Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cronyism, Bill Marr, And the GOP Agenda

It appears that Dubya’s good old boys are at it again, giving their friends and relatives some of the most important jobs in the country regardless of their actual qualifications for said job. At the moment, the résumé of Bush's most recent appointee to direct the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Julie Myers (left), is being examinedand and criticized by both Democrats and Republicans.

DC Media Girl for encapsulating this juicy little Washington Post tidbit which has the likelihood of affecting the future of every American from a number of aspects.

Kudos to
Crooks and Liars for highlighting her posting. This is one we better stay on top of or we may end up regretting it later.


[Many immigration advocates, ICE employee representatives and homeland security experts said they were troubled by the nomination of Myers to take over an agency with so many problems.]

[Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) went so far as to tell Myers that her résumé indicates she is not qualified for the job.]

["It appears she's got a tremendous amount of experience in money laundering, in banking and the financial areas," said Charles Showalter, president of the National Homeland Security Council, a union that represents 7,800 ICE agents, officers and support staff. "My question is: Who the hell is going to enforce the immigration laws?"]


As usual Bill Marr does a superb job of beautifully summing up the Bush administration's deeply flawed philosophy of cronyism which continues to be SOP (standard operating procedure) for the feds. With his usual biting wit and scathing satire he hits the mark with his portrayal of true "evil" in his latest New Rules segment which you can
download here at Crooks and Liars .

More Bill:

Watch Marr debate Tucker Carlson on his MSNBC show. He slams President Bush in the wake of the hurricane Katrina disaster.
"....there's also huge federal responsibility, George Bush should have been on this case, again he didn't leave his vacation, he appointed Freedo Corleone to be the head of FEMA...if this was a lawsuit, privately, I would say people would have a case of negligence against the federal government."

Bill Marr highlights how differently the reaction would've been with President Clinton in office during this disaster. "That would not have happened under Bill Clinton, you can't tell me that you think that FEMA would have not have been a completely different agency, and that Clinton would have been all over this situation from minute one, like white on rice. You don't think that's who Bill Clinton is? He would not have slept from the moment this hurricane started to hit until we could do the best we could with the situation."

Carlson makes the argument that George W. Bush is not a conservative and echoes the many comparisons being put forward likening him to Lyndon Johnson. "Consider what he said in the last couple days... we are going to spend at least 100 billion probably 200 billion to rebuild this, he's come out for affirmative action, he said in his speech the other night that racism causes poverty. These are all liberal ideas, he is behaving like Lyndon Johnson." After a couple of conciliatory speeches, apparently the conservatives want to frame their lame-duck president as a liberal in the hopes of distancing themselves from him.

Download the video clip of Tucker Carlson's show on MSNBC here courtesy of Crooks and Liars

Over at Talkleft they highlight exactly what the Bush administration and the Republicans are up to these days. According to a Wall Street Journal article, they're using the Katrina disaster to shamelessly put forward the GOP agenda. Apparently offering no-bid contracts to subsidiaries of Halliburton wasn't enough, now they're suspending wage regulations and affirmative action protections in the name of expediency and efficiency. Republicans are also working on legislation to limit the rights of victims to sue. Apparently they're thinking is along the same lines as Bill Marr's, and are trying to head off the flood of lawsuits that is sure to ensue.

Additionally conservatives want to offer school vouchers, lift environmental restrictions on refineries and create tax advantaged enterprise zones in order to maximize private-sector participation in the coming reconstruction. Some of the ideas they're considering in the hopes of promoting "free-market solutions" would eliminate regulatory barriers in the awarding of federal funds to religious groups housing hurricane victims, waving the estate tax for deaths in the storm affected states, and making the entire region a "flat-tax free-enterprise zone." Amzingly they seem to have include almost all the GOP's pet projects in their proposals.

The 40 member study group pushing this agenda met in a closed session Tuesday night at the headquarters of the ultraconservative Heritage Foundation. The Republicans will also be pushing for incentives to expand offshore drilling and approval of an energy bill that would revive provisions that were dropped from last fall's bill.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hurricane Katrina New York Times Timeline (plus additions and updates)

(This is the New York Times timeline published on September 11, 2005, I'll be making additions and updates as the information becomes available).


(Events, statements and circumstances preceding the storm which had a direct bearing on events.)


[In 2002 Joe M. Allbaugh, then the FEMA director, said: "catastrophic disasters are best defined in that they totally outstrip local and state resources, which is why the federal government needs to play a role...."]

[The American Federation of Government employees which represents FEMA employees, wrote to Congress in June 2004 complaining, "seasoned staff members are being pushed aside to make room for inexperienced novices and contractors."]

[Colonel Terri J. Ebert, director of homeland security from New Orleans since 2003, said he never spoke with FEMA about the state disaster blueprint, so New Orleans had its own plan.]


FRIDAY, August 26 -- hurricane Katrina passes into the Gulf of Mexico.


Governor Kathleen B. Blanco -- Declares a state of emergency and request additional forces from the federal government.



[As early as Friday, August 26, as hurricane Katrina moved across the Gulf of Mexico, officials in the watch Center in FEMA headquarters in Washington discussed the need for buses.

Some said, "We should be getting buses and getting people out of there," recalled Leo V. Bosner, an emergency management specialist with 26 years at FEMA and president of employees Union. Others nodded in an agreement, he said.]


SATURDAY , August 27 -- New Orleans residents board up their homes.


Governor Kathleen B. Blanco -- Asks the federal government to declare an emergency for the state and help save lives and property.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin -- Declares a state of emergency and issues a voluntary evacuation order.

National Guard -- The state National Guard is in the process of deploying 4000 troops to prepare for the storm.


George W. Bush -- declares a state of emergency in Louisiana, authorizes FEMA to provide aid.

Secretary Michael Chertoff, Department of Homeland security -- Now known action taken.

Director Michael Brown, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- urges those on the coast to heed warnings and prepare for storm. Dispatches teams to Louisiana.


SUNDAY, August 28 -- Lines form at the Superdome.


Governor Kathleen B. Blanco -- Speaks with President Bush. Urges residents of New Orleans and surrounding areas to heed mandatory evacuation orders.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin -- orders a mandatory evacuation and opens 10 "refuges of last resort." City buses bring some to shelters.

[As hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans, Mayor C. Ray Nagin largely followed the city plan, eventually ordering the city's first-ever mandatory evacuation. Although 80% of New Orleans’ population left, as many as 100,000 people remained.]

National Guard -- Assists state police with evacuations, conduct security and screening at the Superdome.

Superdome -- 10,000 people.

[Colonel E. Britt decided to make the Superdome the city's lone shelter, assuming the city would only have to shelter people in the area 48 hours, until the storm passed or the federal government came and rescued people.]

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana – 3500


President Bush -- urges people to heed evacuation order. Hold a teleconference with disaster management officials and speaks with Governor Blanco.

[While local officials assumed that Washington would provide rapid and considerable aid, federal officials, weighing legalities and logistics, proceeded at a deliberate pace.]

Secretary Chertoff -- Participates in a daily video teleconference on the approaching hurricane.

Michael Brown, FEMA -- Positions water, ice, food and resource teams to move into stricken areas as soon as it is safe.

Coast Guard -- Closes ports and waterways. Positions boats and helicopters for rescue operations.

Department of Defense -- Activates an army crisis action team, begins to coordinate with FEMA and civil authorities.


MONDAY, August 29 -- hurricane Katrina makes landfall, levees breach.


Governor Blanco -- Repeats a warning for the people not to reenter the city. Tells the president, "I need everything you've got."

Mayor Nagin -- Has police begin search and rescue operations and heavily flooded areas.

National Guard -- Assist with rescues, relocate its headquarters to the Superdome because of flooding.

[The Louisiana National Guard, already stretched by the deployment of more than 3000 troops to Iraq, was hampered when its New Orleans barracks flooded. It lost 20 vehicles that could have carried soldiers through the watery streets and had to abandon much of its most advanced communications equipment, guard officials said.]

Superdome -- 10,000 people.

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana -- 3500.


President Bush -- Declares a major disaster in Louisiana, releases federal funds to supplement local and state aid.

Secretary Chertoff -- Monitors the impact of the storm.

Michael Brown, FEMA -- Arrives in Baton Rouge, FEMA teams wait to enter New Orleans.

[FEMA appears to have underestimated the storm, despite an extraordinary warning from the national hurricane Center that it could cause "human suffering incredible by modern standards." The agency dispatched only 7 of its 28 urban search and rescue teams to the area before the storm hit and sent no workers at all into New Orleans until after the hurricane passed on Monday, August 29.]

Coast Guard -- Begins rescuing people from rooftops with its helicopters and boats.

Department of Defense -- No action known.


TUESDAY, August 30 -- Widespread looting; most of the city is under water.


Governor Blanco -- says everyone must be evacuated from the Superdome.

[When the water rose the state began scrambling to find buses. Officials pleaded with various parishes across the strait for buses. But by Tuesday, August 30 as news reports of looting and violence appeared, local officials began resisting. Governor Blanco said the bus drivers, many of them women, "got afraid to drive. So then we looked for somebody of authority to drive the school buses."]

Mayor Nagin -- Evacuates the city government to Baton Rouge. Camps out in hotel and remains in New Orleans.

National Guard -- governors from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi have called up 7500 National Guard troops.

Superdome -- 12,000 people.

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana -- 3800.


President Bush -- Cuts his vacation short.

Secretary Chertoff -- Declares an "incident of national significance" and activates the national response plan.

Michael Brown, FEMA -- Sends more supplies to the region.

Coast Guard -- Has rescued more than 1000 people.

Department of Defense -- Continues to assist FEMA. Orders five ships to the region.


WEDNESDAY, August 31 -- police try to halt looting. Flood and water dwindle.


Governor Blanco -- With looting and violence escalating, she and her staff search for buses to evacuate people from the city. Calls for a Day of prayer.

Mayor Nagin -- calls for a total of evacuation. Says that some sick or ill people may be moved to the convention center.

National Guard -- additional forces arrive in the area.

Superdome -- 20,000 people plus.

[Two thirds of the 24,000 people huddled inside the New Orleans Superdome were women, children or elderly, and many were infirm, said Lionel C. Swain, an assistant police superintendent overseeing the 90 policemen who patrolled the facility with 300 troops from the Louisiana National Guard. And it didn't take long for the stench of human waste to drive many people outside.

Chief Swain said the guard supplied water and food -- two military rations a day. But despair mounted once people began lining up on Wednesday for buses expected early the next day, only to find them mysteriously delayed.]

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana -- 4700.


President Bush -- Cabinet over New Orleans on his way to Washington. Convenes a federal task force and authorizes Mr. Chertoff to coordinate the response.

Secretary Michael Chertoff -- Holds a news conference, says he is "extremely pleased with the response" of the federal government.

Michael brown FEMA -- Has deployed 39 disaster medical assistance teams in 1700 trucks and supplies to the region.

Coast Guard -- Has rescued 1250 people.

Department of Defense -- establishes joint task force Katrina at Shelby Mississippi led by General Russell L. Henri Honoré.


THURSDAY, September 1 -- Violent lawlessness in New Orleans.


Governor Blanco -- Says death toll is in the thousands. Calls for 40,000 troops.

Mayor Nagin -- lashes out at the federal response: "They're thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal."

National Guard -- Assists with the evacuation of the Superdome and helped curtail lawlessness.

Superdome -- 20,000 people.

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana – 7400


President Bush -- asks Congress for 10.5 billion relief funds. Appoints his father and former President Bill Clinton to lead a fund-raising effort.

Director Chertoff -- Starts national preparedness month. Hold the second news conference.

Michael brown, FEMA -- First hears about conditions at the convention center. FEMA has rescued 350 people across the city.

US Coast Guard -- Has rescued 2900 people.

Department of Defense -- Begins assembling active-duty troops for joint task force Katrina.


FRIDAY, September 2 -- Military vehicles bring food and supplies.


Governor Blanco -- Meets with President Bush, who proposes to assume control of the state National Guard forces.

Mayor Nagin -- Meets with President Bush.

National Guard -- Secure the convention center brings convoys of food and water to the city.

Superdome -- 1500 people.

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana -- 8600


President Bush -- Flies to the region, speaks at the New Orleans airport and visits the 17th St can breach. Meets with Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin.

Secretary Chertoff -- No action known.

Michael D. Brown, FEMA -- Is praised by President Bush. Urges patience.

US Coast Guard -- has rescued 4000 people.

Department of Defense -- No action known.


SATURDAY, September 3 -- Evacuation from New Orleans speeds up.


Governor Blanco -- Rejects the White House proposal. Asks the National Guard to focus on security. Says she has hired James Lee Witt, a former FEMA director.

Mayor Nagin -- Reports that two police officers have committed suicide, including the Department spokesman.

National Guard -- Has evacuated tens of thousands of people from the city by land and air.

Superdome -- ostensibly evacuated.

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana -- 12,000


President Bush -- Activates more than 7000 active-duty troops to the region.

Secretary Chertoff -- No known action taken.

Michael Brown, FEMA -- Sets up a morgue outside of Baton Rouge.

Coast Guard -- Rescues continue.

Department of Defense -- 4600 active-duty troops arrive in the region by Saturday morning.


SUNDAY, September 4 -- Troops patrol the streets, regain control of the city.


Governor Blanco -- Her staff chides the White House: "They wanted to negotiate an organizational charter," while the state was waiting for emergency aid.

Mayor Nagin -- Begins offering five-day vacations to city emergency workers.

National Guard -- Assists police officers who begin to urge holdouts to leave the city.

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana -- 12,000.


President Bush -- Visits a Red Cross center, orders American flags around the world flown at half staff until September 20.

Secretary Chertoff -- Appears on Sunday talk shows to give status reports.

Michael Brown, FEMA -- Announces that the Superdome has been evacuated, and 5900 FEMA personnel have been deployed.

Coast Guard -- Rescue evacuations continue.

Department of Defense -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visits New Orleans.


MONDAY, September 5 -- 2 levies are fixed: Mr. Bush returns to the region.


Governor Blanco -- Is surprised to learn of Mr. Bush's visit while preparing to leave for Houston.

Mayor Nagin -- Estimates that "it wouldn't be unreasonable to have 10,000" dead in the city.

National Guard -- With looting and violence subsiding, National Guard officials declare New Orleans secure.

National Guard troops on active duty in Louisiana -- 16,000


President Bush -- Flies to Baton Rouge and visits evacuees. Meets with Governor Blanco.

Secretary Chertoff -- No action known.

Michael Brown, FEMA -- Releases an official death count; 71.

Coast Guard -- Says it has rescued more than 18,000 people from flooded areas of New Orleans.

Department of Defense -- More than 7000 active-duty troops are in the region.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

The blame game vs. an ounce of prevention.

"The blame game," has been mentioned by the media and politicians in regard to the recent tragedies along the Gulf Coast and in the city of New Orleans. After careful consideration of the facts and contemplation of the chain of command I believe I have definitively arrived at the answer to this question of who exactly is to blame. Fair warning, the answer may surprise you.

In light of Michael B. Brown's recall to Washington and reassignment, it would seem that they administration has found their scapegoat. But is this really where the bulk of the blame lies?

True, Bush chose to hire someone whose qualifications were to say the least insufficient, and the president must bear the preponderance of the culpability for that act. There is little doubt that if the state and local governments had been provided with the logistical support and organizational strategies which they required, lives would surely have been saved. But unfortunately the buck does not stop with the president.

In the end it is the people of the United States, the electorate and those that choose not to vote as well, who bear the ultimately responsible for those lives lost along the Gulf Coast and within the city of New Orleans which could otherwise have been saved. That's right the people of the United States are to blame for the circumstances which compounded this disaster, for it is the people who allowed George W. Bush to become the president of the United States, not once but twice. Therefore in the final analysis the responsibility lies with us.

Although a number of factors conspired to create this sorry situation, that in no way excuses us or relieves us of the responsibility for allowing people to die needlessly within the borders of most powerful and economically sound country on the face of the globe. WE THE PEOPLE are wholly culpable for electing a leader who apparently genuinely believes that cutting taxes is of greater importance then maintaining and reinforcing our country's vital infrastructure.

In an undeniably real sense the redistribution of tax money to the wealthy is in large part responsible for the multiple failures of our disaster relief system which occurred across the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans. Sadly those tax rebates not only cost us lives, but will undoubtedly cost the country's overall economic base far more over the long term, not to mention the enormous expenditure of taxpayer funds it's going to take to get the south back on its feet.

Simply viewing the current situation from a cost-benefit analysis, it would've been vastly cheaper to have applied those tax dollars to the reinforcement of the levees in Louisiana and the buttressing FEMA's resources and organizational structure, then it will ultimately be to pay for the additional cost of fixing this current, in many ways preventable, mess.

For my part I don't exactly remember what I did with my tax rebate, but in hindsight, if I could go back and donate that money to the state of Louisiana to help them reinforce those levees, I would surely do so.

Washington tries to evade political responsibility for Katrina’s devastating impact

Friday, September 02, 2005

Interview with Mayor Ray Nagin

(This morning CNN rebroadcast the audio interview that the Mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, gave to the local radio station WWL in New Orleans. Here are some of the most important and heartfelt excerpts from that interview.)

Mayor Nagin -- I need reinforcements, I need troops man. I need 500 buses, man we're talking about, you know one of the briefings we had they were talking about getting public school bus drivers. I'm like, you've got to be kidding me, this is a national disaster, get every doggone greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans! That's their thinking, small, and this is a major major major deal! I can't emphasize it enough man!

I've got 15 to 20,000 people over at the convention center, it's bursting at the seams...

Radio Host -- Do you believe that the the president is seeing this, holding a news conference on it, but can't do anything until Kathleen Blanco request him to do it, and do you know whether or not she has made that request.

Mayor Nagin -- I have no idea what they're doing but I will tell you this, you know, God is looking down on all this and if they are not doing everything in their power, they are going to pay the price, because every day that we delay people are dying, and they are dying by the th-, by the hundreds I'm willing to bet you. We are getting reports and calls from people that is breaking my heart, from people saying I've been in my attic, I can't take it anymore the water is up to my neck, I don't think I can hold out. And that's happening as we speak.

You know what really upsets me Garland? We told everybody the importance of the 17th St Canal issue. We said please please take care of this, we don't care what you do, figure it out.

Radio host -- who'd you say that to?

Mayor Nagin -- everybody, Governor, you know homeland security FEMA you name it we said it. And you know they allow that pumping station next to pumping station 6 to to go underwater. Our sewage and water boy people (unintelligible) stayed there and endanger their lives. And what happen when that pumping station went down, the water started flowing again in the city, and it started getting to levels that probably killed more people. In addition to that, we had uh' water flowing through the pipes in the city, that's a power station over there, so there's no water flowing anywhere on the east bank of Orleans Parish so a critical water supply was destroyed because of lack of action....


Mayor Nagin -- ... there is nothing happening, they are feeding the public a line of bull and it's spinning, and people are dying down here.


(Responding to a question about martial law from the host)

Mayor Nagin -- I've already called for martial law in the city of New Orleans we did that a few days ago.

Radio host -- Did the governor do that to?

Mayor Nagin -- I don't know, I don't think so. But we called for martial law when we realized that the looting was getting out of control and we redirected all our police officers back to patrolling the street, they were dead tired from saving people but they worked all night, because we thought this thing was going to blow wide open last night. And so we redirected all of our resources and we held it under check. I'm not sure if we can do that another night, with the current resources.


(Speaking about the looting)

Mayor Nagin -- ...people are desperate and they're trying to find food and water, the majority of them. Now you've got some knuckleheads out there and they are taking advantage of this lawless, this situation where you know we can't really control it and they are doing some awful awful things, but that's a small majority of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive.

One of the things people have, nobody's talked about this, drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me, and that's why we're having an escalation in murders. People don't want to talk about this, but I'm gonna' to talk about it.

You had drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix and that's the reason why they were breaking in hospitals and drugstores, they were looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will. And right now they don't have anything to take the edge off. And they've probably found guns, so what you seeing is drug starving crazy addicts, drug addicts that are wreaking havoc and we don't have the manpower to adequately deal with it...


Radio host -- You and I must be in the minority, because apparently there's a section of our citizenry out there that thinks because of a law, that says the federal government can't come in unless requested by the proper people, that everything that's going on to this point has been done as good as it can possibly be.

Mayor Nagin -- really?

Radio host -- I know you don't think that.

Mayor Nagin -- Well did the tsunami victim's request, go through a formal process to request? You know did Iraq, did the Iraqi people request that we go in there? Did they ask us to go in there? What is more important?

I'll tell you man, I'm probably going to get in a whole bunch of trouble, I'm probably going to get in so much trouble that you won't even won a deal with me after this interview is over.

Radio host -- You and I will be in the funny place together.

Mayor Nagin -- But we authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq lick-ity quick, after 9/11 we give the president unprecedented powers lick-ity quick to take care of New York and other places. Now you mean to tell me a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world everybody's eyes light up. You mean to tell me, that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died, and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need... come on man, you know I'm not one of those drug addicts, I am thinking very clearly.

I don't know who's problem that is, I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, I don't know whether it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get there ass on a plane and sit down the two of them and figure this out right now


Mayor Nagin -- This is ridiculous, I don't want to see anybody do any more god damn press conferences, put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city and then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can't even count. Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here, they're not here. It's too doggone late!

Now get off your asses and lets do something, and lets fix the biggest god damn crisis in the history of this country!

Radio host -- I'll say it right now, you're the only politician that's called, and called for arms like this. And if, whatever it takes, the Governor, president, whatever law precedent it takes, whatever it takes, I bet that the people listening to you are on your side.

Mayor Nagin -- Well, I hope so Garland I am just, I'm at the point now where it don't matter... people are dying, they don't have homes... they don't have jobs... the city of New Orleans will never be the same... and it's time.

(This statement is followed by a period of silence where you can just make out both men sobbing. )

To listen to the entire interview, download here .

Thanks crooks and liars

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Plea for the People of New Orleans

Wake up America there is a Holocaust occurring right here in the heart of our country. Americans are dying on a daily basis. Tens of thousands of US citizens are trapped and abandoned in the heart of New Orleans, in the state of Louisiana, in the great nation of the United States of America. Women, children, babies, the elderly, the sick and the infirm all left to die while small minded bureaucrats and pseudo leaders endlessly debate what is to be done.

To President George W. Bush, where are you? The people of your country are dying. The children of New Orleans call out to you for help Mr. President, do you hear their cries?

To the Congress, the Senate and House of Representatives, the people you speak for are dying, they've been waiting patiently for your assistance, when will you aid them?

To the Armed Forces of the United States, where are you? The people you have sworn to protect our dying? In your hands is the power to stop this tragedy from continuing. Step forward and demand action of your leaders!

To the people of the United States of America, remember who we are, and where we came from:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

"WE THE PEOPLE" have the power, the right, and the duty to step forward and demand an end to this travesty. Get on the phone to your congressman, e-mail your representatives, congregate around your journalistic entities and media providers, let them hear your voices.

Remember that what's happening in New Orleans today can happen in your town. Speak up now so that one day you will not watch your children go without food and water and security tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina (time to pull together)

For decades now we've been debating what would happen when the big one hits? The big one referring to a hurricane that was so powerful it would wipe out an entire coastal region and lead to flooding on a massive scale. Well, the debating is over because it's happened and now we get to deal with the reality.

The city of New Orleans is underwater and the coastline from Louisiana to Alabama has been devastated. Cities like Biloxi and Gulfport Mississippi as well as a number of others have been virtually wiped out.

The numbers of dead can only be guessed at this point, but it will surely be in the hundreds if not the thousands.

This is not the time for recriminations or second-guessing, it's time for all of us to pull together and try to save as many people as possible, people who can still be saved. We've got to put aside all differences at this moment for the good of everyone. The greatest responsibility of any human being is to their fellow human beings.

This is "the greatest natural disaster in US history."

Whoever you are, wherever you're at, do what you can to help because we need you, right now.
Here's where you can help.

Charities for Hurricane Katrina Relief

All of these charities have been approved by FEMA and checked out by the government.

Jewish Federation Katrina Relief Fund --

Operation Blessing --

American Red Cross --

America's second harvest --

Adventist Community Services --

Catholic Charities, USA --

Christian Disaster Response --

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee --

Church World Services --

Convoy of Hope --

Corporation for Natural and Community Services Disaster Relief Fund --

Lutheran Disaster Response --

Mennonite Disaster Service --

Nazarene Disaster Response --

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance --

Salvation Army --

Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief --

United Methodist Committee on Relief --

Monday, August 08, 2005

How the Rangers got ripped, and a Bush bin Laden barbecue.

I have recently received some first-hand information, from U.S. Army Airborne Ranger LRP's (long-range recon patrol's) with the 75th Ranger Regiment. According to what these sources have stated, strictly off the record of course, after sightings of Osama bin Laden were relayed to them from "reliable sources," in the mountains of Afghanistan in late in 2001, they prepared to call in reinforcements and move in on his reported position. But at the last minute they received orders from "the very top brass" to stand down and let special Afghani forces "investigate" the reported sightings. According to these military sources, the Rangers never engaged in any follow up on this bin Laden information even though they were not deployed in any other significant military operations at that particular time, and the source who provided this information never contacted them again, apparently disappearing never to be heard from again.

Shortly after this incident, a number of these paratroopers were ordered to sign state secrecy agreements concerning what they saw, herd and were told regarding this incident. Any violation of these agreements would constitute treasonous actions on their part which could leave them facing the death penalty if they ever revealed said information.

Today, as in the past, this issue is being put forth as "bungling, flawed strategy and intelligence lapses" on the part of US officials. It seems that if you believe these assertions and others regarding our intelligence forces, we surely have the most incompetent and ineffectual intelligence operatives and military commanders on the face of the planet... if you believe these assertions. Not that I would ever promote conspiracy theories.

Now that I have the fluff out of the way I can get to the latest insider Osama update and the real juicy stuff.

Still on his whirlwind worldwide tour, bin Laden's relationship with George W. Bush and the Bush administration has never been better, but lately there's been some trouble reported in paradise. It seems Osama has been at odds with the US Secret Service agents who biannually smuggle him and the whole bin Laden clan into Bush's Crawford ranch for their regularly scheduled strategy and policy discussions with the president over a Texas style barbecue (dry rub ribs and armadillo pie).

Apparently Bush's protection unit has had to restrain Osama's little brother, Mohammed bin Laden, a number of times after he and George have gotten into heated arguments over which region has a hotter climate, Central Saudi Arabia or Midland Texas. These altercations, which seem to always take place after the younger bin Laden and Dubya have imbibed in a few too many Lone Stars, led the Secret Service to begin restricting the amount of beer served at these gatherings. Sources tell us that this move has angered Osama and especially the president, who was heard to state in response to the proposed beer cap "who do they think they are, Barbara?"

On a lighter note, it seems Laura has become quite close with several of Osama's wives especially Amal al-Sadah, Osama's favorite, going so far as to exchanging potato salad and couscous recipes. Though Mrs. bin Laden still wears the traditional abaya and veil keeping her face covered most of the time, Laura has begun advising "Amaly", as she has taken to calling her, on the finer points of applying makeup, even convincing her to where lipstick, much to the chagrin of her husband.

On the youth front, rumor has it that bin Laden's eldest son Saad has become quite smitten with one of the Bush sisters, we won't say who...... Jenna, the wild one. But unfortunately wedding bells are not in the offing given the two families competing fundamentalist religious beliefs which have created irreconcilable matrimonial issues.

It seems Osama likes to josh around with the president, saying he was most responsible for George's reelection in 2004. But Dubya just jokingly chides the elder bin Laden right back with the scathing retort "shut up you overgrown towel head, or I'll give your jihadist ass to the FDNY."

"They always get a big laugh out of that," says Laura.

The two families have become so close that the bin Laden's are considering buying the property adjacent to the Crawford ranch in Texas so that Osama and Dubya can live out those golden retirement years together, reliving the glory days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pesticide contamination of our children and society

Environmental activists and writers like Rachel Carson have been maligned and denigrated by far right conservatives and corporate interests for years. Carson's groundbreaking book Silent Spring made it into the Honorable mention category of the panel of conservatives who recently published a list of the 10 most harmful books in recent history.

But as the problems of childhood asthma, autoimmune disease and chemical sensitivities have become commonplace, with what's now becoming an overwhelming body of evidence pointing to environmental factors, the implications for our children today and the health of our society at large will soon be undeniable and inescapable. Currently outright poisonings are becoming more and more common.

Pesticides like Dursban, once commonplace, have been proven to be so dangerous that they've been banned by the EPA.

Dursban, originating from a class of chemicals known as organophosphates, was employed during World War II in chemical weapons as a neurotoxin, and up until recently was the weapon of choice for preparing the ground beneath, and the forms surrounding every concrete slab of every home and business in the United States specifically for the prevention of termite infestation.

Unfortunately there's little that can be done about the tens of millions of building and home foundations which have been impregnated with this chemical, a chemical whose application was often quite careless and haphazard with regard to quantity and method.

In the construction industry in South Florida, home builders would often request employees of exterminator companies to pump excessive amounts of the Dursban solution on to preparation sites before concrete slabs were poured. Apparently in hopes of preventing possible termite infestations which they could be held liable for if such infestation occurred within a certain period of time after the homes were completed.

In addition, exterminators sometimes used faulty equipment, or equipment specifically modified to spray much larger amounts of this pesticide then was generally considered safe in order to satisfy the homebuilder's requests for extra coverage.


In one case a widely used exterminating company in South Florida was directly responsible for the excessive over-applications of Dursban to a large number of construction sites. In this case one of the truck mounted spray unit had an application wand which had been damaged inadvertently by being dragged behind a vehicle grinding away a large portion of the spray nozzle. This created conditions under which the unit was spraying 50-100 times the standard amount of the chemical solution usually applied to a site.

Though a number of employees initially requested that this equipment be replaced or repaired, the company in question never bothered to do so. Eventually the primary employee who operated this truck stopped requesting a replacement since the damaged applicator allowed him to complete his job in about a quarter of the time usually required. This negligence led to gallons of Dursban solution being pumped into the earth and sand in and around the area where concrete slabs for homes and businesses were constructed.

While using this equipment there was no way to stop the pesticide flow from the nozzle, so if the employee was interrupted during the application procedure the only way to stop the Dursban from being sprayed into the general area and environment, was to embedded the nozzle end of the wand into the earth while it was continuously pumped from the tank. This faulty equipment was literally in use for years leading to uncounted thousands of gallons of this neurotoxin being excessively applied and pumped into the ground underneath homes throughout the area.

The long-term ramifications of the use of this faulty equipment, as well as incidence of intentional over-application can only be guessed at. But in this case alone, literally tens of thousands of residents and their children were unwittingly exposed to needlessly high levels of a dangerous chemical neurotoxin without their knowledge.

No doubt such abuses and misapplications of this extremely hazardous chemical were commonplace throughout the industry and the across the United States.

Haiti, chaos and death reign as elections approach.

Following Aristide's departure, precipitated by the Bush administration policies which were specifically designed to undermine his government by preventing hundreds of millions of dollars in compassionate assistance from sources such as the Inter-American Development Bank, conditions have steadily deteriorated in Haiti. Money earmarked for food, medicine and clinics designated to reduce infant mortality and juvenile death rates, were prevented from reaching the island in the hopes of promoting regime change at the cost of thousands of Haitian lives.
Neocon elements in the administration painted Aristide as a socialist with Communist leanings.

Currently there is no one in power within the country willing to stand up to the European business interests which have been bleeding the island of Hispaniola of its resources for literally hundreds of years. Vampiric capitalism is the order of the day in Haiti relegating 70% of the populace to living in abject poverty, surviving on green bananas and rice most of the year. Conditions in Haiti are as severe or worse than many of the most repressed and volatile regions of Africa like the Sudan and the Congo. How long will we allow this to go on in the center of our hemisphere right off the Florida shores?

While leading journalists are tortured and murdered, UN soldiers are being manipulated into supporting French and European business interests with the blessings of their parent countries. As elections approach, these interests are pressuring and repressing dissenters through intimidation and murderd.

Nothing is cut and dry in Haiti, Aristide like every other leader before him was faced with the community whose economic base is all but nonexistent. It's hard to run a country when you have no jobs or prospects for creating jobs for the majority of the population. Whoever emerges to lead Haiti in the upcoming elections will be faced with the same dilemma.

Many thanks to The Heretik , for covering recent events in
Haiti .

And for the links he provided.


Star Haitian journalist murdered

UN mission to Haiti condemns murder of journalist as attack on society

Evidence mounts of a UN massacre in Haiti

Growing Evidence of a Massacre by UN Occupation Forces in Port-au-Prince Neighborhood of Cite Soleil

Council: Bar Aristide From Elections

Pro Aristide priest reportedly detained on return from Miami

Haiti: Britain suspends mission

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Haiti, China, Florida; our Caribbean abdication.

It's a sad comment on the United States and the rest of the Americas, when the Chinese are the voice of reason in our hemisphere.
I guess it's a good thing to have those Communists over here; their perspective is less tied in to the "local" politics involved.,1280,-5043842,00.html

Is there anyone who believes that having the Chinese involved in this hemisphere wouldn't lead to politics, No. The most important question is, does their involvement enhance or detract from the interests of the Haitians?

Whatever the Chinese motivation, if it prolongs the presence of the UN "soldiers" in Haiti -- as someone concerned with the people of Haiti, I have to be happy about that. Will they have any real impact on the country's political atmosphere? No. Will they provide a human face that connects the rest of the world with the people of Haiti? Yes.

If you notice I highlighted soldiers, I've met UN soldiers, and those guys are like soldiers anywhere in the world. They're just like American soldiers except they come from someplace else, places like Ireland, places like Australia, places like Japan. They go there and do their job, like every soldier. They get shot at, threatened, insulted and spit upon. And they take orders like every soldier.

The good thing about having soldiers around, if they see something bad happening, there's a great likelihood that they'll take action, that's the great thing about soldiers. But being a UN soldier has its special kind of maddening hypocrisy, a hypocrisy that the soldier has no say in, they just follow orders and do their best to survive, just like the soldiers in Iraq. And as human beings, they often feel that irresistible pull to do what's right, that's the good thing about human beings.,0,4010857.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines

Anyone who travels in the Caribbean will notice pockets of ethnic Chinese. From Jamaica to the Dominican Republic and the smaller islands, the Chinese have always had a stake in the New World. They maintain their ethnic identity and they intermix with other ethnicities, genetically and socially. Do they have any less of a stake in the Caribbean than anyone else on this planet? No. No less of a stake than the rest of us on this hemisphere, like the Canadians. Perhaps that aspect of the United Nations is the one we in the states should be thinking about.

Why is it that the leader of my country can't step forward and say were going to change things in Haiti, we're going to clean up our house (the Americas), and be good neighbors to those countries closest to our borders, because we have a real vested interest in their well-being. Especially when you consider that unrest in Haiti is unrest uncomfortably close to an oceanic border. Perhaps if the Haitians had nuclear weapons we'd be more concerned. If you wanna be a player in the big game you have to have at least one chip, I suppose.

Some years ago a number of conservatives made completely unfounded accusations that Haiti was a likely launching point for terrorists to enter the United States, with the implication that this was actually occurring. While there was no validity to those assertions, if we continue the way were going, such a scenario could likely be the case. Doubtless there are those who would benefit politically from this possibility. And I'm not talking about the Chinese, much closer to home in our own government.

While some might contend that there is no racial aspect in the US's dealings with Haiti, as a person who's lived in South Florida most of my life, I can tell you that when it comes to the color and culture of the people of Haiti, it has most definitely been an all-encompassing factor in our political and social interaction with that country and its populace.

South Florida is a state which has always been controlled from Tallahassee, a capital which still bears the foul southern stench of the racist mindset.

In my view without that control being exerted by the legislators in Tallahassee, South Florida (where the real economic strength of our state lies) would have much closer relations with our Caribbean neighbors and be more deeply engaged economically and otherwise today.

Instead of the economic wealth, growth and well-being of the Caribbean coming under the purview of the United States through Florida, the greatest influences and economic control have come from other countries, all geographically removed from the region.

Since the 1950s when people started migrating to the southern part of the Florida in large numbers, Tallahassee has viewed South Florida as its Cinderella stepchild and personal cash cow, confiscating its wealth in the form of taxes and rationing it back to southern counties in markedly inequitable portions. They've always viewed us with a rather distasteful acceptance of our vast mix of ethnicities and diverse cultural representations. We've never lived up to their expectations of what Americans should be -- Southern white people who stick with their own.

Personally I'd like to see the state of Florida split, South Florida from Okeechobee down becoming its own state. Then maybe we could throw off the archaic rule which Tallahassee has inflicted upon us and this part of the globe.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Female circumcision, virginity, patriarchy and religion

"The trouble with Islam" as highlighted by Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
is not just the trouble of the Muslim world per se. It is, to be more specific, the trouble with the male world. Especially that beloved patriarchal mindset that would have us believe that women are property, specifically the property of the male. And it goes without saying that anything produced by the woman is by definition the property of the man as well. The same way a farmer, who owns a cow, owns any offspring that cow produces.

When it comes to his feminine assets, the prized possession of man or the farmer has always been the chastity of his females, after all a promiscuous female could wind up combining her DNA with anyone. And while the farmer can just lock up the cow in the barn to avoid unwanted insemination, female human beings have never been willing to be placed in the barn and left there indefinitely. Therefore we men have had to come up with alternative methods for controlling our women who've developed wanderlust.

One particularly sadistic example of such an attempt at control of our girls would be female circumcision, though I use that surgical term rather loosely in this regard. Because when I think of surgery I don't usually think of some doddering old man in a beard, shakily wielding a crudely sharpened spade shaped blade, he's just wiped off on his shirt for cleanliness. Some crazy eyed fanatic hacking off appendages between your legs and not being too particular about it. (Speaking as a male, I can't think of anything more horrifying, something worse than my worst nightmares.)

But there is a good reason for this behavior, some forward thinking and enterprising male, deep in our primordial religious past, came to the conclusion that if you could remove a woman's sex organs, or at least the ones not necessary for the actual reproduction, possibly we males could gain some measure of control over this female sexuality thingy. Apparently the idea being that if you destroy the pleasure involved with sexual intercourse, women would lose interest, thereby making it unlikely that they would seek out others to procreate with.

Boy, I'll bet it was some deep thinking paranoid psychotic who came up with this idea. Obviously only a mind whose logic had been warped beyond recognition by some patriarchal religious zealotry, could conceive something so totally obscene. No doubt he was just following that old axiom, "he who can destroy a thing, controls a thing." And apparently we've been destroying the sweetest parts of our females ever since.

These days the Muslims seem to have a lock on this practice, though by no means is this practice exclusive to Islam. Apparently some men prefer their women clipped, and find those that have not been well cropped rather unappealing or downright unacceptable. Throughout the Muslim world and Africa, the shrieking of toddler aged females can be heard from border to border as they have their ability to orgasm and enjoy sex removed from them and thrown into a biohazard bin or fed to the dogs.

It's interesting to note in light of this bizarre custom, that surgical practices have sprung up across Europe and the Middle East, specializing in the repair of the hymen. These foolish young girls keep damaging their marketability when they fall off their bicycles or have a monkey-bar accident. Across Africa and the Middle East, an intact hymen is a far more valuable commodity than the character, educational accomplishments or beauty of a woman or girl. (Now I'm all in support of cultural differences, and I applaud their defense of the most vulnerable and fleeting of human appendages... the hymen? But I think these Islamists need to get their priorities straight, we here in America know that the most important thing about a woman is how she looks, especially how she looks naked, our culture has depth.)

Unfortunately hymens are very perishable commodity (thus the business in hymen repair arising) a commodity which renders a girl of great value if she can be proven to be virginal. Often a girl will bring her father great wealth in the form of cows, goats, horses etc. -- a good price for an otherwise useless female. But if she is raped or her chastity is brought into ill repute in anyway, her value, like a crashing stock market, plummets into the minus column. She is in fact immediately transformed from asset to liability, something to be discarded on the streets with all the other prostitutes. I hear you can buy sexual favors from fallen Congolese teenagers for one dollar these days.

We here in the Christian West only practice male circumcision among a few select religions, Judaism being the most prominent, and while the Christians no longer practice such things, the Catholic and Anglican churches still celebrate the circumcision of Jesus every year.

But there really isn't much comparison between these divergent practices among cultures, except when you consider who's being circumcised. While the male may lose some sensitivity connected with sexual intercourse, no one ever seemed interested in removing sexual pleasure from the male altogether. If a môhel slices off a baby boy's penis, he quickly finds himself out of the business.

But the control of women's bodies, and the importance found there in, has never been confined to any one religion or group. We Westerners, Christians and Jews alike have a long history of trying to maintain our grip on the female. With the recent explosion in the Conservative Cultural Revolution, we're beginning to see men trying to reassert their dominant position over the feminine once again.

Birth control, long considered an affront to the natural order of offspring production, has long been a point of contention. Most notably the Catholic Church continues to denounce contraception as a sin and an affront to God's plan.

Birth control and abortion both give a woman the power of veto over the insemination of the male. And men have never been too happy about this, because though we don't like to admit it, we need these silly females and their crazy hormones if we're going to make more boys.

Now some Right minded pharmacists are taking action. Though this has happened across the country, it is most often to be found in those deep bastions of Christian patriarchal control, such as Utah, Idaho and a number of places in the South, all those quaint little locales that haven't really recognized those pesky apocryphal constitutional amendments.

You can bet these same pharmacists were raised by parents who were deeply opposed to the ERA, and had grandparents who were deeply opposed to women's suffrage, and great great-grandparents were deeply opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation.

These crusaders of Christian fundamentalist belief have been willing to stand up for the rights of men, whose reproductive redresses are being trodden upon by this laissez-faire feminism.

With the kind of courage last seen during the civil rights era these pharmacists are refusing to fill birth control and morning-after pill prescriptions of any female that cannot prove she is a married woman. Some have now posted public signs, "NO MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, NO RING -- NO BIRTH CONTROL," or "WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE REPRODUCTIVE PRESCRIPTIONS TO ANY FEMALE," with the proviso that even married women must have the consent of their husbands.

Yes we've come a long way in America, and could never be compared to those backwards Muslim countries.

I'd like to send a message out to all you males wherever you may be in the world.

A woman's virginity, and sexuality for that matter, is not something that can be taken or bought or compelled, or even repaired. It's something that can only be offered by the female, something to be shared freely with another. By its truest definition it is the soul of a woman. An entity that remains untouched by external forces, a gift of unencumbered joy, and remarkably free of anything resembling market forces in its most genuine expression.

For those of us lucky enough to have had a woman grace us with that most precious of non-commodities, we know it's a present that can be as fleeting and free as Mariah or as lasting and unshakable as the Rocky Mountains. But regardless it is always something from within the heart and mind of a woman, and only she decided when, where and especially who she will bestow them upon. So be ready guys, don't blow it.

And as for all you chicks, sistahs, sheilas etc. out there – Come on girls just because you get off on that male dominance shit in the bedroom, doesn't mean you have to put up with it in the rest of your life.

Isn't it about time that the girls stop suffering the slings and arrows of this outrageous male oppression, and took up arms against this sea of troublingly gender challenged fools? And perhaps, just perhaps by opposing, put an end to them. I realize most males will not go quietly into that good night, many will need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future, not unlike a temperamental toddler throwing a shit-fit.

So perhaps it's time for drastic action, I realize I will be vilified by my brethren for this suggestion, but as Malcolm X. once said, "By any means necessary." I propose a national week of "You Ain't Gittin’ None". Hit the boys where it hurts, solidarity my sisters.

For my part, when war comes, I'm ready to become a spy for the cause. I have no particular liking or connection to my own kind, so I'm willing to betray my sex and cross over to the other side. All I ask in return is that I get-sum on a daily basis, a harem of 20 or 30 young women should meet my immediate needs. I know, I know, I'll be branded a traitor and despised by men everywhere, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice for the rights of all women, it's a matter of principle.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Debunking the rhetoric and validity of the so-called scientific method.

It appears the tree huggers and those hippie liberal environmentalists were right, at least according to a recent study highlighted by the BBC, But I don't think that the fundamentalist Christians and their enforcement arm, the right wing neoconservatives ever really thought they were wrong. In fact according to their ideology the destruction of the earth is preceding at it's biblically predetermined pace.

After all as it’s stated in revelations, the end times are upon us, at least according to CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network). I've been hearing them talk about the end times being near since the 1980s, every time there's anything resembling a crisis anywhere on the planet, it's time to start repenting our sins and killing off the endangered species.

Christian philosophy has always positioned man as the masters of the earth, possessing exclusive rights to its resources, to use or abuse as we see fit. After all if everything on earth was placed here by the hand of God for man's use, if we want to squander it, we can squander it. Therefore there is no legitimate reason to conserve or preserve anything, because it's our personal property, and it's all going to be swept away in the fires of Armageddon soon anyway. Therefore we have no reason to fight the hastening of its destruction, and in fact Christian fundamentalists themselves seem to have a vested interest in bringing about that destruction. So burn those fossil fuels, cut down those forests, pollute that water and wipe out every species, because it's all part of God's plan.

This idea has drawn many allies, most noticeably the forces of industry which rely on natural resources and do the majority of the polluting as well. Christian doctrine is very convenient in regard to the needs of industry, and their advocates are always quickest to point out the bad science of these leftist pseudoscientists. All that nonsense about evolution and global warming and using that heathenistic scientific method in an attempt to prove their crackpot theories, is all just the work of atheists and Satan's minions, those who are going against the will of God.

Of course some would say that these folks are only interested in making a profit, and recently Professor Sir John Lawton, former chief executive of The UK's Natural Environment Research Council, said the these gainsayers have about the same credibility as the flat Earthers and people who believe smoking doesn't cause cancer, but of course he's biased. Just another one of those mad scientists who gets all their information from books other than the Bible, and makes his living with that science stuff, another blasphemer who will burn in the everlasting fires of hell, with only the devil for company, let him tell Beelzebub about evolution and conservation after he's been culled along with all the other heretics.

According to these so-called scientists, it still isn't too late to turn away from the path of unsustainability human beings are headed for, but then we'll only be prolonging what has already been preordained. We must beat Mother Earth into submission as if she were a lipy wife, after all God is the boss around here, and if you've got the nerve to mouth off to him, you deserve a crack in the chops.

Never let it be said that I don't support fairness and equal time to both sides, therefore if you'd like to check out the conservative view, take a look at, <> it's very enlightening.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Terri Schiavo: America's patron saint of bulimia

After much contemplation and soul-searching, surpassing even that of Pinellas County circuit court Judge George Greer, I've come to the inescapable conclusion that Terri Schiavo got exactly what she wanted, deserved and most feared.

As an alleged bulimic, who was attempting to gain control over her life while at the same time gaining much needed recognition for her outer beauty, she wound up purging herself into cardiac arrest. Apparently bulimics as a group have less gray matter in their brain case than the average human, but I think she took it too far with a 25% reduction in brain volume.

Although the bulimic Terri would be delighted at the loss of weight achieved through this liquefying of brain matter, unfortunately her actual weight has been horrifyingly increased by her lack of activity. In her current state she has achieved the equivalent of an overfed frozen butterball turkey. It is perhaps fortunate that she is unaware of her current condition. Conversely it's unfortunate that the Terri who craved recognition will never know the worldwide fame she's achieved. How proud she would be. Oh, the irony.

According to all those Republican and Christian fundamentalist pundits out there, Terri Schiavo has been crying out for help over the last 11 days. Of course she speaks only in tongues which seemingly only her parents can interpret. But I did hear a recording of her voice posted by that esteemed seeker of truth, Matt Drudge, and I believe I could just hear Terri saying "Those liberal bastards are killing me, save me from these godless heathens," the interpretation of these utterances having been confirmed by evangelical serpent handlers across the nation .

She's also been compared to concentration camp victims, in her current emaciated condition, after just a week without food. Presently she's down to 230 pounds already, and dwindling fast. At this rate she'll be looking good again in about two months, perhaps achieving her former purging weight of 120 pounds by early June.

Protesters outside the hospice have heard her cries as well, and made plans to rush the facility in an attempt to free Terri from her ungodly torment. The frontline of those courageous individuals is composed of cripples and mental defectives, who are preparing to send their wheelchairs and stretchers hurtling at insane velocities towards the double doors of her prison, in hopes of breaking through and freeing their sister.

Those same freedom fighters who once condemned the Republican right for doing everything in their power to crush the Americans with Disabilities Act, now realize that those right minded conservatives were just looking out for their well-being, and have taken them on as unlikely allies. They realize now how important it is to keep their mangled and dwindling bodies out of the line of sight of the beautiful people. Because those forward thinking conservatives knew all along how their less fortunate brethren must be protected from the scorn and ridicule of an unfeeling public. But underneath our disgust I suspect is the underlying fear that we ourselves could one day wind up like Terri Schiavo or perhaps Christopher Reeve, and become a constant reminder of the dangers of flaunting gods will (that's what you get for playing Superman or worshiping at the altar of beauty). And let's face it, no one wants to be reminded of those possibilities. Better we keep the physically infirm and mentally incompetent locked up in institutions where they belong lest they become an affront to our sensibilities.

Recently it's been revealed that poor Terri's skeleton shows a history of shattered bones, discerned through the use of the ancient method of divining rods, being practiced by experts outside her room at the hospice. These injuries were apparently sustained at the hands of that monstrous husband of hers. It isn't hard to believe that he was a wife beater and an abuser of women. In all likelihood Terri's condition was the result of a failed attempt by Michael to finish her off for good. He just couldn't stand that smell of vomit breath, and her tendency to soil the sheets after drinking a six-pack of Ex-Lax before bedtime, and made up his mind to do her in. But Terri is a fighter and she refuse to succumb.

Tragically with the help of that liberal bastard Judge Greer, who pretends to be a Christian right to life advocate, Michael Schiavo will finally be able to finish off his angelic wife, while the brothers Bush, governor and president respectively, stand idly by their hands tied and powers rendered impotent by the bloodthirsty Liberals. Much the way the noble Romans were forced to acquiesce to the baying of the Jews for the blood of Christ. And history repeats itself. Oh for shame, what's happened to America?

But as all good Christians know, Terri will rise from her grave, just as Jesus did. She has made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and she will surely be rewarded with a ride in God's chariot straight up that express elevator to the kingdom of heaven.