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This sickens me

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serenity blaze
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50 posted 06-03-2008 05:16 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze


It's very sweet of you to consider my health, but I passed the cardiolite, though I'm sure that will be on the agenda again soon. (They seem to want one for every surgery--it's annoying.)

I have some evidence of lung damage (that's new but hardly surprising) my liver has some fatty deposits, but no scarring, no lesions. My pancreas seems to have no aberrations from the results of my last MRI, but my gallbladder kicks like chitty chitty bang bang--so I have to go find me another specialist for that. I did have an extended case of shingles, aggravated by a bacterial infection, as well as various stressful triggers including family deaths and Katrita. (We must'n't forget Hurricane Rita-I know I won't.) My liver enzymes are still "beautiful", much to everyone's dismay and amazement (? I dunno. I thought it was cause to celebrate m'self.) My lungs are remarkably clear (those are the doc's words not mine) and I um, have excellent lung capacity--for now. I do have post-herpetic neuralgia in my left leg, which limits my mobility. (I fall down. I get up though. I'm a working on being a weeble.) And sorry to dispel the rumors,(which I confess I did nothing to dispel) but even my lithium levels and all those other brainy chemicals are within range. (One does not throw as many temper tantrums in doctors' offices without sparking a little curiousity about yer head.) Lessee, what else? I'm overweight, so that makes me uncomfortable and yes, I do have some cardiovascular issues--probably from sitting in this chair, smoking too many cigarettes, and lounging over there-->in bed.

But? My blood pressure was perfect, but yes, sweet B'deer, like everybody else's, it fluctuates. It's only due to the shingles and my apparent perpetual proclivity to pox, I'm supposed to, serene.

I'm on St. John's Wort, Valerian, Toradol, Norco, and Gabapentin (both for nerve damage and mood swings). OH. And occasional Lysine, and for some reason? Vitamin K--again. Remind me to ask about that one.

And yes, sometimes I get upset. It goes away. Sometimes I'm happy. That goes away too. It's all very cyclic.

But I don't mind discussion about Katrina.

I do mind pointless partisanship finger-pointing. I'm all for finding out what really happened, just so that it won't happen to....ya'll. (Or even me again, because I am looking around for a cave.)

I'd to clear up that the toxic shock occurred when I pulled up moldy carpet with no respiratory protection--before Katrina, in another house that had a slow plumbing leak. It was misdiagnosed as a form arthritis, and I was injected with doses of steroids, which I stopped in mid-treatment through sheer will and stupidy.

Steroid Withdrawals are worse than heroin.

I had a few other problems (one of which I really underestimated, but I'm stacking the dominoes back up one at a time.

I tell you all of this to let you know that I think I can handle this. *chuckling*

When I get upset--I'll quaff down some Valerian and go read my Eckhardt Tolle.

So yes, please do proceed. I'm enjoying help with the fact finding, and I think I can sort out my opinion out of the fray.

Mike? Thank you for quoting my guy, Chris Rose. He said it best. We are resilient. My opinion of Blanco is tepid, but I give her nods for doing her job in an incredibly difficult situation.

I don't think I would have given up control of The National Guard either. I am also pleased that her efforts afforded Louisiana a greater portion of profits from their natural resources, so that we can indeed pull ourselves up by the white straps of our own shrimp boots. The fact that we have screamed about our eroding coastline for years, and the convenience that the Federal Government actually profited from that by grabbing more maritime oil resources from our offshore wells has annoyed me a bit for...a couple of decades now.

I duly note my rage at the disappearance of "Mayor" Ray Nagin, but it is second only to the five day inaction by President Bush.

I'm a little ticked at everybody when it came to that. It was a dismal and heartbreaking scenario for the entire world to watch bodies floating in an American City, while a clusterduck of beauracracy waited for orders and direction one.

I'm incredulous that we refused monetary assistance from foreign countries simply because there was no precedented plan on how to utilize that. (I thought it could rebuild a few houses, but what do I know?)

I believe our Coast Guard had it together though. They didn't wait for orders. They just um, saw people in trouble and picked them and brought them to higher ground.

Seemed logical to me too.

I was embarrassed that local governments were just as addled and confused, but I guess it's no more embarrassing than messing up a Presidential Election. (Bob? I was gonna bring that up, but you beat me to it. *shrug* I gave myself a break and went to see Sex in The City. *chuckle* So sue me.)

What amazes me is that we did have a plan in place--for the very first time--to evacuate the city of New Orleans. It would have worked if the poverty stricken folk hadn't been completely disregarded. I still think it worked remarkably well, even after spending 17 hours in a traffic jam.


We're so far south we're in dah watah.

So that's to be expected.

What confounds me to this day is that there was no apparent plan as to what to do with the population of New Orleans once they were removed from the city. Apparently all of this was anticipated, except for that. And the incredible idea that people would actually want to return home wasn't considered either--because we very nearly had nothing to come home to. Like what happened in Gulfport. They took our "bullet" and my heart is with my Mississippi friends as well. The Redneck Riviera happens to be part of what I call "home". (I mean, the band must have hit every roadhouse from here to thar...)

But the whole of the story, I can't write in one night. I have trouble writing a coherent story when I don't have direction to the end--so right now, all I have is...anecdote.

Y'see? I had contact with people who had remained, and I still wanted to come home. I know I said otherwise, but it's like the old playing card, "There is a tie that binds us to our homes.".

Have no doubts that a very small war occurred in New Orleans during those days. There were vigilante groups roaming the flooded back streets, and I know this, but smile, short term memory loss on names. *karen taps her head and winks*

The problems of generational poverty and resulting racism, crime, political corruption on all levels was revealed, and I believe that this historical storm will go down in the history books as one of the sorriest points of the Bush Administration. No, I don't think he created Katrina, Mike.

But he contributed to the chaos by doing nothing, and his own cronyism was revealed when his friends proved to be inept at everything but how to look better on tv.

The trailers were not a surprise to me. And ironically, it was in a trailer that I found refuge from the storm.

(I prayed to find a place to go that no one else would think of...nod--a trailer park!) worked.

So thank you all, truly, for your contributions and opinions. I happen to think they all matter and are equally legitimate. But I doubt seriously if it's going to change the life-altering pivot of that storm, and how an entire culture became an anachronism overnight. (Um, Chris Rose said the same thing--but I do believe I posted that in this forum before the publication of his column. So *chuckling*--you were right about that Mike--Mr. Rose and I do think alike.)

So keep on it. It's important.

And all of this underscores my point, that we need to stop throwing money into an optional war, and start putting some money into good housekeeping.

Our roads, our bridges, our levees, our dams, our coastlines, indiscriminate logging practices, all of which add up to a bit of sighing, ecology.

And "Green" should not become a dirty word, as "liberal" did, and yes, Bob, the insiduous degradation of the terminlogy of Democrat and Democratic.

(note on partisanship: cheer for your team, it's expected, but please assure me the point is not to DESTROY the opponent--I happen to like a two-party system.)

I think a little rational self-interest is now apparently, very much in order.

(Hey...don't blame me--I am your creation.)


post script: It was suggested that a good psychologist might be in order, later on down the road. When such services are more readily available. (The majority of the onslaught of therapists that came to the apparently came here to just um, "study" us. I guess they finished their papers, because now they are for the most part, gone. My doc says that since I have a bed, and no immediate cause to vacate, I should take advantage of it, and get some R.E.M.

Which I'm not doing at the moment, but on the upside of a nervous breakdown, is "New Rules"--I get to do pretty much what I want--as long as it is within guidelines.

g'nite. *smile*

oh. Good MORNING.

OH. One more thing? I'm just one little story amongst thousands. I don't feel sorry for me, but I do have moments of rage. But I always did. I just didn't express them.

I consider it all a blessing.

If I can live through this, digest it, and come out better, and stronger than it is a blessing.

Pressure turns coal to diamond.

So perhaps there's hope for me. *sparkle*

and *peace*


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51 posted 06-03-2008 11:27 AM       View Profile for water_stained_wisdom   Email water_stained_wisdom   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for water_stained_wisdom

Pressure turns coal to diamond.

ohlovelylovie ... you aint neva lied.  

(you sparkled long before Katrina and will long after)  


"this cyber medium is over-run with keyboard poets & prophets who believe their every word to be profound"

-internet quote-
Susan Caldwell
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52 posted 06-04-2008 03:21 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

sad irony.  

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"

Bob K
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53 posted 06-05-2008 08:38 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

        Iím not trying to be offensive here, Mike.  If the discussion means that I have hurt your feelings or that Iím going to hurt your feelings by stepping into places youíd rather not talk about, Iíll happily bow out, make any concessions youíd like me to make and say nothing more about it.  Iíd rather keep your friendship than win an argument. In fact Iíd rather make a point of keeping it on the level of a discussion as much as possible.  

     If you find what I say offensively phrased, let me know, and let me know how.  Iíll try to put it more precisely, in line with the facts as I understand them.

     In some places, I think weíre simply quibbling for the sake of quibbling.  How terrible are state and local politics in Louisiana, for example?  If you want to call them the worst in the country, and I want to say theyíre merely terrible and it upsets you that Iím not in agreement with you, simply consider me in agreement as of now.
About Ray Nagin, I donít know Ray Nagin.  

     Same things I see us as still having disagreements about.

     About Governor Blanco, I still believe you contradict yourself when you say she did nothing but wait for the money to flow in and say that she  wanted to prove the Democrats could handle it by themselves.  These two statements contradict each other.  We know that she wrote to the President and asked for aid 48 hours before the Hurricane landed.  We know that Mr. Browne tried to lie about that and had to eat his words.  When you say ďBlanco did NOT do anything except claim the Democrats could handle it...Ē  I think you are wrong.  

     (The part of your statement I elided, by the way, was ďperhaps through some metaphysical power, perhaps?Ē  It wasnít to the point; but I was struck that some might feel I was taking you out of context.)

     I am told that if the government didnít approve of her method of handling the matter, there exist legal overrides for the posse comitatus rule that would have allowed the state efforts to have been federalized.  If the Administration had felt that she was doing as poor a job as you report, it would be yet another failure on their part not to have done so, wouldnít it?  In fact this government has seemed to find a series of scapegoats for virtually every problem that has arisen
on its watch.

     This is not, by the way a problem I believe is a problem particular to Republicans, who as a whole are as straightforward and standup a bunch of folk as I have run across.  It is a problem with these people, who somehow have the nerve to call themselves Republicans.  When 241 (I hope Iíve gotten the number down correctly) American servicemen were murdered in Beirut, the state department prepared a press release for President Reagan blaming the Military for its unpreparedness.  Reagan wouldnít sign it.  He gave a press conference in which he assumed full responsibility for the situation, though I believe he had much less to do with those deaths than President Bush has to do with these.  He acted the way a leader should act in a time of crisis.  Even as a Democrat, and one who is not particularly admiring of President Reagan in general, I acknowledge his nobility of character there.

     Are you trying to tell me that had there been an Eisenhower, a Rockefeller, a Stassen, a Goldwater, or even a Powell in office we would be having this discussion?  Iím not even talking about a Democrat here, Iím talking about a Republican with a clear sense of character and responsibility.  

     You keep trying to frame this as a Democratic versus Republican quarrel.  It may look that way at times, I know; and I know that the way I talk about it sometimes makes it sound that way.  But I donít want my own personal bias to be lost in the shuffle, I want everybody aware that Iím not neutral, though I try to be even-handed in talking about this stuff.  And the people who are in power and who are making the majority of the mistakes right now are Republican by name, and Iím addressing them as theyíve asked to be addressed.
I try not to confuse them with the people in the paragraph above this one.

     You shopuld have heard me during the Vietnam War.  I was angry at LBJ at the time, and for good reason, though I admire a lot about him now as well.  Civil rights and poverty ahd Headstart programs among them.

     This isnít about Democrats versus Republicans.

     Tell me, if the current Administrationís efforts were so marvelous, where is the prospering city of New Orleans today to show for the fruit of those efforts five full years later?  What has happened to the return of the population to the revitalized city that Bush promised?  What about the flood of new development to the gulf coast in general?  There could be a whole new City of New Orleans there now, with surrounding protective wetlands extending out into the gulf.  There could be levees designed to stand against a force Five hurricane, and pumps with backup power.  Not to mention all those things that you believe could be done even better in states that are even more Republican.  

    Youíve got loads of democrats williung to vote in both the house and the senate for bills to help rebuild the South.  It would be good not only for the south in general, but for the economy of the south, and it would build up a lot of good-will for the democrats at election time down there, donít you think?  So where you you think the moneyís going?

     When I spoke about the vulnerability of the levees in New Orleans, I was speaking about this administration, since none of us are very good with time travel, and affecting anything 40 years old seems difficult at best.  My understanding, though, is that the problems go back even as far as 1938, which is even further than you suggest, and which places even more of it of Democratic shoulders.

     Unless you want to say that the Democrats in Louisiana at the time were the same people who found their ideological home with the  Republicans in 1964 and 1968 when the civil rights legislation passed.  At that point, the Republicans welcomed them with open arms, as I recall, and any legitimate claim that the Republicans had on being the party of Lincoln joined Lincoln himself in the grave.
I can tell you, it a lot simpler for me to be a Democrat after that happened.  Now todayís Republicanís have to do the same contortions that yesterdayís Democrats had to do; I donít wish them on anybody.

Sincerely yours,

Bob K
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54 posted 06-05-2008 11:28 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

    The use of the phrase "Slick Willie" as a disparaging insult for former President Clinton does little to further the discussion.  Were this the outcome of President Clinton's actions, you would hear my criticism as clearly as you do now about President Bush's.  We have no such reality to consider.  And being a completely hypothetical supposition, it threatens to shift the discussion from the actual actions of President Bush and his Department of Homeland Security under whose supervision FEMA functioned to some insubstantial and insupportable realm of unreality.  Your case for the excellence of President Bush, The Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA cannot be so weak that you would wish to discuss fantasy rather than talk about what actually happened.  That would mean that you would be more interested in winning a silly argument than in arriving at a fair understanding of the facts.  That is not like you, Balladeer.

     What is the difference between FEMA under Clinton and Under Bush?  It is too complex to discuss in a short discussion, but one difference stands out among others:  The importance that Clinton Placed on the Agency itself versus the importance that Bush places on it now.

     Clinton thought that FEMA was an important part of the responsibility of the government, especially the disaster-relief aspects of it.  He made the head of FEMA a Cabinet  level post with direct access to the President and he funded it well.  He downplayed the security aspects of its original Carter-era mandate and emphasized the disaster-relief aspects of the organization.  Not only did Clinton talk about all this, he put money into it as well.  He put his money where his mouth was.

     Bush, by way of contrast, took FEMA out of the Cabinet and placed it under The Department of Homeland Security.  He loaded the organization up with people who knew little or nothing about disaster relief and demoted many of those who knew what the actual job of disaster relief was about and how to do it.  He saw it as a security agency under the aegis of The Department of Homeland Security and he cut its funding.  Those are major contrasts.

     I feel that the dual mandate of FEMA was perhaps a mistake from the beginning, one that might perhaps be laid at Jimmy Carter's door.  I wish I had more details to help me understand the basic thinking about this.  Certainly security issues are an important factor in disaster relief, especially if there are military or intelligence aspects to the disaster.  The agency should not have to vacillate in emphasis back and forth between the poles of its original mandate when there is a shift in party control of the administration.  That is something that deserves correction by both parties.  Getting caught on the wrong foot, given this situation, was inevitable.  The fact that it happened with a bunch of Republicans in office this time is probably as close to accidental as it's possible to get;  it could have been a problem with sarin in Cincinnati during a Democratic Administration.  Then the Democrats would be in trouble.

     What was not inevitable was taking FEMA out of Cabinet Level status.  Post Katrina studies concluded that FEMA needed direct cabinet level access to the President and were kind enough not to mention that President Bush had taken that status away only a few years beforehand.  It was not inevitable that FEMA be staffed with people who had no clue about how to handle disaster relief work and who weren't even very good liars.  It was not inevitable that blame allocated anyplace but at the top, where blame belongs.  And it was not inevitable that once the disaster was over, that relief efforts stall completely and that three years after the disaster the situation has not been remedied.  You can try to blame whoever you want, but I think Harry Truman had it right when he said, "The buck stops here."

     John Kennedy, three months after taking office, watched the invasion of Cuba fall apart.  He could have blamed Eisenhower.  He could have blamed the C.I.A.  He could have blamed the Cuban exile community.  There was no shortage of candidates, should a President be in the business of looking for candidates.  

     In Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy, Eisenhower had a note for release to the press should the invasion have not gone well.  He could have blamed any of the usual suspects.  He chose to take responsibility himself.  When it went off well, he gave credit to the troops.

     Contrast that with the current administration.  I cannot recall the current administration ever actually admitting to mistakes, though I'm certain my memory must be flawed in this regard.  I cannot recall our current President actually voicing regrets over anything that was his responsibility in public.  I cannot imagine you would like me to continue this litany and I frankly have not stomach for it.

Respectfully,  BobK.
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55 posted 06-06-2008 12:15 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, please don't think I  take your comments as being offensive (with the exception of the one I mentioned previously) or that my feelings are going to be hurt by anything said here. My feelings don't get hurt easily, assuming i have some. Our discussions are spirited and, yes, biased to one side or the other but that's to be expected. Perhaps, one day, we should do the Ride a Pale Horse routine, where you try to prove how Bush is an excellent president and I try to prove him to be a bad one.

I'll try to respond to everything you have said above when I have time, whenever that is. There are just two things I will say for now.

First, when discussing FEMA's actions and the differences between reconstruction in Mississippi, Texas, Florida and New Orleans, one seems to forget that N.O. was a city completely underwater. I have never claimed that FEMA's actions were spectacular but imagine the incredible logistical nightmare under those conditions, far different than Mississippi. Why haven't citizens returned? The fact is many of them don't want to. They have made that claim publicly...sort of like hitting oneself in the head with a hammer. It doesn't hurt until you stop. They didn't realize how bad the conditions were there with the crime and corruption until they were finally out of there.

Second..I have made the concession that I will use the word democratic instead of democrat because you have stated it offends you. No problem there. But don't ever expect me to stop referring to Clinton as Slick Willie. It is a title he richly deserves.

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56 posted 06-06-2008 04:13 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

How Karl Rove played politics while people drowned

[This message has been edited by JenniferMaxwell (06-06-2008 06:01 PM).]

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57 posted 06-06-2008 04:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Nothing like an article from an unbiased rag...thank you!
serenity blaze
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58 posted 06-06-2008 06:21 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

The entire city was not underwater.

But don't you think that FEMA could have found a way to get either some people on the ground to secure the Superdome and send supplies to those who were suffering? Airdrops to countries we'd bombed in WWII weren't unheard of, Mike.

Again, I'm not even remotely trained for emergency situations, but the obvious is still obvious.

The shootings at the relief helicopters were overplayed. (When you watch something on the news, folks, look for signs of "looping". What looked like dozens of incidents was actually one.) There was incident of shooting, but the intent was more benign according to one man who was questioned later who admitted that it wasn't the smartest thing he'd done, but he was firing his gun to get attention--as waving seemed to be fruitless.

(Now don't go twisting that into a defense of that--but I maintain that we can all sit here and say how we'd behave in such a situation, but in the fray, all intention is for naught anyhow.)

There were shootings that were downplayed, such as those on Danziger bridge.

I'd like to clear up a little something about the behavior of local authorities on the bridge of the West Bank of New Orleans. Racism may have played a part in that, but it was a matter of lesser of two evils. Had those people been allowed to proceed down into the neighborhoods, they would have been met with less kindness than what had been shown to them by the authorities. For one thing, there was a riot going on at the bottom of one those ramps, where our local mall was burnt to the ground when people were denied entrance. As I stated before, there was a war going on, and the police were not entirely innocent.

But yet, in all of the interviews I'd seen, I never heard mention that there were indeed buses waiting for those who managed that long walk to the Westbank. Why those people could not have been actually been picked up from the superdome, is a failure of local government and lack of cooperation that I can point a finger at as a warning of what happens when you allow partisanship to over-ride unity and the common good.

There were buses, food, rides to the Alario Center in Westwego, La. where more bigger, better buses were lined up to bring them to various places of refuge.

That makes it all sound very decent and civilized, but in many instances families were seperated. I'm not just talking about "ooops, we lost Uncle Fred." Children were seperated from their mothers, sometimes sent to different STATES, because in the chaos, people were ordered on buses by gunpoint. Sounds more like the Nazi's, doesn't it? But I have some sympathy too, because like I said, it was a war.

Every pawn shop, "sporting goods" store, any place that had guns? They were all "hit." As the days passed, I can't say I blame some of the cops who just left town, since they felt abandoned by higher authority as well.

Scores were being settled amongst gangs as well as gangs and law enforcement. It was the perfect time to make an enemy "disappear."

Nobody would ever know...unless they knew.

FEMA could have done whatever President Bush ordered them to do. But instead, Bush wanted to play hardball with Blanco over control of the National Guard. I don't believe any governor was ever asked to give up control, and that's why I say Blanco was in an unwinnable situation. She would have been criticized if she had done so, and I would have been one of them that did.

By the way, Louisiana did not receive their Federal relief money until after the governor's election. After the people voted in REPUBLICAN Bobby Jindal.

See? Still smiling.

And I'm gonna go lay down, but not because I'm upset, there's this movie on IFC that looks pretty good...

It's about poetry.
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59 posted 06-06-2008 06:48 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks for the input, serenity. You saw things in a way - an accurate one - that we who were not there can only piece together from whatever information was released. I'm sure a lot of it was overblown, like the shooting at the helicopters. I recall that there were much-publicized rapes occuring at the superdome, also, which turned out to be hoaxes.

It's almost like Iraq. The soldiers there tell a completely different story than the newspapers and politicians do.

I think FEMA could have done, more, too. I'd like to hear, however, when you say they would have done anything Bush would have told them to do.....what should Bush have told them to do - in a realistic and not Monday morning quarterbacking way? I'd sincerely be interested in knowing.

Air-dropped supplies (like the UN is not doing now in Africa)? Ok, good. What else, from one who lived through it and saw what more was needed?
serenity blaze
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60 posted 06-06-2008 07:15 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

All I have, after the obvious, is retrospect.

Better handling of the monies that were dispersed is right there on top.

But I do hope that some of those minds better than mine have already made a list of "coulda woulda shoulda" dones.

In the spirit of non-partisanship, I think FEMA should abide by their name.

Federal Emergency Management.

I think that Fema's objectives should remain to make emergencies---non-emergencies.
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61 posted 06-06-2008 07:24 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

That's one thing that always puzzled and bothered me - why didn't Bush order FEMA or the military to drop supplies of water and MRE's when there were people in the Superdome and Convention Center begging for both? It seemed like it was days before we saw the first crates of bottled water being brought in.

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62 posted 06-06-2008 07:41 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Jen? The only explanation I've ever heard was that they were afraid of starting a riot.

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63 posted 06-07-2008 12:46 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...and you find it unbelievable that it wouldn't have started a riot, Karen? Why? Because of the gangs were busy looting every store in New Orleans? Or because everyone in the superdome would have patiently waited in line for someone in authority to pass out rations of food to them?

Now THAT'S unbelievable....

You made the statement that FEMA would have done whatever Bush told them to do. I asked what Bush should have told them to do and your answer is to make emergencies non-emergencies? Could you be a little more specific?
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64 posted 06-07-2008 01:22 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

c'mon Mike...THERE YOU GO AGAIN.

WHY do you persist in this?

You take one part of an argument and make it hyperbole. I didn't say what you said I said. I was talking about what was going on in the suburbs of the Metro New Orleans Area. (And being kind to your point of view in the process too.)

If you are going to equate hungry, thirsty people with the OPPORTUNISTS (legal and illegal) then you are indeed worthy of whacking the Bush.

I know you are smarter than this.

I know you know tactics, I know you know that dropping aid provisions isn't like dropping a damned bomb.

Let's drop some water RIGHT ON those sumwitches?

Just stop it.

We all know damned well it could have been done and should have been done and wasn't.

There was a way in too, btw. You know this area, not quite as well as I do, but you know that there was a way out, so there was a way IN. (Highway 90, folks)

We needed people there, on the ground, and that was the ball dropped by the ridiculous Mayor Ray Nagin, who was ducking and covering on the 17th floor of the Hyatt.

If you want me to go into the ALL of the projections of FEMA'S goals, I'll start where we are:


Now I'll ask you:

85 percent of New Orleans pre-Katrina was private business. How do you replace that?

(How about low-interest small business loans?)

The fact that we existed as long as we did as we were is a testamony to our strength and reslience--our ONLY Fortune 500 company post-Katrina, ENTERGY claimed bankruptcy, btw.

Let's talk about insurance adjustment too.

Don't you think it's ridiculous that there are abandoned houses on my street while we have a housing crunch?

Who is profitting? People with money to play "monopoly" that's who.

I wish you wouldn't tick me off by playing dumb, lovie.

You know damned well that provisions and supervision could have been provided.

And given a choice, I think I would rather have provisions to fight for than none at all. As a friend abroad put it to me, the whole world watched to see how the United States would handle this in their usual manner of "over-done" and were in shock when underdone was the order of the day.

Or should we make that days?
serenity blaze
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65 posted 06-07-2008 02:46 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze


You asked for no "armchair quarterbacking" and then proceed to prompt me to do just that.

I've got news.

It ain't over.

We're still hurting.

Our government ignorned us, on every level.

I want to thank my friends, who, despite party affiliation, helped me out personally.
Mike happens to be at the top of my list. Second only to Mysteria who managed, from Canada, to talk to members of my family I hadn't talked to in a year or so.

Forgive my passion if I don't consider my personal good fortune good enough. Forgive me if the fact that I am safe enough for now, unreassuring.

My family and I were treated well, with a small town eye kept close upon us to make sure we were one of the "friendlies".

*rubbing my head*

(Thank you Herb & Sharon, and thank you Michael Frugier, for giving us a safe place to be, and for having a grandfather that built a place that could survive Rita as well.)

For a minute though, look at this:


She's actually beautiful, with some distance. Mother Nature's Menopausal Orgasm.

I can respect that.

Now imagine it happening twice. We rode out Rita in a rice field.

We decided to "steal" home after that'n.

And btw? There was some discussion as to why rubber rafts and flotation devices weren't airdropped (Mike? Just the fact that this was discussed tells me that it was do-able.) Jen? The answer to that one was the rubber rafts were rubber and not made for navigating hurricane debris.

Well I guess Mother Nature is the mothah of invention:

Mike? I wondered so many times what Bush had to do, how low he had to sink to lose his party loyalty and Katrina gave us the answer:


Thank God/dess it's almost over.

Jaime Fradera
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66 posted 06-07-2008 02:39 PM       View Profile for Jaime Fradera   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jaime Fradera

If Sunshine wasn't a constituent of former representative Dick Edlund, who, after doing a stint in the Kansas Legislature, ran a business selling feed to Kansas stockmen, and is now president of our deaf-blind division, she is at the very least a tough old crone who has with stood all the nasty bleeding Kansas has ever thrown her.  Maybe she has been too busy putting back together what a harsh and unforgiving Nature has destroyed, and has not had time to write to FEMA or complain about the President or even blame God.
And she is absolutely right.  It is all too easy to be a victim of some real or imagined agency.  In fact, at one time in my life, and perhaps even now, I were one.  The hardest thing to do, indeed the only thing to do, is to take on whatever it is that isn't being done, because unless somebody does it, it will not get done and nothing will happen.
It is true that bad things happen to good people, that at times events take place witch, like cosmic steam-rollers, bury masses of dead before them.  But in the greater scheme of things, the dead don't really matter, except as they live on in memories and monuments.
And no, often we will never know why whatever happened happened, why so many had to lose their lives.  The truth is that life is harsh; life is unfair; and it is going to stay that way, and that we can choose either to just get use to it or get use to it; because the alternative is suicide.
Being victim is just a state of mind, and has nothing whatever to do with what happens to us;  in other words, we can choose whether or not to be victims.  If you choose not to be a victim, if you decide to give um hell instead,  nothing and no one can seduce, intimidate, control or frighten you (not even Obama)  unless they manage to kill you first, and even then, it will be said of you that you died fighting, or you died to save others from the twin towers.
  But whatever happens to others, we who are still living have our lives and have each other.  For as long as we are living, we have a choice the dead will never know.  We can do what sunshine does every hour of every day, or we could put a bullet through our heads.
I will not bug you with a laundry list of my accomplishments, since I don't have any.
I will not tell you how many times a cruel, uncaring fait has stripped me of everything so dear to me, because there are others like me in our Federation too.  And no doubt there are worse horrors yet in store for me.  Will I make it?  Will I get through?  Will I be hit by a drunk driver today on the was to the grocery store?
I don't have time to see if Obama is going to take me.
He might want me to go hungry, too.

I just don't know.
But maybe they will write of me that I died fighting ...
or maybe they won't ...

And Karen, Oh sweet serenity!
as for the 200 bodies in the morgue, Serenity DOES care about them.  It's probably more care than they got when they were living.
But now, the are the envy of the whole dam universe.
They have the love of Karen!
serenity blaze
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67 posted 06-07-2008 04:50 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze


Jaime? *shakin' my head*

Pay attention folks, 'cause this doesn't happen often. I ain't gonna scream it either, it's just this:


I'd wave a white flag but that's called second-linin' here. But....

I do happen to have a .38!

Dorothy surrenders.

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68 posted 06-07-2008 04:57 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I wish you wouldn't tick me off by playing dumb, lovie.

I never play dumb, Serenity. I am dumb by nature!

Low interest business loans? Insurance adjustments? I wasn't aware that they were part of FEMA. If they are, well, what can you expect from a dummy? .

Yes, Karen, things could have been handled better, as they could in any situation with such a broad scope. Just perhaps those helicopters, after getting reports that one was being fired on, didn't understand that, after all was over, one distraught idiot would claim he was just having a bad day. They actually took the shooting seriously, maybe. Blame them, not him.

So what did FEMA do that was good? I've seen no news of anything they did that was noteworthy or helpful at all. This does not surprise me at all. It's no different than the Democrats and press refusing to point out anything good that has happened in Iraq, despite countless soldiers coming back speaking of how proud they were of the good things being done there.  Yes, a lot of it is just political garbage. You have one of the most destructive storms to hit the county. You have people hurting and hungry and you have Bush as president. For the democrats, who had continually tried to pin every ill in the world on Bush for half a decade only to watch them disintegrate under scrutiny, this was indeed the perfect storm in more ways than one. Everything that was wrong was FEMA's fault, which means everything that was wrong was Bush's fault. Show me one arrticle which praises anything FEMA did during this tragedy, if you can.

We seem to have this affinity for blaming someone for everything that happens and, if it carries political overtones, so much the better. 9-11? Not that satisfying screaming at Bin-Laden. He's not standing there in front of us....but the government is. Blame them. Talk about how it should have been prevented and how they dropped the ball. Come up with conspiracy theories how Bush was behind it all. File thousands of lawsuits and demand cash. Katrina? Can't scream at an act of nature. Blame it on FEMA, Bush, the military. They are an appropriate substitute. To your credit, Karen, you also included the idiocy of Nagin and the local police departments, but you are one of the few. Blame, blame, blame. That's what we have become a nation of.

Speak of only the bad you can find and ignore the good, if it doesn't fit your personal or political agenda. Know what I found interesting, as a side note? Yesterday, June 6th, there was not one post, not one poem, one topic or one comment referring to D-Day and the tens of thousands of soldiers who gave their lives to keep countries free. Not one....and it doesn't surprise me a bit. Does it mean people are anti-military now?. Oh, no. They will say they fully support the military in the same tone they will used when saying "I have lots of black friends!" after making a racial remark. It's just not fashionable, I suppose, to say anything pro-military these days or give any credit where it may be due. The baseball coach of the University of Miami went to Iraq recently and, upon returning, said the one constant thing he heard from the soldiers about what they feared most was what the people back home would think of them. I can fully understand that, too.

So keep playing the blame game if you (figuratively) like and ignore anything positive, whether it be FEMA, Bush, the military or anything, if it makes you happy or gives you some form of satisfaction. Personally I don't see how it can.........

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69 posted 06-07-2008 05:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Getting back to the subject at hand....

Associated Press - May 28, 2008 4:33 PM ET

BAKER, La. (AP) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is trying to close its last six trailer parks from Hurricane Katrina by Sunday.

Nearly 440 families are still occupying trailers at the six Louisiana group sites, and FEMA estimates that about 380 of them will still be in place Sunday.

Officials say they won't evict anyone, but the goal remains to try to get everyone out as quickly as possible.

One reason is that hurricane season begins Sunday. However, much of the urgency for moving the families stems from worries about potentially hazardous levels of formaldehyde in the trailers.

Most families moving out are eligible for federally subsidized housing assistance until next March.
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70 posted 06-07-2008 05:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

BILOXI, MS) June 3 -- What are people who receive FEMA assistance doing to help themselves? That's the question NBC 15's Andrea Ramey asked those who have been staying for free in hotel rooms after they moved out of FEMA supplied travel trailers. What she found out is there are some who are doing very little.

The scorching heat puts many at the Quality Inn poolside, but for Gwenester Malone, she chooses to beat the heat by setting her thermostat to sixty degrees. Malone's room for the past three months, along with three meals daily, have all been paid for by taxpayers.

"Do you work?" asked NBC 15's Andrea Ramey.

"No. I'm not working right now," said Malone.

Malone says she can't drive and it's too hot outside to find work within walking distance. "Since the storm, I haven't had any energy or pep to go get a job, but when push comes to shove, I will," said Malone.

Just a few blocks away, Kelley Christian also stays at a hotel for free. She says she's not taking advantage of her situation, but admits it's easy to do. "It's too easy. You know, once you're there, you don't have to pay rent," said Christian. "I kept putting it off and putting it off and now, I'm tired of putting it off."

She says she'll be out of the hotel and in an apartment by the end of the month. Push came to shove for Christian when police found a meth lab in a hotel room directly below her. "All kind of people in white suits pulled all kind of chemicals out here. There was enough to line up about three cars worth of chemicals. It scared the heck of me," said Christian.

Taxpayers also paid for that meth lab. The men police arrested were receiving FEMA assistance. The hotel owner says he'll now have to spend $5,000 to clean out the room.

As for Malone, she says she's not seeing any drug activity at her hotel. It's too nice she says. Why would she want to leave?

FEMA has not been able to provide the exact totals as to how much all the meals and hotel rooms are costing taxpayers, but FEMA has said repeatedly it works with people continuously to find permanent housing, and it will not leave anyone homeless.

Since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast nearly three years ago, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Mississippi has charged more than 275 people with FEMA fraud.
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71 posted 06-07-2008 05:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

While on-the-ground support of disaster recovery efforts is a major part of FEMA's charter, the agency provides state and local governments with experts in specialized fields and funding for rebuilding efforts and relief funds for infrastructure, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration. FEMA also assists individuals and businesses with low interest loans. In addition to this, FEMA provides funds for training of response personnel throughout the United States and its territories as part of the agency's preparedness effort.

Yes, Serenity, you are absolutely right. Is it your experience then that FEMA is NOT providing low-interest loans?
serenity blaze
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72 posted 06-07-2008 06:44 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Oh. You can apply.

Anybody can apply.

The only small businesses I've seen that were actually approved and utilized went belly up. They were mostly construction companies. I believe I conceded in another thread that we also got our asses kicked by Mexicans. But that's another issue.

Jaime, Mike, I don't want you guys to think I have no sense of humor about the subject. In fact, yesterday I decided to dust off that old play that a certain sniffy someone had decided was too irreverent for her needs.

Maybe we can laugh a little now.

So you guys just go ahead and perform the autopsies, as I said earlier, I only know what I know, and that ain't a helluva lot?

(Do ya'll think planting bible-thumping audience members dressed as locusts in a balcony seat "over the top?")

Have at it, Mike. I'm just having more fun playing with myself. *cackle*

I was thinking about you earlier though. I went back to a time when my brothers had got into fisticuffs yet again, and my Dad listened to them protesting, standing there, equally bloodied and bruised.

He calmly drank his coffee and continued reading his paper.

"Aren't you going to do something?" My mom asked.

My Dad looked up and said, "Both o ya'll shoulda knowed better."

Then he looked at my mom and smiled and said,


I'm gonna go work on my play.

I need a good laugh. Love to all.

The truth is we're talking about two different things when we discuss recovery. You want the appearance of a town, and I want my home back, and I can't have that. But speaking of recovery, I think that I'm at a point now where I will stop wallowing and wishing for my old life back too.

I think I want a brand new one of those. The old one wasn't so hot.

But keep up the good fight, by all means.

I'll try to restrain myself from peeking back in. (But it does inspire the play!)


Bob K
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73 posted 06-07-2008 09:43 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

           You are apparently shocked and astounded that idiots and fools as well as the wise and capable are expected to be helped by government relief efforts.  If I understand the logic you are offering, then because people you don't think deserve our help are getting it, then everybody should be cut off from all help because they're all terrible.  I don't believe you mean this.

    Why not take a very deep breath and ask yourself the question that people of conscience have been asking themselves forever?  What do we do in a world where we do not approve of everybody who asks for help?    If you put conditions on the help, what experience tells us is that many of the deserving folk do not get the help they need.  (I've seen schizophrenic, manic depressive, obsessive-compulsive and other fairly ill people taken off public welfare and seen them end up on the streets because they fell through the cracks.  They couldn't jump through the extra hoops.  Most anyone working in mental health will tell you the same thing.)  The cost of separating the deserving and the undeserving is high, probably higher than the cost of actually paying for the people who shouldn't be on the roles.  And, tell me, Balladeer, really, how robust and hale and healthy do you think the folks are that you think of as freeloaders.  Would you want to trade places with any of them?  Is there a life among them that you envy?  I mean really envy, the way you'd like to live the life of a millionaire?  There are an awfully high percentage of kids and single mothers on the roles.  Cut the number of social workers and  what you get are more child abuse cases.  They're already overstretched.

     Are you willing to change places with Kelly Christian?
How about Gwenester Malone in Biloxi?  It may be good reporting and it may stir your blood and contempt, but I suspect that trading places with them or visiting their neighborhoods and looking at their living conditions and seeing what their three meals a day provided through the taxpayer's dollar would be like might be a tad rich for your blood.  I know it is for mine.

     The difference between us here is that I imagine living there and I say to myself that I'd feel pretty disheartened and depressed because I've been pretty disheartened and depressed and I know how immobilizing that can be.  I know I'd be fortunate to get out of bed in the morning, if that.  And you imagine something else.  I say I'd need every bit of help I could get; and even that might not be enough.  And you're saying something that doesn't fit with your innate kindness, because I know that you've been very helpful to Serenity and I know you've got a decent and more than decent heart.

     As for FEMA, the problems with it seem to be structural.  They should be able to be repaired by making FEMA a cabinet level post with direct access to the President and by staffing it with disaster relief professionals.  Those were the recommendations of the bipartisan committee that did the investigation of the hurricane relief problems.  This was the way, incidentally, that FEMA was run before it was folded in to The Department of Homeland Security.  Lest you think I'm being overly partisan here, apparently The Department of Homeland Security was a Democratic idea originally, and one that I think was absolutely terrible:  Too much Power over People's Lives in too centralized a place.  I don't know why the Republicans took it up.

     None of these changes to the best of my knowledge have been made (please correct me if I'm wrong here).  FEMA seems to have been used in this case selectively to pass on funds to Republicans more directly than Democrats, if Serenity is correct.  IIf the general recommendations had been followed, perhaps the gulf states would be in better shape by now.  Other agencies did better and deserve praise, like the Coast Guard and The Navy, as I understand things.  These Republicans are not the Republicans that earned your respect while you were growing up as the party to support, or my respect as worthy adversaries.  I don't believe
these Republicans are doing well by the country, and I don't mean in comparison to Democrats, though I certainly believe that, but in comparison to Republicans of character and vision and passion from the past; and, possibly, depending who, from the present.

     What the current office holders have done to the gulf states is little more than a metaphor for what they have done to the country as a whole.  When you see the distress of the gulf states, you see the distress of America....

     As for Iraq, Balladeer, the issue is not whether our troops have done well or been heroic.  They have done well and they have been heroic.  The issue is that there was no need for them to have been there in the first place;  they were cynically used to fight a war that cannot be won.  They were mislead by this administration against all facts into believing that Iraq had something to do with the bombings on 9/11.  Despite overt acknowledgement of the truth of this statement Bush and his surrogates have continued to imply otherwise in public forums.  

     In order to win a war, the war must have a goal.  First, it was to revenge ourselves on those who perpetrated 9/11.  The Iraqi's were not involved, and Saddam was not involved.  Attempts to bring those who were responsible were shelved so the war in Iraq could be pursued.  "I don't even think about him very much," was Bush's comment about Bin Laden.  

     After eight or so years in which Saddam was apparently well contained, this administration suddenly begins talking about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.  Where had they been for eight years?  Why had they not been a threat before 9/11?  And how had they suddenly become a threat afterward?  There were no CIA or other governmental reports of their dangers until The President began to ask for evidence of them, after the 9/11 bombings by Saudi nationals.  At no point were such weapons found.

     When it became clear than Saddam was willing to let inspections run their course, Bush upped the ante again.  Now the goal was no longer showing there were no longer weapons of mass destruction; now the goal was regime change.

     Tell me, Balladeer, how many thousand American lives was toppling Saddam's regime worth to George Bush?  Why Saddam, for example, an not any other regime we didn't agree with, say Syria, or North Korea, or Burma or China, or Sudan, to pick a few from the middle of the deck?  With no threat, certainly no immediate threat, despite Dr. Rice's rhetoric about mushroom clouds, what possible reason did  George Bush have to deploy troops in Iraq?  I've never figured it out.

     Certainly our troops have been brave, even heroic.

     What about our Commander in Chief?  Bush's dad knew better.  He predicted the current state of affairs had he attempted an invasion in 1993 and he decided that it was a bad decision; and he was right.  He was right then; he was right when he wrote the book, and he's still right today, and our troops are paying for it.  They are paying a bill that they shouldn't have to pay for reasons that were clear in 1993, in 1998 and are still clear in 2008 despite all the twists and wiggles and turns that President Bush has taken to try to justify it.

     As for bringing up Iraq, I think it would be better to do it in another forum.  I think it takes away from this one, and some recent reading I've been doing has made me reconsider and become if anything somewhat firmer in my displeasure about our Iraq policies.  I hesitate to say so directly, of course, for fear of giving anything away.

Yours, somewhat more testily than I intended, BobK.
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74 posted 06-07-2008 11:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You are apparently shocked and astounded that idiots and fools as well as the wise and capable are expected to be helped by government relief efforts.  If I understand the logic you are offering, then because people you don't think deserve our help are getting it, then everybody should be cut off from all help because they're all terrible.  I don't believe you mean this.

..and you shouldn't believe I mean what you are suggesting, Bob. If that is the impression you got from my comments, then we speak a different language, I suppose.

Yes, I know that FEMA was the creation of the peanut farmer. I also acknowledge that it needs a lot of work in reconstruction and staffing.

With respect to Iraq, your statements are so full of holes and misconceptions that I can't even list them all. I agree that this thread is not the place to beat that horse once again but I would be happy to meet you in another thread if you would like to pursue it.

As for Iraq, Balladeer, the issue is not whether our troops have done well or been heroic.   Tell that to the soldiers over there, Bob, the ones who have heard the stories of how returning Vietnam vets were treated by the public, the ones who read our newspapers and shake their heads at the idiocy of the comments, the ones who scream out "We're making a good difference here!". The issue is why the Democrats and the press would rather cut their collective necks than have anything decent to say about our troops or their work there. The issue is why they have spent 7 years throwing everything at Bush they could conceive, with the hopes that something would finally stick. FEMA could have arrived in New Orleans with bushelfuls of money and enough food to feed Brazil and a crew of carpenters to build a new house for every citizen displaced and the Democrats would have still found ways to blast FEMA and Bush along with it. I have little doubt that there were some great acts of heroics and humanity performed there - yes, even by government employees, but I defy you to show them to me in print. Democrats cannot do that because they are afraid that, doing that, in the same vein as saying anything favorable about Iraq, it may actually reflect favorably on Bush and they certainly can't have that, can they?

Could FEMA have done better? No doubt. Does FEMA deserve only the criticism and hatred the Democrats engineered against them with no praise whatsoever for any efforts or services they provided? Apparently so, to many.......
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