From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
There's gonna be hell to pay for the hell you made, Mr. President

September 8, 2005 6:42 AM

NY Times: "After 10 days of often uncertain responses to the Bush administration's management of Hurricane Katrina, Democratic leaders unleashed a burst of attacks on the White House on Wednesday, saying the wreckage in New Orleans raised doubts about the country's readiness to endure a terrorist attack and exposed ominous economic rifts that they said had worsened under five years of Republican rule. ... Democrats offered what was shaping up as the most concerted attack that they had mounted on the White House in the five years of the Bush presidency."

Edwards keeps preaching: "The truth is the people who suffer the most from Katrina are the very people who suffer the most every day."

Pelosi is on fire: "Oblivious. In denial. Dangerous."

Even Hillary! "It's time to actually show this government can be competent."

It shouldn't take CNN's Soledad O'Brien going off on the FEMA director last Friday, or hardcore conservative columnists in New Orleans trashing the President to give the Democrats the spine to be furious. Even their visceral outrage had to be focus-grouped. Sigh.

But at least we're rolling now.

More from the archive in Bush, Tragedy.

There's gonna be hell to pay for the hell you made, Mr. President (09.08.2005)

Next Entry: Valerie, Cindy, and Katrina (09.10.2005)
Previous Entry: What led to Katrina? (09.07.2005)

Read the 34 comments.

Tom from Madison:

We would do well to remember that under Clinton, FEMA was much more effective.

Bush has been doling out agency appointments based on a system of patronage. This is both IMMORAL and INEFFECTIVE. Competency is in VERY SHORT SUPPLY. People are dead because of this.

Bush's promise to investigate his own administration's disasterous handling of the Katrina aftermath should be rejected. We need an independent investigation.

The shameful sham of the 9/11 investigation is proof of Bush's basic contempt for the people's right to know. We don't need a repeat performance. We need real accountability in our leaders.

Thu Sep 8 2005 9:45 AM


Liberals love body counts and misery. They exploit it every chance they get.

Thu Sep 8 2005 4:04 PM


I don't balme you hiding your identity when you make such a stupid remark.

YOU're part of the culture of death that Bush and his neo-con chickenhawk administration lead. Talk about exploitation - who is profiting in NOLA? halliburton and Kenyon, both corporations run by and for BushCo supporters.

Most corrupt administration EVER.

Thu Sep 8 2005 5:12 PM


Nope. Wrong.

Look at liberals. They are fighting to show pictures of dead bodies on TV. They inflate death counts for political advantage. They want more death so they can exploit it.

It makes me sick.

Fri Sep 9 2005 10:02 AM

Tom from Madison:

I'm a liberal, so let me tell you what we're fighting for!

We're fighting to get the facts out. I want people to know the exact number of people who died--no more, no less.

I want people to know what was done to prepare for Katrina, and what was done in response.

I want people to see the reality of the situation so they can make it better. What I don't want is censorship by the government in an attempt to cover their own a$$es. In a America, the People have the right to know what their government is doing and what is happening to their fellow citizens.

People like "Anonymous" are the ones attempting to exploit the tragedy of Katrina. Many Conservatives in the federal government are responsible for a lot of NEEDLESS DEATH AND DESTRUCTION DUE TO GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF THIS SITUATION UNDER THEIR WATCH!

Shame on all those who twist this into an attack on liberals!

Fri Sep 9 2005 10:35 AM

Tom from Madison:

I have to wonder. What's up with the bigoted, gratuitous liberal bashing?

Is this voluntary hate mongering? I suspect that some of these people might be getting paid, especially when they take pains to avoid being identified!

Fri Sep 9 2005 11:23 AM


Take pains?

How does my Anonymous name identify me any less then Tom from madison. Dumbass.

Fri Sep 9 2005 11:59 AM

Bill Lindgren:

Um, because when you see "Tom from Madison" you can search through the blog or probably Google and find everything else he's said, all comments he's made. And you can take a guess he lives in Madison Wisconsin, as well. Thus, he's revealing himself.

Your name is Anonymous. You know nothing about that, can investigate no further.

I too, have to wonder what the hell the point is of the ridiculous bigoted liberal bashing. I have never seen a clearer case of an adminstration and various individuals at various levels being so incompetent that it led to THOUSANDS (maybe TENS of thousands, we'll see..) of DEATHS. Instead of trying to fiercely protect the most blatant example of a clueless and dangerous administration, why not look at the facts and realize the possibility your heros have caused a tragic situation to be MUCH worse.

And if you wake up, you'll realize it's not just liberals pointing blame at government officials, it's conservatives -- some VERY right-wing I might add. Most are smart enough to know a debacle when they see one.

Fri Sep 9 2005 12:13 PM

Tom from Madison:


thanks. I respect all those who attempt to speak the truth, whether or not I share their opinion or ideology.

Those calling names and offering no reasoning to substantiate their positions are pursuing some other agenda. Neither they nor their agenda deserve any respect.

Would "Anonymous" blame the mirror for the ugly image staring him / her in the face?

Fri Sep 9 2005 12:32 PM

Dave E.:

"Exploiting death"? Quite the contrary, mon fraire.

It's fighting against the State of Apathy that BushCo and its army of keyboard kommandos hold dear. The state of being comfortably numb, the comfortably oblivious.

Protection from "feeling icky" is a phrase I use to describe typical conservative outrage. You don't like feeling "icky" so you don't want to be inconvenienced with the truth.

People with good sense and good reason, damn party affiliationg, recognize that the weight of this catastrophe must be understood, respected, and appreciated to ensure it never happens again. It's called responsible governing. A foreign concept to you, undoubtedly, but we owe it to every single American to do this - especially to those killed in the days following Katrina.

An argument for censoring this coverage is the argument for death, anonymous.

And now I'm done feeding the trolls.

Fri Sep 9 2005 12:41 PM


Claiming bi-partisenship and yet I see no critique on the democtaic local government who blow it terribly.

GImmie a break.

Fri Sep 9 2005 1:06 PM

Tom from Madison:

MEMO to Mr. / Miss / Mrs. Anonymous:

FEMA and Homeland Security have considerable authority and Billions of $ to use at their discretion. Moreover, FEMA exists soley to deal with this kind of crisis.

They deserve the lion's share of the credit / blame for the Katrina response. Taxpayers, including YOU, deserve to know what they did with our $ and why it didn't save more people.

Those who both don't know AND don't care are IGNORANT AND STUPID.

Fri Sep 9 2005 2:06 PM


Thats for proving my point. The local government was begged by Bush on Sunday. His plea was ignored. Buses sat and people died.

Fri Sep 9 2005 2:18 PM

Tom from Madison:

Proud, buy nameless one:

"The local government was begged by Bush on Sunday."
That's a very convenient explanation.

It's also a blatant LIE! There is no evidence to support your claim. You're repeating Rush Limbaugh's erroneous talking points verbatim! Repeating a lie doesn't make it true.

I still have to wonder. Why lie to protect the President? LOYALTY NEEDS TO STOP WHERE THE TRUTH BEGINS. America deserves better than mindless parotting of the Bush party line!

Fri Sep 9 2005 2:48 PM


Beyond the failure of the immediate respose to Katrina there is also the cutting of funds to improve the levees. This was underfunded by almost 1/2 going back to 2001. [See source below].

Bottom line: the severity and likelihood of flooding could have been reduced subtantially had federal $ not been diverted from strengthening the levees. Those who diverted the funds were Republicans bent on fighting the "War on Terror" with this money.

Fri Sep 9 2005 3:01 PM

Tom from Madison:

The last post is mine.

Fri Sep 9 2005 3:03 PM


The democrats have been running that town for 40 years, but they didnt do anything. LOL


Fri Sep 9 2005 3:05 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Just have to comment. Dave, Tom, wonderful job of keeping the truth out there.

About Annonymous. Yeah this guy is the king troll.

You know, when your in a heated debate and extrmely passionate about your point of view, you can sometimes say terrible things. I've railed on NJ and RWR countless times, been less than hospitable with them on many accounts. Sure we've thrown the wingnut this.. looney lib that... in defence of a point of view, which i can find acceptable. And no matter how much i disagree with those guys on their foriegn policy beliefs, i would never believe they were doing it to purposefully hurt thier country, even if i believe thats what is actually happening.

But annonymous goes on a different route. He just throws out an ubertroll comment just to start shit up. a comment like 'libs like body counts and misery.....' blah blah. thats him casting the reel. I dont know how you'd feel if i went around saying some stupid blanket statement like 'conservatives keep the poor down so they can drink the blood of dead liberal babies.' Thats about as stupid and outrageous a statement anyone can make. But annonymous either really believes liberals everywhere are hunkering down, fingers crossed, waiting for the next disaster for what? to score political points? this guy is a fucking loon and i think after this, all of you should just ignore his posts and make him completely irrelevant.

As for the hurricane aftermath... ill leave it with this. Although i really hate the man, i would actually gain respect for Bush if he fired that idiot Brown who heads FEMA. That agency totally fucked up, and for some inconcievable reason, prevented and blocked actual aid from getting. There's nothing political about it. The man screwed up. Fire him and get someone who knows how to run the thing.

Fri Sep 9 2005 3:36 PM


So Tom...take a look at this AP story, datelined August 28...from this article:
"Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding."

So are you still going to shrilly proclaim that there's NO EVIDENCE!? Is this AP story just, "...Rush Limbaugh's erroneous talking points..."?

You state that "Repeating a lie doesn't make it true"...Well, by the same token, Hysterically denouncing something as a LIE doesn't make it untrue...

Fri Sep 9 2005 3:38 PM

Dave E.:

"i would actually gain respect for Bush if he fired that idiot Brown who heads FEMA."

Does 'recalled to Washington' count? Doesn't for me.

And ditto Mike's thoughts on the inciting weasel here. No more keystrokes wasted on that lizard brain.

Fri Sep 9 2005 3:43 PM

Dave E.:

It is astounding how these keyboard kommandos follow suck lock step allegiance to Dear Leader. Collaborating in the flimsy case in his defense with evidence of a call he placed, while on his 5 week vacation - still - which just happened to coincide with the evacuation conference that local officials had planned for hours.

There has been some serious disinformation scattershot out of Dear Leaders damage control machine. It has virtually all been swatted authoritatively down with facts. Tomaig demonstrates the sheer desire of Dear Leaders people who but for shear will alone, will believe anything that conforms to ideology.

Tell me tomaig...are you satisfied with crony-powered FEMA's recovery efforts post-Hurricane "Corrina"? Yes or no.

Listen. You cannot run the country as if it's in a perpetual election campaign. But the Bushies do, because that's the only tune this PR firm squatting in the white house knows. Flush expertise down the toilet, award cabinet jobs to your campaign manager's old college buddies.

Criminal negligence. Unspinnable. Either aquiesce to this, or keep the face paint on and continue to be marginalized while America wakes up.

Fri Sep 9 2005 4:01 PM


Why dont we just get rid of local and state governments. I was under the impression we lived in a republic. From now on I guess its ok if Bush goes over the head of the local and state governments for things he feels important.

Works for me.

Fri Sep 9 2005 4:09 PM

Tom from Madison:


The Limbaugh talking points are laughable here.

Whether Bush made a phone call on Sunday afternoon is irrelevant. We're supposed to ready for many kinds of disasters including a terrorist attack? FEMA has been given billions of $ to do just this!

Firing an incompetent like Brown should have happened yesterday. I'm sure he's calling on all aspects of his Arabian Horse background to address the Katrina crisis!

This guy NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIRED TO BEGIN WITH AND PROVED IT TO THE WORLD IN THE LAST FEW DAYS. Quit trying to blame everyone else for his ineptitude!

Fri Sep 9 2005 4:09 PM


I think the final straw for me is seeing some lunatics defend Dubya -- or anyone in the Federal government for that reason -- in this disaster in which thousands and thousands of Americans died, most from blatant and obvious fuck-ups. I found this commentary to hit the nail on the head for me.

And if you're looking for some satire which also expresses the situation with disturbing accuracy, check out:

Fri Sep 9 2005 6:20 PM


Also -- how about a first hand account from friends of my folks, who just e-mailed this in a few hours ago. It might be a little more relevant to hear from people who were actually there to see our government and officials fail so miserably. This is not something that's going to go away.


Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked
up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.

The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an alternative.
The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.

We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look
at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the
Walgreen's in the French Quarter.

We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the "victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed, were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged,
nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the little
electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators.

Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats to rescue their
neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And
the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded. Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.

On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like
ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and friends
outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the
City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them.

We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had.
We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the
buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived at the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street
crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City's primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City's only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the
police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, "If we
can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?"
The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters
with callous and hostile "law enforcement".

We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have
water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short
order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up
to take us out of the City. The crowd cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you thatthe buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center, many locals
saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few
belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies
in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it didnot dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began
firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched
forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's
assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West
Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are
not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center
divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be
visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned
away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot.

Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers
stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New
Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts.
Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts ofC-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!).

This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community.

If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the ugliness
would not have set in. Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our
encampment grew to 80 or 90 people. From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on
the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all
those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his
patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck
with our food and water. Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we
congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the
agencies would force us into small atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought
refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and
shoot-to-kill policies.

The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban
search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards. They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks they were assigned.

We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of
humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush landed briefly at the airport for a photo op. After being evacuated on a coast
guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas.

There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we
were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two
filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were
subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children, elderly, disabled as they sat
for hours waiting to be "medically screened" to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases.

This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker give
her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street offered us money and toiletries with words of welcome. Throughout, the official relief
effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.

Fri Sep 9 2005 6:29 PM


Hey, Jim. Good to see you back at the keyboard, fighting the good fight, bringing out the truth. Must be a nice change of pace from the past couple weeks.

Fri Sep 9 2005 10:41 PM


"There's gonna be hell to pay for the hell you made, Mr. President"

Hm.... are we forgetting that the cause of this disaster is nature and not the President? Maybe you should be pissed at nature for causing all the destruction. Or the Senators from Louisiana for not making sure the money they were given to work on the levee's was used properly? Or maybe the Governor for not acting decisively to call a state of emergency and get people out of NO as early as possible? Or maybe even the mayor for not utilizing the resources he had (ie, busses) to get everyone out that he could?

Not to say that there isn't a federal aspect to the whole disaster, but why do you reflexively vilify the President without bringing up the countless others who are responsible for said disaster?

Fri Sep 9 2005 11:14 PM



Because its ot about the cause of the disaster and finding out the truth. Its about partisen politics for the left and nothing more.

You think that you will find it written on a liberal site that Walmart donated the most money of any business? Of course not.

Sat Sep 10 2005 11:57 AM


I thought there was a ring of truth to Sphagmum's comment. It seems that we all need to one, focus on helping however we can, and then two, asessing how everyone can do a better job to respond to a disaster of this magnitude. Here is an article I read about FEMA hindering rescue efforts. This type of thing needs to be addressed BIGTIME.

Paragraph that got me:
In the parking lot outside the hangar sits George Lainart, a police officer from Georgia, who has led a flotilla of nine airboats over land to try to pitch in with the rescue. But his crew has been on the bench for two days, waiting for FEMA to assign them a mission. After making serial inquiries, Lainart is climbing out of his skin, and I later find out that his team circumvented FEMA altogether, got down to New Orleans, and stayed busy for five days straight. Though he shredded his hull by running over asphalt, cars, fire hydrants, and other debris, his crew saved nearly 800 people.

"FEMA was holding up everything, they didn't have a clue," complains Lainart. "They were an absolute roadblock, nobody was getting anywhere with those idiots. Everybody just started doing their own missions." While opinions on the ground differ wildly as to who deserves the most generous serving of blame pie among George W. Bush, Louisiana's governor, and New Orleans' mayor, everyone I speak with agrees that FEMA officials should spend their afterlives in the hottest part of Hell without any water breaks.


If you are left or right and don't believe that we need to be introspective here and look at EVERYONE'S role in this, then I wonder if you really care. (Directed at no one, just my venting!)

Sincerely, J in STL

Sat Sep 10 2005 1:06 PM


"Why dont we just get rid of local and state governments. I was under the impression we lived in a republic."

The port of New Orleans is a point of exit for the perishable products that this nation sells to other countries (esp. important in a time of record trade deficits). It is also a point of entry for the crude oil and natural gas that we import. Louisiana is a major hub for refining the nation's gasoline. This is NOT just a city or state disaster - it has national ramifications.

How far do you want to go with this "rugged individualism - every city/state for itself" ideology? Perhaps we could dissolve the Union and return to the city-state model of medieval Europe.

Sat Sep 10 2005 11:29 PM


"Not to say that there isn't a federal aspect to the whole disaster, but why do you reflexively vilify the President without bringing up the countless others who are responsible for said disaster?"

I agree, they should all be fired - including the President.

Sat Sep 10 2005 11:58 PM

Tom from Madison:

Firing the President is the best idea I've heard yet. We've had a string of incompetent federal cronies all hired by the same guy. There's something plain wierd about a guy who hangs out on a fake ranch appointing the head of the Arabian Horse Foundation to head FEMA in the first place!

Remember there was a time before we had a Homeland Security Dept when FEMA did their job effectively. We now have had MANY situations where competent public servants were fired for their ideology and replaced by incompetent Bush Cronies.

It's time to end the idiot parade and fire the clown prince who's leading it!

Tue Sep 13 2005 12:08 AM


After reading all of your comments, I've been motivatecd to get some of the students at my school together to do something. Have you any ideas?

Wed Nov 16 2005 2:11 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Hi JT:

I've been working on this Wal-Mart film because I think it touches on a lot of the issues in a very accessible and emotional way. It's a tool to use to raise the question of why does the richest nation the world has ever known still incentivize its corporations to do nothing but make money? Isn't it about time we invested in our people? Having to choose between feeding your kids and taking them to the doctor is not a choice that should need to be made anywhere, and certainly not in America.

Wed Nov 16 2005 2:55 PM

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