When the Gulf Coast is a Rockin…

hurricane crying game

Furthur proof that god is a comedian. Hurricane Ophelia also had phallic imagery.

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Bush/Iraq Approval Rating Drops to 32 Percent

Unless something changes drastically in the near future, public pressure may force the administration to actually create a timeline (you know, one of those things that says you’ll do A and B by dates C and D) for leaving Iraq.

The data for the approval versus time for the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll is here. Now fortunately we don’t live in a democracy (we have a Republic), so merely tipping the scales to past 51 percent in support of or against something does not give a leader carte blanche to do whatever it is they want to do. However, this administration used numbers and polls as their justification that the american people supported this war. Now that the numbers are totally the other way around, we hear nothing. I’m not shocked by this, as it’s merely a marketing technique. It’s an argumentum ad populum or “appeal to the majority” to convince everyone that you’re right simply because everyone thinks you’re right.

My question is, how low will the numbers go? 30? 25? 20? Just imagine if only 20 percent approved of the war. In this divided left versus right political spectrum that we always here about, there are hardly ANY issues that have become that lopsided.

I’m curious to see how this plays out and which way the numbers will go from here. The republicans are surely getting upset as well… perhaps libertarians can use this as an advantage and give these people a better alternative. I’m sure they are getting sick of the non-converative neo-cons.

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Daily Show: FEMA Preparations for Hurricane Rita

The Daily Show - Rita\'s DigestFresh off the heels of Katrina, The Daily Show gets jiggy with Hurricane Rita (WMP video). Jon Stewart jogs right around the curve should another disaster hurricane hit the U.S. and predicts just how FEMA and the White House will respond to this category 2 hurricane:

Jon Stewart: At the very least, is the government better prepared to deal with Rita than perhaps we were with Katrina?

Rob Corddry: Yes, absolutely Jon. Whatever their shortcomings in the past, the federal government has learned the lesson of Katrina: start blaming state and local officials now. [laughter] I’ve already been assured by FEMA that the mayor and governor… will have failed. And this time, the president will not be detached. There are already plans to helicopter him in to save a baby trapped in raging floodwaters. [laughter]

Jon: That seems to be taking a bit of a chance, no?

Rob: No… no they got five babies spread out, around… [laughter] …the area. Jon, they’re confident Bush will get one. [laughter[

Jon: Who would give… who would give their baby to be used in that type of fashion?

Rob: You’d be surprised Jon, the GOP has a classification for that level of donor… [laughter] …uh, I believe it’s called the Ranger Elite… [laughter] …there are people who have donated $250,000… and of course, a baby.

More info on Hurricane Rita:

Update by Rick Rajter: Rita has moved up to a Category 4 hurricane. Hopefully it’ll die down a bit before hitting a coastline.

Update Again by Rick Rajter: Well fuck. We’re at Category 5 now. Yippee.

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FEMA: Awesome at this Geography Stuff

We’re not sure we get the punchline to this joke (via Hit & Run):

Q: What do you do when you have nearly 200 trucks of ice for hurricane victims on the Gulf coast?

A: Send them to Maine.

Now, not to jump to conclusions, but smart money says someone at FEMA is gonna be eating lobster and clam chowder this weekend.


The Baby – Al Qaeda Connection

It’s a sad day when a family has to miss a flight simply because their 2 year old kid appears on the no-fly list.

I can’t imagine the conversation being something like this.

Airport TSA employee: Excuse me ma’am, but our database shows that little Johnny here is on the no-fly list. Apparently, he’s been involved with money laundering since 9 months old.

Johnny’s Mom: Oh no! But we’re going to miss our flight to [insert some dumb amusement park in another state]. We got to get on!

TSA: I’m sorry ma’am. But we have to search him for weapons. Can you please remove his diaper.

Personally, the only “bomb” I think they would discover would be a result of too much broccoli. While it would certainly be upsetting, it’s hardly worth making the family miss the flight. Why aren’t TSA employees reasonable enough to realize that the baby isn’t going to hijack the plane? And why does the no-fly contain 100,000+ names? Are we to believe their are 100,000 terrorists in the country? Jeez, why bother then. Or are people just being randomly placed on it? Seems to defeat the purpose of the list if so many people are on it.


Political Analyst: “The US Government Did Not Fail Its Mission in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina”

G Edward GriffinI’ll admit, I was a little shocked at the title too. But this isn’t from some two bit ranting lunatic on local access news, this was an article written by G. Edward Griffin. His most famous piece of work is his book The Creature from Jekyll Island, which blew the cover off the hidden secrecy behind the corrupt Federal Reserve formed in 1913.

So this guy has credentials up the wazoo. His article paints a very different picture of the FEMA/Katrina debacle.

Griffin’s main point is that FEMA and Homeland security were not in fact designed to protect the citizens! From the article:

The primary job of the military, FEMA, and Homeland Security is not to protect the American people in times of emergency but to protect the government in times of emergency and keep it functioning. Their primary assignment is, not to rescue people, but to control them. Their directive is to relocate families and businesses, confiscate property, commandeer goods, direct labor and services, and establish martial law. The reason FEMA and Homeland security failed to carry out an effective rescue operation is that this was not their primary mission, and the reason they blocked others from doing so is that any operations not controlled by the central authority are contrary to their directives. Their objective was to bring the entire area under the control of the federal government – and this they succeeded in doing very well. They did not fail in New Orleans. They were a huge success. Once this simple fact is understood, everything that happened in the wake of Katrina becomes understandable and logical.

Pretty heavy shit if you ask me. But it would certainly explain all of FEMA’s apparent attempts at foiling rescue efforts. His article lists all the mainstream articles showing how FEMA deliberately blocked aid efforts.

It’s hard to dismiss his arguments, because there seems to be no evidence to the contrary. Even their about us section doesn’t really make it clear that they are meant to save lives versus political damage control.


FBI Promises (Hot Agent-on-Agent) War on Porn

Dubya backdoor warYou gotta love it when two seemingly divergent stories provide such a shining example of why our federal government sucks.

First, the (mixed) bad news, the FBI is recruiting for a porn squad (remember how we won those war on poverty, drugs and terror?):

Early last month, the bureau’s Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as “one of the top priorities” of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of “the Director.” That would be FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

The good news is that a majority of agents are already disqualified or otherwise realize this is really stupid (meaning this will flop spectacularly):

Among friends and trusted colleagues, an experienced national security analyst said, “it’s a running joke for us.”

A few of the printable samples:

“Things I Don’t Want On My Resume, Volume Four.”

“I already gave at home.”

“Honestly, most of the guys would have to recuse themselves.”

Let’s just take a look at what’s obscene shall we? Oh yes, Girls Gone Wild is donating all of their proceeds from New Orleans-related sales to the Red Cross:

“Girls Gone Wild” plans to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Mardi Gras-themed DVDs and videos to the Red Cross to help Katrina victims, the company said.

“Year after year the city of New Orleans and its citizens have welcomed us with open arms, and we have looked forward to our yearly trip to the Big Easy. The utter destruction of New Orleans and many parts of the Gulf coast truly saddens us,” said Joe Francis, founder and CEO of Girls Gone Wild, in a statement.

Clearly the government must stop this obscenity.

More from The Agitator:

Three weeks ago, it emerged that the Justice Department ordered the FBI to pull officers off of child endangerment cases to crack down on legal porn.


A New Campaign

I’m working on a new political campaign, so don’t expect to see as much of me here for the next few weeks. As one newspaper had already covered Bo (Mark Bodenhausen), we had to announce today, before we were able to complete the website. Hopefully pulling the announcement off on a Monday will place us one day ahead of the last day filers in the news cycle, though.

Feel free to check out the site, submit better graphics, vote in the polls, and otherwise participate in the campaign. I’ll take all the help I can get on this one.

One of the key issues will be eminent domain, which is a very critical issue in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to the famous WalMart land grab in Alabaster which Neal Boortz covered extensively, a very similar case happened in Roebuck, which is physically in the district where Bo is running. A new case just hit the paper yesterday, and we are working on a response to this one right now.

They once put black people in the back of the bus in Birmingham, until political activists changed how we deal with race issues. They are now putting property owners in the back of the bus, and I guess it is time for political activists to get busy protecting their rights, too.


Losing Public Support? Just Add Insurgents!

We all know public support for the Iraq war is waning, much to the dismay of Bush and company. So what is a military to do to win the public back?

Well, 2 under cover UK soldiers went undercover posing as Arabs and began firing at the Iraqi police!

That’s pretty low. The UK is essentially using it’s own soldiers as fodder to keep stirring up the pot, probably to justify keeping our troops in Iraq to fight those darned insurgents. In summary, our soldiers are there to stop insurgents. And when the insurgents stop attacking, we pick up the slack!

And this was the first time they got caught… it’s unclear how long this may have been going on. After all, if Bush and Blair want to stay in Iraq, is it in their best interest for peace? Peace would mean a pullout, and that puts a big damper on their plans for Iran.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: This is only the tip of the iceberg of this scandal. Sploid is following the full coverage, including the story of how British troops busted their comrades out of jail, freeing 150 inmates in the process:

In a major show of force, British soldiers used tanks to break down the walls of the central jail in this southern city late Monday and freed two Britons, allegedly undercover commandos, who had been arrested on charges of shooting two Iraqi policemen.

About 150 Iraqi prisoners also fled as British commandos stormed inside and rescued their comrades, said Aquil Jabbar, an Iraqi television cameraman who lives across the street from the jail.

Update by Rick Rajter: Wow, these “undercover cops” certainly bring a lot of weaponry on their secret missions… photo courtesy of reuters.

There are some that are speculating (of course we can all speculate and some ideas are plausible and others can be stupid), that the UK and US, with it’s immense desire to stay in Iraq, might be inciting violence and attacks as a reason to stay and prevent these very same attacks! Bizzaro world, strikes again.


Condi Pulls Out the “Latte Defense” Card

Condi angryJust when you think you’ve heard it all… Our ever embarrassing secretary of state says one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in quite some time.

Here’s the situation. Bill O’Reilly actually stops being a Republican cheerleader for a few minutes and begins asking some serious questions. Obviously, Condi has two options. A) Tell the truth B) Pull excuses out of her ass.

You be the judge. The quote:

O’Reilly: The truth of the matter is our correspondents at Fox News can’t go out for a cup of coffee in Baghdad.

Rice: Bill, that’s tough. It’s tough. But what… would they have wanted to have gone out for a cup of coffee when Saddam Hussein was in power?

And folks, there ya have it. The ‘latte defense’. Would they have wanted to get a cup of coffee if Saddam was in power. Let’s extrapolate that logic to further humiliate her for picking option B.

O’Reilly: The truth of the matter is our correspondents at Fox News can’t even take a shit in public restrooms in Baghdad.

Rice: Bill, that’s tough. It’s tough. But what… would they have wanted to take a dump when Saddam Hussein was in power?

Hmmm, I know I sure would have! In fact, I would pretty much rather do all the things I normally do, regardless of who happens to be in power. Heck, from New Orleans have no houses or a place to work. But would they really have wanted to have homes if John Kerry or *gasp* Michael Badnarik was in charge?

These are the tough questions we all must face.

I wish I could make this shit up.

Hat tip to thinkprogress.org for the article and vid hosting.

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Why Did This Happen?

I don’t know if this is true but if it is it proves that government workers allowed people to die after refusing to allow a doctor to treat victims.

In the midst of administering chest compressions to a dying woman several days after Hurricane Katrina struck, Dr. Mark N. Perlmutter was ordered to stop by a federal official because he wasn’t registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“I begged him to let me continue,” said Perlmutter, who left his home and practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Pennsylvania to come to Louisiana and volunteer to care for hurricane victims. “People were dying, and I was the only doctor on the tarmac (at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport) where scores of nonresponsive patients lay on stretchers. Two patients died in front of me.

Read more.

It gets worse.

Gerhart said the scene they confronted at the airport was one of “hundreds of people lying on the ground, many soaked in their own urine and feces, some coding (dying) before our eyes.” FEMA workers initially seemed glad for help and asked Gerhart to work inside the terminal and Perlmutter to work out on the tarmac. They were told only a single obstetrician had been on call at the site for the past 24 hours.

Then, the Coast Guard official informed the group that he could not credential them or guarantee tort coverage and that they should return to Baton Rouge. “That shocked me, that those would be his concerns in a time of emergency,” Gerhart said.

Read full story.

I hope this man is lying but if he is telling the truth it is just more evidence of government corruption.


Posse Comitatus Act, Farewell…

The Posse Comitatus Act is:

…a federal law of the United States (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed in 1878, after the end of Reconstruction, and was intended to prohibit Federal troops from supervising elections in former Confederate states. It generally prohibits Federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under Federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress.

It sounds like the PCA is coming under fire and that Bush and Co. are going to use the Katrina disaster to rid us of this pesky law:

Via Breitbart.com:

President Bush’s push to give the military a bigger role in responding to major disasters like Hurricane Katrina could lead to a loosening of legal limits on the use of federal troops on U.S. soil.


Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said, “I believe the time has come that we reflect on the Posse Comitatus Act.” He advocated giving the president and the secretary of defense “correct standby authorities” to manage disasters.

Personally, I believe this SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. The PCA should remain as is.

If there are any Republicans out there who STILL believe that Bush is a conservative… you are lying to yourself.


Christians: Is this a lesson from God?

Since religion plays a huge role in the conservative constituency, I was wondering what their religoius perceptions might be on the whole Katrina disaster. Bush asks God for help in his latest radio address and constantly asks God to bless America. Is God not listening? Or maybe he’s trying to tell us something?

With a vociferous Christian representation in the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Bush administration in a country where many claim it to be a “Christian Nation,” you would think that a Christian God would show it some favor. No?

With the attacks of 9-11, the Iraq “War” and now Hurricane Katrina I can’t imagine that the faith of Christians isn’t being tested right now.

So, how do Christians view all of this? Do you share the views of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell? Just another beautiful day in the neighborhood?

Any insight would be appreciated because where I live, the normally outspoken religous folk have become surprisingly reserved…


Stripping for tax dollars…

FEMA issued around 10,500 credit cards, each having a $2,000 balance, in a pilot program attempting to give Hurricane Katrina survivors funds to purchase the necessities. I guess the word “necessary” is subjective.

From WorldNetDaily.com:

On the heels of a report earlier this week that Atlanta area Katrina victims were using $2,000 debit cards to purchase luxury items like Louis Vuitton handbags, Houston police yesterday discovered the cards, provided by FEMA and the Red Cross, being used at local strip clubs.

There have been reports where people have provided false identification so that they can obtain as many cards as they can get. FEMA is still giving two grand per family through direct deposit but of course no limitations are associated with the funds. Hey, I guess they have the RIGHT to spend it as they choose, well, so says Bill Hildebrandt, chief executive officer of the Mid-South chapter of the Red Cross:

“If they make an inappropriate decision as to what to purchase, the whole issue of victims’ rights comes into play. They have a right, I guess, to be inappropriate.”

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Barr Speaks Up on a Lot of Issues

I’ve been following former GA congressman (of Monica-Gate fame) Bob Barr for some time. That he is involved with both the NRA and the ACLU shows that he defies contemporary political labeling. He has been moving further and further away from the GOP for some time, and actually endorsed Badnarik for president.

One thing concerning a lot of people in the freedom movement is Barr’s very non-libertarian track record on issues like the war on drugs and equal rights for homosexuals. Barr didn’t address either of these issues in his latest article, but he did make some of the strongest anti-GOP statements on a variety of topics I’ve ever heard from him.

The thrust of the article is that a lot of people in politics are relieved that Hurricane Katrina occurred, as it removes our attention from these issues:

“…the babblings of Pat Robertson, who apparently had pieced together a list of world leaders he’d like to assassinate, headed for some inexplicable reason by tinhorn, leftist Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.”

“Presidential guru Karl Rove probably heaved a sigh of relief that could be felt all the way from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to Austin, Texas, in response to the good fortune of having the investigation of the leak of the identity of former intelligence undercover operative Valerie Plame shifted from Page One to being buried in the food sections of newspapers across this land.”

“Even though U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) remains under investigation for illegal financial dealings involving an associate in the defense industry, at least his picture is no longer gracing the front pages of state, regional and national papers.”

“While I suspect analysis of how our right to privacy in America is being decimated by the USA Patriot Act and other government actions will continue not to be a subject of extensive front-page newspaper coverage, at least we haven’t had to read stories day after day comparing political and tribal leaders in Iraq to our Founding Fathers.”

He picked on Democrats, as well:

“Closer to Katrina’s former eye, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) has been afforded an opportunity to shift attention from the sordid story that shortly before Katrina hit, federal agents searching two of his homes looking for evidence of financial improprieties apparently found a large amount of cash in a freezer.”

“Then there is Cindy Sheehan, the sad mother of a son killed in Iraq, who in the days before Hurricane Katrina pushed much other, and more important, news below the fold in newspapers here and across America. Let’s hope she is taking advantage of this respite to reassess whether becoming the poster child for the anti-Bush crowd is the best way to commemorate the tragedy of losing a son in the service of his country.”

And we gained a glimpse of his views on Iraq:

“In the international arena, we have pervasive coverage of the hurricane disaster to thank for affording us a respite from news coverage of Iraq’s problems drafting a constitution.

Without trying to sound callous, I was growing a bit weary of hearing about whether the Shiites, the Kurds or the Sunnis were happy with, dismayed about or neutral toward the latest draft of the Iraqi Constitution.

I’m not really sure how important this debate is even to the people of Iraq, but I admit it doesn’t concern me greatly. I would much prefer to be hearing and reading about what’s happening to our Constitution in the wake of continued erosion of our civil liberties than about constitutional draftsmen in Baghdad.”

I dunno where Barr is moving politicly, but the new location is certainly closer to the intersection of Freedom Street and Liberty Lane than his old digs where Blow Job Alley crosses Drug Warrior Drive.


Consumer Confidence Falls – Is the Dollar Next?

dollar bill other currencies. And why wouldn’t they? As Congressman Ron Paul states, we have a 3 billion dollar daily trade deficit. Eventually, those people letting us purchase on credit are going to wise up and (shock) spend those dollars they’ve been collecting. The flood of dollars back on the market will (potentially) cause a snowball effect as everyone switches to a more stable form of currency that doesn’t devalue in buying power so quickly. Do the math. 10 percent more dollars on the market equals 10 percent less buying power apiece… for everything, not just gas.

Luckily, I still have some of the pre-1965 quarters that have actual silver left in them. Who knows, maybe someday they’ll make me rich. All those lotto tickets certainly haven’t helped.

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George Bush Lights Up New Orleans

Bush leaving New OrleansAccording to MSNBC’s Brian Williams, thirty minutes before his visit, they turned on. And then an hour later, they went back out (Thanks Mike Nelson!):

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It’s enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it… jump to certain conclusions.

Like what? That someone hooked a generator up to some powerline so that Bush could give another vacuous speech on top of a disaster, promising to fix all our worldly problems?

No, never.

Update: We know there’s a hilarious joke about George Bush getting lit in New Orleans so we’ll let him tell that one himself (Daily Show also hit this, shown near the end of clip):

I believe that the great city of New Orleans will rise again and be a greater city of New Orleans. (Applause.) I believe the town where I used to come from, Houston, Texas, to enjoy myself — occasionally too much — (laughter) — will be that very same town, that it will be a better place to come to.


Dare to Escape California Taxes

Alex Tabarrok over at Marginal Revolution takes a cursory look at just how difficult it is to remove yourself from the grasp of bad government these days (via Coyote Blog):

Some high income earners are leaving California because of its punitive tax rates. Could low- and middle-income workers be leaving as well? One crude measure is to examine the one-way rental rates for U-Haul vans. Using U-Haul’s website, I queried a one-way rental for a 10-foot van for October 1st, 2005.

One-Way Trip Price
Los Angeles to Las Vegas $454.00
Las Vegas to Los Angeles $119.00
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Jail those who abuse tax-payer funds…

Right now on C-SPAN they are running the Democrat’s statement on the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman from California’s 8th District, just stepped down from the podium after ranting against the President and talking about everything she’s doing to help. What caught my attention was Pelosi’s threat to contractors who might abuse government funding. To paraphrase:

If contractors abuse tax-payer money, they will go to jail…

Anyone for amending Pelosi’s statement into the Constitution and have it applied to law makers?

Update: On the same thought of holding politicians accountable, Neal Boortz wants to enact a law that would require an addendum to be added to the end of every proposed spending bill. He proposes the following text:

Every sponsor or co-sponsor of this legislation hereby affirms his or her belief that the need for the federal government of the United States to spend taxpayer funds on the purposes outlined herein is of greater importance and urgency than any spending needs which the party or parties who actually earned these funds may have, such needs being, but not necessarily limited to, spending for medical care, child care, housing, food, clothing, transportation, education, insurance, savings and retirement planning.

You know, just a simple reminder to keep things in perspective…


Wiretapping Houses of Worship

In a speech given at the Brookings Institute, the governor of one of our more liberal states suggested today that we should start wiretapping Christian churches and conducting surveillence of students coming over from Europe in order to combat religious zealotry and eurocentrist thought processes.

Yo, conservatives, does that piss you off?

In reality, it was a Republican who suggested that we treat law abiding mosques in the US in this manner, and that we place students from Islamic countries under surveillence. The Boston Globe reports:

Governor Mitt Romney raised the prospect of wiretapping mosques and conducting surveillance of foreign students in Massachusetts, as he issued a broad call yesterday for the federal government to devote far more money and attention to domestic intelligence gathering.

While it may seem a bit harsh, a Romney spokesperson puts our mind at ease, fortunately:

”The governor believes we can strike a balance between what is necessary to protect our homeland while respecting individual freedom and liberty,” Teer said.

It seems the only freedom they are concerned about protecting is their own. If you are moslem and live in Massachussetts, expect to get your ass tapped.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: In a related surveillance story, when the government watches an actual terrorist, and then screws up at catching that terrorist before they complete their mission, the answer seems to be: destroy the evidence (via cryptogon).

A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday.

The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to name the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.

Weldon declined to name the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as “2.5 terabytes” – as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.


Get Your War On is Back (with Katrina)

Get Your Katrina On

My favorite web artist, David Rees has finally updated his most awesome Get Your War On series. There’s a ton of new ground covered in the latest installment, I’m in tears laughing so damn hard because it’s so true.

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Google: Bush Ranked # 1 Failure

Do a Google search for the word “Failure” without the quotes and see what results you get. George Bush is number one and Michael Moore is number two.

Do you think Google is trying to tell us something about these two people? This could be a sign.

Also dont blame me I supported Michael Badnarik for President and he is not on the list, I knew Bush was a failure a long time ago. My only question is when will John Kerry make number three on the list.

Thanks to Who Hijacked Our Country for providing this information.

Update: A Yahoo search for failure turns up George Bush as the third link.

Previously on Hammer of Truth:
George Bush: Still a Failure, No Longer Miserable


Racism in LA, MS and AL? Never…

A majority of people surveyed agree we pull numbers out of our butts.

There has been a lot of talk about whether race was a factor in the FUBAR Katrina relief efforts. Dubya pulled a good sound-byte out of his butt with, “The storm didn’t discriminate, and neither will the recovery effort. When those Coast Guard choppers were pulling people off roofs, they didn’t check the color of a person’s skin. They wanted to save lives.”

Gallup polled on the topic, and found the following:

Six in 10 blacks say the fact that most hurricane victims were poor and black was one factor behind the failure of the federal government to come to their rescue quickly. Nearly nine in 10 non-Hispanic whites say those weren’t factors.

Most of my black friends do honestly believe that race was a factor. My white friends are a lot more split that the survey indicates, though.

To be clear, I have seen no clear-cut evidence of racism, so I’ll not pronounce my verdict on this situation, yet. But I’d like to ask a few questions to be pondered:

  1. (from the article) “If it had been a 17-year-old white cheerleader who was caught in the water, [would] somebody would have tried to get there faster[?]
  2. For a variety of reasons, the lowest lying areas in New Orleans were primarily inhabited by the poor and the black. Was instutional or societal racism involved?
  3. Rep. Baker of Baton Rouge was overheard telling lobbyists: “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”
  4. Could it be that race was not an issue, but systemic problems occurred because the most serious of the victims (of all colors) were from the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder?
  5. Post 9/11 relief efforts were considerably less FUBAR. However, the typical Manhattan resident or Pentagon employee has a much greater level of political access than the victims in the SE. Because 9/11 victims tended to better connected, did the authorities place a greater emphasis after that tragedy?

Photo courtesy of DribbleGlass.com