October 15, 2005

The PORK BUSTER Response From The 15th District of Texas

As many of you know, I wrote an article (here) regarding the prolifigate spending by congress and the need to cut spending in order to be able to afford the cost of reconstruction following Katrina (and since, Rita). My letter to the Honorable Ruben Hinojosa is below:

Dear Congressman. As you are aware, President Bush has called for massive spending in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Too, it appears that Hurricane Rita may be headed for our own coast and may cause further destruction on a grand scale.

I am very concerned that the amounts proposed, while greatly needed are also budget busters of the first magnitude. I know that there is plenty of so called pork in the federal budget that can be cut for the betterment of society as a whole, and not for a particular congressional district. For example, the Transportation bill recently signed by President Bush contains millions of dollars for a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska to an island of only 1500 persons. Sir, I've been to Ketchikan, the good people there almost brag about how difficult it is to get there, boat or plane, that is it. And yet, it is a thriving town, and quite beautiful as well. This bridge is a boondoggle of the worst sort.

I'm hoping you can identify and lead the charge to eliminate this and other pork spending so that as a unified country we will be in fact able to afford those things that need to be done vis-a-vis natural disasters.

I am a blogger, yes, one of those dreaded "pajama clad" folk who put their opinions out for everyone to see. But I am also a patriot and a citizen of a great congressional district, a great state and a magnificent country. I will be willing to put your answer on my blog as an update to a current post and as a singular post as you so desire.

Sir, we have much to do and not much time to do it. Won't you please take the lead and begin the process, get other Democrats and Republicans behind the effort to reform the budget, realign our priorities and get our house in order?

George Roper
GM's Corner (http://gmroper.com)"

That was sent on or about September 19, 2005 and I followed it with this comment about Mr. Hinojosa:
Ruben Hinojosa (D, 15th Congressional District) is a good man. His family has built H&H meats from a small business to a good sized operation with many, many employees. He, like many Democrats tend to spend too much, but he is also a patriot. Let's see what his response is. His only Republican opponent was in 1996 and '98 and though I am nominally a Republican, I've always supported Mr. Hinojosa. I've voted for Mr. Hinojsa each time he ran, let's see how his response is to this urgent matter."

Well, either Mr. Hinojosa has slipped, or he has hired incompetents to answer his mail~but ultimately, he is responsible for every piece of official mail that comes out of his office. Here is his response:

Dear Mr. Roper: Thank you for sharing your views on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As we continue to aid residents from the floodwaters and devastation of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama it is crucial that they get the aid and assistance they so desperately need. The generosity of the American spirit is once again shining strong.

In Texas, shelters were constructed, citizens offered refuge in their extra bedrooms, school districts accepted students, people contributed money, corporations offered funds, and in many cases temporary employment. I applaud the generosity of so many Americans and urge them to continue offering assistance however they can. Our mission as a nation must be to help the least among us; the poor and disenfranchised that have been dramatically affected by Hurricane Katrina. This could have happened just as easily in Texas as in any other state, and before it happens again, we clearly need to investigate the response to this disaster.

Now is the time for Congress to focus on the relief and recovery efforts taking place in the Gulf Region and to do everything possible to help the victims. The federal response to this Disaster was far from adequate. We should appoint an independent commission to learn from the mistakes that were made and to guarantee that those mistakes never happen again. We owe this to the survivors and evacuees and to every American. Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. Please continue to inform me on maters of importance to you.

Ruben Hinojosa
Member of Congress

Needless to say, I am more than disappointed in the response from my congressman. Not only are the points in my letter to him completely ignored, he takes off on a tangent asking for an "investigation" of the federal efforts. Did he not care about federal efforts when they were highly successful? Did he not care when Rita, only a few days later was handled quite well?

What the hell is going on here? Hackneyed letters in response to letters from a constituent on matters of national scope? Congressman Hinojosa, I'm going to have to think very hard before I vote for you again. Very hard!

Welcome Instapundit readers. Write your congressman and let's all work on getting rid of some pork.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2005

Federal Response to Louisiana Governor on Katrina


Pres. Bush forwards Gen. Honore's inquiry to Gov. Blanco

From Sondrak via Denny

Posted by GM Roper at 12:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Gov. Blanco Sticks Up Senators: "No Questions. Hand Over Your Wallets"

Marriage and politics and crime have some common threads.
Husband...Did I see that your car has been wrecked?!
Wife.........I don't want to talk about it.
Husband...Don't you think I deserve an explanation?
Wife.........No, and that's not why I came to you.
Husband...Well, what do you want?
Wife.........I want money for a new car.
Husband...Who do you think I am...a Republican senator?
Wife.........Give me the money or I'll accuse you of abuse and desertion.
Husband...How much should I write the check for?

That pretty much sums up the exchange between Louisiana's Democratic Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and the Senate Finance Committee, which asked her to appear and respond to former FEMA Director Michael D. Brown's charge that Louisiana officials were "dysfunctional" in handling the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She said that she wouldn't answer any questions, they said okay, and she asked for $40 Billion for job creation in her state. No questions, but where's my check?

Let me make a suggestion. Rather than giving her $40 Billion, cut it in half, give it to all of Louisiana's residents, and let them retire in luxury. But, the rest of us can work the rest of our lives to pay for this--without even knowing what happened...and, we didn't even get kissed, and there's the crime.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

September 16, 2005

Tales from the Left - Sheehan: New Orleans is an "Occupied City"

I'm not going to say anything. I'm just speechless. When nuts from the left get vocal, their words alone are enough to make one just shake his head and walk away stunned. Well, here are recent comments about New Orleans from a post by Hero of the Left--Cindy Sheehan, who showcases the intelligence and logic of that side so well.

One thing that truly troubled me about my visit to Louisiana was the level of the military presence there. But what I saw was a city that is occupied. I saw soldiers walking around in patrols of 7 with their weapons slung on their backs. I wanted to ask one of them what it would take for one of them to shoot me. Sand bags were removed from private property to make machine gun nests.

If George Bush truly listened to God and read the words of the Christ, Iraq and the devastation in New Orleans would have never happened. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power.

...Just sounds of silence as I walk away and ponder the significance of those words.

Update: Much more information on this and other topics at Stop The ACLU

Posted by GM Roper at 06:30 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (1)

Will $200 Billion for N.O. Cover Slave Reparations? Ask the Brotherhood. Who?

Sometimes another person can say something that I can't because they have better standing or authority to address an issue. That is the case with slave reparations, which were proposed after the War Between the States and are still on the agenda for many. A blogger who is black and conservative addresses the issue of reparations and suggests that those who demand them can thank Hurricane Katrina, which will direct over a now estimated $200 billion for residents in a town that is over two-thirds black. He can say it--and has. You can imagine the comments if I said the same things.

Another connected point is that many people assume that blacks have to be liberal and Democrat or must be water boys for the Republicans. The author of the subject doesn't fit those descriptions and is part of a group of black, conservative bloggers called The Conservative Brotherhood, which describes itself as follows:

The Conservative Brotherhood is a group of African American writers whose politics are on the right hand side of the political spectrum. Expanding the dialog beyond traditional boundaries, they seek to contribute to a greater understanding of African Americans and America itself through advocacy and commentary.

It's refreshing to read the points of view that this group provides, and I admire their determination to say what they believe rather than say what is expected simply because of their race.

Back to the first point, that of reparations and the hurricane, Michael D. Cobb Bowen expresses his views as follows:

Say Thank You, Dammit

Now is the time for all good Reparationists to thank God for Katrina and thank George W. Bush for 60 Billion dollars.

Over at Booker Rising, an interesting angle cropped up on the matter of Reparations and Republicans. But my angle is this: Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are basically the heart of Dixie. Anybody and everybody knows that most of the blackfolks who live there represent those too unfortunate to migrate. I'll state it plainly. If you didn't get out in the Civil War and you didn't get out after the failure of Reconstruction, and you didn't get out during the Great Migration of the 1920s and you didn't get out in the Civil Rights Movement and you are still stuck in the South and poor and black...DAMN!

Now let's say you didn't get out in Katrina either. Symbolically, is there anyone more oppressed and downtrodden and left behind than poor blackfolks who have, since Slavery, missed five generational opportunities to leave Dixie? I mean, DAMN!

Now I'm going to jump on the rhetorical bandwagon of one of my idiot commenters for a moment to make a point:

70 percent of New Orleans is African American. ...These are the people who are going to reap the benefits of SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS OF FEDERAL AID, FREE!. Those blackfolks from New Orleans typify the beneficiaries of those dollars that America just can't seem to give away fast enough. Unless Osama bin Laden drops a nuke on Harlem there is never going to be another opportunity for poor black people to get free Federal Aid on this scale for 100 years. THIS is Reparations.

...Anyway, this is what I'm thinking. Reparations is now. As they used to say around the way, if you're slow, you blow. You better recognize. And say thank you to your president, the Compassionate Conservative who cares about 60 Billion dollars worth.

The entire post can be found here at Cobb's site. While you are there, you might want to check out some of Cobb's other entries and cartoons, or those by some other members of the brotherhood.

By being their own persons, and smart, these bloggers can help enhance communication not only between races, but for something perhaps harder--understandings and changes within the black culture.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 14, 2005

Democratic N.O. Congressman Redirects Rescue Efforts - Saves Laptop!

Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who represents New Orleans, led a daring mission at the height of the flood crisis to help an African-American resident of New Orleans to salvage his possessions and to be evacuated. The complex mission involved a five-ton military truck, six National Guard military police, a Coast Guard rescue helicopter, the pilots, a rescue swimmer, then an additional truck with soldiers, and hours of time--but, it accomplished what this Democratic congressman wanted: to get to HIS OWN house to save HIS OWN possessions and to return HIMSELF safely. Oh, he cares! He wasn't sitting around like George Bush and FEMA--no sir!

Here are excerpts along with a link to the ABC News report:
Amid Katrina Chaos, Congressman Used National Guard to Visit Home (Excerpted)
By JAKE TAPPER (Sarah H. Rosenberg, Chris Isham and Ted Gerstein contributed)
ABCNEWS.com, 09/13/2005

Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned.

Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. (D)uring the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.

Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour. Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck.

'I don't think there is any explanation for an elected official using resources for their own personal use, when those resources should be doing search and rescue, or they should be helping with law enforcement in the city,' said Jerry Hauer, a homeland security expert and ABC News consultant.

Jefferson said the trip was entirely appropriate. 'This wasn't about me going to my house. It was about me going to my district,' he said.

The Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News the truck became stuck as it waited for Jefferson to retrieve his belongings. The soldiers signaled to helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard helicopter pilot saw the signal and flew to Jefferson's home. The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time. A rescue diver descended from the helicopter, but the congressman decided against going up in the helicopter, sources say. The pilot sent the diver down again, but Jefferson again declined to go up the helicopter.

After spending approximately 45 minutes with Jefferson, the helicopter went on to rescue three additional New Orleans residents before it ran low on fuel and was forced to end its mission. 'Forty-five minutes can be an eternity to somebody that is drowning, to somebody that is sitting in a roof, and it needs to be used its primary purpose during an emergency,' said Hauer.

The Louisiana National Guard then sent a second 5-ton truck to rescue the first truck, and Jefferson and his personal items were returned to the Superdome.

(Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard) said he could not comment on whether the excursion was appropriate. 'We're in no position to comment on an order given to a soldier. You're not going to get a statement from the Louisiana National Guard saying whether it was right or wrong. That was the mission we were assigned.'

In an unrelated matter, authorities recently searched Jefferson's property as part of a federal investigation into the finances of a high-tech firm. Last month FBI officials raided Jefferson's house as well as his home in Washington, D.C., his car and his accountant's house. Jefferson has not commented on that matter, except to say he is cooperating with the investigation. But he has emerged as a major voice in the post-Katrina political debate.

It's interesting that the congressman's name is William Jefferson. Don't we know someone else whose name begins with that? Read the complete article for the congressman's side of the story; and, I guess that we can trust any story from a Democrat named William Jefferson--as long as he doesn't wag his finger at us when he tells it.

Anyway, now that the Democrat congressman has ventured into the flood and the mud, let's hope that he won't be flinging any more of it at Republicans and the federal response.

(Note: Don't look for this story on CNN or CBS.)

Posted by GM Roper at 11:10 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2005

CNN Coaches Reporters and Guests to "Get Angry" with Bush

The Drudge Report blew the whistle on CNN, which is manipulating reactions of its reporters and guests. CNN has been coaching guests and commentators to "get angry" over the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Why would they do that, and is it proper for a news network to fabricate angry reactions to a disaster? Isn't this making up a story--or, could we say that "the reactions, while fake, are accurate" similar to "the documents while fake, are accurate."

Before I knew the reasons, I wondered why CNN's Anderson Cooper was going way over the top with his outrage and rants. Cooper's reporting became so bad and obnoxious that I started switching channels whenever he was put on the air. Of course, all of this is clearer now--and, I consider manipulation of the news by the media as unacceptable from professional and ethical standpoints.

The Washington Times reported this as follows, which provides more explanation and motives:

Twisting the news Los Angeles Times pundit Michael Kinsley, who used to work for CNN, says the network is coaching guests to 'get angry' when they go on the air to discuss Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Kinsley said...'A Los Angeles Times colleague of mine, appearing on CNN last week to talk about Katrina, was told by a producer to "get angry."' CNN's political stance was more or less confirmed by a New York Times article yesterday that suggested CNN host Anderson Cooper was heroic for scolding a Democratic senator who failed to condemn the Bush administration.

(Footnote Update: Subsequent to his statement above, Michael Kinsley has been forced out at the Los Angeles Times.)

Others that have explored this CNN strategy, from both sides, include Trey Jackson and Power Line on the right and Slate, Crooks and Liars, and Reality Based Nation on the left. You can scan them to see which sources best identify with your values.

So, what will CNN say or do about this? Likely, nothing. But, that didn't stop me from expressing my displeasure about its breach of trust and unethical conduct, and I let them know. Unlike CNN, I'm not suggesting that you "get angry," but if you feel upset or disappointed by this news source that you thought that you could trust, then you can let them know by going to the CNN site for comments and feedback. It might make you feel better to express your views to them and it might, just might, influence how they report in the future.

CNN should know that instructions to reporters to act angry might have the effect of making viewers angry.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

September 12, 2005

Guns and Butter; Partie Deux (Part Two)

I have a confession to make; I read the Wall Street Journal both the dead tree version and the online version. I guess that makes me a capitalist toadie. Or maybe a Capitalist Running Dog! Or perhaps a member of the bourgeois with pretensions of becoming rich someday.

Well, OK, I am all of the above. What is more, I'd love to see all of the world equal or exceed that. Of Course, I know that that won't happen, but I can dream can't I. Well, for the nonce at any rate. Next week I'll be 59, perhaps a little late for riches, unless I win the Texas Lotto.

But all that aside, I'm upset with my president. I'm upset with congress, I'm upset with the whole idea of the way the federal dollar is being spent. Misspent perhaps.

I've been having a series of conversations with my beloved Uncle. In a recent e-mail, he noted that he used to be a Republican; back when the Republicans stood for fiscal restraint, good business principles etc. Can't fault him for that. I choose to stay in the Republican Party and work for change within, I'm NOT one happy camper at this moment.

Congress is spending money like a bunch of drunken sailors - in fact, I think maybe the afore mentioned sailors do better. The President seems disinclined to reign them in, and has yet to veto a single spending bill. NOT ONE!!!! And that scares the hell out of me. The recent transportation bill is a good example. As I told my Uncle, it was so loaded with Pork that I understand the Armour Company was thinking of purchasing it.

congressional Pork.png Can't you just see it, Canned Congressional Pork [Note, no Armour Star Products were harmed in the making of this photograph.] But, I digress. The transportation bill contains funding for a bridge in Alaska, essentially going to somewhere where no one except a few local inhabitants want to go. Yet, it is spending, jobs, etc. But, good lord people!

John Fund writing in the Wall Street Journal wonders if President Bush has the huevos to do what FDR and Truman did; Cut spending when a national crisis occurs. Now, some of you may be offended by my use of the word uevos meaning testicles or balls, but I'm from Texas and that gives mhe a certain amount of freedom, plus, being an author of this blog I claim a little artistic license AND, I'm ticked off.

Fund states:

With almost no debate and with precious few provisions for oversight, Congress has passed President Bush's mammoth $62 billion request for emergency Katrina relief. House Speaker Denny Hastert says the final total will "probably [be] under the cost of the highway bill" that Congress passed last month with a pricetag of $286.4 billion.

Despite such sums, there are few calls for offsetting cuts in other programs, apart from antiwar opportunists who see in Katrina a chance to undermine the Iraq effort."

Moreover, he is absolutely correct. The majority of those who are calling for spending cuts have also voted in the large pork measures that we have been seeing over the Bush presidency and the last years of the Clinton presidency and are only now calling for cuts because they think it will score political points in the fight against the fight as it were. Actually, these folk don't give a damn about spending, they just want to torpedo the war fighting in Iraq and, as a result, the people of Iraq and perhaps the whole middle east.

Fund goes on to say:

Neither the White House nor Congress appears to be in any mood, for example, to revisit the highway bill's 6,373 "earmarks," or individual projects for members, worth $24.2 billion. Alaska's Rep. Don Young, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has bragged that the bill is "stuffed like a turkey" with goodies for his state. It includes $721 million for Alaska, including a $2.2 million "bridge to nowhere" connecting the town of Ketchikan (population 8,900) to an airport on Gravina Island (population 50). Another bridge, in Anchorage, has a $200 million price tag and is considered such a marginal project that even the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce opposes it.

Families hit by any disaster realize they have to reassess their situation and change their circumstances. There was a time when the nation acted the same way. After Pearl Harbor, the country sprang into action to win the war against Japan and Germany. But it realized that the old way of doing things wouldn't do. Dramatic changes in government policy resulted."

Did you get that, FDR a Democrat changed government policy to face a new reality. Here's what he did according to Fund: He cut spending.

Wow, did that resonate with anyone, he CUT SPENDING. According to Fund:

Less well known is FDR's decision to slash non-defense spending by over 20% between 1942 and 1944. Among the programs that were eliminated entirely were FDR's own prized creations. By 1944, such pillars of the New Deal as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration and the Work Projects Administration had been abolished. In 1939 those three programs had represented one-eighth of the federal budget. Roosevelt and the Congress of his day knew what to do in an emergency."
Fund states that Truman did the same thing during the Korean war.

I've noted in past posts here and made some "modest" suggestions as to how to remedy the situation.

1. Cut Taxes on Corporations, because when you increase corporate taxes, the corporations only pass along those taxes to the consumers who do not need any more outgo of their own pocketbooks.

2. Tax Wealth, not Income. I would be willing to bet that the Soros and Kennedy types would squeal like stuck pigs then.

3. Perhaps cut the tax rate on income to a flat tax, but tax all personal income. For those below an agreed on poverty level, they will get a refund.

4. Abolish federal withholding. When each taxpayer has to make a monthly “tax deposit” to cover their income taxes, the outcry will go up demanding fiscal responsibility.

5. Abolish deficit spending and any congressional trick used to pass a spending resolution without having to do the work necessary for a real budget, tie specific deficit authorizations to national emergencies such as natural disasters (Florida Hurricanes, Terrorist Attacks, War, etc., etc.)

6. Abolish all federal spending on anything that is not in the national interest (this alone would eliminate 90% of the pork methinks, though I’m not sure of that).

7. Set time limits on entitlements and require a “sunset review” one year before the limit arrives. Only if the entitlement is truly needed may it be continued.

Now, I have no idea at all if these steps will work, but they are based on fairly sound principles, and the laughter of the tax and spend-a-holics at the Laffer curve be damned. EVERY TIME taxes have been cut, revenues have gone UP.

Mr. President, I'm really ticked off at you for not vetoing some of these crap spending bills. It's time to not just mimic some famous democrats (remember your support of JFK's tax cuts), but to incorporate some principles of FDR and HT and cut spending so that we can afford what we really need. Oh, and do it now!


Technorati Tags: politics, Current Events

Posted by GM Roper at 08:33 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Hurricane Recovery: Don't Be "Rich & Responsible"

In monitoring the hurricane clean-up, I've noticed comments which basically say that "rich" people who take care of themselves when others are hurting are "evil." Well, anyway, that's my take. Also, I disagree. It sounds as if the left is engaging in its politics of envy. Here are a couple of examples for you to consider. While I have excerpted comments for space, I have provided links and encourage you to read the articles in their entirety.

Mansions spared on Uptown's high ground
Hired security force watches over affluent neighborhood
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 09/12/2005 (Excerpted and emphasis added)

(A caretaker) has made sure that when the boss returns to the mansion here at Audubon Place from evacuation in Aspen, Colo., (he) will find little out of place. This is a part of New Orleans where a small difference in geographic elevation and a huge gap in personal wealth provide a head-snapping contrast between good fortune and enormous loss. 'It's safe for the rich people,' says...a private security officer.... A small contingent of heavily armed private security officers is deployed throughout Uptown, where some homeowners have turned over their mansions to the officers to guard against looting. 'Today, I've been watching armed security people hired by the rich move valuables out of their homes for safekeeping. Yesterday, we were working in an area, giving out water to people who hadn't seen cold water for days.' 'We survived largely intact, and for that, we are truly blessed,' says...an Uptown lawyer.... 'This is the highest ground in the city. That's why the rich white men who built this city put their homes here. The quality of life is good.'

Just a quick thought, are these people "fortunate," which implies that they are lucky, or are they wise and prudent to have taken care of themselves? It's more P.C. to say that they are fortunate, because to say that they are smart or diligent would make others who aren't to feel badly. We can't deal with truths when feelings could be hurt. Also, it almost seems that the writer would feel better if the mansions of New Orleans had been destroyed--as if the owners deserved it for being rich.

Well, let's go to the next case. Here are similar thoughts to the editor of a newspaper:

Monied (sic) America lacks moral goodness
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Letters to the Editor, 09/10/2005

Congratulations, monied America: You wanted your gated communities to keep out the poor, to protect yourselves from crime, to separate yourselves from undesirables. You took the high roads and built your gated communities on them so you would stay dry and clean while the stormwaters of filth and despair flooded their neighborhoods.

You did it. You kept out the poor, you concentrated the crime in the poor neighborhoods, effectively ensuring those neighborhoods would remain poor and broken. You separated yourselves from the undesirables.

And then you left them, to die in attics and on rooftops and in the streets and in the disgusting halls of commerce and sports. The richest nation in the world is the most destitute when it comes to true moral goodness. God could not bless this America at all.

Engle, of Atlanta, is director of the Kenneth Cole Fellowship in Community Building and Social Change and senior program associate in the Office of University-Community Partnerships at Emory University.

Well, this person says that wealthy America left people to die. Rather than give my response, here's what another has to say in response, and it is said with more force than I would use.

Nealz Nuze, 09/12/2005, (Excerpted)

Obviously Engle has a problem with achievement. In a word, she harbors great resentment toward those who have gone the extra mile to achieve success and wealth. Somehow she has convinced herself that the problems that afflicted the poor in New Orleans were due to the existence of gated communities and the presence of the evil rich. If there had been no wealthy neighborhoods in New Orleans the poor, somehow, wouldn't have suffered.

Engle also finds great fault with the idea that people would go to extra lengths to protect themselves from crime. How hideously insensitive of the rich! How very un-American! No doubt were we to locate Ms. Engle's automobile wherever it is parked while she is out there community-building, we would find it to be unlocked; ditto for her home. After all, Engle certainly wouldn't want to do anything to protect herself from crime, would she?

Engle feels that the evil rich 'kept out the poor' from their high-and-dry gated communities. Sorry, Sam, the poor weren't 'kept out' of those gated communities; they just failed to make the decisions in life that would have gained them access. The rich did nothing to them. They did it to themselves.

'Left them to die?' When police and firefighters, the fantastic first-responders we all rely on, went in to rescue the stranded they were fired on by roving gangs of thugs from the poor neighborhoods you so love – and this started happening on day one. ...(P)eople were risking death to rescue the poor, and you write that the poor were left to die?

Then you say that 'the richest nation in the world is the most destitute when it comes to true moral goodness.' Katrina has brought forth the greatest show of American generosity since 9/11. This is the America, an America of compassion and giving, that you say God would not bless.

It's too bad that individual initiative, achievement, success, personal responsibility, and stewardship--all of which helped to make this country great...and, to help some people survive--are attacked as wrong. Then, help and contributions from the same "rich" people, along with others, are ignored. That is puzzling.

All of this sounds like envy to me, and those who are being envious seem to be the ones who need attitude adjustments--not the "rich." Let's recognize and encourage behavior and choices that make people successful rather than the behavior and choices that make others dependent. With more people like the "rich," we would need less government to take care of us.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Bush Exploits New Orleans Flood - A View from the Left

In the sense of fairness, we're presenting the truth about George W. Bush and his hurricane response through the eyes of the left--and, the picture isn't pretty and just got worse. To recap so far, we have learned that Bush caused the hurricane because he ignored global warming, that he directed the storm to strike New Orleans which is under a Democratic mayor and governor, that he took money needed to upgrade the levees so that he could reduce taxes for the rich, that he sent the National Guard to Iraq making them unavailable for rescues, that he made no preparations for the disaster and appointed incompetent friends to FEMA, that he (and this is terrible) bombed the levees to flood the city and wouldn't save those washed out because they were black and Bush is a racist, that he blamed everyone else for his problems, that he conveniently hired Halliburton two months before the storm for the clean-up, that he won't recover bodies, and that, in general, he is totally clueless. Wow! I guess that covers it all. But, wait. Now, there's something else. You just have to see the picture below to believe it. It is horrible and speaks for itself. This guy should be impeached.

Caution. Don't go further if you support Bush.
Okay I warned you.

See. Bush's personal exploitation shows his insensitivity to the plight of those looters dying and homeless behind him. But, on the other hand, that is a pretty good looking fish. Good job, Mr. President!

via Denny in Atlanta

Posted by GM Roper at 10:50 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

September 09, 2005

After Hurricane, New Orleans Faces Worse Disaster - Jimmy Carter

Haven't the people of New Orleans suffered enough? Shouldn't we be showing them compassion and giving them hope? Wouldn't it be best if they had someone competent in charge of restoring their city? Well, if the answer to all of those is "yes," then why in the world would a former 9/11 commissioner recommend Jimmy Carter to be in charge of rebuilding New Orleans?

From the Drudge Report:

This morning on Fox's 'Fox and Friends,' former Indiana Democrat congressman and 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer called on President Bush to name former President Jimmy Carter to the head of efforts to rebuild New Orleans.

Roemer told the stunned hosts: 'The second thing we should do is put somebody like former President Jimmy Carter in charge of rebuilding New Orleans.'

Carter Hammering.jpg
Carter Aims for Thumb

How can Carter rebuild a city when he spends his time hammering at a White House? He might let the United Nations determine the future use of New Orleans for the "world community." On the other hand, if Kerry were President, he might want to donate the Louisiana Purchase back to France while he apologizes for messing it up. At least we should be glad that no one suggested Al Gore, who could declare New Orleans as "wetlands" and make it a nationally protected wilderness.

The left never ceases to amaze.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:40 PM | Comments (10)

September 08, 2005

General Russel Honore - Soldier Extraordinaire

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore copy.pngPeople are demanding to know more about Lt. General Russel Honore, tagged "John Wayne" by some, but a Guardian Angle by others. In an earlier post which has generated some 2000+ hits on this little blog, his niece had this to say:

Just wanted to 2nd all of the kudo's for Uncle Russ. Yes, he IS my uncle and Yes he IS just as honest out of uniform. A real hero to our family too."
General Honore must be equally proud of his family I would suspect.

A bio about the General says:

General Honore is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College.
However, I suspect that this doesn't tell the whole story. The General was commissioned the year after I left the Army (I wish I had served with him, though I did serve with many fine soldiers)so, for the last 34 years he has made soldering his life's work.

The Army's ROTC programs have produced some of our finest American Officers (Did you hear that you colleges that don't want ROTC on your campus) and the General is no exception! He has served tours in Korea and Germany, and is currently in Command of the First United States Army based at Fort Gillem, Georgia.

General Honore gave a briefing and answered questions in a Department Of Defense (DoD) today that is well worth reading in full. The Transcript is here.

The blogosphere is bubbling with news about the "Ragin' Cajun" and stories about him abound. The problem is of course, separating the wheat from the chaff. So far, the stories have been mostly adulatory, and seemingly, that is exactly as it should be. General Honore stepped into a huge mess left by cronyism, ineptitude, stupidity and people caring more about politics than about saving people.

The stories before General Honore took charge ranged from such stupidities as Bush caused the Hurricane because he didn't back Kyoto to the city deliberately was abandoned because the majority of it's peoples were black.

Then, in the center of it all levee's collapse and the fingerpointing gets vicious. "See." Everyone said, "Bush cut money from levee construction." Of course, this ignores 40 years of neglect and more importantly perhaps, the 17th Ave Levee that broke was the NEW part, the part that had been worked on by the Corps of Engineers. Wow, ain't that somthin'. But it didn't stop the bashers, sometimes on both sides of the aisle.

Into this steps General Honore and as New Orleans Mayor said:

He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving,"

Additionally, General Honore had to deal with ill informed reporters leading to these comments by the good General:

That's B.S. It's B.S...."

"I can tell you that is B.S. We have got 300 helicopters and some of the finest EMS workers in the world down there.

"There is no red tape ... there are isolated incidents that people take to paint a broad brush."

Honore also lashed out at questions from journalists at the Baton Rouge emergency operations center concerning the security situation in New Orleans.

"You need to get on the streets of New Orleans, you can't sit back here and say what you hear from someone else.

"It is secure, we walk around without any issues. Why the hell are you trying to make that the issue, if you can help, get there and help,"

Honore noted that people were being scared away by reports of violence.

When one reporter argued that there still reports of bureaucracy and unrest stalling relief efforts in some outlying parishes of New Orleans, Honore fumed:

"I don't care if it is Hancock County, Mississippi -- we are not going to have that kind of issue."

Tough spoken! Brutally honest! A Commanding General entirely worthy of the title Commander and the right man for the job.

General, I salute you!

UPDATE: For those who continue to harp and gripe about FEMA dropping the ball, here is an interesting quote:

We're starting to move the trailers in," said then-FEMA director and current Hillary favorite James Lee Witt, nearly a month after Floyd first hit. "It's been so wet, it's been difficult to get things in there" — an explanation that sounds familiar.

Witt was also a guest on Jesse Jackson's CNN show, "Both Sides Now," in Floyd's aftermath. Jackson complained then that "bridges are overwhelmed, levees are overwhelmed, whole towns underwater. . . . (It's) an awesome scene of tragedy."

That was regarding Hurricane Floyd that devistated the east coast in 1999. Hillary's carping is fully seen here (A Doffing of the GM Chapeaux to Glenn Reynolds)

Posted by GM Roper at 08:50 PM | Comments (40) | TrackBack (2)

Ted Kennedy Blows Harder Than Hurricane Katrina

Sometimes no comment is best. Let the remarks speak for themselves.

"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died." --Ted Kennedy on Hurricane Katrina

"______" --Mary Jo Kopechne on Hurricane Katrina

From Opinion Journal from the WSJ via Atlas Shrugs (Thank you!)

Posted by GM Roper at 08:40 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Democrats Help Themselves to Hurricane Donations

Hopefully, you have seen lists of charities accepting donations for the Hurricane Katrina victims and have given. Now, there is a new Katrina donation site courtesy of the Democratic Party. That's right! Our friends from the left decided that the best way to help victims is to capitalize on the tragedy by asking for hurricane money to elect Democrats rather than to help charities provide relief.

Here's pieces from the story:
Democrats' anti-Bush petition also seeks political contributions
By Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer, September 8, 2005

A new Democratic effort to whip up indignation about the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina also tried to raise money for Democratic candidates. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued an appeal Thursday urging people to sign an online petition to fire the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency over his handling of the Katrina response. When recipients clicked on a link to the petition, the top center of the screen _ above the call to 'Fire the FEMA director' _ had asked for a donation to the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee). In recent days, Republicans hit back by accusing Democrats of trying to use the human tragedy for political gain. The letter, the GOP said Thursday, was proof. 'It's a disgrace to exploit Hurricane Katrina to raise political funds,' said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

There you have it. The Democrats put themselves ahead of the hurricane victims--unless, of course, they thought that all the homeless want a Democrat elected before having a place to live. When the Associated Press asked the campaign committee about this, the Democrats pulled the solicitation and said that they would donate the money to charity instead. Caught! It sure is embarrassing when that happens. Now, someone better make sure that the money ends up at a charity rather than in the underwear and socks of Sandy Berger.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 06, 2005

Trips Down Memory Lane

Going through some earlier posts that I had done at my old blogspot location, I came across this quote from Ãœbermann James Walcott:

I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong--Mother Nature's fist of fury, Gaia's stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of itsown back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own.
THEN he modifies his post with the following:



There have been times when I thought that many liberals expressed faux empathy, certainly Bill Clinton mastered the art with a modest lip bite here and a gently wiped away tear there and don't forget the most famous "I feel your pain" line. But Wolcott is reveling in the post of his celebrating a hurricane that was probably the most destructive act of nature visited on these shores in the history of modern man. A little callous aren't you Jimbo? Still rooting for "Mother Nature" Jimbo?

I'm glad that Jimbo considers his post a gift, cause that makes it so much easier to consider him an ass.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:25 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

September 05, 2005

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore - Right Man for Katrina Efforts

Today I watched a press conference with the head of Homeland Security and some general heading up rescue efforts in New Orleans. A reporter asked the general a loaded question and, after watching him rip her a new one with some colorful language, I learned that his name is Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. As he bid them farewell, I thought, "Wow! Now, that's the guy for this job."

Apparently, New Orleans Mayor Nagin agrees.

(Lt. Gen. Russel Honore) is a "John Wayne dude" who can "get some stuff done. He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving."

Gen. Honore.bmp

A picture's worth a thousand words, and this picture says it all. From now on, Lt. Gen. Russel Honore is no longer some general, but is Gen. Honore, Sir! The three-star general doesn't seem to take nonsense from anyone and knows how to get things done. We're going to hear a lot more about him, and he sure looks like the right man for the job.


Here's a sample and a report of the exchanges between General Honore (pronounced Onery) and the press mentioned above. As you read the words and to do them justice, insert the tone of an angry, impatient, and disgusted general and, with that, envision an accompanying glare and scowl. I guarantee that would rattle me. Ready? Here it is.

'John Wayne dude' general blasts Katrina complaints as 'B.S.'

Lieutenant General Russel Honore lived up to his 'John Wayne dude' nickname, blasting complaints that red tape or poor security were snarling relief efforts as 'B.S.'

'That's B.S. It's B.S.,' Honore raged. 'I can tell you that is B.S. We have got 300 helicopters and some of the finest EMS workers in the world down there. There is no red tape ... there are isolated incidents that people take to paint a broad brush.'

'You need to get on the streets of New Orleans, you can't sit back here and say what you hear from someone else. It is secure, we walk around without any issues. Why the hell are you trying to make that the issue, if you can help, get there and help,' he said, saying that people were being scared away by reports of violence.

That's telling it like it is. Do you think that the press will love him or hate him, now?

For more information and thoughts on the general, G.M. has followed up with his entry titled General Russel Honore - Soldier Extraordinaire.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:00 PM | Comments (38) | TrackBack (0)

September 03, 2005

Account From The Superdome

This was sent to me by a friend. It was written by his daughter, and is a first hand look at what went on in the Superdome. An exerpt:

Two friends of mine went to New Orleans last weekend, and refused to listen when told to evacuate. They decided to stick it out in their French Quarter hotel. During the actual storm, their window blew out, but the hotel stayed solid. Monday, the two decided to leave and seek shelter. They walked to I-10, where hundreds were already standing and waiting. Between them and the Superdome was rising water, but the situation on the road looked bad, so they trekked out through the water to the Dome.
Read the whole thing. Really scary!

Posted by GM Roper at 09:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Requiem For A Memory

I'm in mourning. For the people of a great city abandoned to the devastation of a hurricane by the city administration and the governor of La., not to point fingers, but to call a spade a spade. I'm in mourning for the hundreds, maybe thousands of people dead, some by floodwaters, some by disease, some by the hands of others, some by circumstance that may never be known and for the hundreds of thousands of people dislocated, anxious and afraid.

I'm also in mourning for a cherished memory, my memory of NOLA, of The Big Easy, The Crescent City, of Audubon Park and the carrousel with its brightly colored ponies, Neptune's Pool, which was really a park fountain, at Audubon where my grandfather took us "swimming" on hot summer days in the early 50's, Monkey hill where we slid down the hill on pieces of cardboard, shrieking with delight.

Of evenings at my grandfather's church, First Methodist and of the basement, on the ground floor that I always wondered about, listening to the giant fans with their belt driven blades. Memories of watching Daddy-Bah (our pet name for Grandad) in the pulpit, rapt at the sound of his melodious voice declaring the love of God. I mourn the memory of being a small boy standing on the steps of that church in the early 50's during a Mardi Gras parade and knowing that William Boyd, Hopalong Cassidy was waving at me, and at me alone and my cowboy hero, dressed in black, had saved that wave just for me as he rode by on that great white horse.

I mourn most of all for a city, which my fading memories tell me was an ideal for a small boy, visiting his grandparents, basking in history, sights, sounds, smells, and yes, of love.

My earliest memories of my grandparents and of New Orleans are bound together in an intricate knot filled with fact, reminisces, and flights of fancy. Driving there with my mom while dad was in Korea and we lived in San Antonio for the duration. Sleeping in the back seat of the car curled up in a more than spacious well or on the seat or even, if I dibbed it first, on the shelf behind the seat and beneath the rear window.

We always drove at night, when it was cooler and less traffic on the road. Arriving at my grandparents home on State Street, near Audubon Zoo Mye-mye, our pet name for Grand mom always had a bowl of crab gumbo ready with hot cornbread or buttery croissants and Daddy-Bah would always say Grace, thanking God for our safe arrival, going to bed in the middle bedroom with a big ceiling fan whump-whumping above us cooling and relaxing.

In the mornings, a first trip downstairs to see what miracles were in the basement (again, a basement on the ground floor - it wasn't until years later that I learned about floods and groundwater and cemetery’s with crypts and no in ground graves) the big oil fired furnace, the laundry sink, my grandfathers workbench with its magical tools and anvil/vice combination. His study under the stairs with miracle objects in it including a miniature skull with a hinged jaw, burned in a fire set by burglars. There was a wall near the front of the house, a small door, secretive, mysterious, and irresistible to a 6 year old for who knew what treasures lay beyond that door.

On the wall near an old bookcase an old castoff tapestry; depictions of Arabs and camels, of pyramids and date palms done in browns, subdued golden colors and a touch of black and dark red and it held my imagination for years.

Memories of walking down State Street and crossing St. Charles Ave. to go to the zoo. Of listening to the bells of the trolley cars go by, of walking around the corner and down another street to a mom and pop grocery and buying my first Bazooka bubble gum and my first baseball cards.

I have memories of a glorious summer in 1959 where I spent two months with my grandparents and another three weeks with my beloved Aunt and Uncle in Texas. While in New Orleans, being taken to Ponchatrain Park and riding a rollercoaster type ride called "The Mouse" with its sharp 90-degree turns, steep falls, and rapid climbs. Of eating cotton candy until I was sick. Of walking on the grounds of Tulane and Loyola Universities, awed by the size of the buildings, the beauty of the campuses and the hurry of students to classes during summer semester.

Memories of walking into Audubon Zoo and seeing the King Vulture first with their wildly reddish orange painted heads, the huge elephants and the little Dik-Dik. Monkey Island where I could throw peanuts and the Aviary where I saw more birds than I ever thought could exist.

Memories of sitting on branches of ancient Oaks, perhaps older than the country that they now existed in, when Indians roamed the area and the white man and Frenchmen hadn't yet trod. Of watching Spanish moss hang down wispy beardlike from the branches and grabbing a hunk of it for our own beards and the laughter that each new posture brought.

Of the little neighbor girl next door with the name Koko always a joy to see who was always smiling. Memories that can now never be recaptured and that causes a deep sadness, one not quenched by the knowledge that a trip will cause it to resurface, for the destination can never again be arrived at.

Will New Orleans be rebuilt? I fervently hope so. Will it be the same? No, a new city will take its place, and there I will find my ghosts, memories long fading.

Nevertheless, memories still present for the time, memories of joy, of wonder, of excitement and adventure.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:28 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2005

Additional Katrina Relief News For Our Military!!!

From the Mudville Gazette: Useful public service request - help spread the word.

Contact info for military families displaced by Katrina (also a great collection of news releases on the military efforts in hurricane relief)

Info for Guard families impacted by the storm.

Info for getting deployed Guard members in touch with their families who might be displaced by the storm - and vice versa.

Mrs. Grey Hawk of the Mudville Gazette says: I compiled resources here here, but it's more important to get folks to those other pages.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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