I've been hearing, here and there, that all the private charity to the Katrina evacuees just proves that big government isn't needed. I have to say, had our government responded promptly and properly, many lives would have been saved.
No amount of private charity can save lives in an emergency like Hurricane Katrina. Only the resources and ostensible know-how of a good Federal government, including a well-run Military, can do that. But where were they on that last weekend in September and the days that followed?
Our so-called Federal government has failed miserably. I call it criminal negligence because I'm not paranoid enough to believe they let this happen to the Southland. No, not paranoid enough (yet).
"A NEW Orleans teenager saved dozens of people from the stricken city after commandeering a 70-seat school bus and driving it on a harrowing 300-mile journey to Houston.
"Jabbar Gibson, who was reported by an American television channel to be just 15, was determined to leave New Orleans after two days wading alone through the filthy waters of the former red-light district of Storyville. Although he had never driven a bus in his life, he broke into a school and made off with the bright yellow vehicle.
"What began as an act of sheer panic turned into what has been called a 'magnificent journey' that placed Gibson among the heroes emerging from the horrors of Hurricane Katrina."
Teenager snatches bus to save dozens, by John Harlow, Times Online, September 04, 2005
Hey! Mr. Gibson was "on his own," I think he did a great job. I hear he's been arrested for "looting," as opposed to "foraging" or "finding." If he has a legal defense fund (if the world is fucked up enough for him to need one), I'd like to send a few bucks.
Yeah, "on his own," but he saved 70 lives while he was at it. bushco couldn't do that with a gun to its head.You're on your own, America.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:06 AM PST [Link]
Friday, September 9,
"The cause was political through and through -- a matter of values and principles. The progressive-liberal values are America's values, and we need to go back to them. The heart of progressive-liberal values is simple: empathy (caring about and for people) and responsibility (acting responsibly on that empathy). These values translate into a simple principle: Use the common wealth for the common good to better all our lives. In short, promoting the common good is the central role of government.
"The right-wing conservatives now in power have the opposite values and principles. Their main value is Rely on individual discipline and initiative. The central principle: Government has no useful role. The only common good is the sum of individual goods. It's the difference between We're all in this together and You're on your own, buddy. It's the difference between Every citizen is entitled to protection and You're only entitled to what you can afford. It's the difference between connection and separation. It is this difference in moral and political philosophy that lies behind the tragedy of Katrina."
The Post-Katrina Era, by George Lakoff, AlterNet, September 6, 2005
Well, it's nice to see this in print somewhere else, but it's hardly news, folks.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:26 AM PST [Link]
Thursday, September 8,
Funky Neighborhood-Oriented Coffee Shop (with Good Coffee) to Open in Portland, OR
Saturday, September 10th will see the grand opening of my brother’s coffeeshop, the Bipartisan Café, at 7901 S.E. Stark Street, Portland, Oregon (503.253.1051). It’s located in a not-yet-yuppified working-class neighborhood (Montavilla) which is more or less adjacent to two of the hippest places in the universe (NE Mississippi Avenue / SE Division Street).
Laura Gibson plays at 6 pm, my son’s band Amelia plays at 7 pm.
The Bipartisan Café is child-friendly and is open seven days a week, featuring Stumptown coffee, soup, sandwiches, and homemade pie. Peter hopes that it will become a neighborhood gathering place with a non-Republican slant. (Peter and I agree politically, but he does not have my harsh nature).
If you’re in Portland, stop on by.
(From the Shameless Kin-promotion Department).
Posted by John Emerson @ 07:13 PM PST [Link]
Wednesday, September 7,
"Over the holiday weekend Advent, Inc. and Sea Star Line, have established a partnership to gather and transport supplies to the city of Baton Rouge, LA. In the past week many people have heard of the plight of the people of New Orleans and seen the crowds of refugees at the Houston Astro Dome. Baton Rouge has not received the same visibility; however is a city of about 500,000 people that has taken in an equal number of people from the devastated areas. This city has doubled in size and is desperate for supplies for the refugees.
"We are working directly with St. Vincent De Paul of Baton Rouge. This organization is managing the distribution of supplies to many of the refugee groups in Baton Rouge. Our plan is for Sea Star Line to provide 40' containers that will be placed at the Advent office located at 890 Mountain Ave, New Providence, NJ 07974. We hope to be able to fill these shipping containers with supplies and truck them to the St. Vincent's distribution center in Baton Rouge."
How you can help, Ask Doctor Science LJ, September 7, 2005
Hey, St. Vincent De Paul is my favorite charity! The Advent and Sea Star Line project is asking for supplies, including school uniforms for NOLA kids who'll be in school in Baton Rouge. I know we're all probably close to tapped out, but if you have some stuff you can send to NJ, or if you're in NJ and can drop it off, may the good Lord bless you. There's more details on the original post.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:12 PM PST [Link]
Tuesday, September 6,
"Sacramento -- A landmark bill to legalize gay marriage passed the Assembly by a single vote Tuesday and now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has not said whether he will sign it.
"The measure passed on a 41-to-35 vote, with no support from Republicans. The author of the bill, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, worked desperately throughout the day to find the votes needed for passage."
Assembly passes same-sex marriage bill, by Lynda Gledhill, SF Chronicle Staff Writer, Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Holy Mackrel! C'mon Ahnold, if you've never done anything right in your life, do this.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:57 PM PST [Link]
"What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." Barbara Bush, September 6, 2005 (via Bennett Madison and many others, but the graphic is Bennett's)
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:39 PM PST [Link]
"On a day when Harry Reid was able to get Bill Frist to delay this week’s vote on a permanent repeal of the estate tax, none other than Tom DeLay may have handed the Democrats the best argument there is to defeat any effort at eliminating the estate tax and making Bush’s tax cuts permanent.
"DeLay was asked if a temporary rollback of the federal gas tax would be considered to help consumers cope with sharply higher gas prices. He gave this response:
'Absolutely not. Now more than ever you're going to need ... that infrastructure, those highway trust funds, to rebuild the bridges that were destroyed, rebuild the railroads that were destroyed. You have to have the infrastructure or you can't have a recovery,' DeLay said."
DeLay Unwittingly Undercuts GOP Rationale For Estate Tax Elimination And Permanent Tax Cuts, Left Coaster, September 6, 2005
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:47 PM PST [Link]
"Now, how many of the people involved, do you think, spread through all these states but in large numbers in most cases, are likely to vote Republican next year? They may be poor and displaced, but they still have the vote. If they end up living in these states permanently by next year, which is not only what some have suggested but which also may be necessary, what effect do you think this many people with reason for revenge on Bush will have, in these mostly red states, on the 2006 election?"
Next Year, Consider these statistics:, I Didn't Write That!, September 6, 2005
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:24 PM PST [Link]
And have a wonderful time while you're at it.
Save Lola and NOLA.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:19 PM PST [Link]
Monday, September 5,
"I'm telling you, it could all start right here. A crushing blow to the Republican paty's most charismatic politician could start a tsunami that sweeps right through the '96 Congressional elections."
Initiatives grope for support, The Gropinator, September 5, 2005
"Did you really think Arnold Schwarzenegger was pushing a mid-decade redistricting in California out of the goodness of his heart?"
Why Arnold's Redistricting Plan is a Disaster for Democrats, Cal Poltic, August 26, 2005 (via The Gropinator)
I think I did this one already, but it bears repeating.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:27 PM PST [Link]
"For many Germans -- fanatical Nazis as well as the naive and the weak-minded -- believing Hitler's absurd promises of ultimate victory was the only alterrnative to accepting a world in which evil (Bolshevism, world Jewry) had triumphed and good (National Socialism, the Aryan superman) had failed. Such a world was either unimaginable, or unendurable.
"Likewise, for the conservative ultras to accept Bush's failures now would be to admit the patriotic demi-God constructed after 9/11 by the White House propaganda machine (and, ironically, by the mainstream media ) doesn't exist. All that would be left would be the real Bush: the incompetent, arrogant rich kid who's failed at every significant job he's ever held -- from CEO of Arbusto Energy to commander in chief of the planet's most powerful military machine. For many Bushistas, this is equally unbearable."
The Potemkin President, Bilmon, September 5, 2005
Oh, yes, they'd rather be dead than admit that. But how many will they take with them before they go?
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:39 PM PST [Link]
"This. Here. In America. What is going on in New Orleans. This is genocide. The government isn't just being negligent, they are actively preventing people from leaving the city. The food and supplies are not making it to very obvious demographics of people, and rescue workers are being prevented from entering to help."
I'm calling it, Distraction77, September 5, 2005
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:30 PM PST [Link]
"I'm not going to ask/beg/plead for you to donate money, if you paid taxes you've done your part. The federal government should have done theirs. They haven't. They've failed everyone.
"If you've voted for the war in Iraq, you've done your part as well. I'd like to be the first one to say this but I know I'm not the first. Here it is anyway:
"Fuck you. You're what's wrong with America. Here's your free market. Here's your libertarian paradise. Here's America without government help. No medical, no dental, no eye exams. Just pure freedom. Here's your America at war. Here's American prepared for disaster after 9/11. Billions of dollars, new acronyms and absolutely no effect. Here's American without people on the ground because they're busy setting other countries free. Free. Free to die and free to rot in a fucking stadium in their own shit. Free to rape a 10 year old girl. Free to rape anything they like. Free to loot if they're black and free to be discoverer if they're white. Fuck you for your media bias. Fuck you for your bullshit partisan nonsense. Fuck you for not pointing the blame where it lies. Fuck you for not speaking up, silence is complicity. In fact if you're coming to the defense of the government you're likely not on the ground, you have no contact with people in New Orleans. No friends, no family, nothing but your TV. Fuck you for censoring the media and stopping reporters from taking photos of dead bodies out of faux respect. Fuck you for stopping aid from Canada when the people dying on the ground haven't had any food or water. Fuck you for shopping for shoes while people are dying and nations are contacting us for help. Fuck you for turning away private citizens trying to help. Fuck you for your mock media photo ops. Fuck you for your bullshit feigned caring. Fuck you for blocking the Red Cross from entering. Fuck the police for turning their guns on people asking for help. Fuck FEMA for placing blame on people too poor to leave, people without cars and people without money. Fuck you for not fixing the city to withstand a hurricane and sending the money to kill Iraqis.
"Fuck you for everything you've done because nothing you've done has helped any of these people.
"Fuck you for doing your part in destroying our country, I hope our country destroys you."
Fuck the federal government of the united states of america, It's complicated, September 4, 2005
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:26 PM PST [Link]
Sunday, September 4,
For future reference:
Gone with the water
When Chicago Baked. Unheeded lessons from another great urban catastrophe.
The big disconnect on New Orleans. The official version; then there's the in-the-trenches version.
And now I must take a break from the web.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:38 PM PST [Link]
"In St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, just south of New Orleans, victims of the hurricane are still waiting for food and water and for buses to escape the floodwaters, Melancon said. And for the entire time Bush was in the state, the congressman said, a ban on helicopter flights further stalled the delivery of food and supplies."
Congressman can't get Bush on the line, by David Pace, AP, September 2, 2005 (via Sivacracy)
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:25 PM PST [Link]
"Oops! Hmmm... Looks like that blog was already submitted to us, but we've decided against including it. We'll re-evaluate it in a few months. Thanks!"
Not so Lefty Blogs
Gee, thanks Lefty Blogs. Why would I want to be a member of any club that would let me join?
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:20 PM PST [Link]
"But I have a lot of pieces that show that the core of the City is pretty much dry and intact. The water didn't get that high in the older parts of New Orleans because the people who built the city three hundred years ago put it on the highest ground they could find. Elsewhere the water levels are going down, the troops are on the way, money and relief will follow. Things are still awful. People are in terrible trouble. But none of my pieces show that the City itself has been wiped out.
"Whole neighborhoods have been.
"But the City's main reason for being hasn't disappeared. It's a port and an important port and talk of "moving" New Orleans is plain stupid unless people suggesting it are also suggesting moving the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River."
Still standing, Lance Mannion, September 2, 2005
Maybe y'all should just go read Lance Mannion today. It will save time all the way around.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:07 PM PST [Link]
"Sen. Mary Landreiu going on television to thank Federal leaders while they were in the middle of letting the biggest city in her state drown wasn't just politically blockheaded, it was immoral. It's immoral because she was reflexively being a purely political animal, trying to ingratiate herself with the Republicans to advance her own career in Washington, when she should have been standing up to give voice to the anger and heartbreak of her fellow Lousianians."
It's not political; it's moral!, Lance Mannion, September 3, 2005
Landrieu is a disaster in and of herself. Why was I so glad she won the run-off election? Oh yeah, she's supposed to be a Democrat.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:03 PM PST [Link]
"Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.
"What's more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome, while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.
"And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.
"And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.
"I know that New Orleans will win its fight in the end. I was born in the city and lived there for many years. It shaped who and what I am. Never have I experienced a place where people knew more about love, about family, about loyalty and about getting along than the people of New Orleans. It is perhaps their very gentleness that gives them their endurance.
"They will rebuild as they have after storms of the past; and they will stay in New Orleans because it is where they have always lived, where their mothers and their fathers lived, where their churches were built by their ancestors, where their family graves carry names that go back 200 years. They will stay in New Orleans where they can enjoy a sweetness of family life that other communities lost long ago.
"But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us 'Sin City,' and turned your backs.
"Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you."
Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?, by Anne Rice, NYT Op/Ed, September 4, 2005. From BREAKING NEWS: Anne Rice not a total jerk (thanks, ME)
Good Lord, old Anne can still write when she's got something to say (and an editor at the NYT). Read this while you can and let's hope it's not a eulogy.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:49 PM PST [Link]
"CUBAN President Fidel Castro has offered to help the United States, by sending 1,100 doctors and medicine to treat the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
"He said the first offer to send Cuban doctors to aid in hurricane relief efforts was made during a meeting with Cuban foreign ministry and US officials in Havana on Tuesday (8/30), days before the extent of the hurricane's catastrophic damage was known.
"At the time, American officials had asked Cuban authorities not to publicise their offer of aid, said Castro, who indicated Havana was still awaiting a response from Washington.
'(American) authorities are going through a difficult time, we are not asking for anything,' said Castro, whose country has not had diplomatic relations with the United States in more than four decades. 'We're not criticising anyone.'"
Castro offers US medical help, from correspondents in Havana, The Australian, September 03, 2005
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:06 PM PST [Link]
Everything you need to know about Hurricane Katrina, what you can do, what could have been done, what should now be done, you can find a full list of links at Sisyphus Shrugged.
I haven't been able to keep up, but I will be going through these over the next few days so I can at least understand.
If you have any spare money, please send stuff (through October) or donate money (see top of the main page sidebar) to help the people of NOLA, if for no other reason than 'There, but for the grace of God, go I.' Thank you.
Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:57 AM PST [Link]