Thursday, September 29, 2005
Bill Bennett, Bookie of Virtue
Thank you Bill Bennett. Thank you for confirming what I already knew. I knew that you, like moralizers everywhere, are a freak. I knew that you would eradicate black people if you could. Thank you for making the case for me.
Bill Bennett was Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration. He went on to make a living telling the rest of us that we were immoral, Bill Clinton especially. Things went a bit down hill for him after it was revealed that he has a very bad gambling habit. He then did us a favor and disappeared for a while, but not for long enough.
Bennett's hatred and slickness are obvious. First he says he is pro-life, that is to say against abortion. Then he says you could have a good outcome if you aborted a select group. Then he gives himself an out.
That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.
If it is impossible, ridiculous and reprehensible, why would the thought occur to him? Here is a list of worthwhile outcomes that would result if every white fetus was dispatched.
1. No nuclear weapons
2. No Enron, or Halliburton
3. No Bush family
4. No drug trade
5. No Paris Hilton
6. Black people would rule, white people would be at the bottom, and black pundits could advocate that the remaining white fetuses get the heave ho
7. No Bill Bennett
It is very important that the Bennetts of the world tell us what is on their minds. For those who hadn't figured it out already, we now know why there are so many black people in prison. It is because Bennett and most other white people want us there. If they can't accomplish that, they would get rid of us by some other means. It is difficult to live with that knowledge, but denial is deadly.
If you want to read and hear his comments in their entirety, go to Media Matters.
Instead of pressuring Israel to end the occupation of Palestine, instead of ending the killing of Irais, the Bush administration has sent Karen Hughes to tell the Arab world that Americans are really very nice. Needless to say, no one is buying it.
So much so, that an audience of well educated Saudi women claimed they don't really want the right to drive a care. One physician asserted, "I don't want to drive a car. I worked hard for my medical degree. Why do I need a driver's license?"
I have to say that I don't think that woman is telling the truth. I'm sure she would get a license in a heart beat if she were able to do so. The problem is saying that to someone who daily undertakes the humiliation of your people.
It is like criticizing relatives. You may do it yourself, but you get mad if an outsider says the same thing about your annoying sibling. Saudi women aren't going to tell a representative of the infidel state that they would like to see any changes in their country.
Karen should go home and tell her boss to end the occupation of Iraq. That would get him more applause in the Arab world than her little PR tour ever could.
Monday, September 26, 2005
I couldn't make it up. Recently ousted FEMA director Michael Brown has been hired as a consultant for that agency.
Over the weekend I participated in a panel discussion at Mount Holyoke college. Panelists from a variety of disciplines in the "Storms of Controversy" program addressed the political and historic issues that created the fiasco of the hurricane Katrina aftermath.
I said that everything occuring post-Katrina is the result of America being turned into a failed state. I also said that cronyism isn't surprising in a failed state, it is in fact a necessity. You can't have true public servants running FEMA when its goal is to hand out contracts to the well connected.
Of course, the purpose of said contracts is not to really do anything they are legally obligated to do. If that were the case then Iraq would be truly reconstructed by now. Instead billions of dollars have been doled out to Halliburton and its ilk while Baghdad may or may not have running water or electricity on any given day.
So of course Brownie is back. The system demands it.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Evacuees Burn to Death and President Hallucinates
Sorry to be so blunt, but there is no way to sugar coat it. Hurrican evacuees from a Texas nursing home burned to death when their bus caught fire and ignited their oxygen tanks. Twenty-four people are dead.
Buses, buses, buses. That is all we heard from the White House crowd post-Katrina. New Orleans Mayor Nagin had hundreds, some said thousands of buses that he didn't use to evacuate his city. There were approximately 300 school buses in New Orleans, but the drivers were getting the hell out of Dodge like everyone else.
What will they say about Texas, Dubya's home? Will we hear the endless refrain about "failures at all levels of government?" Even after Katrina, not even one month after Katrina, Texas officials had no clue about evacuating residents. Traffic jams 100 miles long were filled with cars that had broken down or run out of gas.
The Bushies can't suddenly change horses in mid-stream and use government for the benefit of the public. They haven't done it because they aren't interested. In their world view the purpose of government is to make war and to help the haves have more. They can't save us from natural disasters or anything else.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Ben Marble, M.D. is a man who spoke for millions of Americans when he told Dick Cheney where to go and how to get there. Of course he paid the price. He was briefly detained by Secret Service after he spoke truth to power. Marble had reason to be annoyed. He lost his home in the hurricane. Read his story here.
Friday, September 09, 2005
David Letterman, Top Ten Bush Solutions for Global Warming
The federal government was slow in responding to hurricane victims, but quick to give Halliburton a reconstruction contract.
Cheney was in hiding for the last two weeks because he had very important business to take care of. He had to give Halliburton the hook up one more time. You just can't have a catastrophe without Bush cronies walking away with some dough.
Let's see. Joe Allbaugh was the former FEMA director. He had no qualifications for the job. He was Bush's campaign director.
He left to make money in the financial rape of Iraq. Before he left FEMA he did us the great favor of putting Michael Brown in charge there. Thank you Mr. Allbaugh. Now Allbaugh is a Halliburton consultant. It all smells worse than the water in New Orleans.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Dick is still alive, but perhaps he shoulda stood in bed. A disgruntled Gulf Coast resident cursed him out, just the way Cheney cursed out Senator Pat Leahy on the floor of the Senate. The footage is here.
It is nice to see the profane Mr. Cheney being greeted with profanity, but I have a few questions. One, who is the "John" he is referring to? Why did reporters find Dick amusing? Will they ask who he was talking about? Was he AWOL because he had to get Halliburton more of our money than they already have received? Stay tuned but don't hold your breath.
Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, it does. FEMA director Michael Brown graduated from a non-accredited law school and hadn't practiced law for years when he became general counsel for that federal agency.
It's bad enough when attorneys are named to government jobs for which their careers, no matter how distinguished, don't qualify them. But Brown wasn't a distinguished lawyer: He was hardly a lawyer at all. When he left the IAHA, he was a 47-year-old with a very thin resumé and no job. Yet he was also what's known in the Mafia as a "connected guy." That such a person could end up in one of the federal government's most important positions tells you all you need to know about how the Bush administration works--or, rather, doesn't.
New Republic Online (registration required)
Your man is no good. He treats you like crap, lies to you, abuses you, bullies you, exploits you, takes your money. As a friend I want to tell you that you deserve better. You deserve a person that treats you with respect, cares about your welfare, and your children’s welfare, but that’s not George and it never will be.
The next time the mainstream media or anyone criticizes New Orleans' and Louisiana's evacuation plans as inadequate, and they were, woefully so, ask the person doing the complaining about Mississippi and Alabama's evacuation efforts, particularly for the car-less and poor.
Petrelis Files, September 8, 2005
FEMA has rejected journalists' requests to accompany search and rescue boats. They say they want to give the dead some dignity.
It isn't hard to blur a face, assuming any of the bodies are still recognizable. This is another step on the road to white wash but it will only take place if the media allow it.
Reporters should get their own boats and by hook or crook get photos, however gruesome, of the dead. The party that claims to value a "culture of life" doesn't. If they did, there would be a lot fewer of the dead to photograph.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Arianna Huffington tells us why the finger pointing must begin immediately. Anyone who advocates waiting, that means you Bill Clinton, is aiding and abetting the crime that was committed against the people of the Gulf Coast.
Already the ass covering has begun. Republicans want to investigate themselves and are already preparing for a white wash. They want FEMA and Homeland Security officials to be exempt from testifying before Congress. These investigators want to pass on questionning the suspects.
Thanks to Talking Points Memo for this important piece of news. National Hurricane Center director Dr. Max Mayfield held a video conference call with the President on Sunday, August 28 and gave him the scoop on Katrina's severity and potential for destruction. Why did Mayfield call the President? "I just wanted to be able to go to sleep that night knowing that I did all I could do." I wonder if the President can sleep at night. If he is awake he is worrying about political fall out, not about the lives lost.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
"Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program and a disincentive to effective state and local risk management. Expectations of when the government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level."
Joe Allbaugh, former FEMA director, May 15, 2001
That explains everything. Republicans hate entitlement programs, like social security. They do love entitlements for rich people and corporations but the rest of us aren't entitled to jack. Or to put it more succinctly:
The Republican agenda is to turn the United States into a third-world shithole.
Monday, September 05, 2005
"Sometimes I don't think Cheney is awake enough to know what's going on. He's a sick man, you know. He's got heart disease but the disease is not restricted to that part of his body. He grunts a lot so you never really know what he's thinking."
Congressman Charles Rangel
Back in June, Dick Cheney secretly visited the cardiac unit of a hospital in Vail, Colorado. When the Huffington Post and others asked questions about this secret visit we were told that he was just stopping by to say hello to his favorite orthopedic surgeon. Yet he did so under an assumed name and had an EKG just for the hell of it.
Now that the White House is in full damage control mode over hurricane Katrina, one would think that old Dick would be seen somewhere on the Gulf Coast. On the contrary, Cheney has been the invisible man.
Where is Dick? Is he in the hospital? Is he on his death bed? Will the media ask when we are told that he is in surgery or that he has passed away?
If he dies who will succeed him? Hopefully not a horse show lawyer.
As always, Black Commentator was ahead of the curve. Why is the head of FEMA a political crony instead of an emergency management expert? Why were the levees neglected? Why did the federal government ignore years of warnings about the need to provide an evacuation plan? Why are we in need of aid from the rest of the world?
All of these questions have the same answer. The U.S is now officially a "failed state."
" . . . the Pirates at the helm of the GOP relentlessly pursue their larger agenda: to destroy every structure of government that has usefulness to the public – especially, Black people – in order to clear the way for corporate governance."
"Of what use is a congressional or state Black political caucus, or Black mayors and city councils, if the state is so enfeebled that it cannot deliver the goods? "
"The Bush regime has summoned the failed state chicken home to roost, with a vengeance, as it attempts to strip away every social obligation of the state to the people. However, the legitimacy of American governments at all levels has long been eroding, as defined by their capacity to provide political goods to the citizenry."
We cannot allow this process to continue. The New Orleans disaster is the direct result of the policy of deliberate failure. This city must be rebuilt and all of its inhabitants must be given the right to return to the homes they inhabited before Katrina struck.
The rest of us can never forget that every effort to destroy social security, or keep us indebted to credit card companies, are steps on the road to state failure.
Well, well, well. In a previous post I mentioned that FEMA director Michael Brown couldn't keep his job lawyering for the International Arabian Horse Association. He was forced out. At the time I didn't know his connection with the Bushies. Well, I know now and I almost wish I didn't.
Brown is the former college room mate of Joe Albaugh, the previous FEMA director. Talking Points Memo has the details.
By the way, I'm not necessarily opposed to political patronage, but FEMA? Certain jobs should be patronage proof, FEMA should top that list.
"The Lord is going to come on time — if we just wait."
Remind me never to set foot in Pilgrim Rest AME Zion church in Mobile, Alabama. The pastor of said church, Malone Smith, Jr., is a little weak on the teachings of Jesus. How else can anyone explain that he would allow a blood thirsty killer to speak from his pulpit.
Condi got herself some 'ligion and had the nerve to speak as if she knew anything about God. She is responsible for the deaths of many thousands.
She ought to quit her job, attend church 24-7 and repent of her sins, but until she does she should not go anywhere near a pulpit.
A flood came and a man had to climb onto the roof of his house. As the waters rose a neighbor in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. "No," replied the man on the roof, "the Lord will save me." Then a firefighter appeared in a speedboat. "Climb in!" shouted the firefighter. "No," replied the man on the roof, "The Lord will save me." A helicopter appeared and the pilot shouted that he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. "No," replied the man on the roof, "the Lord will save me." Eventually the man drowned and went to heaven, where he asked God why He hadn't helped him. "I sent a neighbor, a firefighter, and helicopter," said God. "What more do you want?"
Sunday, September 04, 2005
"Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.
Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.
Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.
Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach."
The New Orleans Times Picayune pulled no punches when they were finally able to print. They demanded that President Bush fire FEMA director Michael Brown and his entire staff, citing their "bald faced lies." Read the editorial here.
Don't the refugees have enough problems? Apparently not, because CNN sent Dr. Phil to the Astrodome. I hope he doesn't tell them to "get real."
A gentleman named Ernest Brooks anxiously sought information about his relatives. Phil began to channel Jesse Jackson and told him to "keep hope alive" and be patient for news.
Mr. Brooks quite rightly ignored the loud mouth quack and began to give contact phone numbers and the names of his missing relatives. Poor Mr. Brooks. His family is missing and he had to talk to Dr. Phil.
No human being should have to experience trauma on top of trauma.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
"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. The existence of these contracts is no secret to anyone but the donating public."
You read correctly. The Red Cross does not need any of your hard earned cash to provide for hurricane victims. They already have money from government contracts.
Friday, September 02, 2005
If airhead Paula Zahn gets righteous you know there is a very big problem. FEMA director Michael Brown admitted that he knew nothing about thousands of desperate people stranded at the New Orleans Convention Center without food or water for five days.
BROWN: And so, this -- this catastrophic disaster continues to grow. I will tell you this, though. Every person in that Convention Center, we just learned about that today. And so, I have directed that we have all available resources to get to that Convention Center to make certain that they have the food and water, the medical care that they need...
ZAHN: Sir, you aren't telling me...
BROWN: ... and that we take care of those bodies that are there. (CROSSTALK)
ZAHN: Sir, you aren't just telling me you just learned that the folks at the Convention Center didn't have food and water until today, are you? You had no idea they were completely cut off? (CROSSTALK)
BROWN: Paula, the federal government did not even know about the Convention Center people until today.
CNN has the transcript.
No doubt you have been wondering who the hell is Michael Brown and how in the world did he become director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
I don't know his connections to Bush, but it turns out that he is a lawyer forced to resign from the International Arabian Horse Association. The IAHA no longer exists in part of because of Brown's incompetence.
His separation agreement is here, and Daily Kos, who gave the original scoop has the background here.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
"For the last 4 days I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. To listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, uh, you know I got to tell you there are a lot of people here who are very upset and very angry and very frustrated and when they hear politicians thanking one another it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now. Cause literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because thsi woman had been laying in the streets for 48 hours. Do you get the anger that is out here?"
Anderson Cooper, CNN
CNN has become a big joke in recent years. The quality of reporting has significantly diminished and it has joined the rest of the corporate media in its subservience to Bush. But a funny thing happened after Katrina. Maybe they had it in them all along, maybe reporters are disgusted with themselves, and maybe seeing dead bodies and desperate refugees is truly the last straw.
Today Anderson Cooper and his colleague Jack Cafferty went off. Cooper was visibly shaken when Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu thanked, yes thanked, Bush for all the help he has given to the Gulf. Cooper interrrupted her useless remarks and reminded her that absolutely nothing has been done for victims.
Jack Cafferty described the hurricane aftermath this way.
". . . one of the most atrocious and embarrassing and far-reaching and calamitous things that has come along in this country in my lifetime. I’m 62, I remember the riots in Watts, I have never, ever, seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans."
I won't hold my breath, but I think that the sight of American babies dying of dehydration because of political incompetence is too much for anyone to bear, even the corporate media.
White people are presumed innocent, and black people are presumed guilty. In New Orleans white looters don't exist, even if they take items from empty stores and don't leave money behind. Associated Press editors are blatantly calling black looters looters and white looters lucky people who happen upon unattended items.
It shouldn't be surprising. This entire country was stolen, but we aren't supposed to say so. Read this piece in Salon.
"It was calculated," said Second Lt. Peter Fluker, Company C's second platoon leader. "It was done with crowbars and heavy equipment and some sharp, blunt objects that were used to smash open big doors and jewelry cases. They were rescue workers of some sort."
Human disasters always bring out looters. Some are desperate as is the case in New Orleans. Some are just greedy, like 9/11 law enforcement and firefighters. Let's not forget the missing rolex watches from an area of the WTC accessible only to "hero" cops and firefighters. Story is here, free registration required.