Thursday, September 01, 2005


Blame Games

There are frustrated rumbles of talk about whose to blame about New Orleans getting flooded.

I know having lived there, that the situation was created over a wide number of administrations, back into the mid-60s, and the situation involved Federal, state and local decisions.

One interesting tidbit in the blame game is this:

In 1998, the DoD and the US Army Corps of Engineers drafted a document detailing the fact that New Orleans was protected by levees which were designed to protect N.O. from a LEVEL 3 hurricane. These groups wanted to go into N.O. and assess what needed to be done to improve the levees to at least withstand a LEVEL 4 OR 5 hurricane.

This serious request and supporting information was deemed highly necessary to protect N.O. and was presented in full to the President of the United States for approval of this critical project.

THE REQUEST WAS DENIED BY WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON. For those interested in the details, they are available in the FEDERAL REGISTER as a matter of permanent record.

Lots of hands can be slapped in the blame game. Mayor Schiro and President Johnson after Hurricane Betsy, for instance. It was in this time period the decision to protect against a category 3 was made. Betsy was a three. Then there was all the draining of the wetlands in and around New Orleans, the building of the intracostal waterway, and the reaction of the Army Corps of Engineers to the flooding in 1920, and the lack of ability of any government in Louisiana to deal with the salt water destruction of the marshlands which protected the cities near the coast.

Blame them all. What works better is rolling up one's sleeve, see what lessons can be learned, and do the right thing NOW.

I am working on a blog site just for hurricane news and information. Not upline yet, but will be in a day or two.

Join me in thinking about the suffering and what can be done to help. Forget about blame games and work on fixit solutions. Our fellow brothers and sisters need us.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Stay tuned for after Katerina information

I lived in New Orleans for almost 30 years. I will be posting regular info about what you can do to help after the storm has passed. If you find out info, or want me to publicize your site or program regarding post-storm information and help, please drop me a line here.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Thought for the day:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself" -- John Stuart Mill

Thursday, August 18, 2005


A thought...

If Cindy Sheehan and Pat Buchanan were living under a regime like Saddam Hussein's, they'd both be dead now.

Just something to think about.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Well Duh!

...these attitudes were most powerfully captured in symbolic issues such as display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, removing God from the Pledge of Allegiance, or outlawing public manger displays at Christmastime. On each of these symbolic cases in point, there was a broad perception that Republicans would be on the side of American tradition, Judeo-Christian values, and the forgotten majority while Democrats would stand up and fight for a subversive minority seeking to erode the moral foundation of our country.

From "The Culture Divide & the Challenge of Winning Back Rural & Red State Voters" by the Democracy Corps

Maybe it's because people clearly linked to the Democratic Party and their causes have been fighting against these traditional values.

When that happens, it's not necessarily a perception; it's based on experience.

"Most [focus group participants] referred to Democrats as 'liberal' on issues of morality, but some even go so far as to label them 'immoral,' 'morally bankrupt,' or even 'anti-religious,'" report Karl Agne and Stan Greenberg from Democracy Corps.

All I can say is if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, flies like a duck, it's usually a duck.

I saw at one gathering a sign that said "Euthanize Christians." It's things like this that make those assumptions truly believable.

Howard Dean called Republicans a "white, Christian party" like it was a bad thing to be white and Christian.

What is most important to voters? The report goes on to note:

President Bush and Republicans in Congress were faulted for their lack of effective leadership on these issues and their failure to offer new ideas. Furthermore, there was strong support for some specific progressive initiatives and a belief among many that Democrats would be more willing to tackle these issues and to offer new ideas in the face of current policies that are clearly failing. However, as powerful as the concern over these issues is, the introduction of cultural themes -- specifically gay marriage, abortion, the importance of the traditional family unit, and the role of religion in public life -- quickly renders them almost irrelevant in terms of electoral politics at the national level.

I put it rather simply:

For years, a sector of society has told another sector of society that their values, traditions and things dear to the heart don't matter.

The people are going to vote for those who they think will respect those values, traditions and things dear to their heart, even it it might not be in their most obvious economic interest because these matter more to them.

And that is a reality that is not going to go away.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Karl Rove...

During the election, I heard some strange things about Karl Rove...people accusing him of getting the Peterson jury to announce their verdict at a time to take attention off something they thought was damaging to the administration, and things like that.

Then today, I saw this cartoon:


That in turn, led to this:

The eyes of Karl Rove are upon you
All the live long day,
The eyes of Karl Rove are upon you
you cannot get away,
You think you have political acumen,
you think you know the score,
Til Karl Rove gets you in his cross hairs,
and blows you out the door.

He knows what you've been doing in the morning,
He knows where you go at night,
He knows the chatter you've been talking,
He knows the truth all right.
You think you have political acumen,
you think you know the score,
Til Karl Rove gets you in his cross hairs,
and blows you out the door.

The New York Time is missing Judith,
They think Rove will be the key,
When he just smiles at what they're doing,
As they fume at him foolishly.
You think you have political acumen,
you think you know the score,
Til Karl Rove gets you in his cross hairs,
and blows you out the door.

The eyes of Karl Rove are upon you
All the live long day,
The eyes of Karl Rove are upon you
you cannot get away,
You think you have political acumen,
you think you know the score,
Til Karl Rove gets you in his cross hairs,
and blows you out the door.

I do not think that Karl Rove is Mephistopheles, but my sense of humor got the better of me today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


The Dream

Let us not kowtow
to the forces
of those
who hate the dream
our forefathers pursued,
of standing tall
beneath the sun,
a people who knew the way
of self-determination,
of freedom,
and were willing to pay the cost.

Let us not kowtow
to those who believe
our dream is evil,
and we who cling to it
children of a benighted way,
and the good that we do
is bad,
and the truth that we proclaim
is flawed,
and the hope that we offer
is a chimera.

Let those who believe
that bad is good
and good is bad
be known for who they are,
and called down
for the darkness they would
plunge us into.
Stand firm,
and do not kowtow
to their craven ways,
for our dream,
purchased with blood
on the fields of Concord,
in the wilds of Kentucky,
at Gettysburg,
at St. Etienne,
on Omaha Beach,
on Iwo Jima,
and every other place
has been bought dearly,
and is worth passing down
no matter what they claim.


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