Thursday, September 29, 2005

Maybe now it's time for an intro...

I started this blog as a means to vent my anger and frustration after Hurricane Katrina. Everything was coming so fast and furious that there was no real time to introduce myself.

I'm CJ. I'm old enough to know better and still too young to care. I am proudly liberal. There are many other labels that apply: wife, mother, daughter, sister, educator, administrator, pagan, American...

While I suspect that my blog will continue to have a political bent, I'll be straying from my thoughts from time to time to share on other things as well.

For example:


Join the Browncoats - SERENITY - September 30, 2005

Thursday, September 08, 2005


This account left me stunned and sick.

I'm completely speechless. And now isn't the time for figuring out who was responsible for these horrors??

Article first seen on Bitch Ph.D.

Maybe FEMA needs a map...

Somehow, this just does not instill confidence in our Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Is anyone going to be held accountable for this debauchle? Stay tuned!

The blame game...

This post started as a comment to a friend's LiveJournal. I decided it would work here as well.


Everyone in power is currently saying "Don't play the blame game. Now isn't the time. We need to focus right now on helping these people." The opposite viewpoint has been, "Look, if not now, when? This did not have to be as bad as it was and we need some answers why our governments (local/state/federal) fucked up so badly."

See, those of us who remember 9/11 clearly without all of the crap that was piled on afterwards remember a president who didn't know what the hell to do and spent the day flying around in Air Force One, a Vice-President who was taken away to a "secret" location. A few weeks afterwards he was suddenly the Great White Cowboy Hero whose "resolve" and "swift action" were commended round the world. WTF??

Now I agree that sitting around and asking "Why, why, why did this catastrophic hurricane hit us?" seems counter-productive, especially when you have these folks in the mix:
Abortion, gays and voodoo actually to blame.

But, I do think some very serious questions need to be addressed. For example:

- Would the levee repair that was sacked thanks to the war in Iraq have changed anything? (I'm not naive enough to think that there would not have been devastation with a category 4 hurricane with a category 5 storm surge pounding the gulf coast - but was the infrastructure gutted to the point that a category 3 storm would have taken the town out?)

- Why weren't appropriate arrangements made for the poor and infirmed to get out of NOLA and similar places prior to the storm? Ray Nagin, the Republicrat Mayor of NOLA knew that he had numerous ultra-poor in his city who would have no means of evacuation. (In fact, prior to this storm, those families were being told if a big storm came, they were on their own.)

- Where the hell was FEMA? Read the governor's request for federal assistance prior to the storm here. (It's a pdf so it loads slowly.) The response of the "you have to vote for us, the other guy is going to let you DIE" Bush government was and is sickening. The death toll, when all is said and done, is going to be staggering. How many drowned awaiting rescue? Whether you believe that the response was intentional (either out of racism, classism, victim blaming or party philosophy) or unintentional (flat out incompetence) or a little of both there's no reasonable explanation for allowing people to die like that.

- Could the administration appear any more callous and uncaring? After two days, Bush reluctantly cancels the last few days of his five week vacation to go see (from a plane) what was happening. Guess he couldn't just phone it in at that point and look like he gave a shit. Cheney didn't bother to cancel his vacation at all and is just now returning to work. Condi Rice was on vacation and finally, after people booed her at a play and yelled at her in a shoe shop, returned reluctantly to D.C. (Hey, in this age of technology you don't have to cancel your tennis game to actually help work on the death of thousands of your own citizens in their own homes. You can just do a web conference!!) This is the government that was going to keep us safe, folks. To me, this is why the whole "can't play the blame game now - we've got important work to do!" doesn't ring true. It didn't interrupt Cheney's fishing trip. It didn't keep Dr. Rice from shopping.

Now is the time to ask these questions, before the nation's memory moves onto something else - before the spin on all of this is SO thick it begins to look like GWB and his cronies held back the tide themselves to keep the death toll from climbing higher. Because like it or not, our administration is all about image. Do you think it's any mistake that when asked, George W. Bush could not come up with a single mistake he felt his administration had made since 9/11?

How many "Get Out Of Jail Free" cards does this administration get before someone calls BULLSHIT!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Maybe I'll apply...

So it seems that none of the top people at FEMA are qualified for their jobs.

Anyone surprised?

Now, I'm certain there's some sort of Arabian horse emergency planning that Mr. Brown could find transferable to our current situation, you know, like if a horse stumbles or something... wait, wasn't he fired from that job?

So, based on my nearly 20 years of crisis intervention, emergency planning, dealing with the public and budgeting - it would appear that I am more qualified than these bozos. Well, and I've got some common sense which seems to be in short supply in our government these days.

Why do I think that perhaps Messrs Brown, Rhode and Morris aren't the only ones over their heads in this current administration?

Monday, September 05, 2005

On another note

Just spent $40 putting half a tank of gas in the MomStar.* A few gas stations are out of gas entirely. Even more are just out of regular grade.

I keep waiting for announcements of rationing or calls for smarter use of resources until things normalize again. Then I remember that I'm living in George Bush's America where we damn the consequences and live as high on the hog as we want because, dammit, this is AMERICA! If we start conserving, the terrorists win!


*The MomStar is a 2001 Ford Windstar I purchased a few years back when I realized that in order to properly care for a smallish infant, I needed to be prepared for the invasion of a small nation. I'm looking forward to replacing the MomStar with something more economical and, well, sporty, when I can actually afford to consider a car payment again - probably when the smallish infant is out of college in 2022.

So tired...

There are so many people, far more eloquent than myself, posting about the post-Katrina horrors. I've been offline for a few days and will catch up, but for right now, I just have one question:

How does the government's response to Katrina fit with the whole "culture of life" rhetoric that was being spewed during the whole Terri Schiavo nightmare?

You may remember it - our government officials were locked in debate over whether or not this affluent white woman (with no brain function) should be allowed to "live". They wasted time, money and breath each trying to be holier than thou, saying they represented a "culture of life" that holds all life sacred. To quote President Bush:

...our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern. It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected...

(The entire statement can be found here.)

So, after Katrina blew threw, and those who were at the mercy of others for assistance... what? Deserve to wait until it was a political liability for those in power to do something? How exactly did we value, welcome and protect the residents of the Gulf Coast?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Welcome Back, Mr. Moore...

Finally, something from Michael Moore.

Where have you been, Mike? Those of us who count on you to be a burr under the saddle of this particular administration have missed you!

Fight from the inside

The truth is rarely pretty...

Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint.

That's easy for YOU to say, Mr. Brown

Victims bear some responsibility for being placed into HELL according to Mr. "I've Never Gone Hungry" FEMA Chief Brown.

You know, Mr. Brown - I've spent the better part of the last two days in complete anguish and disbelief over what is going on in my country. I've seen what the networks feel is appropriate to show and know that the horrors these people are enduring are far, far worse than the worst they can show on CNN. I listen to my neighbors, comfortable in their dry homes, their only inconvenience being the folks at the McD's drive-thru can't get their breakfast sandwich right, complain about gas going to over $3 a gallon and clicking their tongues in disapproval over the deplorable looting and violence in post-Katrina New Orleans.

I think you're all missing the point here.

Do you have a car Mr. Brown? I'm sure it's a nice one that gets you where you want to go. Do you have money for gas to drive a few hundred miles? Yes, I'm sure that as FEMA Chief you're making above minimum wage. How about credit cards, sir? Are you able to get a hotel reservation?

Now listen up, you sanctimonious prick. Most of the people remaining in the areas of the gulf coast did so because they had no choice. Sure, there are a few yahoos that stayed behind because they didn't believe the storm would be that bad or because they'd rather stay with their precious stuff. Those aren't the folks who are dying at the New Orleans Convention Center. These are the poor of our nation - the people that those of your ilk would like to pretend don't exist.

Mr. Brown, I have some more questions for you. If it was that important for them to evacuate, why wasn't there adequate transportation to get them out of the city? Why wasn't shelter arranged out of the storm zone to keep these folks safe? Why weren't adequate provisions put together in the days before the storm to keep these people taken care of? Why didn't your agency give these people a choice?

It's so easy in the aftermath of something like this to go public and say, "Sure, these people are suffering but they are partially to blame!" from your nice, comfy, DRY office far removed from the torture that these people are suffering through. You folks dropped the ball on this one. This is what EMERGENCY management is all about, Mr. Brown. Look it up.