September 6, 2005
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
Subject: Awesome editorial
In addition to introducing several points I HADN'T thought of, you hit on others that I DID think of (and that still keep me awake long into the night). Of course you're right about Bush's policies bankrupting the nation -- but that behavior is sanctioned by the neocon (self-appointed) "elite," the rich (who, if worse comes to worst, will take their share of the loot and run to some country whose equally corrupt rulers will recognize and welcome their own kind). Then we have Grover Norquist's maxim on government: "Starve the beast until it's small enough to drown in the bathtub." (Ironic, isn't it, that so many people -- probably several thousand -- LITERALLY drowned in the streets of New Orleans, thanks to cutting federal funds to secure/repair the levees. The absurdity of Condi's statement (when confronted about pre-9/11 warnings about imminent terrorist attacks) -- remember? I paraphrase here, but basically "Well, we couldn't know they'd actually hijack planes and fly them into buildings!" -- is matched by the Chimp's claim that "Nobody could have guessed that the levees would be breached."
Oh, really? The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. And well documented. When you add up all the elements -- i.e., the stubborn, heartless ape in the Oval Office, the neocon think-tank "we create our own reality" types, the war (and peace) profiteers, the corporate vultures who scavenge off "no-bid" contracts, profit from -- an oxymoron -- "free trade" that destroys our environment and drains America of its decently paying jobs with benefits -- oh, and I nearly forgot the Christian right/born against who think they'll be raptured up any minute now, leaving the rest of us not only to rot on earth but to burn in Hell for all eternity. So much for compassionate conservatism! -- pardon my sentence structure; I'm steamed. The point is that THEY DON'T CARE that they're well on their way to turning the whole country into a larger version of New Orleans. They'll take theirs and run -- and screw the rest of us.
An aside here: When I read that Bush and Co. had sent a legal draft authorizing Louisiana's governor, et. al., to turn over full authority over the state National Guard and police, I knew IMMEDIATELY what was going on. Can't you just hear the Chimp in Chief saying, once the document was signed, "Well, they came to us and admitted they were caught unprepared and just couldn't handle the situation."? We had a moral responsibility (in fact, God told me so personally the other night) to step in and do what the local authorities couldn't do. Rest assured: New Orleans and the Gulf Coast areas are now in good, capable, compassionate hands." How sickeningly cynical can they get? (Rhetorical question.)
Just two more points. (You made several more excellent ones in your editorial, but I'm sure other Buzz readers will address them.) First, the "war on terror" (which makes about as much sense logically and literally as the "war on drugs," -- and we've seen the results of THAT fiasco) -- as you pointed out has been a series of blunders from the start. But are they really "blunders"? The success of the unprevented 9/11 attacks has given this satanic crew so much: an excuse to initiate government snooping into private citizens' lives; to cut funds on domestic spending; to use the fear factor to cut back on a host of other civil liberties. Second, the fortunate timing of Rehnquist's death Saturday night -- hmmm. I may be paranoid, but it wouldn't surprise me if some "friend" from the administration slipped something lethal into his medication. (As I keep saying, this bunch will stop at NOTHING. I said that in 2000, and I haven't seen any evidence to change my mind) -- opens the door (as I predicted to a friend right after hearing that Rehnquist had died) to installing that "pig in a poke" in the form of John Roberts (of the "so-called right to privacy" and "to each according to her gender" fame. The self-styled wit with a graceful prose style and a medieval mindset…need I go on?) as Chief Justice, no doubt hustled through the confirmation process. Meanwhile, waiting in the wings, we have Alberto Gonzales -- who sanctions torture as long as its definition is narrowed to major organ failure and/or death -- as the next Associate Justice. (Anyone who opposes his nomination will, of course, be branded as "anti-Hispanic.")
Wake up, Democrats, in both the House and the Senate. As it stands, you have nothing left to lose. With a few noble and courageous exceptions, you've been cowed into compliance with a gang of tyrants and thieves who'll screw YOU along with the rest of you. Nathan Hale, right before he was hanged, said, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Can't YOU at least stand up and say, "I only regret that I have but one election -- and I'll probably lose anyway -- to give for OUR country?"
Sorry, Buzz. Your editorial really got me thinking. The thoughts aren't comfortable, but somebody (I don't mean just BuzzFlash and me; I mean all the other readers and mailbag contributors who keep on fighting) needs to think. And talk. And write. Everyone else seems to have left the building.
Barb in Athens, GA
Subject: Impeach Bush and Cheney
I would like to express the need of this country to impeach the lying, cheating, stealing, uncaring scum that currently occupies the white house. Those who form their foreign policy, do so with greed and revenge in mind. How can we forget, "Besides, he tried to kill my daddy"? There was simply no personal profit to be made on the gulf coast as there was in the no bid contracts in Iraq.
When Clinton lied about what he did with Lewinsky, no one died. Bush and company lied and thousands have died and more will die daily. How many died because choppers were grounded during his photo ops?
Why with all the reports about what would happen if a storm of this magnitude hit, did this administration not have relief support and supplies in place before the evacuations took place? Because these people were poor and therefore did not matter. To rebuild homes of the rich that already have multiple homes and are quite able to rebuild on their own is the priority of Bush and his cronies.
It is criminal that Bush invaded a sovereign country with a case to justify it being built on false intelligence. (USA Today September 3rd headline-Piecing Together The Story Of The Weapons That Weren't). He did this so he and his could greedily reap huge profits. Never caring how many of the have nots died for his greed and profits. In his own words, his support base is the haves and the have mores.
Bush not only needs to be impeached, but also should be put in prison for his crimes. They include the terrorism of America and the murder of thousands of our troops as well as Iraqi citizens. Now this blatant disregard for the people of the gulf coast just adds to his list of crimes.
Subject: Eugene Robinson is the man
In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson wrote:
"At the top, things are still hopeless. Federal, local and state officials who perform for the cameras here at the Louisiana State Police complex, headquarters for the relief effort, still spend an unconscionable amount of time debating who's in charge."
I think that much of our frustration begins and ends with those sentences. And I think it goes deeper than the incompetence of one man's administration. For years now, we've had a far-right wing of the Republican party that argues for the shrinking of the federal government, except for when it comes to war. This far-right wing is now in power and, in the wake of what is arguably the worst natural disaster in American history, they continue to cling to their ideological beliefs.
They seek to blame state and local government because they do not want to admit failure--that much is true. However, they also seek to blame state and local government because they truly want to believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that the federal government should not be involved in recovery efforts.
How much more of America will stand in ruins before we insist that they face reality?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Once upon a time in America
I used to live in a country that worked. It was called America. Now I live in a country where excuses are the norm, where incompetence is excused or awarded. It is also called America but it is an impostor.
The Can Do spirit has been replaced by a What Do You Want Me To Do About This? Attitude. Rolling up one's sleeves has been replaced by covering one's ass.
While there were many reasons to disagree with Bill Clinton, the fact is that no one doubted the man's intelligence. The impostor America has replaced a Rhodes scholar president with a C student.
The Real America that used to exist may have stumbled and fallen on the road to equality among its citizens, but the pretender that has taken its place doesn't even pretend to value equality. "Every man for himself" has replaced "We're all in this together". The law of the jungle has replaced the law of the land. The looting we saw in New Orleans (other than for the means of survival) was wrong, but not hard to understand when our current government has made it clear that social Darwinism is the order of the day.
There have always been people in America who believe that we should only take care of Americans and not worry about foreigners in distress. What no one disputed, however, was that America had the ability to do both if it wanted to. In today's imitation America, many question whether we can even assist our own citizens in times of need.
The government of the impostor America, through its indifference and incompetence, has managed to do what no terrorist group could ever do: cause millions of American citizens to lose faith that our country can live up to its reputation. The attacks of 9/11 caused Americans, rightly or wrongly, to rally behind their government. The callous indifference of our "leaders" to the suffering of those in the Gulf states, exemplified by a Secretary of State who saw nothing wrong with shopping for designer shoes while thousands of Americans were dying in a flood, has opened the eyes of millions of citizens to the vacuum in our "leadership."
You ask me if I love my country and I'll look you in the eye and answer: I love the America I was brought up to believe in, an America that cared about its people and thought it could achieve great things. I do not, cannot, and will not love the sick, sad impostor that has taken her place.
Subject: Bush, FEMA, ET AL.
It looks like the whole gang was reading "My Pet Goat" for a lot more than eight minutes.
A Buzzflash reader
Subject: Reckless Homicide by bush in New Orleans
Reckless Homicide: Everyone can see in the live news footage that bush, HLS, and FEMA have caused massive death and destruction in New Orleans. The massive negligence and intentional blocking of prevention and rescue efforts is Reckless Homicide on a massive scale. We absolutely must hold bush co criminally responsible, and make these charges loud and crystal clear so no amount of spin and blame shifting can suppress the Truth!
Subject: Why Aren't They Giving FEMA Housing Vouchers to Katrina Survivors?
I sent the following to every Senator I could think of: I have one question: Why are the survivors of Hurricane Katrina not receiving the one-year FEMA housing vouchers that were given to the survivors of the Northridge, California earthquake? They were handed out within a week at local shelters and parks.
Those vouchers would allow the people to quickly leave shelters and find decent rentals in other areas. The levees were the federal government's responsibility - they owe the people a place to live.
The survivors deserve the dignity of being in a place that they can, for now, call their own. Remaining in the shelters is a way for the federal government to further control the poor.
If vouchers were good enough for the suburban folks in Northridge, it is good enough for the people of the urban/rural south.
I have just heard that a Halliburton subsidiary has been "hired" to clean up Katrina's destruction. Is there no way that we can stop these people from continuing to feed off of the American people?
Isn't it amazing that they were able to do this so much more quickly than they were able to provide water and food to American citizens in dire distress?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Suggestion for President Bush and Staff
Mail: I think the President, Chertoff, Rumsfeld, Rice and Mike Brown should all be forced to spend one night at the Superdome with no food, no water and no toilets, and the next day they should assist in the recovery of at least one body. Then go back to Washington and tell me what you're going to do for these people. URL:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: La times today/ true picture
Just in case you don't have this story from Slate/La Times on Chalmette La: it seemed to convey it all… at least I was shocked. Thanks for the excellent work you are doing.
From the Los Angeles Times story on conditions in Chalmette, La. a tiny picture of the true horror.
The losses were just coming into focus Saturday. A storm surge estimated at 25 feet had receded, leaving yellowish watermarks along the retail strip, but parts of the city were under an expanse of water, with a sheen of oil and a sickly sweet smell. On the front of houses, search-and rescue teams had spray-painted the numbers of dead found inside. One house had a blue six.
The water rose 10 feet in 10 minutes on the morning of the storm, residents said, so fast you could watch a wall of water advancing down residential streets. Sheriff Jack Stephens would not estimate a death toll, but spoke of several large groups of people who had died together.
Thirty-one elderly residents of a nursing home died "in their sleep" when their facility was flooded, he said. And in a subdivision, rescue personnel had found the bodies of 21 people who had tied themselves together, he said, probably in an attempt to evacuate. The scenes were so disturbing that 30 of his deputies could no longer work because of fatigue and emotional overload, Stephens said.
Subject: Mercy Killing
I wish somebody would take that god dam bastard Grover Norquist and drown him in a bathtub.
Subject: In Missouri
Claude Jochards of St. Louis wrote:
While certainly well intended, Mr. Jochards, has missed the real issues by a mile. Those bands of "looters and other violence bent individuals" according to our beleaguered Mayor, Ray Nagin, were largely drug addicts looking for a fix and any means to get it. Had BushCo and Homeland Security done their jobs properly, we would have had National Guard busses and trucks streaming into New Orleans during the 24 hour period prior to Katrina, to spirit the transportation-less away and another team of National Guard and Army Engineers poised at the city's canals and levees, the moment Katrina passed. Alas, there is no National Guard to be assembled, and we all know why that pachyderm-in-the courtroom is being ignored.
As every sane (read Buzzflash reader) knows, Chimpanzee-in-chief, along with his Third Reich cabinet, was too busy fake-guitar playing, fund raising, shoe shopping and photo-opping, to be bothered. Condeliar Rice attended Spamalot on Broadway, last Tuesday and when a reporter questioned her about the inappropriateness of doing so, her S.S hustled him away.
I don't wish what has happened to my beloved New Orleans on any city, and ask Mr. Jochards to contemplate what he would want should a disaster of this magnitude, man-made or nature-driven, befall St. Louis. For now, it will do no good to assign or mis-assign blame, but it is emphatically the time for individual citizens to rally round and carry out what our government can't seem to; time to do whatever it takes to rescue and bring relief to the ill, starving and homeless tens of thousands. From childhood, I've been taught that is the "Christian way."
Only these actions can halt further destruction of America's most unique, storied city.
Impeachment and Imprisonment of these clueless leaders will surely follow.
For now, I'm one of the fortunate who escaped, and watch in horror from Memphis,TN, awaiting word on when I can return and help with the rebuild.
C. Robert Holloway, Vieux Carre, New Orleans, LA
Subject: Sharing the wealth
Mail: As ExxonMobil projects possible profits of $30B this year, Henry Hubble, their chief financial officer brags,"Our disciplined project management and operating practices deliver the benefits of strong industry conditions to our shareholders."
Hey you, shareholder. What's your part in this, you who they work so hard to please? Do you only look at the bottom line? How can you respect yourself when it's so much more. You empower the world, really. That's your part in it. Your shares in this. (Yes, you share.) SELL THEM OUT. Invest in green renewable energy. Things for life. In the long run, even you will be way ahead.