Monday, September 05, 2005


President George Bush and first lady Laura Bush arrive at a V-J anniversary ceremony at the Naval Air Station in San Diego Tuesday august 31,2005
no hurricane is going to spoil his summer or the Labour Day Weekend !!!

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Poet William Blake

The pictures we have seen over the last week of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama are appalling & disturbing. As the days passed it became more & more unbelievable & took on a surreal aspect as things went from bad to worse as it seemed very little help was forthcoming for the victims of the disaster. As many others have observed the scenes were more like what one would see in some poor underdeveloped nation but this was not some poor nation but rather this was taking place in the United States of America , the richest & most powerful nation in the world.. Yet those in charge seemed unable to organize a more timely & effective prompt response to the disaster. They seemed able to organize enough press conferences about the matter.
The rest of the world seemed shocked by the lack of response by the American Federal Administration & President George Bush. Is George Bush just uncaring or just out of touch with reality. He seemed to think that giving some reassuring speech to the nation was an adequate response to a natural disaster of such a magnitude that it was beyond his limited imagination or his limited intellectual capacity to truly understand .
Anyway you would think that after 9/11 & the creation of Homeland Security & other measures that the federal administration would have been able to coordinate an appropriate response to such a natural disaster & to bring together all the various government departments at the Federal ,state & municipal levels along with the Us coast guard the national guard & the armed forces etc. but this did not happen in as quickly & effective fashion as one would expect given the United States resources.

In the end the poor & sick & elderly were left behind & the majority of them are African American so class played a large role in the this disaster. From the beginning til six days later the officials failed the poorest sectors of New Orleans’ citizenry .
One of the main concerns of any government is to ensure that those least able , the poor , the sick & the elderly are protected from harm as much as is humanly possible.
Of course in this era of Neo-Conservatism the poor are of little interest to the rest of society .
The poor have become invisible or are attacked for creating their own situation .
The comfortable Middle Class & the rich of the USA don’t want to even think about the plight of the poor in their country & it is considered bad manners to even mention the poor at the Dinner Table let alone that they consider that they help to keep the poor in poverty by protesting against any measures which would help the poor especially if it means a large investment of money by the Government over a long period of time to better the conditions for the poor especially if this might mean higher taxes.
The attitude of the better off classes in society is to give a few cans of soup to a food-bank a couple of times a year & this is as far as their charity extends because it is ingrained in them all their lives that it is a matter of social Darwinism that some are rich & others poor it is a matter of natural selection & as for many Conservative Christians it is all a matter of GOD’s Will who is to be poor & who is to be rich. Were all those who suffered the most & those who perished were they somehow less worthy & less Christian than who suffered less & those who survived is this the way the present Bush Administration operates according to Social Darwinism or a form of Christian Conservatism based on parts of the Old Testament which they pick & chose to fit their Nineteenth Century View of Capitalism & Free Enterprise.

Anyway I’m sure this too shall pass as George Bush & Laura Bush crack wise & smile for the cameras with their upbeat messages of one liner Newsbites & all will be fine in God’s country since it (the USA) is destined to lead the way for the whole world into the Golden Age of Free Enterprise & the Level Playing field where God rewards the pure of heart ( as defined by Bush & Pat Robertson& Jerry Falwell etc. who have a direct line to God so they tell us) punishes all those non-believers who do not pray enough or do not pray in the right way or to the right God or who preach tolerance ,acceptance & even love rather than hate , suspicion & winners take all attitude & screw everybody else.

Anyhow rather than go on with any further criticism or speculation on my part I thought I would re-print the open letter to President Bush from the New Orleans newspaper The Times -Picayune in its entirety :

New Orleans Times -Picayune sept. 4,2005

Editorial: Not acceptable
An open letter to the President

Dear Mr. President:

We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we're going to make it right." Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It's accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

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.

We're angry, Mr. President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That's to the government's shame.

Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don't know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city's death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.

It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren't they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn't suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn't have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.
In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn't known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We've provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they've gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

Lies don't get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.
Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You're doing a heck of a job."

That's unbelievable.

There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.

We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We're no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.

No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn't be reached.

Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.

When you do, we will be the first to applaud.

So there you go,

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