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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, August 28, 2006

 

Measuring the Difference

Could New Orleans have been saved if Al Gore were president? If you were to ask that question a mere few weeks ago, I probably would have answered "No". However, since the one-year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans' ninth ward, I reconsidered my thinking.

We heard right after 9/11 that, had Al Gore been president during the terror attacks, there would have been no response and that "G"lobal "W"arming Bush was the only man who could get us through the nightmare. We now all know that this was, and is untrue. Had Al Gore been president, I feel confident that we would have captured or killed Osama bin-Laden when we had him surrounded in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan. Additionally, I think that, not having gone into Iraq, that Iran and North Korea wouldn't be flexing their nuclear muscles the way they do today, this being due to the military strength we could use against them. This strength, of course, today is being abused in Iraq for profit. Had the Israeli-Hezbollah issue come forth, we would have been able to send troops into a buffer zone in Southern Lebanon immediately, as both nations now wish.

There are other things that I think would have happened had Al Gore not chickened out and fought a battle he might have won in 2000.

Reaching back to realize that the US congress had authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to build up the levees around New Orleans to withstand a storm with the intensity of a Katrina, I have to wonder what would have been different had Al Gore been president? You have to believe that the shoring up of, at least, part of the levee system would have been well under way under the guidance of the Corps And just what would that shoring up have meant to the people of New Orleans today?

But even if you believe that it wouldn't have made a bit of difference in the results immediately following the disaster, there can be no doubt that a Gore administration response (Probably with James Lee Witt at the helm - Clinton's former FEMA head) would have been exactly the opposite of what the Bush administration response was.

Using the Red River Valley, in which the administration of Bill Clinton, led by James Lee Witt, not one person lost their life. True, there were less people involved in this situation, but no one was attending a birthday party for another politician (Bush during Senator John McCain'a birthday); no one was picking out a new pair of shoes during a shopping spree in New York City (Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice); and no one stayed on vacation while people were drowning and being crushed to death (Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney).

It's my belief that Al Gore would have had people on the ground (many more than the two FEMA personnel that were "watching" last August) ready to assist. But, more to the point, today there would be movement in and about the city. We'd be watching the constant clearing of diseased and decaying properties and the rebuilding of a city... all of the city. There would be people coming back and temporary schools ready to teach. There would be hope, and no one would have had to say that "We're going to re-commit" as Bush said just a few days ago. An original commitment would have been enough and have been met.

"But another Katrina (a strong Category 3 hurricane when it hit the New Orleans area last year) has the possibility to chew up the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet levees all over again, because they aren't armored yet,"
-" Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, referring to plans to place rock or other material on the interior side of the levees to prevent them from washing away (from www.nola.com, The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-6/115674455612300.xml&coll=1

Why hasn't any of this much needed work started yet?

The concern, as I see it, is that the Bush administration judges everything by its political ramifications. They'll fix it if there is an election coming about. But if they can only promise to fix it, then they'll do nothing but offer rhetoric and false promises.


And if it isn't an election year, they'll just ignore it, take a fly-by over the area of damage, then go shoe shopping while on their eight week of vacation.

-Noah Greenberg


More on Spinning Katrina

 

Expect a massive media campaign from the Bushitas this week on Katrina.  They will spin the so called "good news" just as they did with Iraq. Here is the truth:

 

Thousands of families are still waiting for FEMA trailers.


An estimated 11 percent of the $19 billion spent by FEMA, or $2 billion, has been wasted by fraud and abuse.


About 80 percent of Gulf Coast businesses with approved Small Business Administration disaster loans are still waiting to receive their funds.

 

See http://democrats.senate.gov/pdfs/KatrinaReport2006.pdf for details.

 

-Robert Scardapane


A Thought For Labor Day

Labor Day is approaching. Here's a thought on the real state of the economy from Jared Bernstein (Economic Policy Institute):

Real wages for most workers, after rising for the first few years of the 2000s, have fallen lately, and despite 14 percent higher productivity, a typical worker’s real weekly earnings are down 3 percent over this expansion. Median family income is down about $1,500 since 2000, and more than 5 million people have been added to the poverty rolls.

Many families, stretching to meet their budgets with squeezed paychecks after filling up their gas tanks, must be wondering: With recoveries like this, who needs recessions?
****

Americans are ticked - it's Iraq, it's the bungled response to terrorism, it's the complete failure to respond to disasters such as Katrina but it's still the economy


-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane


In response to "Mel Gibson was pulled over and arrested for drunk driving", Pat Thompson writes:

 

Mel Gibson is a very dangerous man.  He made a movie  that is bloody porn, agitating the right wingnut Christian robots, and seriously increasing anti-Semitism.  His father's holocaust denial, which he shares to some extent, is also a very dangerous trend.  When history is forgotten, we are doomed to repeat it.  But the bottom line is.....  the bottom line.  All he really cares about is money and furthering his career.  

In response to "Is General Motors selling their a whole boatload of Sierra Trucks in New Delhi?" Pat Thompson writes:
 

Does General Motors manufacture those trucks in the US, or in Mexico?

 

Excellent point! -NG


In response to, "Remember when "Buy American" was a rallying cry of the Right? Today, when I tell people that I always look to buy American first, they look at me like I'm crazy." Pat Thompson writes:

My Toyota was manufactured in Kentucky. Many so-called American cars are manufactured in Mexico. Go figure. It's the global economy....

Not by a union shop, I bet. -NG


In response to Randi Haley (her comments in black), Stephen J. Spiro writes:

 

The roadside billboard religious notion that there is a baby in a woman’s belly immediately after conception is a lie.

Ms Haley is spinning.  “Baby” is a matter of definition, and it is by no means settled.  Note that in several of the cited TECHNICAL quotes here, the term BABY is used even when the technical terms of embryo and fetus are used in the same source.  The only people who refuse to call it a baby until birth are the pro-abortionists.

A human organism takes several months to evolve from a clump of cells to a tadpole like structure and into a viable human being.

Ahhh --- a VIABLE human being.  (This is a moving target -- currently about 22-23 weeks after conception.  Used to be a lot more, but advances in medicine have brought it down to this.  Earlier than this, the lungs are not developed enough – oxygen MUST be delivered thru the umbilical cord.  Getting beyond this is an engineering problem, currently beyond our technical ability – but inevitable.)  If Ms Haley wants to define “viability” as the determinant for “being human”, she is going to have to defend the idea that “becoming human” depends on the state of the medico/engineering arts.

PS: The correct term is “develop”.  “Evolve” means something rather different.  I realize that Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny, but it still ain’t evolution.

 

At twelve weeks, the legal limit on abortions,

The legal limit on abortions is BIRTH.  That’s what “partial birth abortion” is all about.  Roe v Wade defined “human being” as one born.  The so-called trimester and viability limitations referred to when a state could regulate (but not prohibit) abortions. 

the embryonic organism weighs less than an ounce,

“12th WEEK: Embryo is about the size of a goose egg.
Placenta is well established and weighs more than the baby.
Baby is approximately 3 1/2" long and weights about 60 grams (2 oz.)”  http://www.dcdoctor.com/pages/rightpages_wellnesscenter/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment.html

does not resemble a human, cannot see, hear, smell, breath, or feel in any human way. It has not yet established a central nervous system.

“Heart tubes are fusing and on day 22 the

heart begins to beat.  This is the first organ to

function”     http://www.med.upenn.edu/meded/public/berp/overview/BV_1.html?14

Ummm, that’s THREE WEEKS…

“The last half of the

embryonic period (from 4 to 8 weeks) is the

time when most of the organs are formed”   http://www.med.upenn.edu/meded/public/berp/overview/BV_1.html?16

“The first eight

weeks is a time of embryogenesis, when major

organ development begins.  The beginnings of

all essential structures are now present.”  http://www.med.upenn.edu/meded/public/berp/overview/BV_1.html?22

If you look at the illustration on this page, the baby looks very much like a baby.  EIGHT WEEKS

8th WEEK:  Major organs begin development.

Baby is extremely reactive to its environment.   (MY emphasis) http://www.dcdoctor.com/pages/rightpages_wellnesscenter/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment.html

 

Somebody ought to report her to her licensing boards.  She's a "Certified Childbirth Educator"? Wow!


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-Noah Greenberg