Today was "Doughnuts with Dad" day at my daughter's school. I had the obligatory sugary foods, visited with my daughter and her friends, and headed out the door to my car. On my way out, a woman that works the school's front desk asked if I had a minute to talk. I am related to her by marriage, so I feel she felt comfortable enough talking to me about my decision to notify the ACLU about the Bible giveaway at the school. She asked me what problem I had with it, and I patiently explained that public schools should not be in the business of endorsing one religion over another, or indeed endorsing religion at all. She was unable to grasp the fact that by allowing the Gideon International folks to do this opens the door for every other faith to do the same. She said it would never happen there, and I tried to explain that wasn't the point....She was polite, if not friendly, so I went out of my way to explain recent rulings in Indiana and Missouri, my personal feelings, etc. It seems the school and the District received a letter from the ACLU regarding my complaint, and the District admonished the principal for allowing it. I'm pretty sure it went on with a sort of tacit approval of the District, but once a complaint was filed, they knew the proverbial jig was up. This may be the end of it, it was uncomfortable for me to do this, since we live in this small town, and I risked my kids being ostracized...but it seemed important enough to stand up and be heard. I think I did the right thing....
Friday, September 30, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Abundantly clear was the fact that people went to Washington DC and other cities for many different reasons. However, the message was one that "Our Government Has Taken the Low Road" on so many important policies and issues.
THE DAY BEGAN with a message.
People are realizing this Noble Cause, is hurting our country and our people.
MEETING "PRETTY BOY" JESUS JUMPER is found in Fred 's post.... the guy was telling us we were all going to hell for what we were doing. Fred, I listened to him for a bit, and just could not resist getting in his face with my fingers raised for Peace.
As usual, this person and this person have some great pictures and perspectives of their day.
I SPENT THE DAY WITH PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, and as we started home...I was asked what I thought of the day. My response was " there is so much work to be done."
Seems there was also another chap who felt the same way.
- DeLay doesn't really matter. What really matters is the system which he has served, and what it has done and is doing to our country.
- DeLay is important...as is Frist...as is Rove...as is Ney...as is Safavian...as are many other republicans. My fear is we "jump the shark" with DeLay. DeLay, while a key player, is just one of the many players. All roads lead to and from Abramoff and his buddies Scanlon, Kidan and the Gambino crime family. I agree we do need to "connect the dots". But do it thorougly and don't rush. Yes DeLay is very important but is part of something much larger...Don't get fixated on just DeLay.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Members of the St. Patrick's Four, their families, friends and legal team were grateful to learn that the jury, after over seven hours of deliberation, had found the peace activists not guilty of the most serious charge, conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States.
"The decision to acquit on the conspiracy charge, a felony, is a huge victory, given the narrow parameters within which the four could present their defense, and given the restrictions on deliberations. This is a major setback in the government's efforts to criminalize dissent," said Bill Quigley, acclaimed public interest lawyer and law professor at Loyola University School of Law, who has been acting as legal advisor to the defendants.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
This morning I happened to be at my Son's school to take him his tennis shoes. He's 7, and forgot he had P.E. today. (Remember when kids had P.E. everyday?) Two gentlemen entered the school lobby, dressed in short-sleeved shirts and neckties(always a tip-off) and carrying cases of Gideon Bibles. I casually asked one of them if the bibles were for the kids, and he replied, "oh yes, we give them out in 5th grade class every year." I had no idea...Well, apparently, this has been the practice for 30 or more years, and when I telephoned the Principal and asked her about it, she informed me that when she took over the school 5 years ago, it was allowed, and she just continued to allow it. I tried to point out that as our County grows, people who adhere to other religious beliefs may indeed be offended by this, and she basically said that until she was instructed to stop, she would allow it to continue. Naturally, I called the County School offices, and they promised to get "right back to me." I started digging a little, and, to my astonishment, the ACLU has already fought this battle a number of times, and has been sucessful in stopping the practice each time: Missouri and Indiana
I contacted them, and a nice lawyer returned my call and said there was ample cause for them to get involved, though if they were initially unsuccessful, I would have to be named plaintiff in a suit they would bring in my behalf. I'll follow this story up as I'm sure there will be developments soon....
I don't care which party delivers affordable, sustainable, universal health care, I just care that we join just about every other industrialized nation in the world and make it happen.
I don't care which party devises a sustainable, sensible energy policy that includes both increasing supply across the full spectrum of energy sources and finding ways to slow the increase in demand - whether it's through conservation or through investments in commuter mass transit or both - just so long as we get from here to there.
I don't care which party fairly distributes the cost of running a democracy in a fiscally prudent manner and continues to build a democracy that is envy of the world just so long as we do so.
I don't care which party sees to it that every child who is willing and able to learn has affordable access to a good education, just so long as we educate our children.
I have serious concerns about the notion that the "free market" is an affordable substitute for government.
I have serious concerns about corporate lobbyists drafting our legislation.
I have serious concerns about using our lakes, rivers and the air we breathe as a toilet.
I have serious concerns about a market place that is allowed to treat workers in the same fashion that it treats the ingredients for a phenolics molding compound.
I have serious concerns about a "free" press that so poorly informs the people of our country that the majority of us once believed that Saddam was responsible for 9/11.
I have many concerns.
And I believe that the majority of Americans aren't much different than I am.
Am I a Republican, a Democrat or an American first?
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
From the northernmost corner of Washington State to the southernmost beaches of south Florida, veteran Latino counterrecruiters and younger activistas are facing off against thousands of military recruiters in a battle that will determine whether Latino youth continue echoing the "Yo soy el Army" and other Pentagon PR slogans or instead adopt the "Yo estoy en contra del Army" slogan taken up by Sanchez. The counterrecruitment movement, spearheaded by scores of Latinos in Chicago, El Paso, Tucson and other cities, suburbs and rural communities, is largely occurring beneath the radar of the mostly white antiwar movement, despite its potential to alter the course of Iraq and future US wars. [more]
Will he recognize what is really unecessary spending before he cuts it?[Written by: Eli]
Georgie, You are Blowing It! [Bushmerika]
Sunday, September 18, 2005
"The worst storm in our history proved perfect for exposing this president because in one big blast it illuminated all his failings: the rampant cronyism, the empty sloganeering of "compassionate conservatism," the lack of concern for the "underprivileged" his mother condescended to at the Astrodome, the reckless lack of planning for all government operations except tax cuts, the use of spin and photo-ops to camouflage failure and to substitute for action." [full article]
Saturday, September 17, 2005
however you have shunned them and turned your focus on the countries that have failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements.
The American People are very upset with you, DHS and FEMA, as they have operated primarily as PR organizations...so to fix the little glitch in the operation, you send in the biggest PR expert of them all, Karl Rove, as the fixer.
What about the children, Mr. Bush?
You suspended wage standards for workers on the Gulf Coast before you declared a national emergency.
What you have done is immoral.
At such a delicate time, through all this chaos we should not forget the children. I have nothing but admiration for this guy and this girl.
That is all that I have to say today. Some will read it, some will not and some will just turn a blind eye after hurting someone.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Survivors of Hurricane Katrina certainly did not receive any compassionate conservatism from Representative F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Many of the survivors were hoping to avoid the weight of the new bankruptcy law. Seems that that this Compassionate Conservative will not hold a hearing on waiving the law for purposes of disaster relief.
The new bankruptcy laws take effect Oct.17.
Thirty one Congressional Democrats had voiced support for waiving the more onerous provisions of the new law for Katrina victims "to insure that we do not compound a natural disaster with a man made financial disaster," according to a joint statement.
Bush the Compassionate Conservative churning out Gersonian lines about faith and solidarity, and rediscovering poverty.
Amongst the churning, there were quite a few "Acts." I have only this to say about these Acts, that Bush is proposing to create. The last time there was a disaster during his presidency we were dicked with the "Act of Patriot" according to the Neo-Cons. Caveat emptor Democrats!
Ed Kilgore was stricken by the site of Jackson Square, emptied of the multitude of tarot card readers and portrait-painters and performance artists and street musicians and tourists and crazies who have always enlivened it, turned into yet another backdrop for yet another political speech.
Bush looked like the sole survivor of some apocolyptic event, speaking to a public that no longer existed, a leader of nothing.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The Bush Era ended definitively on Sept. 2, the day Bush first toured the Gulf Coast States after Hurricane Katrina. There was no magic moment with a bullhorn. The utter failure of federal relief efforts had by then penetrated the country's consciousness.
The world wept while watching this failure. The world cried while watching the folks of New Orleans begging for help. The world knows now that Bush and his administration are the cause of these failures.
The Bush Administration failed the people of the Gulf Coast and the people of New Orleans but their music lives on.
Dominic remembers New Orleans: "The last two days of our stay were devoted to visiting Louisiana historic sites. Even if I only spent five days in the land of the Cajuns, I discovered that everyone has a little Cajun or Cree or Welsh or Saxon or any other culture in their spirit. The captivating language of the music lifted our spirits and we were carried away momentarily. This unforgettable time filled us with peace and deeper understanding. For some, music is a way to express themselves, for others it's a diversion, but for everyone, it is a treasure."
Monday, September 12, 2005
Democrats, who were already planning to press Judge Roberts on civil rights, are likely to be even more aggressive on that front, citing the racial divisions exposed by the hurricane. Old Hatch has started setting up the defense of Judge Roberts' refusal to answer questions.
So what is in John Roberts' papers from Bush 41 that Bush 43 doesn't want the world to see? PERRspective says "Roberts, Poppy and Attorney-Client Privilege"
But back to Brownie, because We Hardly Knew Ye. Nevertheless, we are still giving you an UNACCEPTABLE.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
The Pentagon decided to have a FREEDOM WALK. The "highlights" of this militaristic parade filled with 9/11 references and country music. I wonder if the folks had to march in unison.
Bushmerika has a full array of articles regarding 9/11. The truth actually.
Pictures are available at Donkey O.D
Saturday, September 10, 2005
That said, I don't think he is any match for Jeb, should Jeb decide to run. He would make a formidable candidate. I got to thinking about who I would work for in 08, and I believe I am leaning toward Al Gore. He has liberal enough credentials to at least mollify the Left, and the Moderate wing of our Party really has no reason to fear him. He is a Veteran, and is head and shoulders above most other candidates (especially Jeb) with respect to intelligence. Wouldn't it be delicious irony if Gore got a chance to defeat a Bush in 08...especially one from Florida?
Friday, September 09, 2005
And so we find out that FEMA on which the Gulf Coast was depending was run by a person who may or may not have interned somewhere in Oklahoma for a short period of time as a public relations rep, and we find that his two top assistants had no disaster/emergency experience what so ever. Our president who has been boasting about how he and his team will protect and secure the American people had no idea what was going on in their own government and had no idea how to get things moving to save countless human lives and alliviate suffering. When the chips were down...they couldn't even get to town.
I worked my whole life in government. In mental hospitals, institutions for the retarded, schools, juvenile justice, adoption services, and the like. It was a rich and rewarding life of work. I saw the mentally retarded of New York's horrific institutions in the seventies completly turned around and made producive and capable of returning all but the most severly disabled to the community as a result of a class action suit and alot of hard work by state workers. I saw teachers whose whole life commitment was to other people's kids and who worried over and nutured those kids within their roles as if they were their own. I saw day care licensors take fine tooth combs to those places where families leave their babies when they go off to work. And on and on. I saw civil servants much more often than not give of themselves in the human services field from their heart and with all their energy.
These fools who manipulate the American people into allowing themselves to be stripped of the very vital services they need when things like Katrina occur must now be taken to task. They must be driven from our public life back to the country clubs and horse farms from whence they came and they must be replaced by people who don't believe greed is a moral value and who see that collectively we can rebuild our institutions, care for our needs and be a society that never again has to watch a city suffer as New Orleans has. While it was not possible to stop nature, it was possible to help our fellow humans more effectively than they were.
There is a guy who is just getting some attention. He is the head of the FEMA workers union. He said it was the career people in FEMA who put out dire, clear warnings well before the hurricane hit. But Mr. Bush and Chertoff and Brown don't need reality based information and they certainly wouldn't dain to pay attention to a notice like this from a commie civil service outfit like the NOAA:
MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER. AT
LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL
FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.
PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD
FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE
BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME
WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.
HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY...A
FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.
AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH
AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY
VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE
ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE
WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.
POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN
AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING
INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY
THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW
CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE
and they didn't know there were people in the civic center and they couldn't get bottles of water in and they couldn't.....we must take back our government and its institutions so that we can be a civil society again.
Chertoff says that dear old Brownie is being bumped back to DC in "the next phase of operations." Was there a first phase of operations?
So Brownie needs to be in Washington to carry out broader responsibilities, including potentially managing "other kinds of disasters" and dealing with additional hurricanes.
Read more at WAPO and while you are reading the article, check out who is linked in the section called "WHO'S BLOGGING?"
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
One of the goals and objectives of the Social Studies Curriculum is for students to learn to read timelines. Here is a great lesson for them to learn...harsh it may be, however quite the reality.
Basetree has the Katrina vs. Bush
and Think Progress has the Katrina Timeline, while The Heretik has Dubya's Most Fake Moment Ever and Infowars says Americans are being Brainwashed and the cover-up begins with FEMA Wants No Photos of Dead
Nearly a full week went by, while thousands were dying and starving or were kenneled in unbelievable filth in New Orleans. Nobody seemed to be in charge. Bush remained "on vacation" in Crawford, and traveled around to fundraisers, played golf, etc.; Condi was theatergoing and buying thousand-dollar shoes on Fifth Avenue. What was going on? Did Karl Rove not understand the significance of what was happening? Was Bush...uh..."incapacitated"? What about Cheney, "on vacation" in Wyoming; was he "incapacitated," too? Are the Bush people really that politically obtuse?
So here's the question I have for those of you who voted for Bush in 2004: Do you get it now?
Bush’s agenda is to cut government services to the bone and make people rely on the private sector for the things they might need. So he sliced $71.2 million from the budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers, a 44 percent reduction. Plans to fortify New Orleans levees and upgrade the system of pumping out water had to be shelved. How the Free Market Killed New Orleans.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Bush called Katrina the greatest natural disaster to ever hit this country.
No, Mr. Bush, YOU are the biggest disaster to every strike America. You were off golfing while the experienced people you then fired begged you to do something about the terrorists about to attack our country, and then you just used that as an excuse to wreck our budget, our military, and now we've lost an entire major American city, sacrificed at the expense of your greedy cronies. We need the National Guard back home before it is too late for us all, and we must DEMAND it happen now.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast - black and white, rich and poor, young and old - deserve far better from their national government than a Potemkin Photo-Op.
Is it too much to ask? Food, some clothes and a bed, tal vez.
Thousands of people stranded in two swamped parishes south of New Orleans are just as desperate for supplies as those trapped in the city but can't get the attention of federal disaster relief officials.
The men of steel, the men of power...Are losing control by the hour.
Frank Rich writes: From the president's administration's inattention to threats before 9/11 to his disappearing act on the day itself to the reckless blundering in the ill-planned war of choice that was 9/11's bastard offspring, Katrina is déjà vu with a vengeance.
We're gonna to break it down, We have to shake it down, shake it all around. We are shaking the tree...
Bushmerika asks the Gulf Coast Cowboy while New Orleans was drowning, why were you strumming a guitar? What was that they said about Nero while Rome was burning? And isn't that reminiscent of a recent tragic event with a book called "My Pet Goat"?
A wardrobe of articles and links.
New Orleans, Louisiana is now capitol to a Potemkin country, where what things look like match not at all what is real, where all the effort is to hide truth rather than to make a better reality.
Finally, a wave to Eli at Deep Thought.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
If he could go to Baghdad, why didn't Bush go to the New Orleans Superdome or the Convention Center?
I think we just learned that reason. Chief Justice Rehnquist is dead.
I bet Pat Robertsone is just so happy. He PRAYED for more openings on the Supreme Court.
There are thousands of Hannah's in New Orleans right now. I believe they are not feeling well right now either. They are being neglected by their President. The Shame of the Nation explains to the Hannah's and the Howard's on how our Federal Government responded to this disaster. Both responsible Democrats AND it should be emphasized Republicans recognize that the theme as well as the practical nature of the Bush Administration's response are shameful.
Gently rolling Father time
Is calling to him now,
And though he hears him
He looks out to sea.
Somewhere out there lie his dreams
A story with no ending
And till he finds his answers
He won't be going nowhere
I send a wave to Rising Hegemon for the sheer honesty in the way he writes.
Friday, September 02, 2005
By Randy Newman
What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has done
To this poor crackers land."
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Ending the Impunity of the Bush White House
Crooks and Liars
Thursday, September 01, 2005
The leadership of the present administration…
has failed us in our greatest time of need.
has said Hurricane Katrina is a "temporary disruption." has sent our National Guard and helicopters on a fool's mission in
has slashed the funding for the Corps of Engineers' projects to strengthen and raise the
Where is the leadership? But I'd also like to know: Where is the compassion? Where is the foresight? Where is the intelligence? Where is the common sense?
We've heard from Scott McClellan, from Michael Chertoff, but are we hearing anything from George Bush (hiding under the bed with a bottle?) or Dick Cheney (in an undisclosed location?). Condolezza is busy accessorizing her wardrobe so she'll look good when she goes to N'Orleans. Where is the leadership?
We have snake oil salesmen running the country and they are running it into the ground. Meanwhile, there is an elevated terror alert and, if you saw Seymour Hersh on "The Daily Show", you know why.
The Coat has a Summary of Useful Resources on the Katrina Aftermath