Friday, September 09, 2005
I couldn't agree more!
This first section, I found on someone else's blog as a link, I'm sorry I've forgotten who, comment me and I will give you proper credit:
Impeach, Remove, Jail In the often and rightly quoted words of Bill Clinton, "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." We see now how individuals and groups around the country continue to act in any way they can to help their fellow citizens in Louisiana, Mississippi and other devastated places near the Gulf of Mexico. They refuse to stand idly by and wait for President Bush and his morally-bankrupt, pirate administration to respond in an appropriately urgent and compassionate manner to the escalating agony and desperation of our fellow citizens. As we know, this agony and desperation was caused in large part by a near complete absence of adequate federal government funding, preparedness, and leadership. We the people will continue to help Americans and non-Americans alike, with or without the participation or approval of George W. Bush and his Neo-Conservative cohorts. While it is true that what is most important right now is to rescue, feed, house, and in any way possible care for those immediately affected by the disaster, it is equally true that in the long run those directly responsible for aggravating the tragic situation must be held accountable. The mounting evidence of the Bush administration's criminal mismanagement of the nation, as well as its consistently arrogant disregard for our planet's people and natural environments must be confronted immediately. Those who voted for Bush last year, or who have continually supported his outlaw administration in its destructively dishonest conduct -- including not only extremist conservatives but also politically-calculating democrats -- need not hang their heads or avert their eyes now. What they can and ought to do is join the increasing numbers of Americans who are demanding that impeachment proceedings be initiated as soon as possible. Members of the Bush Administration responsible for the blatant lies and self-serving manipulations that have fanned the flames of disaster from Iraq to New Orleans must be prosecuted as our laws require. We must insist on this. Furthermore, we must not allow these disgracefully unpatriotic public servants to be pardoned by any future president as Gerald Ford did for Richard Nixon. Please call or write your government representatives and help get the scoundrels out of government and in prison where they belong. Do not allow the subject to be changed, do not be distracted. The time to act is now. Take back your country. - Viggo Mortensen.
Stolen from www.percevalpress.com
My friend Tweed has forwarded to me via email the two following excerpts (Thanks Tweed)
Friday, September 2nd, 2005
Dear Mr. Bush: Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.
Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?
Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!
I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?
And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!
On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.
There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.
No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!
You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.
Yours, Michael Moore
P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.
This was in the Houston Chronicle 4 years ago. It's amazingly prescient. . .
Paper: Houston ChronicleDate: SAT 12/01/01Section: APage: 29 MetfrontEdition: 3 STAR
KEEPING ITS HEAD ABOVE WATER:New Orleans faces doomsday cenario
By ERIC BERGER, Houston Chronicle Science WriterStaff
New Orleans is sinking.
And its main buffer from a hurricane , the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster.
So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country.
The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City.
The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all.
In the face of an approaching storm, scientists say, the city's less-than-adequate evacuation routes would strand 250,000 people or more, and probably kill one of 10 left behind as the city drowned under 20 feet of water. Thousands of refugees could land in Houston.
Economically, the toll would be shattering.
Southern Louisiana produces one-third of the country's seafood, one-fifth of its oil and one-quarter of its natural gas. The city's tourism, lifeblood of the French Quarter, would cease to exist. The Big Easy might never recover.
And, given New Orleans ' precarious perch, some academics wonder if it should be rebuilt at all.
It's been 36 years since Hurricane Betsy buried New Orleans 8 feet deep. Since then a deteriorating ecosystem and increased development have left the city in an ever more precarious position. Yet the problem went unaddressed for decades by a laissez-faire government, experts said.
"To some extent, I think we've been lulled to sleep," said Marc Levitan, director of Louisiana State University's hurricane center.
Hurricane season ended Friday, and for the second straight year no hurricanes hit the United States. But the season nonetheless continued a long-term trend of more active seasons, forecasters said. Tropical Storm Allison became this country's most destructive tropical storm ever.
Yet despite the damage Allison wrought upon Houston, dropping more than 3 feet of water in some areas, a few days later much of the city returned to normal as bloated bayous drained into the Gulf of Mexico.
The same storm dumped a mere 5 inches on New Orleans , nearly overwhelming the city's pump system. If an Allison-type storm were to strike New Orleans , or a Category 3 storm or greater with at least 111 mph winds, the results would be cataclysmic, New Orleans planners said.
"Any significant water that comes into this city is a dangerous threat," Walter Maestri, Jefferson Parish emergency management director, told Scientific American for an October article.
"Even though I have to plan for it, I don't even want to think about the loss of life a huge hurricane would cause."
New Orleans is essentially a bowl ringed by levees that protect the city from the Mississippi River to its south and Lake Pontchartrain to the north. The bottom of the bowl is 14 feet below sea level, and efforts to keep it dry are only digging a deeper hole.
During routine rainfalls the city's dozens of pumps push water uphill into the lake. This, in turn, draws water from the ground, further drying the ground and sinking it deeper, a problem known as subsidence.
This problem also faces Houston as water wells have sucked the ground dry. Houston's solution is a plan to convert to surface drinking water. For New Orleans , eliminating pumping during a rainfall is not an option, so the city continues to sink.
A big storm, scientists said, would likely block four of five evacuation routes long before it hit. Those left behind would have no power or transportation, and little food or medicine, and no prospects for a return to normal any time soon.
"The bowl would be full," Levitan said. "There's simply no place for the water to drain."
Estimates for pumping the city dry after a huge storm vary from six to 16 weeks. Hundreds of thousands would be homeless, their residences destroyed.
The only solution, scientists, politicians and other Louisiana officials agree, is to take large-scale steps to minimize the risks, such as rebuilding the protective delta.
Every two miles of marsh between New Orleans and the Gulf reduces a storm surge - which in some cases is 20 feet or higher - by half a foot.
In 1990, the Breaux Act, named for its author, Sen. John Breaux, D-La., created a task force of several federal agencies to address the severe wetlands loss in coastal Louisiana. The act has brought about $40 million a year for wetland restoration projects, but it hasn't been enough.
"It's kind of been like trying to give aspirin to a cancer patient," said Len Bahr, director of Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster's coastal activities office.
The state loses about 25 square miles of land a year, the equivalent of about one football field every 15 minutes. The fishing industry, without marshes, swamps and fertile wetlands, could lose a projected $37 billion by the year 2050.
University of New Orleans researchers studied the impact of Breaux Act projects on the vanishing wetlands and estimated that only 2 percent of the loss has been averted. Clearly, Bahr said, there is a need for something much bigger. There is some evidence this finally may be happening.
A consortium of local, state and federal agencies is studying a $2 billion to $3 billion plan to divert sediment from the Mississippi River back into the delta. Because the river is leveed all the way to the Gulf, where sediment is dumped into deep water, nothing is left to replenish the receding delta.
Other possible projects include restoration of barrier reefs and perhaps a large gate to prevent Lake Pontchartrain from overflowing and drowning the city.
All are multibillion-dollar projects. A plan to restore the Florida Everglades attracted $4 billion in federal funding, but the state had to match it dollar for dollar. In Louisiana, so far, there's only been a willingness to match 15 or 25 cents.
"Our state still looks for a 100 percent federal bailout, but that's just not going to happen," said University of New Orleans geologist Shea Penland, a delta expert.
"We have an image and credibility problem. We have to convince our country that they need to take us seriously, that they can trust us to do a science-based restoration program."
Well, that's it for now, kidlets! I am off to gather some food for the Katrina victims that my oldest's school is getting together, I wonder if I can fit a couple of cabinets in her backpack?
He's a regular on "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" possibly my favourite NPR show.
It's alarming how spot on he is, and I actually stayed up late enough to watch the Daily Show and they did a little about "the blame game" thing and the politicians passing the buck and blaming the people of New Orleans, and I laugh because it's funny and because I feel outraged and frustrated but helpless. I hope these jerks get nailed. I mean, this isn't the worst thing they've done, this is just the latest thing.
Our country just seems to have a terrible memory and a hell of a lot of self-righteousness.