Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today - I celebrate

What a way to start the day. . . Tom DeLay indicted. The gop is sinking in it's squalor. Now I can hope and pray that Americans will wake up and decide enough is enough - we must defeat or at least marginalize the republicratic regime that has controled this nation for nearly a century. We need a true and real democracy. With around four billion Americans it should be obvious that two political parties will never be able to represent all of us in a satisfactory manner. This is not democracy - it is voting against the one you dislike the most.

People argue that having so many voices in congress would slow down legislation - I say good idea, these are decisions that effect billions of people - should they be made on the fly? Absolutely not. We got the patriot act on the fly. We got thew war in Iraq on the fly. We did not get a critical reaction to a major natural disaster on the fly. This is because our government has it's priorities screwed up in a major way. They think it should be quick and easy to obscond with liberties it took us 200 years and countless lives to achive but they cannot protect their "constituents" as well as many monarchs in the past would protect their subjects. Hell, there are developing nations that take better care of their people than the "greatest nation in the world."

One might then argue, but this all happened on the Republican'ts watch, the democrats would have done better. I geuss I will admit that Clinton's anti-terrorism bill was less prohibitive that the patriot act but it was still an unforgivable attempt to take away our liberties. And hey, theyt got us a budget surplus, of course instead of really cutting out the pork and graft they just taxed us more. Don't get me wrong, the dems are preferable to the repugs but the truth is we need a real democracy not corporate government.

No government is going to be perfect. Problems will abound no matter who is in charge but if we can grow out of the republicratic form of government we now support a true expieriment in democracy could begin.

Monday, September 26, 2005

sometimes. . .

Sometimes I just can't believe this is life. There is such an un-reality to everything going on around me. My roles of father, teacher of children in my church, professional handyman and my role as a guy who just does things because they need to be done. I feel like the silent observer - observing even my interactions with others from a disconnect. For sure I feel - am effected by my interactions, but I am yet apart. The closest I feel I broach reality is with my son, but dealing with a 3yr old is it's own un-reality. Yet raising - taking part in a childs life has provided profound insight it defies reason -yet I believe, in large part, it has contributed to / triggered other disconnect.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Why should the feds help with Katrina or Why I'm Fu**ing pissed at Mr. Bush

Mr. Bush retained the oval office for a second term on his promise to keep Americans safer. He basicaly said "I can do it better than the other guy" - we will never know how Kerry would have fared in this situation - we couldn't. But I am fairly certain that anyone could have. My government takes around 13% of my income - they commit to protecting me. The FEMA Mission is:

FEMA Mission

DISASTER. It strikes anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms -- a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. It builds over days or weeks, or hits suddenly, without warning. Every year, millions of Americans face disaster, and its terrifying consequences.

On March 1, 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

Here is the President's authority in an emergency:


In any major disaster, the President may--

1. direct any Federal agency, with or without reimbursement, to utilize its authorities and the resources granted to it under Federal law (including personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and managerial, technical, and advisory services) in support of State and local assistance efforts;

2. coordinate all disaster relief assistance (including voluntary assistance) provided by Federal agencies, private organizations, and State and local governments;

3. provide technical and advisory assistance to affected State and local governments for--
1. the performance of essential community services;
2. issuance of warnings of risks and hazards;
3. public health and safety information, including dissemination of such information;
4. provision of health and safety measures; and
5. management, control, and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety; and

4. assist State and local governments in the distribution of medicine, food, and other consumable supplies, and emergency assistance.

(Pub. L. 93-288, title IV, § 402, as added Pub. L. 100-707, title I, § 106(a)(3), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4696.)


Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended by Public Law 106-390, October 30, 2000

There are a lkot more documents regarding the feds responsability tyo all Americans and their safety. I am sure that a lot of failures happened on a State and local level as well, but the fact is that the Feds are supposed to take over and coordinate all efforts across the board - instead all FEMA did for four fucking days and longer in instances to hold back the help coming in. They are supposed to asses and act - simultaniously. Chicago made an incredible deal - they would send over 100 police officers, over 140 health care workers, 40 some engineers, 60 some fire and rescue workers. They made the offer the day before Katrina hit - as of Last friday they were allowed to send one tanker truck. Mind you they were going to send these people with their own food and water and a lot to share. They were prepared to send all the equiptment and trucks these people needed to work. A self sufficient force and FEMA told them they weren't needed - we'll call when they need you. My city had fire/rescue people ready to go that Monday - they didn't leave until Sunday. The red cross was kept out by national gaurdsman brandishing weaopons. I could go on - I haven't the stomach to track the links back down but this was all reported by major media - This story was not - but the convention coord. confirmed much of the story as do their companions.

Here is a great timeline of events. Each segment linked to major news agency varification. I'm not terribly keen on Arovois but America blog has a lot of links to major news that Paint a gruesome picture of inneptitude on a scale unthinkable in America, today. . . We are supposed to do try and save lives - that is what my fucking president would do. It is bad enough that they bungled trying to save lives themselves - they prohibited anyone else from helping these people - they told everyone that their help was unneeded - wait for a call. The top three people at FEMA are public relations people, the top man at FEMA lied on his app and was asked to resign his last job - they dont know what the fuck they are doing - they are political appointees who helped Mr. Bush get elected.

These are the same fucking people who are supposed to help any of us who fall victim to catastrophic terrorist attack. We have just seen how they perform. Some tens of thousands dead and dying - and our "leaders" are to busy playing "save my ass" and "damage control" that they still hamper the efforts to save lives. And they tried to ban the media from the scene to bar public criticism. Efforts have also been made to bar democrat's involvment in congressional hearings. Republicans who don't toe the party line and are genuinely pissed are being told to shush by fellow republicant's.

This is supposed to be our government - majority picks em - but they are our leaders. These people have led us to slaughter - while vacationing - and the terrorists now know just how very vulnerable we are. I am afraid. I have no effective government. Some developing nations protect their citizens more thouroghly than this nation does. We the people have been shown that, should it happen to be us, a lot of fucking people gonna die and nobody is likely to save us. Bombs don't neccasarily offer any warning - how would our government deal with hundreds of thousands - even millions trapped in a burning, possibly eradiated city? How would these same people deal with a major bio-weapon attack - thousands - then hundreds of thousands - when do we shutt down all transportation - millions - ????????????

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mr. Bush is Not My President

I am not sure with what regularity I will be posting. I have been making some profound changes in my life and I have been very busy. In the course of the changes in my life I found some parallel to the disaster wrought in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf States.

I have been, for many years, a Christian. I have been in the midst of a nearly fifteen year crisis of faith. Any who have read some of my very first posts to this blog know part of the reason why. The rest of the reason has been, quite simply, that many who would call themselves Christian regularly engage in activities that caused me to be embarrassed to admit that I am a Christian. I have recently been attending a great church and have renewed my relationship with God.

It fills me with great sorrow that on the eve of my personal renewal of that relationship, I find myself at the loss of another. Mr. Olbermann of CNN put it in words that made me weep, not for the dead, dying and displaced (I have wept for them as well) but for the other victims of Katrina, or more accurately it's aftermath - Americans like Mr. Olbermann and myself. I weep because the President of this nation - is not my president. I weep for what that means. Right now I feel dissasociated from my country in a way I never came close to before. I felt closer to my country at the heights of my drug use and quest to be on the fringe of society. I felt closer sleeping under an overpass in the rain one night while the water that drained onto the ledge I was on soaked me and flowed around me. I felt closer when I was so far into a five week acid binge that I had forgotten my own name.

In my short lifetime this country has never elected a president I would have voted for. I actually still carry some fondness for Reagan the man - not the president - the man. But never have I seen a president I wanted as president. Yet never until now have I ever even thought, "this is not my president." To be sure, none of those presidents had to deal with a major city being destroyed, but I'd like to think that Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. or Clinton would have, at the very least, been on hand to lead.

Instead we have Mr. Bush who leads us not to safety but to fear. He has proven to this nation and to it's enemies - we are vulnerable - we are without security - we have no leader. Throughout every debacle created by Mr. Bush's regime I have referred to his every error as our error - every travesty committed has been our travesty. But this, this is beyond pale. We do not live in America. Oh sure, geography and semantics say we do, but America does not exist - maybe it never did - nut for the first time in my life I truly fear. I didn't know this fear 10 days ago. We have truly and completely been abandoned by our government. Mr. Bush would like us to believe our government is huge, truly massive - it is not - it has in fact "drowned in a bathtub."

I weep tonight. First for those effected directly, physically by the hurricane. I weep also for the other victims - each of us who used to be Americans - but now have joined the ranks of developing nations. I weep the hardest for my child, for your children who inherit this salted earth.

DuWayne E. Brayton