suppose it'll do a whole lot of good to ask Bonilla, Cornyn or Hutchison to support this legislation, but I'm going to try anyway. Who knows? Hutchison actually voted in favor of Ensign-Byrd...

While we're waiting for our own photos...

Check out these pics from the march.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Washington March a Wonderful Event

VTex, Little Dem, Progressive Grannie and Granddaddy all had a great time today in Washington D.C. They report that the place was absolutely packed with protesters, so I think the organizers and participants should be very proud on this day as the First Amendment continues to thrive!

Chickenhawk Comes to SA

What a perfect day for a San Antonio protest!

"Bush plans to visit Texas today

Storm's shifting path led him to cancel Friday stop in San Antonio

12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, September 24, 2005

By G. ROBERT HILLMAN / The Dallas Morning News

SAN ANTONIO – President Bush scrubbed a stop in Texas to review disaster plans and encourage relief workers Friday when some of the rescue teams were redeployed to meet the shifting course of Hurricane Rita.

"We didn't want to slow that down," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

But during a visit just a few hours earlier to the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Bush said that he was looking forward to the Texas stop "to see the pre-positioned assets."

"One thing I won't do is get in the way," he promised a reporter who had asked whether his visit might impede operations.

Abandoning his Texas stop, Mr. Bush flew directly to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he visited the Northern Command, which manages the military response to domestic disasters.

Mr. Bush will be away from the White House today, when thousands of anti-war demonstrators plan to protest the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Instead, he plans to be back in Texas after the eye of Rita makes landfall, with a stop at the state emergency operations center in Austin, then fly on to Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio for the night."

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rights Are Like Muscles: You've Got to Exercise Them

My daughter and I fly out late this afternoon to Washington DC. Another pair of friends is flying as I write. Let's hope their connecting flight to Houston Hobby goes okay...

That daughter has gotten a pretty hard time at school from the other kids about going to Washington DC:
"Protesting doesn't do anything."
"Bush doesn't care about the protest!"
"What in the world does protesting do??"

So she asked us what protesting will do, which caused me to ask myself precisely what it will do:
1. Protesting tells people here and there and all over that "By God there are a lot of people like me who have come to the conclusion that this is a fool's endeavor."
2. Protesting puts in front of the TV cameras the fact that there are significant numbers of people who not only believe this, but put themselves on the line so that others know.
3. Protesting makes this country live up to its Constitution. Its Bill of Rights allows that "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting...right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
But those are just empty words on a document unless people test them to make sure they still have that right. We're testing our Constitution in Washington DC this weekend.
4. Protesting challenges the media to actually cover the anti-war movement. The press found and/or created an interesting spokesperson in the form of Cindy Sheehan, so they finally gave the anti-war movement some attention. But their interest is fickle and dubious in nature. This protest in the nation's capitol will be hard to ignore.
5. Protesting energizes and causes those of the same inclinations to network and deepen ties and commitments beyond just one day. Hugs and tears and e-mails are exchanged, and all of those are the glue that will hold together a movement which can in time make a difference.
6. Protesting builds a patriotism within the movement. The idea that we can assemble to tell the President and our elected leaders en masse that what they're doing is wrong--and not go to prison for it--is what makes this country unlike so many in the world.
7. My daughter is going to get a great civics lesson even past the parameters of the protest: there's the Supreme Court building. What they do there is...
And I will take her to the Wall, which is one of the most brilliant monuments to one of the most foolish of this country's mistakes. We'll go to most of the other monuments as well, honoring examples of outstanding governance too.
8. Protesting emboldens each one of us personally to dare to think that we can, and maybe, oh dear God maybe, make a difference. Being passionate and angry and silent will do nothing. But coming together can possibly do something.

So I'm glad my daughter asked me why we were protesting. One of the great byproducts of being challenged on your beliefs is that you have to also ask yourself why--and then answer.
Tomorrow as we go to the nation's Mall to manifest the eight items noted above, we will have you folks in mind--the Kendall County Democrats who would like to be there but can't. We hope to represent you well.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

What Politicians Think About Jon Stewart

Here's some interesting insight into how the politicians feel about the Daily Show.

A Little Newspaper Humor

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country
2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running thecountry -- if they could find the time -- and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run thecountry and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.
10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country ... or that anyone is running it.
11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at thegrocery store.
12. None of these is read by the guy who is running the country into the ground.

Sept. 24th Peace March

The peace march takes place on Sat. For more information on events, and to read the Code Pink blog link

We're marching because we are distressed over the continued war in Iraq, an unprovoked, unnecessary war that has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 2,000 US soldiers. We grieve for those families who have already lost loved ones in this war, and we want to stop other families from suffering such painful losses.

We're marching because we want to hold George Bush accountable for dragging us into this war on false pretenses. And for more reasons

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Crusty Old Coot Speaks the Truth Again!

Watch this video of Jack Cafferty saying what others dare not say!

Bush administration appoints a Veterinarian in charge of women's health

Washington, DC — In a curious move today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named two acting directors to the office of women's health. This morning FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford appointed a man who has spent the majority of his career in the office of veterinary medicine to the position of acting director of the Office of Women's Health. By this afternoon, Dr. Norris Alderson had been replaced with a Ms. Teresa Toigo. Ms. Toigo will replace Dr. Susan Wood, a key women's health expert, who resigned on August 31 in protest of the FDA's handling of the application to make Plan B emergency contraception (EC) available over the counter.

This according to Planned Parenthood

Hmmmm, what does that say about the Bush administration's opinion of women?

No Place For A Poet At A Banquet Of Shame

A poet has refused the invitation of Laura Bush to appear at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. this week, the 24th of September. The festival is to be held on the same day as the massive war protest , also in D.C., is scheduled to begin.
I'm hoping, actually expecting, many more refusals.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Here's a Special Poem from a Special Place

At The Crawford Peace Center
(During Cindy Sheehan’s Vigil
at President Bush’s Ranch)
by Cyra Dumitru

In the small kitchen with one stove
the women are cooking: steam rises
from the kettle, brown rice and green onions
sizzle in curry. Deft fingers separate bone
from flesh, chop the whitefish.

Outside, water cools in large jugs
ready for the many thirsty: the overheated
who heckle and honk their horns,
the uncertain ones who stand across the street
trying to feel where to let their feet lead them,

the overflowing ones whose questions pitch
small tents and form a village of upside down tulips
not yet wilted from the 106-degree heat.
Near the sidewalk, white crosses
made to bear the names of fallen soldiers,

lean on one another. Near the middle
of the yard coils a labyrinth, edged
by smooth stones and large enough
for strangers to spread out within and
never lose sight of the center.

There within the labyrinth, all ages
of children are finding a measured step
through the twists and turns. If they stay
with it long enough, they might just notice that
the way in and the way out are the very same path.

-- August 27, 2005

High Noon

I've heard there will be a protest in San Antonio Saturday at noon at the federal building. Bring Crawford home to SA!

A Late Daily Show Schedule

Last night was a repeat episode with Brian Williams; Jon must have been resting up from toting those Emmys. Two of them, I think.

Tuesday, 9/20: Alan Alda, author of Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned. Also, possibly the next president (Republican) on The West Wing, but I believe Jimmy Smits (the Democrat) will win

Wednesday, 9/21: Ricky Gervais, actor, writer, TV's Extras

Thursday, 9/22: George Clooney, director of Good Night, and Good Luck
Sorry, in my editing, I lost this picture. Anyway, the credit goes to DailyKos.

I Can Dream, Can't I?

Credit for this post goes to DailyKos

Monday, September 19, 2005

Cindy Sheehan silenced in New York City

New York City cops do the good work of George W. Bush.

Crawford to silence further protests...they think..


WACO, Texas -- Two weeks after Cindy Sheehan left her anti-war
campsite by the road leading to President Bush's ranch, county
commissioners have banned parking along 23 miles of roads in the area.

Before the 4-1 vote Tuesday, McLennan County Commissioner Ray Meadows
said about 80 residents had complained of blocked roads, loud music
and public health and safety concerns during the 26-day protest near
Bush's ranch outside Crawford, about 20 miles west of Waco.

"It's not a First Amendment issue. It's a safety issue," Meadows said,
adding that "no parking" signs could be put up this week."

In progressive grannie's humble opinion, no parking signs won't stop anything. We are much more creative than that!

Karl Rove and more of his moving words

This is how Rove talks when he's "off record." He's a huge prick. Sorry, but I had to say it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Asking Them Why

"They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die"
--"Lives in the Balance," Jackson Browne, 1986

"The President has not been willing to meet with me, but he must meet and listen to you. President Bush sent our sons and daughters to war in Iraq. Congress gave him the authority to do so. That's why we are now turning to you, the elected officials who have the power to declare wars -- and end wars. We come to you with grieving hearts to request that you meet with us to answer our simple questions:
  • President Bush has said that brave Americans like my son Casey have died for a "noble cause." What is that "noble cause "?
  • How many more lives are we as a country willing to sacrifice in Iraq?
  • How many are you personally willing to sacrifice?
  • What are you specifically doing to bring our sons and daughters home from this needless war?"
--Cindy Sheehan's open letter to Congress, 2005

To join Cindy in asking them why:
Sept. 24-26 March on Washington
Sept. 24 marches in Amarillo, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Houston

If you can't attend a march because of job or family commitments, how about joining me in wearing pink (as in Code Pink) that day?

This has set my hair on end!

Let's hope this conspiracy theory is just that--a theory! I don't want to know that people in my own government would let something like this really happen.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Rove-man Strikes Again

He's like one of those evil guys in the movies that never gives up and always knows what's going on in the most obscure places! It's amazing how much power he possesses.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The "Cleanup" Begins

Apparently the federal government is so desperate to take the blame off themselves, that they're going to great extremes! Now this is scary.

Looter-Granny Saga Continues

I'm not sure if this lady was really looting or not, but to do what they did to her when so many others around her were looting? It's just unfathomable.

That Noble Cause Rears Its Ugly Head Once Again!

Doesn't this make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? I wonder how many more American moms are feeling a bit sad they let their babies go over to Iraq for this result.

It's Bushworld, My Friends!

This is from NBC anchor Brian Williams:

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

The Next Generation of Bush Royalty

Here's another drunky criminal type! Look for him to become president in about 20 years.

Ahhhnold Needs to Get a Clue

Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of Schwarzenegger movies, but he needs to get his ass out of politics! He just is not good at it!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Stick a Fork in 'Em

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government
September 15, 2005 5:06 PM EDT
--Tom Raum, AP

WASHINGTON - The era of big government is back. President Bush is presiding over what is sure to be the most expensive government relief and reconstruction operation in U.S. history.

With estimates of the federal tab ranging up to $200 billion for rebuilding New Orleans and other storm-ravaged Gulf Coast cities, Bush and his Republican allies in Congress are casting aside budget discipline.

They're also deferring - for now - vows to finish the Reagan revolution against big government and turning to some of the same kinds of public health, housing and job assistance programs they once criticized as legacies of the Democrats' New Deal and Great Society.

FEMA's body recovery underlying scam

FEMA brought in SCI (Service Corporation International) for removal of bodies. SCI President is a crony of Bush's, and Bush bailed him out of an investigation into their embalming practices in 1999.
This same firm "is known for its "experience" at hiding and dumping bodies" according to Raw Story

Why FEMA chose to outsource mortuary services to a paid contractor is also mystery to Dan Buckner, co-owner of the Gowen-Smith Chapel in the Gulf area. Buckner had planned to serve with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Responses Team, which reportedly told Buckner's partner, Gary Hicks of Paducah, KY, to expect up to 40,000 deaths from Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Upon learning of Kenyon’s contract, Buckner expressed puzzlement. He told the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, "Volunteers would have gone at no charge."

Hey Condi, I gotta go potty!

The president is once again caught doing something so very Bushie. Go to this site to get your laugh of the day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The (P)luck of the Irish!

Go to this page to see the truth of this administration! It's great for a chuckle--a bitter chuckle!

Howard Dean--What a KOOK That Guy Is!

Okay, so that was a pretty misleading title. But it got you to read, didn't it?

The good Doctor Dean was interviewed the other day by Alan Colmes (the one who's right, but argues for the left on Hannity and Colmes). If you go to and then scroll down 'til you see his mug, then you can hear what he has to say.

Bottom line: when he opens his mouth, common sense falls out. Every time he speaks I have to ask myself "We traded him in for John Kerry...why?"

And then there's the guy who won the popular vote in 2000 everywhere except at the Supreme Court: Al Gore. When he saw the government's molasses-like response to Hurricane Katrina, he chartered a plane--twice--to pick up 270 evacuees from New Orleans and whisk them to Tennessee. And he did that all on his own dime!

"The consumate politician" you're thinking. "Always looking for good press! How shrewd is that?"

The problem with that theory is that he declined to be interviewed about what he'd done. It appears that...and it seems strange to say this...he did it because it needed to be done, and because he had the money to do it.

Imagine if you will, your President doing something so selfless. I'll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor and stop laughing...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Katrina viewed by the world

Oh yeah, democracy really looks more attractive now. Show us your tired, your poor, your hungry...and Katrina showed the world that we don't have streets paved with gold, but US citizens mired in poverty and stranded with no way out, and a government that didn't care. Slate outlines the impact in depth:

"The initial federal and local reactions to Hurricane Katrina, however, have sent the opposite message. The images seen around the world communicated a lack of competence and considerable chaos and suffering. The dominant overseas reaction has been sympathy mixed with shock and horror at what was seen by many as evidence of racism and a reminder of the extreme poverty in which many Americans live.

The global impact[of Katrina on foreign policy]goes beyond impressions. A priority of this administration's foreign policy is to promote democracy around the world. But the attractiveness of the American model, and the ability of the United States to be an effective advocate for more democratic, capitalist societies, which had already been weakened by the disarray in Iraq, is now weaker still as a result of the disarray at home. It will be more difficult to make the case for free markets and more open societies if the results of such reforms come to be associated with the disorder seen in New Orleans." more

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bush Defends His Actions

My sister thinks Bush had been drinking before his press conference on CNN. Anybody agree?

This Week on the Daily Show

The lineup on Jon Stewart's show is:

Monday, 9/12: Chris Mooney, author of "The Republican War on Science"
Tuesday, 9/13: Kurt Vonnegut, author of "A Man without a Country"
Wednesday, 9/14: Guest Panel
Thursday, 9/15: Gwyneth Paltrow, star of "Proof"

Kurt Vonnegut was great on Bill Maher's show last Friday night. I hope Jon allows plenty of time for him.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

It's his bicycle ride all over again!

Remember when the plane flew into restricted airspace while Bush was riding his bicycle? His aides never let him know til after it was over! Well, apparently, that's what's happened in the aftermath of Katrina. Read this article from Newsweek.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Critter blogging

Just relaxing, originally uploaded by skystone461.

Ok, I chased Mr. S (the kitty) and he got away to the top of the dryer, does this mean I should relax now?

Think of it as being in steerage

The Titanic Of Our Era
by Bill Fletcher, Jr.,September 09, 2005.

"The complete failure of the Bush administration—and to a lesser extent state and local authorities on the Gulf Coast— to respond to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina has raised questions about the motives at play. The fact that the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor and black people were thrown up for grabs and that the Bush administration could not mobilize any significant response for five days has led many people to assume that this was an act of planned genocide. How else, one may wonder, could such a thing have been allowed to happen?

There is another way to think about the disaster: the steerage on the Titanic. To refresh your memory, that was the section of the ship that provided the cheapest accommodations and where the poorest were housed. It was also the lowest part of the ship, the least safe and the site of overwhelming death. One may remember, as portrayed in the film Titanic , that the passengers in steerage were literally locked in, trapped like rats such that they could not escape the rising water.

Does this somehow sound familiar?

Did the builders of the Titanic design it in such a way that they aimed to kill the occupants of steerage? Not at all. They did, however, design it so that if anyone was going to die, it would be those in steerage. Their deaths were acceptable for the builders of the Titanic. After all, those in steerage were considered a less-relevant population than the rich on the upper decks.

The capitalism of the contemporary era shares many of the same values informing the builders of the Titanic; the poor are not the responsibility of society at large. The construction of the Titanic was not simply a technological matter. There was a decision that the poor could be sacrificed in order that the rich survive. That is the essence of capitalism in general, but particularly neo-liberal capitalism—the capitalism of this era. There need not have been an intent to wipe out thousands of poor and black people in the Gulf. The assumptions about how money would be spent, what was necessary, etc., meant that in the face of disaster, the poor and the black would be sacrificed, and the rich would have their SUVs [read: life boats]"

Obviously, the middle and poor classes of this country are expendable to the neocons and the Bushites. They now continue to plot to decrease medicaid and medicare benefits, but may concede that they can't remove those benefits from the gulf state residents because it might look bad or unsavory.

DeLay--Katrina kind of fun

"While on the tour of a shelter with top administration officials from Washington, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, DeLay stopped to chat with three young boys resting on cots.

The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked, ``Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?''

They nodded yes, but looked perplexed."

What in God's green earth is wrong with this man? Does this look like summer camp? How condescending, rude and outrageous! Of course, we already know that DeLay has no ethics, and here is more proof.

To read the entire article Houston Chronicle

From the Party of Less Government

German Plane With Katrina Aid Turned Back

By CLAUDIA KEMMER, Associated Press Writer

BERLIN - A German military plane carrying 15 tons of military rations for survivors of Hurricane Katrina was sent back by U.S. authorities, officials said Saturday.

The plane was turned away Thursday because it did not have the required authorization, a German government spokesman said.

This Must Be a Metaphor for Something

Pet Monkey Escapes, Bites Boy on Buttocks
September 09, 2005 5:55 PM EDT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A monkey, apparently a pet, escaped, then chased a 12-year-old boy into his house and bit him on the buttocks. . . .
--Associated Press

Sniff**Sniff**Aw, Gee, They Really Do Care

Republicans Still Plan to Cut Spending
September 09, 2005 11:42 PM EDT

WASHINGTON - Republicans are going ahead with long-standing plans to trim Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits, even though party moderates are balking at cutting programs that aid the poor while hundreds of thousands are homeless from Hurricane Katrina.

The amount of savings - no more than $35 billion spread over five years - is modest at best, but it is the first time in eight years that Congress has shown any seriousness about reining in the automatic growth of such benefit programs.

Republican leaders have decided to delay the budget-cutting effort for at least a few weeks following widespread complaints that the government reacted too slowly in coming to the aid of Katrina's victims.
--Associated Press

Laura Bush and Corrina

Why is the mainstream press ignoring the doctor who bravely used Cheney's own words to the veep (see Madmomma's post) and the fact that hurricane Katrina wasn't important enough for Laura Bush to remember her name. Scroll down to see a video of the first lady calling the unforgettable hurricane Corrina. The press seems to have gone back to protecting this uncaring adminsistration. I am especially grateful to the blogs, AirAmericaRadio, KRPT 92.5, Bill Maher and other truth tellers.

Friday, September 09, 2005

This is no longer the America we knew and loved

A great little follow-up story about the man who told Cheney exactly what many of us wish we could have said!

Federal restrictions on reporters covering Katrina

"September 7 Reuters article reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "asked the media not to take pictures of those killed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath" and "refused to take reporters and photographers along on boats seeking victims in flooded areas." FEMA's actions, along with further reports that the government is obstructing journalists in New Orleans, have drawn little attention -- and even less outrage -- from the very media institutions that the agency, part of the Bush administration, seeks to repress. Media Matters for America wonders: What will it take for the media to protest (or at least report) the Bush administration's efforts to control them?...
In a September 8 Philadelphia Inquirer column, television columnist Gail Shister quoted Alex Jones, director of Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy: " 'I think they want to minimize the perception that the government didn't do its job,' says Jones, a former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner. 'I'm very suspicious of their motives.' " Editor & Publisher also noted FEMA's actions and the reactions of journalist groups in a September 8 article." For more go to media matters

"NBC anchor and managing editor Brian Williams noted in his weblog that journalists are being forcibly prevented from covering certain aspects of the Katrina disaster: The short version is: there won't be any pictures of this particular group of Guard soldiers on our newscast tonight. Rules (or I suspect in this case an order on a whim) like those do not HELP the palpable feeling that this area is somehow separate from the United States.

At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media ... obvious members of the media ... armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. ... Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Saga of Miss Kitty

I have been terribly distraught at the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but the one facet of the story that starts me crying every time is the predicament of all the pets that are being abandoned because the rescuers won't let them go with their owners (their moms and dads). I find this to be horribly heart rending, because the owners not only are already stressed beyond belief, but now they must make a type of "Sophie's Choice." Either they get in the boat without their beloved animals, or they stay behind and run the risk of dying. Gee, what a choice! Being the mother of five animals, I have already promised them all that I would stay with them and die if I had to. I just COULD NOT leave them! Now on to Miss Kitty.

You may have seen the story of the man whose cat woke him up and basically helped him save himself. He clutched his precious kitty for three days while the flooding continued. When he was finally rescued, he was told he had to leave Miss Kitty behind. His dear friend, for God's sake! Many people took this story to heart and began hunting for Miss Kitty. Go to this link to read the rest of the story.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Love Those Kids of Yours? Better Read This Then

When George Bush got the No Child Left Behind Act passed, he wasn't kidding (for reasons I'll reveal shortly).

All this time I've been critical of the title because I've heard that there are too many unfunded mandates that the local schools have to figure out how to fund. In the course of doing that, other programs get cut to the point do I put this? Some kids get left behind.

There was a little-known proviso buried deep in that No Child Left Behind Act that was so cunning that I'm going to have to think twice when I get the notion to call Republicans idiots. They're oh-so-smarter than I thought! Let me step you through this little item:

If you were a president and you had an agenda that almost certainly would include one or more wars in foreign lands, what's one of the first things you know? You know you're gonna need soldiers. Lots of 'em. How do you get lots of soldiers? The draft! No...can't do that. The draft is really unpopular. can they get a steady supply of soldiers? Appeal to lots-n-lots-n-lots of our must manipulable populace...teens. God, what a great idea! Get 'em fresh off the tree before they ripen and fall into...say, college. But how to get inside their noggins before they can really get their life plans in place?

I've got it! Write into the No Child Left Behind Act a stipulation that requires high schools to provide recruiters with names, social security numbers, addresses and phone numbers of kids starting at age 16. That way they can send them recruitment literature with their names on it, not the parents' names. They can call them on the phone and start painting the pictures in those young kids' minds as to what their lives in the military might be like.

Okay, change of gears: This is where I break out of the wise-cracking blogger mode and into the outraged parent mode. My 16 year-old daughter has probably gotten a dozen or more pieces of propaganda from 2 or 3 different branches of the military. My child's name has been shared with military recruiters whose only objective is to meet their monthly quota of recruits.

You might by now be thinking, well...the school doesn't have to comply with that...surely it's optional? You'd be wrong if you thought that. Not optional. In fact, federal funding to the school can be pulled if they don't comply. Kinda takes the school out of the education bidness and into the soldier pimping bidness, doesn't it? I'll apologize if that strikes you as crude. But that's a pretty accurate statement!

Them's some pretty smart, pretty devious, pretty dastardly Republicans what wrote that 670-page bill, doncha think? But if it seems like you've been painted into a corner without your even knowing it, I have a solution. Schools by law have to co-operate, but parents don't! You can get your kids taken off the student list that the school has to provide.

Just go here to a place called Leave My Child Alone and you can find out how you can borrow advice from Nancy Reagan: Just Say No! While you're there, take a few minutes and watch the video by Cindy Sheehan's photograph on the right side of the screen. If you're a grandparent and you don't like the military beckoning 16 year-olds to consider enlistment, please share this info with your kids.

I like to say that I think there's a perfectly justifiable reason for our having a military, and that a career in the military is exactly what some people need. Nothing wrong with that. But President Bush (who rushed into a terrible and unnecessary war) has proven that war is not the last option for him. And despite his pretty words, he doesn't care about the kids who are being snookered into the military on false promises.

As for me, I had my daughter sit and watch the video referred to above. I asked her if she understood everything in it, and she said yes. I asked her if she minded if I "opted her out" of the program through her school. She wanted out. So tomorrow I'm going to act on this information. My child is one that they're definitely going to leave behind. And I'm damned well happy of that.

Firefighters as backdrops instead of rescuers

Only in Bush's America, folks. Read this disgusting story about how our brave firefighters are being used in this crisis.

(Photo from Reuters)

A Great Letter from David Brock

He's asking the tough questions. Good for him!

Jon Stewart was frickin' hilarious last night!

Get a load of this graphic from one of the stories they did! It's hilarious, yet sad.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Going where no man (FEMA) had gone before!

Here's a really enlightening story about 3 guys who did what the FEMA guys couldn't figure out how to do!

Monday, September 05, 2005

my hat is too BIG!

Big hat, originally uploaded by skystone461.

Xavier tries on a hat at the Labor Day parade, while waiting for the KCDC float to take off.

on the lighter side, a Labor day parade photo

pretty girls, originally uploaded by skystone461.

Lexi and Ariana were ready to ride the float on Labor Day. It did not take them long (with Xavier's help, not pictured)to figure out that throwing candy was fun!

Olbermann's blistering comments on Bush's actions

This video is a MUST SEE! Olbermann sounds like the media we've all dreamt of! Fasten your seatbelts, cause it's a wild ride!

Barbara Bush, on the evacuees...heartless B-----

You know, I was so overwhelmed with anger this past week that I could not add to this blog in any shape or fashion that would have been civil. The Army Nurse in me was so outraged! Now, here comes Barbara Bush, with an outrageous statement! I can't believe it!

Barbara Bush: Things Working Out "Very Well" for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans

By E&P Staff

Published: September 05, 2005 7:25 PM ET updated 8:00 PM

NEW YORK Accompanying her husband, former President George H.W.Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in Houston, Barbara Bush said today, referring to the poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated, "This is working very well for them."

The former First Lady's remarks were aired this evening on National Public Radio's "Marketplace" program.

She was part of a group in Houston today at the Astrodome that included her husband and former President Bill Clinton, who were chosen by her son, the current president, to head fundraising efforts for the recovery. Sen. Hilary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama were also present.

In a segment at the top of the show on the surge of evacuees to the Texas city, Barbara Bush said: "Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we're going to move to Houston."

Then she added: "What I’m hearing is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this [she chuckles slightly]is working very well for them."

The Shame of the Bush "rescue" effort

From the frameshopisopen
"Despite endless reports and images that tortured the minds of Americans, President Bush’s delivery--his behavior in general--never registered any of the dramatic emotion that fell like a dark cloud on the country. He was and continues to be emotionally empty in the face of the tragic events."

As the failure of the relief effort unfolded, Americans witnessed a startling contrast between a citizenry, press corp, and local leadership who spoke with more and more emotion with each passing moment, and a President, White House and Cabinet that grew more and more stoic.

After a short while, the President’s failure to deliver food and water became linked in the minds of Americans to the absence of emotions in his behavior. And once those two issues were connected, America had effectively lost faith in its leader."

Today as I waited for my phone to be repaired I overheard several people still talking about how Bush did nothing in the early days to help the flood victims. One even said that she used to like Bush, but not anymore because it was obvious he didn't care about people like her.

The anger I feel over how the Bush administration acted, and how they are now spinning the blame, is over the top! I can hardly wait to go to DC in a few weeks, and visit my representative's office in person, to speak about my anger at this poor, poor response. I trained for years and years in NDMS drills with the Army, practicing for just this kind of thing. Did someone forget all the years of work so many of us put into mass casualty situations?

Of course the Bush folks listen to input from only their inner circle, and pay no attention to the experienced folks, who are not of their "clan." Shame on them. Shame on them!

This Week on the Daily Show

I feel like a Fox news reader still talking about Natalee Holloway inspite of all the death and destruction along the Gulf coast. But I' sure that Jon Stewart will be covering the insensitivity of our current adminstration's lack of concern with his usual brilliance, so I'm posting 'this week on TDS'.

Monday, 9/5: Pre-empted (by the comedy "Reno 9/11")
Tuesday, 9/6: Dr. Marc Siegal, author of "False Alarm"
Wednesday, 9/7: Samuel L. Jackson, star of "the Man"
Thursday, 9/9: TBD

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Refugee Animals Need Help Too

If you can't foster a family from Louisiana, how about a pet or two? If you can take in a dog or cat or horse or bird or other pet, until the owner is capable of reclaiming it, call the Bexar Co. Humane Society at 210-226-7461 or Hill Country SPCA at 830-990-9085 or Animal Defense League at 210-655-1481.


Sorry, gang. Now the only people who can post comments are people who are authors of this blog! I'm just flabbergasted that people have found a way to put personal ads on blogs! It's crazy!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rehnquist is Dead...Lord save us all

Chief Justice William Rehnquist died tonight. What will this mean for us? Will we impeach the president or will he be forced to resign? Will Cheney become president? Man, life sucks right now.

Sorry, Commenters!

I had to change to the mode of "bloggers only" can comment. No more anonymous comments for a while! It's disgusting to see a comment about buying digital cameras when we're discussing the hurricane!

Way to Go, Mo!

Give 'em hell, Maureen Dowd! They deserve it, and they better pay for this!

Some troops are coming home in the wake of Katrina

I'm glad these guys and gals get to come home and be with their families! What a double tragedy these people are having to endure! Fighting to stay alive in Iraq and then witnessing devastation for their families at home.

Don't Donate All Your Eggs to One Basket

from Huffington Post:

How Much Is Too Much?

"As of noon on Friday, September 2, The American Red Cross was reporting it had already raised $73 million in private funds for Hurricane Katrina victims. At the same time, the authoritative journal, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which monitors nonprofit fund raising, stated that $108 million had been raised by all private charities willing to report.

That means about 70% of the public's compassion has flowed to The Red Cross. . . . .

This skewed giving to Red Cross would be fine if the Red Cross were paying for the cost of the 80,000 people they are expertly sheltering in 240 designated shelter sites; but FEMA and the 4 affected state governments (including Texas which will shelter up to 75,000 people) are reimbursing the Red Cross under pre-existing contracts for emergency shelter and other related services."

--Richard Walden

Hundreds of small nonprofits will be doing much of the work of sheltering, feeding, clothing, and providing legal, psychological and job counseling to the evacuees. In the rush to provide aid, donors have ignored the organizations which can least afford to be ignored right now, those that don't have the advertising dollars and the name recognition of the Red Cross. These organizations, including some in Boerne already, are providing aid right now, and they need money right now--and because they'll be providing aid months from now, after the Red Cross' part is over, they'll need a steady stream of money well into next year. Their own coffers, already meagre in the economic depression that hit the nonprofit sector in y2000, will have to be spent on meeting huge, huge needs that they could not have possibly prepared for.

Will donors, having given so much to one big organization, assume they've done enough? Will the Red Cross share any of that $73 million with the hundreds of mom-and-pop nonprofits that are caring for the evacuees? Or will the public, after the last benefit concert has been broadcast, move on to the next runaway bride story?

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Horrors Keep on Coming

MSNBC is showing breaking news that a bus carrying evacuees just turned over and at least one is dead. OMG.

What? Halliburton gets the cleanup job?

Who didn't know THIS was going to happen?

Bush is blaming the LOCAL government?

Only this man can come up with something this outrageous! Is he really suggesting that HE'S on top of the situation?

Bush: 'Results are not acceptable'

Reason #842 to Be a Democrat: And Prejudice

'Katrina' and America's Race Problems
The nightmare in New Orleans has a lot to tell us about poverty: the desperate poverty of the city's African-American population, of course, but also the poverty of political debate in the U.S. today.
--Spiegel Online, Sept. 2

Reason #841 to Be a Democrat: Pride

US sends mixed signals on accepting aid from abroad

By Farah Stockman, Boston Globe Staff | September 2, 2005

'I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we haven't asked for it," Bush told ABC's ''Good Morning America." ''I do suspect a lot of sympathy, and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country is going to rise up and take care of it. You know, we love help, but we're going to take care of our own business, as well."

Reason #840 to Be a Democrat: Family Values

Budget cuts delayed New Orleans flood control work

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bush administration funding cuts forced federal engineers to delay improvements on the levees, floodgates and pumping stations that failed to protect New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters, agency documents showed on Thursday. --Sept. 1

Reason #839 to Be a Democrat: the "Duh" Factor

New Orleans Mayor Fumes Over Slow Reponse

NEW ORLEANS - A day before President Bush headed to the hurricane-ravaged South, Mayor Ray Nagin lashed out at federal officials, telling a local radio station "they don't have a clue what's going on down here."--AP, Oct. 2

Thursday, September 01, 2005

For All Hurricane Commentary

I'm unable to keep up with the constantly changing news, and the constant barrage of the latest outrage from the Bush Administration. Please visit AmericaBlog, Atrios, and DailyKos. For news, go to MSNBC and CNN.

Please send supplies, or donate money to the Red Cross.