Germany Becomes World’s Largest Exporter

There has been a lot of news lately that’s been slipping by many news organizations, simply because everyone is keeping up with the horrors of Katrina. But I thought this story is just as vital as a sign of how bad things have become.

Not to knock Germany. They are an industrial power house. But how in the hell have they surpassed the USA in terms of exports? And they haven’t just eeked by us. They are charging ahead of us. From the article:

Barely noticed, Germany has overtaken America to become the world’s biggest single exporter, shipping the hardware that powers the rising economies of Asia and eastern Europe. Its trade surplus is now greater than that of China, Japan and India combined, reaching a staggering 16.8 billion euros in June alone. The profits made by German companies are running at over 33 per cent of national income, the highest in 40 years

Actually, the answer is quite obvious. We’ve become a service economy. We don’t make jack shit. We buy all of our stuff from China, and they in turn buy our debt. We are faced with the twin deficits (trade and budget). We’re losing on both fronts people.

The inflation numbers have been so contrived, skewed, and incorrect that they are essentially worthless. 3 percent inflation per year my ass. Look at gas! Look at housing prices! Heck, even to 99 cent menu at my local burger king has shrunk. DAMMIT I WANT MY 99 CENT WHOPPER JUNIOR BACK.

We are on top of a major bubble bursting folks. How long is America going to sit pretty at the top of the food chain while everyone is busting their butts trying to keep up. When the realize that they manufacture everything and we merely hand them dollars that the FED prints up on a whim, we’re toast. Our budget is a joke. Not just because of it’s magnitude, but because we exceed it without thinking twice about it. Everything becomes an emergency that requires us to borrow now “but don’t worry Japan, we’ll pay you back later, we promise!” Tomorrow comes, the new politicians blame the old, and then claim they have to dig us out by spending more now. Ahhh, the vicious cycle. How I miss thee.

The government is out of control. It’s insane to think that they can run a budget deficit that’s “only” 374 billion (and oh, by the way, our liabilities as a nation increased 3.7 trillion in 2004) and they run around like 10 year old kids at a birthday bowling party. They’re singing and dancing about what a great freagin job they did. Hey honey, we only went down 374 billion this year! Imagine if the liberals were in control of congress. We’d be screwed!

Calling the Republicans in congress “conservative” is a flat out lie. Our country is in the hole. Congratulations to Germany though, they are doing a heck of a job.

( -)-(- )1 comment

CNN Sues FEMA

I can’t say I am much of a fan of CNN but this time they stood up to big government and told them to shove it. I don’t see why we can see pictures of Uday Hussein dead, pictures of the mass graves in Iraq, pictures of the Holocaust but cannot see pictures of Americans dying, no photos of Abu Ghraib because someone might hate us. Government has became the photo police trying to take over the first amendment so no one questions them.

“The government cannot be allowed to hinder the free flow of information,” said CNN journalist Anderson Cooper. “That’s what we say in the lawsuit.”

Read full story.

FEMA is just trying to cover up something (possibly the governments bad job) by not allowing reporters to view the recovery. Think about it the reporters help keep this country free by holding our leaders accountable and without them there the government workers could tell women to show us your tits if you want to be rescued. Read post about how they possibly treated women.

“CNN talk show host Larry King announced late Friday a federal judge in Texas issued the restraining order and scheduled a hearing for Saturday to hear arguments in the suit.”

Now I hate to see people die, but if it wakes Americans up to the fact that people did die and that something must be done in the future to stop it and it prevents government from mishandling this recovery mission as well than I am all for showing as dead bodies to make sure more people don’t become one of them.

Update:

“HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) — Rather than fight a lawsuit by CNN, the federal government abandoned its effort Saturday to prevent the media from reporting on the recovery of the dead in New Orleans.”

Read more.

Thanks to Rick Rajter for the link to CNN defeating the government.

( -)-(- )7 comments

Editor Openings: Round Two

First off, I want to say thanks to the lovely editors who have volunteered to join Hammer of Truth this past month. Mike, Rick, Jake… you guys are superstars of liberty and your posts have been stellar. Thank you!

That said, I am opening a second round of editor signups. We are trying to build the most influential and widely read libertarian blog (and surpass that by becoming the best damn political blog, period). The only way to do that is by providing timely libertarian opinion and commentary on current events in society and government that disgust us (or makes us proud once in a while).

Preference will be given to anyone who can demonstrate writing skill and an ability to be sarcastic, humorous and snarky in their writing, but more serious writers need not be scared off.

If you know you can stand up here with us, give a shout in the comments or email editor@hammeroftruth.com

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Katrina Helps Underprivileged

These people who lost their homes and family members are doing just well aren’t they. Hell their homes were in the poor part of town anyway they should be happy they have moved up to spending their time starving in an arena.

“Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arenas here, you know, were underprivileged anyway. This is working very well for them.” Barbara Bush

Read Full Story.

I agree that people of New Orleans and the areas hit by this storm are very happy about the support from all over the country they have received but how is this working well for them?

Barbara I guess God hasn’t blessed them like he has your family I mean your son has worked his way up from such an underprivileged life to President of the United States. I think Mrs. Bush should go to New Orleans and stay a night in one of these places and she might see that loosing your home and family is not living well.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Asshole of the Day: Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA)

You can’t get any more flippant or mean-spirited than this (via Sploid):

Rep. Baker of Baton Rouge is overheard telling lobbyists: “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”

Baker explains later he didn’t intend flippancy but has long wanted to improve low-income housing.

I suppose if uh… drowning… the people who live in low-income housing is your idea of improvement, Baker is the guy to re-elect.

Update: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay scored some late asshole points with this asinine question to some Astrodome kids (via Wonkette):

The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked, “Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?”

They nodded yes, but looked perplexed.

( -)-(- )2 comments

Interview with Cheney’s Verbal Physician

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s story about the man who advised vice president Dick Cheney to “go fuck [him]self.” OpEdNews has an exclusive interview with Dr. Ben Marble, a young emergency room physician and resident of Gulfport. (thanks Mike N!)

Marble says his annoyance started with the difficulty of just getting back to his own home:

As Marble explains, he was driving to his destroyed house Sept. 8 in Gulfport, Ms., when military police refused to allow him to cross a barricade that was about 200 feet from his home. They forced him to drive an extra 20 minutes and spend even more on gasoline.

“Thanks to Dubya Gump and Mr. Cheney, gas is really expensive and extremely hard to get anywhere Katrina has destroyed,” Marble wrote. “So needless to say, I was extremely aggravated that they wouldn’t let me pass.”

Suddenly a long line of dark cars pulled up, and they honked at Marble to back up to let them through the barricade that supposedly no one could drive through. That only made Marble madder so he did what most of us would do — or at least consider doing.

“I waved a middle finger at the caravan,” Marble wrote.

He went down the street to find out just what the commotion was that was tangling up the recovery and found out it was Cheney giving a pep talk to FEMA and the press. What unfolded after the outburst at Cheney is remarkable :

“I had no intention of harming anyone but merely wanted to echo Mr. Cheney’s infamous words back at him,” Marble wrote. “At that moment, I noticed the Secret Service guys with a panic-stricken look on their faces, like they were about to tackle me, so I calmly walked away back to my former house.”

His friend videotaped a little bit longer and then came back to Marble’s house. As they were salvaging a few things from Marble’s home, two military police waving M-16’s showed up and said they were looking for someone who fit Marble’s description who had cursed at Cheney.

“I told them I was probably the person they were looking for, and so they put me in handcuffs and ‘detained’ me for about 20 minutes or so,” Marble wrote. “My right thumb went numb because the cuffs were on so tight, but they were fairly courteous and eventually released me after getting all my contact info. They said I had NOT broken any laws so I was free to go.”

Good to know that with the recovery of Katrina destruction going on, the government priority is to track down and intimidate some guy who cursed at the vice president.

( -)-(- )5 comments

Oh… Oh Feel Ya!

Yes, that is an actual wind pattern prediction for Tropical Storm Ophelia… Is mother nature trying to tell us something?

Thanks to my bro-in-law, Chris, for bringing this to my attention.

» Via: BoatUS.com

( -)-(- )3 comments

FEMA Boss Sent to his Room; Keeps Job

Breaking news right now, will update as it rolls. Sploid has it and so does the AP:

Michael Brown is being sent back to Washington to do paperwork.

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Allen will head relief efforts in New Orleans.

Brown is not fired. He keeps his title, his job, everything. He is just being moved from public view.

Homeland Security boss Chertoff will make this announcement shortly.

All they are doing is hiding this incompetent jackass from political view… talk about sleazy ass-covering by this administration.

Update (1:05 PM Eastern): From Sploid:

Michael Chertoff says the military needs to be in charge, that’s why Brownie is being sent home. But Brown’s second-in-charge from FEMA will remain second-in-charge in New Orleans.

“Brown has done everything he possibly could … ”

Guess “everything” wasn’t quite enough.

No admission of Brown’s failure, or FEMA’s total failure. More self congragulation. No mention of the deliberate efforts of FEMA to keep water, food, rescue workers, fuel and equipment away from the scene.

More political nonsense.

Is this the Bush administration’s attempt to “fix” the problem?

Update (via Hit & Run): Waaah, it’s the Democrats fault for confirming the incompetent idiot. The Republicans are about as good at building levees around Brown sheilding him from criticism — as Brown is to reponding to them breeching.

Update: Brown isn’t the only one with no experience. In fact him and the next five people in charge are utterly devoid of any emergency management skills and were picked largely because of their political ties to president Bush’s 2000 campaign or to the White House advance operation.

( -)-(- )6 comments

Ophelia downgraded to Tropical Storm, media sighs

Am I the only one that noticed, but I could swear that I detected a hint of disappointment in the voices of every weatherman and news anchor I happened to see this morning announcing that Ophelia was downgraded to a Tropical Storm and is predicted to float off into the Atlantic. Or am I just that cynical?

Maybe it’s just me…

( -)-(- )1 comment

FEMA Chief’s Resume: Rife with Lies

From grossly exaggerated job titles (“administrative assistant” inflated to “assistant city manager with emergency services oversight”) to magical elevation from lowly student at Central State University to the self-awarding of “Outstanding Political Science Professor,” FEMA Director Michael Brown’s resume has more bullshit than substance.

In an exclusive exposé by Time Magazine, Brown’s resume was fact-checked and the gaping holes in credibility and competence were blown wider as it became clear that incompetence was now compounded by lies.

Radley Balko explains how this revelation might play out:

It would be absurd — but rather predictable — if his handling of Katrina didn’t get Brown fired, but lying on his resume did. Seems to be how things work in the Bush administration. Incompetence gets rewarded. But disloyalty will get you canned. Don’t be surprised if this comparatively minor transgression is what brings Brown down.

Update (9/9): AP is breaking that Brown has been removed demoted after the news firestorm picked up on the resume stuff this morning. Details here.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Remixed: “George Bush Don’t Like Black People”

What has surely got to be the feel-bad hit of the summer, Kanye West’s quotable tirade against George Bush has been remixed by The Legendary K.O, Words by Big Mon and Damien a/k/a Dem Knock-Out Boyz.

The incisive lyrics are some the the most politically charged to hit the hip-hop scene since the days of N.W.A.:

Five days in this motherfucking attic
I can’t use the cellphone I keep getting static
Dying ’cause they lying instead of telling us the truth (…)
Screwed ’cause they say they’re coming back for us, too
but that was three days ago and I don’t see no rescue(…)

Swam to the store, tryin’ to look for food
Corner store’s kinda flooded so I broke my way through
Got what I could but before I got through
News say the police shot a black man trying to loot

link to MP3 (8.7 MB) [via Boing Boing]

Reader Michael Nelson sends a link letting us know that FEMA and its staff have soured on KAMP, a non-profit working to set up a low-power radio station at the Houston Astrodome. One of the likely reasons for killing the project may be an inability to censor what’s played:

Rita Obey, a local official from Harris County Public Health Services, gave them a laundry list of prerequisites.

She made us promise not to play any rap music, because she thought it might incite some of the evacuees to violence.

Obey, speaking to Wired News, explained that the JIC couldn’t see a use for the radio station when they had the ability to communicate via the loudspeaker system and newsletters.

It boils down to controlling the airwaves, and the government saw that censorship might be a problem with this outside group. Looks like a steady diet of baseball organ music for the next few months.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Gulfport Residents to Cheney: “Go F&%k Yourself… We’re Libertarian Now” — video

Ok, ok, so the raw video of Cheney getting his just desserts at a press conference in Gulfport, MS is pretty funny (video: link 1 link 2). Because how many times do you get to tell the veep to take his own advice when it comes to political posturing:

The vice president was not uniformly welcomed in Gulfport. During a press availability in the middle of a street, a young man twice shouted obscenities at him before walking away. (He yelled: “Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself.”)

But what really caught my eye was the pool reporter’s account of one of the residents he spoke to while touring with the vice president:

Earlier, as the vice president walked along debris-strewn 2nd Street, a block inland from the Gulf of Mexico, a resident, Lynn Lofton, criticized Cheney’s visit as “a media opportunity that is a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.” She said: “They should have been here last week.” Loften first identified herself as a former Republican and now Democrat, but later changed that to “libertarian.” She said the neighborhood was a largely upscale, Republican neighborhood.

Democrat policy failed long ago and they paid the price with the conservative revolution of the late 1990s and early 2000s, I can only say that it’s about damn time people woke the hell up to the fact that Republican government is just as chock full of bureaucratic holes and hypocrisy and it’s time to stop rewarding incompetence.

Previously: Cheney to Sen. Leahy: “Go Fu*k Yourself”

( -)-(- )1 comment

More FEMA Bureaucracy: TSA Screeners/Air Marshalls Were Needed to Check Evacuees

If it’s not one thing it’s another. Apparently the evacuation from the New Orleans airport ran into a snag because there weren’t enough air marshalls and passenger screeners available to make sure that the people being flown out weren’t terrorists (via Hit & Run):

Because of worries that terrorists could take advantage of such chaos, FEMA now must abide by post-9/11 security procedures, such as putting air marshals on flights. That meant stranded residents couldn’t be evacuated from the New Orleans airport until FEMA had rounded up dozens of Transportation Security Administration screeners and more than 50 federal air marshals. Inadequate power prevented officials from firing up X-ray machines and metal detectors until the government decided evacuees could be searched manually.

Technically, helicopter rides also fall under the TSA’s domain, so you just know that there’s some brain-dead paper-shuffler in Washington salivating at the prospect of putting metal detectors on helicopter rescue baskets and forming special lines on flooded roofs for suspicious-looking evacuees.

Of course, when an altercation erupted aboard an evacuee flight from Houston to Denver, it wasn’t the TSA or air marshalls that duct taped the idiot to his seat, it was other passengers.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Will Someone Please Feed His Kidney Stone?

A mistranslation by a French news agency reporting on New Orleans turns out hilarious:

Voiceover: “Un homme a terre, qui dans un souffle parvient peine dire une quipe de reporters.” [a man on the ground, barely manages to tell a team of reporters]

Offscreen (in English): “Are you alright?”

Man on the ground (in English): “I got a kidney stone“

Voiceover (allegedly translating from English): “qu il est affam.” [that he is starving.]

You gotta wonder if stupidity is contagious in NOLA right now. (via Unknown Genius)

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Declared Emergency Regions were Backwards

Is this becoming a game? Did I wake up to opposite day? Honestly. I can’t say anything else, I’m completely speechless. Here’s the original article, which is where the picture info-graphic came from.

No wait. I can say something. This is a perfect webpage to send to your friends that think FEMA was on top of their shit. Because they were not. They had their collective heads up their collective asses.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Trucker Strike Imminent?

I’ve waited on this story for about a day, because I’m still not sure just how legitimate the concern is or if it will actually play out. However, fundamentally it makes sense and could have some serious consequences for the USA economy. Truckers are getting reamed by high gas prices and long waits at the pump. Of course, the question of “What do they hope to accomplish?” arises. I don’t feel I have a clear answer on it. I imagine they are having some pent up rage as it may be cutting deeply into their paychecks. There is some speculation that oil companies intentionally closed refineries in an effort to hike profits, much like De Beers clamps down on the diamond supply. This happens in any situation where there is no competition. I’m not bashing the profit motive, it’s their right to do so as long as there is no strong arming people out via illegal means. But, it’s also the right of the truckers to protest. Will it prove anything? Well, it will certainly magnify the impact that gas prices have had on the American worker.

Now why is this important? Why do I even bother to bring this up? Well, our economy is already teetering on the edge of a housing bubble bursting, the “Death of the Dollar” on the minds of many, and Katrina sending anywhere from 300,000 to 1,000,000 to the unemployment line. A truck strike could be a further blow and cause price of food to rise considerably. Even if it didn’t, even the fear of such an occurrence would cause people to jam up the lines at Costco in no time flat.

If anyone knows any truck drivers that could weigh in on this situation, please call them and post updates under the comments section. If it turns out to be bunk, we’ll update it as a false alarm (because I’m not trying to be a sensationalist. I’m skeptical right now, but feel this would be a legitimate reaction). It’s also unclear at the present time what the scope of the strike would be, and that all depends on its momentum within the unions. If it is occurring, well, brace yourself for the media storm and “blame games” that will unfold.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Snopes currently has the strike threat categorized as ‘undetermined’ so it seems there’s some legitimacy, just not enough to know if this will actually happen.

( -)-(- )4 comments

The Daily Show Gives Much Needed Katrina Humor

We all need a laugh from time to time, to help alleviate the pain of the tragedy that is unfolding right before our very eyes. Here is a clip from The Daily Show. It’s amazing that one still has to turn to a fake news show to hear people actually tell it like it is.

From correspondent Ed Helms:

Ed Helms: The Rove… many feel he can fix the gaping breech in the President’s approval raitings… Today we saw the president armed with a fresh supply of talking points.
Bush: We gotta solve problems. We’re problem solvers.
(applause)
Ed Helms: He is back! We got to A-B, because we are B-A’ers. We got to each zucchini because we are zucchini eaters.

And then… the allusions to Iraq.

Ed Helms: While everyone is busy setting up commissions and finding fault. Through the presidents leadership, he’ll end up building a billion dollar dam in Arkansas.
Jon Stewart: Why would he build a damn in Arkansas?
Ed Helms: His plan would be to fight the water there, so we don’t have to fight it here.

And what about the blame game?

Jon Stewart: So no one is going to be held accountable for any of this?
Ed Helms: Um, no. In fact, if history is any indication they’ll be hard pressed finding enough medals to place on these guys. My sources tell me the head of FEMA may actually be dipped into bronze and turned into an award which will then be given to other officials.

And then, le pièce de ré·sis·tance

Jon: In your judgement, is this the worst crisis the administration has ever faced?
Ed Helms: Well Jon as you know administration fiascos are named alphabetically. As you can see, Katrina is their 11th out of what could be 26 colossal failures. I don’t know if you see the last two on the list their Jon, but by the time zero people left on earth rolls along, that Yam shortage will be long forgotten.

Daily Show, Katrina, Ed Helms

It wouldn’t be so funny if it wasn’t so horrifically true.

Update:This flash video says it all. It starts off semi funny, but quickly gets serious. Another good link to send around to folks.

Update2: This is an amazing clip from The Daily Show. Jon Stewart holds little back and let’s the administration have it, pointing out just how ridiculous their lies have become.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Katrina Cover-up: First Locked In, Now Locked Out

That’s one of the pictures the U.S. government doesn’t want you to see. That and any pictures of the dead, the aftermath of the Superdome or Convention Center, and other things that shows how criminal our government behaved when it forcefully kept people from leaving.

Right under our very noses, this attempt to cover-up the worst U.S. government malfeasance against its own citizens is now being played out:

At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media… obvious members of the media… armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It’s a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.

What’s most amazing is the sheer brazenness with which they expect us to swallow last week’s criminal behavior and now censorship of its ever taking place. And of course they want to hold their own internal investigations on what went wrong, most likely in private, with no coverage. What people don’t realize is that it’s the U.S. government on trial here for its handling of the post-flood crisis it perpetrated, from Mayor Nagin (blasé towards evacuation) to Governor Blanco (blasé towards asking for help) to President Bush (blasé when initially asked for help, though true blame here lies with FEMA director Brown, the buck needs to stop somewhere). They shouldn’t be allowed to run their own investigation to determine who gets the fall on the government sword. Let the media back in, stop the censorship, and we’ll decide for ourselves based on the facts, not some stupid commission.

Yeeesh, who in their right mind lets a suspected murderer be his own trial judge?

Update: The new lie: there were no bodies at the convention center (and everything else was just a rumor).

New Orleans police chief Eddie Compass said last night: “We don’t have any substantiated rapes. We will investigate if the individuals come forward.”

And while many claim they happened, no witnesses, survivors or survivors’ relatives have come forward.

Nor has the source for the story of the murdered babies, or indeed their bodies, been found. And while the floor of the convention centre toilets were indeed covered in excrement, the Guardian found no corpses.

Oh, you mean these bodies?

Arkansas National Guardsman Mikel Brooks stepped through the food service entrance of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Monday, flipped on the light at the end of his machine gun, and started pointing out bodies.

“Don’t step in that blood – it’s contaminated,” he said. “That one with his arm sticking up in the air, he’s an old man.”
Then he shined the light on the smaller human figure under the white sheet next to the elderly man.

“That’s a kid,” he said. “There’s another one in the freezer, a 7-year-old with her throat cut.”

And these rapes?

They witnessed scenes of murder and looting, women were threatened with rape and racial tensions grew daily.

Jane Wheeldon, 20, a student from Carmarthen, South Wales, said: “We were the prime target. Guys would come up and stroke your back and your tummy and your bum to find any money you had on you. Everyone was staring and it was so intimidating.

Or these rapes?:

There were not only rapes, but gangrapes of children who were then killed. My female cousins were assaulted and barely escaped as some kind bystanders tried to help them only to then be beaten by the gangs. They finally left and hid around the city wherever they could and YES, they heard the gunfire and SAW gangs of mostly young boys with assault weapons who not only fired at each other, but anything that moved including aircraft.

Another Update: BuzzMachine echoes our sentiment about the cover-up, saying:

If there were ever a story that demands the bright light of public scrutiny, this is it. And that is not just so people can be fired – though I’m still waiting for Brownie to get the axe — but so we can keep watch on dangerous government incompetence on behalf of our fellow citizens and so we can learn and prevent it the next time.

This is a story in which we can play some part: The survivors will soon start telling their stories. And we should be flooding the government with FOIAs.

( -)-(- )2 comments

Government Waits Until After Storm

I know this has already been reported here but I wanted to expand on it.

“WASHINGTON – The top U.S. disaster official waited hours after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast before he proposed to his boss sending at least 1,000 Homeland Security workers into the region to support rescuers, internal documents show.”

Read more.

And one of the former members of FEMA went on television and said they needed more money. How hard is it to call up someone and say “Hey, there is a chance that New Orleans may be wiped out and more people die then did in the 9/11 attacks but again nothing may happen so to be safe could you send some supplies to New Orleans before this event occurs.”

Now I am not going around blaming the President for this but I am saying that FEMA is paid a lot of money to keep us safe and they work for us and when someone works for you and fails you cut their pay or fire them.

Update: Don’t miss this Keith Olbermann comment on the matter:

[M]ost chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological. It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Link to video, via dailyKos.

( -)-(- )2 comments

KATRINA: The National LP Speaks!

Yesterday, the Libertarian Party website finally issued a statement on the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Their online press release described how they contacted LP leaders in the effected areas, gave condolences and provided a link to a list of charitable organizations.

The list of charities is on their blog section which allows for comments. In the comments a Kara Tyson, who claimed to be from Mobile, provided a list of her thoughts on what organizations came through in their time of need, which were a waste (FEMA & Red Cross) and finished with some suggestions to the institutions and politicians involved. Here are a few snippets from her comments:

ORGANIZATIONS THAT CAME THROUGH
Wal-Mart
Another organization who was in New Orleans & Biloxi the next day – again, despite the fact that the Red Cross said you couldn’t get into the area. They donated trucks filled with items and hired people on the spot who were left unemployed.

ORGANIZATIONS THAT WERE A WASTE
FEMA
In Baton Rouge, those who had fled the hurricane in advance were kicked out of a private hotel by FEMA to make room for their own Reps (staying in non air conditioned facilities is apparently beneath them).

OTHER REGULATIONS THAT ARE A HINDRANCE
No Child Left Behind Act. Many of these children are coming from impoverished areas with poorly performing schools. Their standardized testing will follow them. Any school taking in these children will no longer be ‘highly qualified’. Communities will then be punished for helping.

SUGGESTIONS
If you want to donate, please consider donating goods vs. money. There is less chance that this type of donation will be ‘diverted’ for other uses. Some legal (going to other projects), some not so legal (such as thugs stealing the donations at gunpoint).

Anyway, I’m baffled as to why it took this long for the national LP to say ANYTHING about this disaster. Then again, maybe their actions say a lot about the national LP.

» Kara Tyson’s Comments (About 2/3’s of the way down)
» LP Press Release

( -)-(- )1 comment

Executive Order 12148

Read this executive order regarding FEMA.

With an executive order from July 20, 1979, FEMA can basically take over the President’s job and the country. Now the problem is that FEMA can’t control this disaster why do they need more power not given to them in the Constitution.

Make your own opinions about this but with this Executive Order the Constitution would be suspended and welcome police state martial law.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Some clarification may be in order here. EO 12148, signed by then-president Carter, established FEMA as a government organization. This is part of a larger picture called Continuity of Operations Plans, which was put in place during the Cold War to ensure that if Washington D.C. was hit by a nuke or something, government would still exist. In light of the recent bumbling by FEMA, I’m sure some lawmakers are going to be turning a critical eye towards FEMA’s power and abuses in future months.

While we hope they won’t reward incompetence with more funding and power … don’t hold your breathe.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Another Heart-Wrenching Video

Katrina EvacueeTo everyone who claims that these people should have just packed up and left. To everyone who claims that FEMA was doing their job. I demand that you watch this video, which is an interview of Charmaine Neville, an evacuee of Katrina.

And this was 5 days ago…

Update: Apparently FEMA has now hopes that since the media can’t say anything nice about their botched operation, they won’t say anything at all. From operationflashlight blog (via Boing Boing):

“We are in Jefferson Parish, just outside of New Orleans. At the National Guard checkpoint, they are under orders to turn away all media. All of the reporters are turning their TV trucks around.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

FEMA Sends Evacuees to Right City, Wrong State

FEMA sends evacuees to wrong CharlestonAdd geography to the list of FEMA’s bumbling screw-ups:

A South Carolina health official said his colleagues scrambled Tuesday when FEMA gave only a half-hour notice to prepare for the arrival of a plane carrying as many as 180 evacuees to Charleston.

But the plane, instead, landed in Charleston, West Virginia, 400 miles away.

Oh, and can I shout a big fuck you to the talkings heads asking us to stop the “blame game.” Yeah, fuck them… this is not blaming, this is demanding responsibility and accountability and calling it like we see it. Stepping up and calling FEMA, the Louisiana Governer, and the New Orleans Mayor incompetent was the only thing that got the government’s ass in gear, and we’re only going to keep riding them now until this is over. Because we’re fed up with incompetence and now is the time to call bullshit as we see it and not be placated by talking heads asking us not to play some “blame game.”

This isn’t some “blame game,” this is demanding government that doesn’t suck.

( -)-(- )1 comment