Tuesday, September 06, 2005

From Michael Moore:
>Dear Mr. Bush:>>Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of>Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New>Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you>have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help>finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot.>Man, was that a drag.>>Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We>could really use them right now for the type of thing they>signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How>come they weren't there to begin with?>>Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while>the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was>only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven>people died and, as of today, there were still homes without>power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its>way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you?>I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know>how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had>fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore>and smear. You sure showed her!>>I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead>of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with>your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this>-- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could>you do, put your finger in the dike?>>And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will>reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of>Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third>year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't>cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be>any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much>more important construction job for them -- BUILDING>DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!>>On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have>to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot>descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you>could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you>couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble>and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.>>There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy>and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep>pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky>scientists who predicted this would happen because the water>in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a>storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global>warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a>hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4>tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.>>No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault>that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens>of thousands had no transportation to get out of town.>C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to>Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their>roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing>-- NOTHING -- to do with this!>>You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our>Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of>New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.>>Yours,>>Michael Moore>MMFlint@aol.com>www.MichaelMoore.com>>P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at>your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi>War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in>many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them>before they get to DC on September 21st

From me:
Dear Mr. Moore,My name is Josh Norman. I am a reporter with the SunHerald of Biloxi, Mississippi. Last Sunday and Monday, I was in Biloxi when the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head as a category 4.It was terrifying.Immediately after the storm, I went out and reported on the disaster. I met families destroyed, saw neighborhoods reduced to their concrete foundations, smelled death and dispair and heard the disbelief roll off of everyone's toungue. Disaster, perhaps, is therefore not strong enough of a word.What will be a disaster is a divided and bickering nation.I appreciate your work, Mr. Moore. I understand your viewpoint.I have voted democrat across the board since I started voting ten years ago. I could very easily be described as a liberal too...I was in the Peace Corps for Christ's sake.But I do not feel that now is the time to berate Bush. Now is not the time to bring him down a peg. He may be pathetic, he may be barely able to actually help, but any help he can get down this way is desperately needed. By causing him to divert energies to defend his frequently spotty record people who attack him are diverting his energies away from here.And, I feel like you and others who attack him are diverting your energies away from here too.This disaster is about people. It's about the mother who came home from work and found her baby and husband had drowned in her living room. It's about the casino janitor who came home and found his daughter's baby photos missing - his house had been reduced to a slab - much the same way Hurricane Camille had done to his baby photos.It's about the firemen who had to swim out of their fire station, had their homes leveled, and are still working 20-hour days, 7 days a week.We need help here. Now. Listening to the political bashing, frankly, makes me concerned. I know Bush did wrong. I know there was a major fuck up. Now is not the time for finding of what that fuck up was.Have you spent as much time helping the people of South Mississippi and Louisiana get clothing, medicine, food and water as you have figuring out what Bush did wrong?-Josh


Blogger Mini Me said...

Absolutely wonderful! I had read the same letter on his site and thought "he's just as bad as Bush, politicizing a disaster for his own gain." Thanks for saying what I only thought about in my head.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I don't agree, necessarily with your politics; you are exactly on point re Michael Moore. Instead of sitting on his fat rear pontificating, he should be down there handing out water, food and helping to clean up. As far as I can tell, he has lots of free time. I spent all weekend collecting items of clothing for my relatives who lived in Pass Christian. When he is finished picking up the dead fish and raw chicken on the shores of the Gulf, then I might listen to what he has to say.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Doc Magi said...

Michael Moore has went from being a fairly good entertainer to being an annoying jerk. I agree that enough is enough and we better start pulling together and stop pointing fingers. Now is not the time to point it is the time to act and Michael Moore is not very good at acting so he is not worth the time it takes to write this response. Good job on pointing out an obvious point.

12:49 PM  
Blogger hollster said...

I completely agree. I am a fan of M. Moore but I really wish all the political babble would stop and we would just focus on helping these people. Something awful has happened now lets unite together and make it better instead of dividing people's energy and making things worse. Now is the time to forget our differences and unite as one. Not in the name of a politcal party but in the name of humanity. People are suffering and we need to help them. That's all that matters right now.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- you all sound like a bunch of little kids - "he's looking at me" - "she keeps getting my stuff" - "Mom, make hime stop!" Why does it have to be someone's fault? The milk is spilled, let's clean up the mess and help the victims find a new normal way of life! Good Grief!

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great letter, Josh! Could not agree more.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous mikey said...

thanks j...
as a semi L person politically, i'm tired of the whining and attacks from both sides, and expect more from mine..you have to earn the right to whine...get to work!!! And there is lots to do. Roger and Me was good, this was bad.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

Extremely interesting to read both. But in Mr. Moore's defense... um, that's what he does.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Razzy said...

Hope it's okay, guys, I posted a link to your site on RAZZY.org along with Red Cross and Salvation Army links. As I've said before, you two are doing a great service...

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think more American Civilians should stand up and do the same thing Mr. Moore is doing.

If enough of us stood up and voiced our concern then something would surely be done so the next time Mr. Bush can't mess things up.

Keep quiet and ignore this is only setting up Mr. Bush to once again make mistakes that endanger American lives.

Keep up the good work Mr. Moore!!!

3:20 PM  
Blogger MKeller said...

Thanks Angie.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of these people can take the time to sit there and talk about bush and try to start up something but they are wasting time when they could be helping themselves. Like i said in my livejournal, now is not the time to talk about who's fault it is, what we need to be concerned of is those that are needing the help, those that need food, water, clothes, and other stuff. ive tried to help out by donating money when i had it and saw a donation box for the katrina aid. I have relatives down there too and heard from them and they're alright. I just ask everyone that wants to bring it up about whos fault it is please now is not the time, when everyone is safe and reconstruction begins maybe then but not now. it gets agravating when u go to the missing's person board on the website and u see "arent you glad you voted for bush?" and its a bashing post. that board was made to help people find their loved ones not to put up bush bashing posts.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more we gripe, the more help he'll send. His sinking approval rating is what got his ass in gear in the first place.

Anyway, Moore may have donated to the relief effort AND written the letter. We don't know. Why not point the finger and act at the same time?


4:40 PM  
Blogger Sarabeth said...

Josh, I agree with you. Let's leave the political crap aside until people are in more comfort and have somewhat normal lives. If normal could ever be approached again.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Spunky said...

I am glad I am not the only one who is getting tired of MM's tired old rant. Sadly, it puts into credibility much of his previous work. Michael and the rest of the Democratic doom and negativity bunch need to be careful. If all we have to offer is mud slinging (and inappropriate and often inaccurate mud slinging at that), how in Gods name are we going to win over converts in the comming elections? Before Mr. Moore and others like him start frothing at the mouth, a little bit of history and fact checking might just be a good idea. After all Louisiana is and has been for a long time, primarily a Democratic state. It is our own state government that has resisted the building of new levies. Each levie is, by our state's constitutional design, run by an independent governing board. Building additional levies means adding more governing bodies and weakening the power of those already in charge. I love this state, but most long time residents will be the first to admit that our state government is at best incompetent and inefficient and at worst corrupt. Our own governor is the comander in chief of the national guard in Louisiana (not the president) and she hesitated to mobilize the Lousiana National Guard until a couple of days after the levies broke. She also turned down the Federal government's offer to impose martial law until it became obvious that local officials alone could not handle the situation. As for the money spent on fixing up and reinforcing the levies, the record will show that both Democrats and Republicans voted to cut the amount requested. Even the m3.5 billion that was approved, was refered to at the time, by the New York Times and others as a complete boondogle and waste of money. Ironically, it is now the same New york Times that is calling for the heads of those that cut the budget.
The Democratic party has a lot to offer the political landscape, but I fear that they are becoming less and less able to participate or at the very least get their message accross, when they focus on the negative, even when it means distorting the truth to satisfy their need to blame.
How I yearn for the days when John F. Kenedy, Martin Luther King and some of our other great leadres had a message of hope, honesty and substance. The current Democratic message is "Vote for us because we don't suck".

5:11 PM  
Blogger zilla said...

Bravo, Josh!

5:34 PM  
Blogger Kellee said...


6:33 PM  
Blogger bb8250 said...

It is amazing how blame for the poor post-hurricane response gets the publicity, while both the Mayor or N.O. and Gorvernor sat back and observed a less-than-complete evacuation of southern Louisiana. A mandatory evacuation that Bush had to prompt by telephone. All of this while the public transportation buses and school buses sat idle - even though there were plans in-place to use such means to get people out of the city who could not afford to move themselves. I guess this is the new America - wait for something bad to happen and then point the finger. The Mayor of N.O. should be ashamed of himself for placing blame instead of taking useful action before the hurricane hit. That's why we have local governments - to protect the residents with reasonable disaster plans and the EXECUTING the plans when needed. More and more America is the land of the spectator instead of the doer and as far as I can see the local and state government of LA did more watching and waiting than planning and acting.

7:33 PM  
Blogger "I am no somnambulist" said...

Well said bb8250. I mean, seriously, what where the people that stayed there thinking? Class five hurricane, the largest storm there is, coming at a city below sea level. "I'm sure we can just wait it out." And sure there are those that can't afford a quick escape, but still, I'm sure every person stuck there now could have found means to escape if they had employed every resource.

7:55 PM  
Blogger maurinsky said...

By the time Karl Rove is done manning the PR campaign for Bush, the hurricane will have been caused by the 9th ward.

Geez, how many get out of jail free cards does Bush get? He's not the only person to blame, for sure - more could have been done for the people of NO prior to the storm, but he was eating cake and pretend strumming a guitar with a freaking presidential seal on it while people were drowning. He set the tone for the entire rescue effort: we'll get to it when we're done raising money for fellow Republicans.

The aftermath of Katrina is being treated like a trial balloon for privatization of emergency response. This response is what we can expect in a future under the Republican party - except they've learned some valuable lessons: keep the media out, make sure there are scary stories about the people who are left behind so everyone will think they deserve to die. FEMA will become the agency that manages the media's access to emergency response.

I don't give a shit about Michael Moore, but Jesus Christ, don't let Bush get away with doing nothing in response to a crisis!

7:58 PM  
Blogger SactoDan said...

Maurinsky doesn't understand how a Federal System works. Reread Spunky's comments. There will be a test at the end of the chapter.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Harlin Seritt said...

Finally, a Democrat with guts!


Mr Anonymous:

"The milk is spilled, let's clean up the mess and help the victims find a new normal way of life! Good Grief!"

Yes, the Federal, State, and City governments could have done more. Also, a bit of responsibility falls on the people in New Orleans who chose not to make better evacuation plans. Still, history will judge us by how we solve the problem... not by who shouted the loudest pointing out whose fault it was.

Harlin Seritt
Internet Villa: www.seritt.org

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Gina in PA said...

Good for you Josh! Tell him like it is. People who add to the negativity are never helpful no matter what their intentions are. And I don't see him out there with a bail bucket ready to pitch a hand in, either......

10:48 PM  
Blogger Mustang said...

Nice and lenghty but completely off target. Why dont we stop bashing Bush for what happens in the Gulf and start raising questions to the mayor and governor of the state. After all if they would have utilized the buses and trains to help get some of the people out of there maybe there would have been lesss human causualties.

4:37 AM  
Blogger PQ said...

First of all, Moore's letter is another type of his tongue and cheek approach, which as a liberal Midwesterner, I can't help but love and appreciate. I also appreciate your letter, Josh. I can't imagine the hell you're in right now what you see that could possibly haunt you til the end of your days, but the kids up here at Purdue are finding ways to help y'all out down there. Stay strong...the end is almost in sight.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Penny said...

Instead of pointing fingers, why don't we focus on what went wrong ... and try to FIX it? The blame game only goes so far. This type of disaster WILL happen again if the basic problem isn't fixed, no matter who's fault it was in the first place.

5:37 AM  
Blogger penfold56 said...

The Blame Game is useless and doesn't feed are clothe anyone.

Expecting the emergency response teams to be in place in less than 48 hours is like asking a volunteer fire department to put out a volcano.

No one has begun to grasp the sheer enormity of this event.

As for Pres. Bush, he did exactly the same thing he did when Ivan came through, as did everyone else. Again, the size of this disaster overwhelmed everyone.

We should concentrate on helping. I will be in Poplarville, MS this weekend helping clear trees and debris. I know of others who are going down to help.

Even Shawn Penn tried.... ;)

Those who wish to critique this recovery effort from their vantage point in Miami are only losing credibility. RE: M. Moore

5:48 AM  
Blogger Blue Dog Art said...

It is easy to sit in a dry, clean, safe home/office and lay blame. It is much more difficult to leave that dry, clean, safe place and do something about the disaster on the Gulf coast. Too many people sitting on their asses doing nothing more than bitching. Get off your ass, stop bitching about who is to blame, and do something to help. Moore vs. Bush is not what this is about. It is about Americans helping Americans. Not Democrats and Republicans. Not liberals and conservatives. Thousands of HUMAN BEINGS have lost everything they had. They are the "lucky" ones. They are ALIVE. How many have died? Countless so far. STOP BICKERING and HELP the people of the Gulf Coast.

My thoughts are with you Josh. Thanks for the updates.

5:56 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:20 AM  
Blogger EJ said...

I admire your stand in the face of this disaster. Although we stand on opposite sides politically, we are in agreement about berating President Bush in a time like this. You're right that our energies should be focused on helping the victims of the storm. Thank you for making a bold stand and for your efforts to get help where it is needed.

6:45 AM  
Blogger maurinsky said...

Bush gutted funding the rebuilding of the levies - he cut 44% from the budget. The government of Louisiana and the Army Corps of Engineers have been asking for money to build up those levees. Bush sent 30+% of Louisiana's National Guard to Iraq. Bush appointed campaign stratgists and cronies of his administration into positions of authority with FEMA despite none of them having any experience with emergency management.

Last year, when Bush was campaigning, he authorized money for Florida before Hurricane Charley even hit - and after the fact, FEMA awarded money to communities that weren't even affected by the Hurricane.

When criticizing me for politicizing this disaster, take a look at how Bush has politicized agencies that are supposed to be working for the benefit of all Americans. Look at how idealogues with no experience but promoting Bush were appointed to jobs they had no business doing.

And before getting upset about Blaming (heavens forfend, thousands of people are dead, but we certainly don't want to blame anyone) just take notice that the Bush PR team is not shy about blaming everyone who isn't a Republican or a member of the Bush administration. They blame the poor people who had no means to leave. They blame the mayor (who could have done more before the storm, certainly). They blame the governor and lie about when she asked for aid.

Jesus, I can't believe people are willing to give him a free pass for yet another tremendous failure on his watch. He ignored the Aug. 6 PDB, he allowed America to become a country that tortures, he lied about WMDs and sent our citizens to die for that lie, and his administration is in large part responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans in NO. But we wouldn't want him to shoulder any blame.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi all:
I think someone can write a letter like M. Moore has done and ask hard questions -- and STILL do work to aid those in need. it's not an either or ...
it's Free Speech, baby -- annoying, to-the-point, real, angry and vital to the lifeblood of this country.
a fellow journalist who's all for people getting their viewpoints out there

7:07 AM  
Blogger maurinsky said...

Here's some info on what the Democrats are doing to help Katrina victims, btw. I love Howard Dean's point that the Bush team mobilized to protect Bush politically faster than they mobilized to save lives in NO.

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, you mobilized to make sure that the Red Cross had the financial resources it needed to respond swiftly. The response was literally overwhelming -- so many donations poured in that their web site struggled to process them.

Since then Americans have seen another kind of disaster unfold. The irresponsible lack of attention by our federal government has led directly to the devastation of communities and the loss of American lives.

The federal response over these crucial first days has been totally unacceptable. There will be a time for a full accounting of the preventable part of this disaster, and those responsible will be held accountable. It will be soon.

But there are lives to save right now and our focus must be steady. People need help right now. And you can be a direct participant in the relief efforts by providing housing for a victim of the disaster.

The vast number of evacuees has triggered a cascading crisis -- the first group of evacuation centers in the Gulf States has been overwhelmed, and the surrounding states have seen their capacity exceeded as well.

Hundreds of thousands of survivors are being transported in small groups to cities and towns across the country. A coalition of groups has put together a web site to collect offers of housing and provide a place for victims to search for help. You can offer shelter -- whether for a few days or a few weeks -- by signing up here:


To support your volunteer housing operation the following steps have been taken:

* We are briefing Democratic elected officials on the HurricaneHousing.org program and asking that they treat this as the front-line network of volunteers who are ready and waiting to provide shelter in their jurisdiction.

* We have asked outside organizations to direct their members to HurricaneHousing.org to volunteer; those organizations with representatives on the ground have been asked to help victims connect with the housing bank.

* We have directed the staff at Democratic Headquarters in Washington to use local volunteers signed up on HurricaneHousing.org as they work with DC emergency response officials to assist hundreds of survivors being transported to the DC Armory, which is located nearby.

In addition to mobilizing our infrastructure to support the housing drive, we have also taken the following steps in the last week:

* All DNC fundraising events have been cancelled until further notice and donations are being directed to relief organizations.

* The DNC Fall Meeting that had been scheduled to take place this week has been postponed.

* All staff have been given leave to participate in relief operations (many are completing Red Cross training this week and will deploy shortly).

* The Democratic leadership in Congress has proposed a comprehensive policy package to ensure that victims receive health care, financial assistance and educational and employment opportunities during the crisis (go to www.democrats.org/reliefplan for more).

But more than anything our organization has done, the thousands of acts of compassion by ordinary citizens and a renewed sense of common purpose will be the legacy of this effort.

Our American community will emerge stronger from this crisis.

Thank you for doing what you can.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

P.S. -- A number of organizations on the ground still need financial support. You can learn about them here:


7:12 AM  
Blogger sonhos sonhados said...

hello JOSH

muito bom!
mas tive de recorrer muitas vezes ao dicionário.

thanks and hearts létinha.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some one has to keep in their minds that this lack of disaster planning is someones fault... and it shouldn't have happened that there was no transportation out of the area for those without cars or money. It's a real statement for how the "system" didn't work. If all those people chose to ride out the storm...they made a choice, but if they were forced to stay because there was no way out... they were condemned to die. And if those helicopters had shown up the day after the storm instead of 5 days later, just maybe there wouldn't be so many dead.

My heart breaks every time I read of the awful conditions in which so many died and so many more are still suffering.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Missing said...

No, Bush didn't do wrong. When did the feds become responsible for first response to disasters? Never.

It's up to local officials. LA and New Orleans literally had decades to prepare for the "Big One." Because they failed, they want to blame the President and far-left kooks like Moore are exploiting death and disaster for politics. It's people like Moore who are in charge of the Democrat party and they are why they keep losing. Most southern Democrats aren't anywhere near the left field of Moore, Kennedy and Kerry. They don't represent most Democrats.

So let's stop the blame game and using disaster for politics. When it's all over, put the blame where it belongs: The LA government who completely failed to protect their state.

Americans Not Blaming Bush for Katrina Problems

Don't Blame Bush for Katrina

La. Officials Could Lose the Katrina Blame Game

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The incompetence of the Governor of New Orleans would be funny if she wasn't playing with so many peoples' lives!

The mayor of New Orleans finally orders forces evacuations. The Gov. blocked it because she's on a power trip.

I think we just found our answer to the root cause of the mess in NOLA.

Now I know why my friends in LA call her Gov. Blank-- she really doesn't have much upstairs.

5:15 PM  
Blogger melissa said...

Love it! Well said!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Quinae said...

Huzzah kiddo! You are fortunate to see things as how they are and not how others wish to see them. Keep up the great work and I am keeping a half closed eye open for you. Good luck.

Best regards,


9:17 PM  
Anonymous Ryan Mahan said...

I am very disturbed by the finger pointing going on in New Orleans by the Times-Picayune and major city officials. Disasters are convienient to nobody, and I am sure that FEMA, the National Guard, and brave individuals have worked their collective fingers to the bone saving as many people as possible. Most disasters in history have been confined to a localized area (9/11, Oklahoma city bombing, etc.), but this storm completly demolished over 200 miles of coastline. I've cried for New Orleans and its citizens, but New Orleans was NOT the only city to be devastated, and NOT the only city that needs Federal help. Before any more critisism is printed or said these people need to remember who is pulling these people from rooftops, and who is risking life and limb to save citizens while these people print garbage while human lives are being lost without actually lifting a finger to help. As a Bilxoi resident I have seen the devastation firsthand, and my heart and prayers go out to every individual regardless of race, nationality, or organization.

10:25 PM  
Blogger johnboy said...

"The more we gripe, the more help he'll send. His sinking approval rating is what got his ass in gear in the first place."

I agree wholeheartedly. If not now, when? And if not us, who? I think it's possible - in fact, preferable - to both act compassionately and to hold our leaders accountable. They damn sure won't do it themselves...

12:07 AM  
Blogger Víctor García said...

Guys... everything at his time. Micheal Moore is ok but don´t push it. His comments are badly timed. Right now the main priority is to help people that suffered from Katrina. When finally bodies will stop floating around in the streets of New Orleans we than should deal with politics, dont you think?
Oh and... it is an absolute privilege to read this blog. Hang in there guys!

1:46 AM  
Blogger Requreis said...

amazing! Your viewpoints are very powerful and definately a wake up call for many who immediately blame the president. I used to be the president of the library [dont laugh!] when i was younger. I had a wonderful campain and wonderful promises but when i was elected i had no leadership skills whatsoever. This was partly the way i was raised [a submissive] and the way i carried myself [see above brackets].

I dont want to toot my own horn but im very proud of my university. Yesterday we had a benefit concert and managed to raise somewhere around 2 grand for the red cross. its not much but we are trying the hardest we can. We have 5 more benefit concerts schedueled for this and next week and im positive there is more to come.

in my thoughts and prayers.

7:43 AM  
Blogger swimdad said...

Josh, first I want to thank you for keeping the rest of us informed, under abhorrent conditions.

Second, I agree with not distracting 'dubya' from the true task at hand.

Last, there's plenty of blame to go around, but the task at hand is helping those folks who need it. Accountability is important, at the least to ensure that this scenario does not repeat itself; but right now, and for the forseeable future [to me, anyway], it needs to wait.

best regards,


8:00 AM  
Blogger Buckster said...

Regarding the war in Iraq and the cleanup of Katrina, Mr. Bush said, "we can do both".

Regarding the offering of help to the people of the Gulf Coast and the recognition of this administration's failure(s), many of us similarly recognize that, "we can do both".

The pundits on both the left and the right waste no time in doing what they do, and we have to understand that that's the way the politics game is played. The politicians are in that game up to their necks as well, and we should be mindful of that. As they slap each other on the back and congratulate each other on what a fine job they’re doing, someone SHOULD be presenting the other viewpoint, if only for balanced coverage.

We're always told that "now" is not the time to question, to ask, to recognize the failures glaring at us. We’re told this as a parent tells their children, “not now”. For some however, "now" is precisely the time to ask; to strike while the iron's hot, before it slips from the public's limited attention span into mediocrity as they shift their focus onto the next celebrity marriage or breakup.

As some have already pointed out, hard scrutiny of the action or inaction of politicians and our government while the action or inaction is manifesting itself lets them know that we're paying attention, that we're not satisfied, and that we demand more from our leaders and our government. That, in turn, tends to spur them into action.

And let us not forget that we Americans supposedly hold the freedom of speech and of the press to be valuable freedoms and liberties. As Votaire said, and as has been often repeated, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” “Not now” is the time to censor our thoughts or those of our fellow American citizens, or even the rest of the world. “Not now” is the time to tell them to shut up and sit down.

It's not an either/or dichotomy. We CAN do both, and as American citizens, many of us feel an obligation to do both.

Just my two cents...

8:14 AM  
Blogger Di said...

I just read your comment to Michael Moore, and frankly, now is not the time to relinquish criticism of Bush and his cronies, particularly the inept Michael Brown. They had the ball in their court and had the chance to save thousands of lives and much misery.
They've conveniently been oblivious to this disaster which is pretty much "staying the course."

I've done all I can to help with donations to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and the NOHS and DCHS with cash. I'm going to do my very best to help the relocated families that have come to San Francisco.

I do hope with all my heart that you are doing better, as well as all others along the Gulf Coast. I can't seem to get images of suffering out of my head and I continue to cry each and every day.
I wish so much that I could do more.

10:00 AM  
Blogger maurinsky said...

Darrick Dean, you asked

When did the feds become responsible for first response to disasters?

That would be when George Bush declared a State of Emergency in Southeastern LA and New Orleans, which, btw, happened on 8/28/05, before the levees were breached. That gave federal authority to manage the response to Katrina.

I'm not excusing the Mayor of NO or the Gov. of LA, both of whom could have done a lot more to get people out of town before the worst happened.

But that doesn't give FEMA or the Bush administration a free pass on the way they stood idly by as people were drowning.

Want to talk about politicizing a disaster? How about bringing in fireman and making their first order of business standing behind the president for a photo op?

Want to talk about the blame game? How about the way "Brownie" and Chertoff are heaping the blame on Blanco, to the point of slander, saying that she did not ask for federal intervention, which is a blatant lie - she asked for FEMA's help on 8/27/05, which is what prompted Mr. Bush to give FEMA the authority to respond in the first place.

There's lots of blame to go around, but this is not the first time that Bush has fiddled around while Rome was burning. Recall those pictures of him in the classroom on 9/11, after learning about the attacks. Recall how he was absent for the next day. Recall his photo op on the rubble, with the firemen. Then recall how he fought the creation of an independent commission to investigage how the 9/11 attacks could have happened.

He's engaged in the same shit now, and it seems a lot of people want to let him get away with it. I think it is a disservice to those who died in New Orleans to not point out the flaws, the failures and the failings.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

politics shouldn't play any part in what is going on here. this guy waited too late to act..this guy is shooting his mouth off..etc. i've lived between south mississippi and south louisiana for my entire life. lots of my friends and family were direcrly affected by this storm. i live in lafayette, la..and we have numerous shelters set up for the evacuees. i've given every stitch of clothing that no longer fits or i don't wear on a regular basis to help the people who have lost everything. toys that my kids don't play with anymore have gone to these folks as well. i've even loaded up my boat, gone down there to try to get people out of there, but i thought better of it when i could hear the gunshots from angry looters ring out in the distance. my advice...stop whining about what happened and what didn't happen. it's just useless banter that, in the end, helps no one.

oh yeah, one more thing. anybody remember that little wave that hit thailand and indonesia a while back? i wonder what happened to all of the 6 figure salary hollywood cronies that gave and gave for them. this happened in their own back yard, and i haven't heard a word from them. i think paris hilton can go without one of her siamond studded thongs. take down to the local hock shop, get a few bucks for it and help somebody out.

enough from me. say what you want about my post.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Burleyque said...

Looks like he listened to some of what you said: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/

3:35 PM  
Blogger Holey Ghost said...

What...did that FAT PIG Michael Moore have another burp.....Just like his Freedom Fighters who butcher and blow up innocent women and children, this BlowHard needs to grow up and join the adults in a civilized world where people actually do something constructive in their lives.

Politicizing a disaster is about as low as one can go, except for playing the race-baiting game like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have chosen to do.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

I totally agree with Josh.

Michele Moore is an ass... he lives off his ability to divide this nation instead of helping to unite us. What a waste of a life.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody who believes Bush listens to anybody other than those that have lots is an ass.
Bush's lack of either intelligent incisiveness or basic humanity is shocking.

Stephen Porter

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the pro-M. Moore folks. Yeah, we need to take care of those in need first, but we can't forget Bush and how this country and the world around it has gone down the toilet ever since he 'appeared' on the scene. I have never trusted politicians (I am neither Dem or Rep--both are a waste of time), but I believe everyone in this country needs to do a little (just a tad) more reading and research on Bush and you'll see why we can't just let this one go. This is worse than 9/11 and we should be keeping an eye on who gets the re-construction deals...(hmmm)and that's just for starters. All I'm saying is...Bush really screwed up with this and he really screwed up on 9/11--almost to the point of making one wonder if he's doing it on purpose--that's how stupid it is. He consistently has hired friends and business partners over actual, qualified people and FEMA is the biggest example. How many major catastrophies do we need our government to be unprepared for, before we start holding accountable the one person who is ultimately responsible? The problem is leadership and Bush is our 'leader' , plain and simple. And from where I'm sitting, he can't lead and has proven more times than I can count (here's a few: 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, Social Security, etc.). He is a delusional, at best. At worst, he is a megolamanic with an untreated alcohol addiction who appears to be more and more out-of-touch with reality with each passing day (and those of you who know actual alcoholics know how serious that, alone, is--you don't just quit or "find Jesus" and all is well--you just DON'T).

But, I appreciate blogs like this, where we can all put our two cents in--this is what America is supposed to be about. Keep up the good work.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog - I've enjoyed my read today. It is obvious that our governments (both federal and state level) FUBAR'd the response to Katrina.

Does anyone think that REAL, HONEST discussions about the effect that poverty and subsequently, race had on this tragedy?

I don't believe that the reason people were 'left behind' or neglected in NO was because they were black; it seems that most blacks feel that way. Possibly, they were stranded because they were poor - but in a city of 60% black, isn't that just a representation of the population?

I am waiting for people to REALLY talk about this, but it is not an okay topic, I guess.

I think race relations are going to go down the tube because of this perception.

6:50 AM  
Blogger penfold56 said...

The Race Card

Well, it seems whenever something goes wrong there are special interest INDIVIDUALS, not groups who jump up and speak for either a minority or social class. Pointing to their plight, and declaring the powers that be are behaving in a biased or bigoted way with regard to their plight.

Kayne West, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson JR. that's JR. not Senior.

The child has no idea what poor is. His statement regarding the poor black included this fau pau "some of which have only one televsion" Hey! how about some of which have no roof over their head??

To toss a racial discrimination card into this overwhelming disaster is cheap, political to the bone, and disrespectful to the victims. "You weren't helped because you are poor and black" See how blindly ridiculous that sounds?

I believe on thing this should teach us as a nation is that on a local and community level their should be a plan. Ronald Reagan said it best,

"The nine most frightening words in the english language for an American citizen are: I represent the federal government and I'm here to help."

12:53 PM  
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