Note From a Madman

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hurricane Ophelia, a category one storm, has dumped as much as two feet of water on the coast of North Carolina. It could stick around ntil Saturday. This is named storm number 15 so far this hurricane season.

Do we still think that "G"lobal "W"arming isn't a factor, Mr. Bush?

-Noah Greenberg


Tonight's Quotes in the Lead
Taking Responsibility (They Have a Funny way of Doing It)

"Evacuees who have not yet registered should contact FEMA,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush, speaking about Hurricane Katrina's victims, September 15, 2005

877-568-3317. When Randi Rhodes of Air America Radio called that number today, a very pleasant recorded female voice come on, told the caller how "busy" the workers are that are answering the phones, told the caller to "call back at a later time," and hung up (dial-tone noises). Randi Rhodes made the observation that many of these people had to search for, or beg someone to use their phone, This was not an easy call.

The question I have is this: When all of those people came to volunteer, and were turned away, did no one think of sitting them down at a table with a pen and a phone and answer the phone? The "disconnect call" should never happen.

"We will not just rebuild, we will build higher and better,"
-GW, from the speech

"Higher and better", referring to the levees that broke and were overflowed. Aren't those the same levees that the Bush administration failed to fund through the Army Corp of Engineers? Didn't these members of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party basically cut off any funding to help these people before the Hurricane, one that was predicted?

This is yet another case of the president closing the barn door after the horses ran off.

"This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina,"

I thought the Bushies already had learned their lessons after 9/11. How many times do these guys have to be "caught by surprise?" This wasn't a secret Mr. Bush. this was one of the top three (count 'em, three) disasters that was predicted by dozens of those people called "scientists." Now I know you don't go in for all that fancy "Science Stuff", but maybe you should start, today... right now... before the "big one" hits California or another terrorist, this time with a "dirty bomb" takes a ride on New York City's subway.

Now GW is calling this "The Army of Compassion." Maybe its a new recruiting tool. it certainly wouldn't surprise me. "Join the army and help the people of the Gulf Coast. Then we'll ship your sorry butts off to Iraq."

Just a couple of weeks late and a few billion dollars short.

-Noah Greenberg

AOL's Poll on "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's speech relating to Hurricane Katrina, September 15, 2005:

How would you rate Bush's speech?
Poor 36%
Excellent 33%
Fair 16%
Good 14%

How confident are you in Bush?
Not at all 53%
Very 39%
Somewhat 8%

How would you rate his handling of the Katrina crisis?
Poor 54%
Good 22%
Excellent 15%
Fair 10%


Total Votes: 120,380


-forwarded by Noah Greenberg

Money and Its Misuses

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
-President Ronald Reagan

I bet the people in New Orleans would have liked to have heard those words from anyone on August 29, August 30, August 31, September 1, September 2, September 3, September 4, September 5.... well, you get the point

I know, I know.... this is a "liberal idea", but helping out the victims of Hurricane Katrina shouldn't be just a charitable thing, it should be something that all of those tax-refunds to the rich were paying for today.

"My opponent thinks the government -- the surplus is the government's money. That's not what I think. I think it's the hard-working people of America's money, and I want to share some of that money with you, so you've got more money to build and save and dream for your families."
-Then Governor George W. Bush, from the Gore-Bush debates of October, 2000

Well, that "surplus" went pretty fast, Georgie-boy. Just where is that money anyway?
Is that money constructing a geographically diverse network of crude oil refineries, just in case a Class 4 hurricane hits New Orleans, where up to 41 percent of our oil is refined?
Is that money going to help rebuild New Orleans, Gulfport or Biloxi?
Has that money gone into Stem Cell research to help cure the chronically ill?
Did we spend that money to make sure the 45 million Americans without health care are able to see a doctor when they are sick, without losing their home?
Are American children learning better from that surplus?

Or has that "surplus:
Gone to fund a war started on false pretenses?
Gone to private contractors in the privatization of our country?
Gone to the richest fraction of one percent of our nation disproportionately?

"It's a difference of opinion. It's the difference between government making decisions for you and you getting more of your money to make decisions for yourself,"
-GW, from that same debate

Remember when the decisions we used to make were "Where should we go on vacation?" or "Chinese or Italian tonight, Dear?" Now, thanks to "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and the likes of Grover "Drown them in a Bathtub" Norquist, Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney and his PNAC cohorts, our decisions are much simpler today, such as, "Shall we all sleep in the same room tonight and turn down the heat?" or "Should I put five dollars of gas in the car or ten and not eat lunch today?" Ah yes... we are full of choices.

Governor Bush "used the phrase 'phony numbers,' but if you look at the plan and add the numbers up, these numbers are correct. (Bush) spends more money for tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent in all of his new spending proposals for health care, prescription drugs, education and national defense, all combined."
-The Vice President Al Gore, during that same debate

Son-of-a---- Al Gore was right!

Time for a test. Who said these?:
" I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops,"
"I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders.... "
"Morale in today's military is too low. We're having trouble meeting recruiting goals,"
"Some of our troops are not well-equipped,"
"I believe we're overextended in too many places,"

And these?:
"I believe they've moved that sign, "The buck stops here," from the Oval Office desk to (an alternate location)"
"I've been disappointed about how and his administration has conducted the fund-raising affairs"

I'll give you three guesses and two hints:
Hint 1: These quotes were all said during the Gore-Bush debate of October, 2000
Hint 2: And it wasn't Al Gore

If you guesses the hypocrite president of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party, President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, you'd be right.

This is the man who never met a campaign promise he couldn't break and never met a dollar bill he couldn't steal from the American Middle Class, if we still have one (a middle class or a dollar  bill - take your pick)..

Three more years. Don't expect too much help America.

-Noah Greenberg

More Republican "Priorities"

In case you didn't notice, the Senate Republicans voted down an independent commission to investigate the federal government's response to hurricane Katrina. The vote was strictly along party lines. All Republican senators, with the exception of Vitter (R-LA), voted against the independent commission.

What do the Republicans want to do instead? Establish a committee headed and dominated by Republicans to investigate the federal response. Let me guess what the outcome will be:
-It's the Democratic governor's fault.
-It's the Democratic mayor's fault.
-It's the people's fault.

Okay, the Republicans did get rid of Brownie but that's no big deal as he takes his marching orders from Chertoff and Bush. The upper brass in the White House has the ultimatum responsibility for this mess. Besides the disingenuous mea culpa from Bush, apologies are cheap, I suspect that no substantial changes will be made. The Republicans will white wash the investigation the same way as the Downing Street Memos and Traitorgate situations.

For the Democrats, they must make the Republicans pay a price at the polls in 2006 & 2008. The Republicans are sticking together so they must hang together.

-Robert Scardapane

'Nuff said About Forrester

Yesterday, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) endorsed Forrester. The NFIB wants to roll back the recently approved increase in New Jersey minimum wage.

"NFIB/New Jersey strongly opposes an increase in the minimum wage. While this legislation might have the best of intentions, it does not take into consideration the economic realities faced by the small-business community in New Jersey. Many small businesses already pay employees more than the required minimum rate, and any increase will likely create a ripple effect that causes wages for all employees to increase."

-The NFIB's web site

"I am grateful for the support of the NFIB, and I look forward to working to make health care affordable and reduce the burden of regulation and taxes on small businesses. Together, we will create a business-friendly climate that will grow our state's economy and ensure a solid future for our children."

-Forrester, upon receiving the NFIB endorsement,

Forrester stands with business lobbies that fight against working families.

Need I say more?

-Robert Scardapane

Senseless Sensenbrenner Strikes Again

The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said on Tuesday he had no intention of reopening a sweeping bankruptcy law passed by Congress earlier this year, despite proposals to exempt Hurricane Katrina victims from some of its provisions.

The new, more stringent bankruptcy law will not harm people left "down and out" by the storm,

-Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner

Sensenbrennersaid he would not hold a hearing in his committee on a bill by the panel's ranking Democrat, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, and 31 other Democrats who want to exempt Hurricane Katrina victims from parts of the new bankruptcy law. A chairman's decision not to hold a hearing usually prevents a House bill from advancing.


By the way, Sensenbrenner (R-WI) was one of the eleven heartless House Republicans who voted against the $50 billion in funding for Katrina relief. He was joined by NJ Congressman Scott Garrett., as forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane


“Blackwater is proud to serve the people of New Orleans First and foremost, this is about Americans helping Americans in a time of desperation. We will continue to support local, state, and federal offices and commercial entities with talented professionals to augment their relief and recovery efforts.'"
- Bill Mathews, Executive Vice President of Blackwater, from a statement on Blackwater's website

I just thought that we'd all like to see the "Training Schedule" of courses that Blackwater, a mercenary-for-hire company offers their "clients":

1-Day Basic Pistol (10/28)
3-Day Basic Pistol (8/8-10)
5-Day Tactical Pistol I (9/12-16)
5-Day Tactical Pistol II (8/29-9/2)
NC Concealed Carry Course (8/6)
3-Day Shotgun (TBA)
5-Day Pistol/Carbine (TBA)
5-Day Pistol/Shotgun (TBA)
Chandler Precision Rifle I (9/16-18)
Chandler Precision Rifle II (10/7-9)
Chandler Precision Rifle III (, 11/11-13)
Advanced Highway Safety (8/13, 9/10, 10/8. 11/12, 12/10)

Extreme Officer Survival (11/7-9)
LE/Military Scout-Sniper Course (9/26-30)
Advanced LE/Military Scout-Sniper Course (10/24-28)
5-Day HRW/HR (8/1-5, 11/14-18)
Tactical EMS S.W.A.T. Course (11/14-18)
High Risk Security Operations Course (full)
K9 Decoy School (9/12-16, 10/10-14, 11/28-12/2)
K9 Tactical (9/26-30, 11/5-9)

Blackwater Carbine Instructor (8/15-19, 10/17-21)
Blackwater Carbine Operator (9/26-30, 11/28-12-2)
Bushmaster Carbine Armorer (12/5-6)
Sig Sauer Classic Pistol Armorer (9/1-2, 12/7-8)
Executive Protection (10/10-14)
Advanced Executive Protection (12/19-23)

In case you were wondering, Blackwater is the "contractor" that is "supporting" the folks in New Orleans, as we speak. Too bad they use the words "shoot to kill" as much as they do.

"This is a totally new thing to have guys like us working CONUS (Continental United States). We're much better equipped to deal with the situation in Iraq."
-a Blackwater mercenary in the French Quarter, heavily armed

Well that should give all of those left on the streets of New Orleans the "warm-fuzzies."


-Noah Greenberg

Preparedness (Cause FEMA Won't Help)

Two weeks have passed since hurricane Katrina moved out of New Orleans.
Those who evacuated, did and those who couldn't/wouldn't are now dying in massive flood conditions.
Everyone was ordered out of the city when the levees crumbled.
Not everyone with transpiration was there to take everyone out.
People are wandering in witless fashion.
People are shooting.
Bodies of the dead are lying in the streets.
E-coli and thousands of other bacterium and toxic chemicals stew in the late summer sun, in several feet of water.

As far as I can tell, it would behoove every single American of all income levels to prepare for emergencies as best they can, before they happen. It is obvious that FEMA and various other agencies are ill equipped to rescue, evacuate, and drop water by air to anyone thirsty, or food to anyone hungry, in time to prevent what has erupted in New Orleans, anarchy.

The following is a simple list of stuff to get and keep on hand, 'in case'
72 hours worth of food and water, in backpacks,
with rudimentary camping equipment, like a tent, sleeping bags, folding shovel and axe.
Baby stuff, if there is a baby. Girl stuff if there are girls. Candles, matches, TP, are a must.
Two to four cans of gas. A little cash. This should be placed so it can be grabbed, thrown into the vehicle, and left with. Easily. Quickly.
Beyond this,
Water. 55 gallon drums, blue plastic cost about $35-$45. Pumps to get the water out are about $10. Albertsons has them in summer. Home Depot, Ace Hardware.
It's an easy, clean way to keep some water available.
Food. Five gallon buckets of dried, vacuum packed foodstuffs can be bought online or at many locations where there are commercial farms for $25 to $65 per bucket, depending on what is in them. They are stackable.
Beyond this,
Stash a cache. Old wild west trick. Get a watertight plastic case at Wal-Mart, very reasonable, and put in, a first aid kit, socks, a big knife, some camp dishes, a few towels and washcloths, paper towels, Kleenex, girl stuff/baby stuff if indicated, a compass, jerky, shampoo/conditioner, a can opener, bug spray, toilet paper, matches, alcohol/hydrogen peroxide, and anything else you would want if you were battered by mother nature, too hot or too cold and maybe in shock a little, or just desperate for life preserving stuff when all other options are not available.
Put this somewhere you can access it outside your house, although a cache is traditionally buried it need not be, but it should be safe from your house, in case your house is rubble.
Think about where you are, and what is likely to happen.
Possible disasters are:
extreme weather
volcanic eruption
tidal wave/flooding
trucking strikes
Another good idea is to buy, own and ride as frequently as possible, a bicycle. It is the only transpiration I know that doesn't use fuel, is low maintenance, and gets you from point A to point B on wheels.
Acquire a small boat or raft and keep it on your roof.
Bungees are a good thing to have around for emergencies. Duct tape also. Tarps.
If you have an attic, keep an axe up there. Flares are easy to get and great for signaling for help.
I would have thought that everyone in the United States would have known this simple basic survival stuff, before Katrina, whether they live in cities or not, regardless of race, gender, or age.
None of this is expensive. None of this is impossible. Even the homeless are able to acquire rudimentary survival basics.
No matter what happens, no single person should be sitting around waiting for FEMA to save them. No matter what happens, all of us should be willing and able to help each other.
The young help the old. The well help the sick. Families stick together. The strong help the weak.

Remember, the man clinging to a tree while the flood waters rose around him, praying to God to rescue him? A kid in a canoe paddled by and offered to let him ride with him, but the man said 'that's okay, I've prayed to God and he is coming to get me'. The boy paddled off and the man kept praying. Soon a Coast Guard boat came by and tried to get the man to come out of the tree. 'That's okay', said the man, 'I've prayed to God and he is coming to rescue me.' The Coast Guard boat roared off to get other people out of the trees. Next a helicopter hovered by the tree where the man was clinging and urged him to grab the rope they lowered. The man waved them off, as the waters rose, hollering 'it's okay, God is coming to get me, I've prayed with great faith and I'm sure he'll come' The helicopter rose and flew away. Soon the man could hold onto the tree no longer. He fell in the water and drowned. When he got to Heaven he saw God and said 'I prayed and prayed for you to save me and you didn't come. I had so much faith. What happened?' God said 'I sent two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?'

There was a day when the people of the United States of America would have been embarrassed to think bureaucrats from the federal government should help them. This was a day in my lifetime and I'm not all that old. We need to get back to some modicum of self reliance, because if the disaster in New Orleans is any indication of what FEMA is good for, we are all the walking dead when disaster strikes us in our own regions.


In response to "NEXT SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 there will be a series of anti-war rallies in Washington, D.C.," Chris Tennant writes:

I would like to add my own input to the commentary (above) and suggest that we should not only converge on Washington DC en masse on the 24th of September but we should protest Ukrainian style. That is to say, we should take along tents, sleeping bags, etc. and camp out in front of the White House and DEMAND that Bush AND Cheney resign or else face the initiation of impeachment proceedings against them.

Unfortunately a brief (few hours) demonstration is NOT going to have ANY effect on this administration, as we so aptly witnessed when some 11 MILLION people around the world demonstrated against going to war on Iraq, after which Bush stated that he was not going to change his policies or course of action because of a FEW dissenters. Moreover, during the entire course of this administration thus far, NOTHING positive has been achieved. On the contrary, each and every decision and action has been based on lies and deception and fraught with disastrous consequences for our country and for the innocent people of Iraq. And, if that were not bad enough, at NO TIME have the wishes of the American people ever been taken into consideration, let alone honored!!! ALL of our protests have fallen on deaf ears and have been brushed aside in the interest of mercenary pursuits that are bankrupting our country, both financially AND morally!!!

It is obvious that the people must make it absolutely clear to both this administration and to the world at large via the media that we are not going to take any more of this, and it seems that the only way that we, the American people, have open to us to unburden ourselves of this corrupt administration prior to the next election is to take to the streets in the hundreds of thousands and camp out there until our grievances have been properly addressed and acted upon, even though such action on our part may be met by little more than martial law and the detention of thousands of determined dissenters.

And for those of you who are reluctant to participate in the demonstration because you don't like or trust the group ANSWER, please be aware that that group is only one of MANY that will be protesting on the 24th. Other groups will include MFSO (Military Families Speak Out), GoldStar Mothers, various veteran and religious groups, Cindy Sheehan and her supporters, etc. So there is sure to be at least one group that you can identify with and support. Please don't let your country down. We are counting on you to do the right thing on the 24th!

-Chris Tennant
UN Consultant and former Programme Officer
Middle East/North African and Eastern European Regions

In response to "Apparently, the facts are – the first plane hitting the first WTC was not seen on TV for at least 24 hours. The tape was coincidentally taken by a French film crew and they did not share it until the next day. BUSH COULD NOT HAVE SEEN THE FIRST PLANE HIT THE WTC BEFORE HE ENTERED THE CLASSROOM.," CarolK843 writes:

That's not true I saw the first plane hitting the WTC minutes after it happened on the Today Show and on MSNBC -- where did the 24 hour thing come from?

The better film might have been later

Scarier is that I knew it was a terrorist attack as soon as I saw it

But then Mr. Bill (of Saturday Night Live fame -Madman) knew the levies could break and the president didn't.

In response to, "it's morally bankrupt policy and highway robbery of the American people. These economic predators have to go!" Pat Thompson writes:

Did you ever notice that these robbers often made their money from robbing the earth of valuable things that belong to all -- from oil and gas to timber and minerals -- coal, gold, silver, copper. These "rugged individuals", often from the west, want to use the public lands to graze their cattle, cut timber from national forests, suck the last drops of oil from beneath the ANWR, tear down mountains to extract the coal, profit from nuclear power plants that tax dollars will build, corporate farmers who want to collect government subsidies for not planting crops...

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-Noah Greenberg