Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 14h 23m 42s|
The media double standard
From the Rolling Stone :
. . . The press also went into a tizzy over Gore's casual comment during that
first debate that he had traveled with James Lee Witt, head of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, to Texas during a spate of wildfires. As vice
president, Gore had traveled with Witt seventeen different times, but not on
the date in question. Gore corrected the record the next morning, but the press
treated his slip of the tongue as wildly important.
. . . During the debates, though, Bush made a handful of blunders regarding
military operations in the Balkans and Haiti, about the facts surrounding
Texas' most celebrated hate-crime trial and about his own tax plan. Bush was
free to botch facts about central policy issues and the press wouldn't question
his intelligence. But if Gore were to misstate nonessential details, such as
how long a student had to stand in a crowded Sarasota classroom, he was tagged
a liar who couldn't be trusted.
Few journalists saw anything wrong with this double standard. In fact, some
found it amusing. "You can actually disprove some of what Bush is saying if you
really get in the weeds and get out your calculator, or you look at his record
in Texas," Time magazine columnist Margaret Carlson told radio morning man Don
Imus at the height of the campaign. "But it's really easy, and it's fun, to
disprove Gore. As sport, and as our enterprise, Gore coming up with another
whopper is greatly entertaining to us."
Who decided that covering presidential politics was supposed to
be "entertaining" and "fun" for journalists?
Answer: the corporate exec's and proprietors who got the word out : make Dubya
look like an easy-going honest man of integrity, and make Gore look like a
stiff, humorless, slick bureaucrat. Those who heeded the call got the big spots
and the promotions.
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 12h 12m 31s|
Can you tell the difference?
Thanks to Billmon.
Organizers of the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial Freedom Walk on Sunday are taking
extraordinary measures to control participation in the march and concert, with
the route fenced off and lined with police and the event closed to anyone who
does not register online by 4:30 p.m. today.
The march, sponsored by the Department of Defense, will wend its way from the
Pentagon to the Mall along a route that has not been specified but will be
lined with four-foot-high snow fencing to keep it closed and "sterile," said
Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense.
The event, the America Supports You Freedom Walk, is billed as a memorial to
victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks and a show of support for those serving
in the military, topped off with a concert by country singer Clint Black, known
for his pro-troops anthem, "Iraq and Roll."
Organizers said they expect 3,000 to 10,000 participants.
Tight Constraints on Pentagon's Freedom Walk
September 9, 2005
Pyongyang, North Korea -- Organizers of the Democratic People's Republic's
memorial Slavery Walk are taking extraordinary measures to encourage
participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined
with secret police, and the event closed to anyone who does not have the
slogan "Long Live Dear Leader, Glorious Light of the Proletarian Masses"
tattooed on his or her forehead by 4:30 p.m. today.
The march, sponsored by the Ministry of Defense, will wend its way from
People's Tractor Factory No. 438 to the People's Palace of Democratic Torture
along a route that is classified as a state secret and will be lined with 16-
foot concrete walls topped with broken glass and razor wire to keep
it "ideologically pure," Dear Leader Kim Jong-il said.
The event, the We Will Gladly Lay Down our Insignificant Lives for Dear Leader
Slavery Walk, is billed as a memorial to victims of imperialist aggression and
a show of support for those serving in the People's Army, topped off with a
concert by folk singer Klint Black-il, known for his pro-government
anthem, "Without Your Brilliant Dialetical Thought, Our Petty Lives Are Empty
and Meaningless, O Wonderous Dear Leader."
Organizers said they expect 30 million to 100 million participants.
Unprecedented Freedom Allowed
For This Year's Slavery Walk
All Hail Dear Leader!
September 9, 2005
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 20h 28m 53s|
President Gore acts like a president
... while presidential thief Dubya pretends he has a
pats his lick-spittles on the back, mangling his speech in between
cocktails at Ptomkin villages created by the crack white house spin machine, a
real man gives an example of how to be a leader -- and doesn't request any
From CNN : [LINK]
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Al Gore helped airlift some 270 Katrina evacuees
on two private charters from New Orleans, acting at the urging of a doctor who
saved the life of the former vice president's son....
On September 1, three days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, [Greg]
Simon, [ president of the Washington-based activist group FasterCures,]
learned that Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Gore's son,
Albert, after a life-threatening auto accident in 1989, was trying to get in
touch with Gore. Kline was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital in New
"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute -- food and water
running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and ... corpses
outside," Simon wrote.
Gore responded immediately, telephoning Kline and agreeing to underwrite the
$50,000 each for the two flights, although Larry Flax, founder of California
Pizza Kitchens, later pledged to pay for one of them.
"None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written guarantee of
payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews," Simon wrote of the
American Airlines flights. "One official said if Gore promised to pay, that was
good enough for them."
He also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore's cousin, retired Col. Dar
LaFon, a specialist in internal medicine who once ran the military hospital in
Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally
calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee's support and U.S. Transportation
Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans.
The country wanted Gore to be President in 2000, but Dubya had to be a big baby
and steal it. And now 5 years later, the country is a mess.
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 23h 26m 43s|
Clinton did something
Clinton explains why he decided to stop
"... I went to Florida [after Hurricane Andrew in 1992] a few days after
President [George H.W.] Bush did to observe the
damage from Hurricane Andrew. I had dealt with a lot of natural disasters as
governor, including floods, droughts, and tornadoes, but I had never seen
anything like this. I was surprised to hear complaints from both local
officials and residents about how the Federal Emergency Management Agency was
handling the aftermath of the hurricane. Traditionally, the job of FEMA
director was given to a political supporter of the President who wanted some
plum position but who had no experience with emergencies. I made a mental note
to avoid that mistake if I won. Voters don't chose a President based on how
he'll handle disasters, but if they're faced with one themselves, it quickly
becomes the most important issue in their lives."
-- Bill Clinton, My Life (p. 428)
Keep in mind, that this was written before Hurricane Katrina occurred,
and so must be considered a sincere reflecion upon an event that Mr. Clinton
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 11h 26m 5s|
What red tape are they talking about?
From the NPR Katrina timeline Transcripts. [SOURCE]
SULLIVAN: On Saturday, the Louisiana Guard calls up 4,000 troops, every
Guardsman in the state. But almost half of its force is out of the state and
out of the country. Three thousand Louisiana Guard troops are in Iraq, along
with most of Louisiana's heavy equipment, including its watercraft, high-water
vehicles and generators. Lieutenant Colonel Schneider says the troops fan out
to staging areas across the state. According to the emergency plan, they're to
wait there until the storm passes. Their job is to distribute supplies and
maintain order. The plan anticipates there might be some looting and violence.
SULLIVAN: That same Saturday, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco says
the storm will be so big that state and local governments won't be able to
handle it. She asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency. Later that
day, he does.
The next day, on Sunday, at 9:30 AM, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issues the
first ever mandatory evacuation in the city's history.
Mayor RAY NAGIN (New Orleans): Make sure that you check on your
neighbors. It's very important, particularly the senior citizens, that we check
on them to make sure that they're OK and that they're not too frightened, and
that we assist them before we take off.
ZWERDLING: Meanwhile, next door in Jefferson Parish, Walter Maestri is
sending fire trucks to the streets.
Mr. MAESTRI: And the fire department went through the neighborhoods,
`Alert! Alert! For your information, you live in a low-lying area that is
highly prone to flooding. And it is the recommendation of your parish
government that you immediately evacuate.'
ZWERDLING: The state's deputy director of emergency planning, Jeff
Smith, says almost one million people do leave.
Mr. JEFF SMITH (Deputy Director, Louisiana Department of Homeland
Security and Emergency Planning): Everyone is kind of focusing on response at
this point in time. I don't hear anybody talking about how successful that
evacuation was. It probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and nobody
wants to talk about that.
SULLIVAN: All weekend long, key officials coordinate their disaster
plans in almost constant conference calls. There are staff members for more
than 40 state and federal agencies camped in one room at the state's emergency
planning center in Baton Rouge. FEMA's there. They're supposed to make sure
that the food gets to hurricane survivors. The US Army Corps of Engineers is in
the room. They're in charge of water and structural damage. The National Guard
is at the center. They're supposed to provide the troops and trucks and boats
to forge through the flood. And they're all on the line with local managers
like Walter Maestri to confirm that they'll move in as soon as the hurricane
Mr. MAESTRI: All day Saturday and all day Sunday and all day Monday,
until the winds got so high that the phone lines blew down, we were in constant
contact. Every two to three hours, we were talking.
More than 40 emergency agencies--local, state and federal--were meeting almost
every two hours in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. They were planning
for a storm that could devastate the region. But as soon as Katrina hit, those
plans started to unravel....
[Tuesday] morning, Walter Maestri follows the disaster plan to rush help to
Jefferson Parish. He gets on his shortwave radio, and he calls the emergency
command center in Baton Rouge. He talks with FEMA and the National Guard and
the Army Corps of Engineers.
Mr. WALTER MAESTRI (Emergency Management Center, Jefferson Parish): We
made the request Tuesday morning. We went through the state Office of Emergency
Preparedness. I am requesting the water and ice, the meals, the demax(ph)...
ZWERDLING: The medical--the Mobile Medical Unit?
Mr. MAESTRI: The medical--the Mobile Medical, the DMORT, the mobile
morgue and so forth. They said they would place the orders and that they should
be here within 12 to 36 hours. That's Tuesday morning.
ZWERDLING: And Mayor Nagin says he's confident that help is about to
pour into New Orleans. He says an official at FEMA has just briefed him.
"All weekend long, key officials coordinate their disaster plans in almost
constant conference calls."
75% of the Louisiana National Guard was in Iraq, along with "most" of their
I suppose the "red tape" to which the talking heads that read the memo refer
was the "war" in Iraq, and the inability of the feds to stick to the decisions
made on those conference calls because the feds had other priorities.
And they scream about people playing politics, while they play politics
|Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 11h 4m 46s|
Transcripts of the Katrina response timeline
Check out these transcripts of an NPR radio show that did an audio version of
the timeline. They are quite stunning.
A special thanks to Duncan Black, the blogger journalist at
Atrios.com for putting these transcripts together, and making them
available on the web.
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 21h 38m 48s|
This is too unbelieveable
On August 26, 2005 Kathleen Blanco, Governor of Louisiana
legal declaration of a state of emergency. here
The next day, President Bush declares a Federal Emergency.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 27, 2005
Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana
The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and
ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the
parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005,
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts
which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the
emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for
required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to
save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or
avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles,
Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula,
Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline,
Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse,
Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine,
St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West
Feliciana, and Winn.
Know whats strange.
Missing from that list of affected parishes : Ascension,Jefferson,
Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard,St. Charles, St. James,St. John, St.
Tammany,Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington Parish.
Notice where all these not included parishes are located (colored reddish.)
Why would the President NOT INCLUDE these Parishes on the federal list "to
avert the castrophe" that hit them ?
I am so pissed off.
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 17h 38m 59s|
The UN for food scandal report
Read the synopsis here. The entire report is 1,000 pages long.
Interesting that despite the bloody red screed of the manufactured right-wing
passion against the UN scandal, Kofi Annan was only reprimanded for his lack
of "oversight." According to the synopsis (link above):
...the report declines to endorse allegations of [Kofi Annan's] personal
involvement in the scandals, and does not consider the evidence of his
knowledge of his son's activities to be conclusive.
Most of the companies who benefited were American companies, who themselves
profitted by reselling the oil. The so-called UN forces that were monitoring
(guarding) the area were actually Americans and American officers, with the
exception of a tiny 4 British commanders.
Jordan was also exempted from the restrictions on Iraq oil sales. Wink, wink.
Consultants from major US Oil companies had offices in Amman,Jordan.
The 661 Committee,created by the Security Council to oversee the Oil For Food
Programme, had an undefined and unclear mandate -- at the insistence of the
United States officials!! Indeed, the U.S. was responsible for some 98% of
the 'holds' placed on contracts in this committee.
How come the companies which made these deals aren't under the same scrutiny?
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 16h 50m 16s|
My letter to MSNBC (that will never be read)
you people really suck.
Since when does the truth supported by irrefutable facts become "an opinion"
(At the very least) all you folks have to do is compare what happened in Florida
September 2004, and what happened during Katrina 2005? There are plenty of
articles and legal documents, so you won't have to worry about those gosh darn
facts you want to call "opinions."
Oh, and did you know that President Bush -- in responding to Governor Blanco's
declaration of an emergency on August 26th -- did not include in his federal
area the parishes of Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and Jefferson.
Those are the 4 parishes south of the Lake by the way.
And why not fire Brown, and all of the other Public Relations hacks Bush staffed
the agency? How can we expect the same blind mice to see any better during the
recovery process? Would MSNBC keep corporate executives who are incompetent.
Don't answer that. This is why Governor Blanco hired ex-Clinton FEMA head
PRO BONO to oversee the reconstruction process.
Now certainly, those corrupt contractors wouldn't repeat the same mistakes of
last 3 years in Iraq?
And why was the USS Battan that followed the hurricane (which is standard
waiting for the President to give the order to act if indeed President Bush
gave them permission to act. Are we supposed to believe that the Navy commander
disobeyed his President and waited off-shore with lotza helicopters for 3 days
Katrina hit New Orleans?
Opinions? Wake up please. This really is fucking obvious.
But go ahead, spread this corrupt administrations lies. Feel self-satisfied
what you call "opinions" are left out of the news, or dismissed by the
lipstick airheads, puff-daddies, and pompous morons you hire to do the news.
Those of us who count have never forgotten how your brilliant CEO's canned
the highest rated show on your network, for ... ex-nutritional supplement
It is quite obvious that you are more of a propaganda machine than a cable news
network. I suppose you will enjoy the slow encroachment towards dictatorship
fascism, that you helped create.
|Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 16h 13m 29s|
Just vote yes, and stop reading our legislation, damnit
From RawStory [source
Republicans block efforts to amend relief bill, hold vote without providing
copy of bill
by John Byrne
In the wake of what the Wall Street Journal projected may be the most expensive
natural disaster in American history, the Republican Leadership in the House of
Representatives limited floor consideration of the $52 billion Katrina relief
bill proposed by President Bush and voted to reject any Democratic efforts to
amend the bill to include a wider array of relief measures, RAW STORY has
Democrats said no one had even seen a copy of the legislation.
Voting along party lines, Republicans denied a measure that would have allowed
for two hours of discussion and opened up the measure to be amended.
The Republican leadership pushed through a Suspension Rule in the House Rules
Committee that blocked any members from offering amendments to the bill. Rep.
Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the Committee, led
opposition to the rule.
The bill, which enjoys bipartisan support, is expected to pass on the House
Democrats implored Republicans to allow amendments, which would enable
consideration of measures such as which areas and to which agencies relief
dollars were most needed and how to restructure FEMA so that it would be more
Oh now don't worry. No one should be able to read the laws that vote on, and
certainly no opposition representatives get to have any concerns.
These are the boots of the stormtroopers.
STOMP. sTOMP. STOMP.
GOTO THE NEXT 10 COLUMNS