Friday, September 30, 2005
The Jim Holt segment was yet another epic interview on Pat Classic. You can catch the entire hour in the archives of WAI Radio.com (linked in the left column).
Holt is in agreement with Asa Hutchinson about the legislature's school funding. He claims to have no interest in the Governor's race. Holt expects a lawsuit to be filed in the Fayetteville school library dispute. He is already contacting fellow lawmakers about legislation dealing with school library materials.
The entire hour is the most you have heard from Holt and it is very insightful The download is free, of course.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Holt to Visit WAI Radio
UPDATE: State Rep Joyce Elliott gave an outstanding interview Wednesday morning which is available in our archives. She talks at length about the school funding case and has a few telling remarks about her future in politics. I have already gotten reactions to this one and my mind is full of questions. She will be back.
Memphis Commercial Apppeal
September 29, 2005
Sooner or later, everybody in Arkansas ends up passing through that Memphis airline hub. The Commercial Appeal has an editorial concerning the bankruptcy of Northwest Airlines, certainly one of the worst run corporations in America, and the long-term future of the hub. The headline is the link.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Beyond the Austin City Limits
Saw ths press release and knew some of you might be interested.
Stadler Wins Commuter Rail Car Award with Capital Metro
Bussnang, Switzerland - The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors in Austin, Texas this week unanimously approved a rail car contract with Stadler Buss-nang AG, a Swiss company, for the delivery of six GTW articulated rail cars with an option for 12 additional vehicles. The initial contract is worth $32.3 million.
The transit agency is planning its new 32 mile Austin-to-Leander urban commuter rail service to begin in January 2008. Stadler will deliver the first vehicle in the fall of 2007 and the sixth rail car in Spring 2008. "We wanted a rail car that was quiet, environmentally friendly, and compatible with neigh-borhoods," said John Almond, Project Director for Capital Metro Commuter Rail. Stadlers’ rail car fits that description, as well as having a sleek appearance that suits an urban scale."
“Stadler Rail is truly honored to be selected for Austin’s new commuter line. Our design team’s special attention to safety, comfort, and attractiveness, in addition to our renowned operation and maintenance ease proved successful factors in the award. We look forward to building on our New Jersey and Austin successes in the U.S. market,” said Peter Spuhler, owner and CEO of Stadler Rail AG. Capital Metro cited Stadler’s diesel electric propulsion system, designed as a center power module between the passenger cars, as unique in the rail car business, and a key advan-tage for efficient maintenance and operations. In addition, the vehicles have lower levels of noise and vibration than typical commuter rail cars used elsewhere in the U.S.
Each vehicle will be self-propelled by two diesel electric engines, accessible (fully ADA compliant), and will be able to start and stop faster than traditional commuter rail vehicles. The rail cars have a capacity of 225 passengers, 108 seated and 117 standing, as well as spaces for passengers with wheelchairs and bicycles. The rail car communications system includes visual and acoustic passenger information, a video recording system and a wireless LAN infrastructure. About Stadler: Stadler Rail Group specializes in regional and suburban service markets, light regional ex-press railway service, and streetcar vehicles. Stadler’s GTW articulated rail car is very popu-lar in European countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece (for Olympic Games 2004), Austria, Slovakia, Netherlands and Switzerland. To date, Stadler has sold more 390 GTW rail cars internationally. Stadler manufactured and delivered twenty 90-seat GTW design rail cars for service in the U.S. for New Jersey on the Trenton to Camden line in 2003 in a consortium with Bombardier. The Stadler Rail Group, headquartered in Bussnang, Switzerland, employs 1,400 persons in four locations in Europe.
By Oliver Staley
Memphis Commercial Appeal
September 28, 2005
Gosh, this is gonna' hurt but it looks like the governor of Mississippi is talking common sense. High marks go to Haley Barbour for insisting that development be curtailed on gulf coast beaches and that casinos be built on land. Now THAT'S a concept.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
This is what the new baseball park in North Little Rock might look like. You have got to love the railroad theme. Doubtless, that is a Pat Hays touch! I approve completely. Bill Valentine nearly cried (again).
State Representative Joyce Elliott will visit on Wednesday morning's show at around 10. She has some insight on the Lake View hearings and is the subject of some local political rumblings. Mary Pryor's weekly press briefing may also get in, so be logged on at WAI Radio.com. Pat Classic is streaming "live" weekdays from 9 to 1.
I found this blog today in the Washington Post and it is already one of my favorites. It deals with a wide variety of national security and defense subjects. This is a real which directly, and usually negatively, touches on civil liberties. EARLY WARNING will be linked in the left hand column and I think it is a must read.
Here is how William M. Arkin describes his blog:
Early Warning will report daily on the comings and goings of the national security community -- military, special ops, intelligence, homeland security -- part blog, part investigative journalism (a jog!). Here I can post documents, go into great detail, stick with a story when others have moved on, and introduce one that has escaped the mainstream media.
There's no question that The Washington Post is mainstream media, but in this space of theirs, I'll have more freedom. Still, I won't fudge facts or feed an even more confused and conspiratorial picture of the secret agencies.
My basic philosophy is that government is more incompetent than diabolical, that the military gets way too much of a free ride (memo to self: Don't say anything bad about the troops), and that official secrecy is the greatest threat citizens actually face today.
Earlier this year, I wrote a book -- Code Names -- that not only lays out my views on secrecy, but also provides the goods (and thanks friends for keeping code names coming). As you'll find out, I'm an obsessive compulsive kind of collector - acronyms, code names, nomenclatures, events, dates, documents. For 30 years I've been putting together little pieces of information to try to produce the BIG PICTURE.
Early Warning is an opportunity to put my stockpiles to good use. As I dig into the hundreds of documents already in my possession, I'll be looking for your comment and dissent (and for those of you with your own stockpiles, for your contributions). I know I'm writing mostly for a hyper-informed world of national security geeks, but my larger objective is a more informed public and to demolish false authority, in government, in the special interests, and in the media. My target list, frankly, is too vast to even summarize. I also hope to have some fun in writing without the straitjacket of traditional journalistic conventions.
This week, I'm looking at hurricane Katrina from inside the government's most secret quarters, where terrorism is the overriding compulsion. To find out more about me, check out my bio and look at my Code Names Web site.
September 27, 2005
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Leader says sale wasn't insider deal
Will Bill Frist get the full federal investigation accorded to Democratic party contributor Martha Stewart, or will he get kid gloves treatment. Even though we all know the answer in advance, it is still fun to watch the bad guys squirm.
Arkansas News Bureau
Saturday, Sep 24, 2005
It's shocking that an apparent imbecile like Marc Campbell ever held a responsible position, and certainly astounding that it was in the office of Senator Blanche Lincoln. Certainly his previous employment reflects poorly on the Senator's good judgment EXCEPT that we must observe that Campbell is a FORMER employee.
He is now running for state treasurer and had a few idiotic things to say about the impending bankruptcy legislation which will be the ruin of many working families.
Wesley Brown (linked with the headline) says most of what I have already said and a few things I WISH I had said. Remember Marc Campbell and be sure to vote AGAINST him any time you get the chance. It's important.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Adult Education Week
The three people who are planning to come are Philip Less, the state coordinator for the English as a Second Language program (he also can give a good overview of the various Adult Education services); Janice Hanlon, who is over the GED program statewide; and Paulette Martin, who works with adult education in Little Rock. We would like to use this time to unveil (yes, on your show!) an interagency effort that created an adult education resource guide to encourage adults to return to school -- whether it's to get a GED or a bachelor's or a graduate degree. Besides listing all the resources available in Arkansas, the guide includes several inspiring success stories.
UPDATE: The hour has been added to the WAI Radio archives, which is linked at the left. It contains much useful information.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Urgent Help Needed
We would like to send out a special plea for help on behalf of our friends at Promise Land Ministries at 8923 Sunset Lane in SW Little Rock.
Since the first hurricane hit, they have opened up their church to evacuees. They still have @ 45 people, many of who are hard to place because they are elderly and/or have special needs. Although they are normally not a shelter, they have been working round the clock and serve three meals a day, and will remain open as until every person is housed. They are open to evacuees from Texas as well.
This congregation is among some of the finest, most dedicated and caring people I have ever met, but they are struggling.
We called them yesterday to see if there was anything we could do, and in the words of the outreach director, they were "scrounging for food" each day. We took two carloads of food out there, which might get them through for a couple of days. They have send out letters asking for help to many local churches, and none has responded.
Here is a list of what they urgently need:
Breakfast foods: eggs, sausage, bread, juice, milk, cream cheese, jelly
Meats: chicken, hamburger, anything
Drinks: Soda pop or drink mixes
Paper products: paper plates, cups, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper
Plastic cutlery, especially spoons
Dishwashing liquid and laundry soap
Twin beds and/or twin bed mattresses
Volunteers (this smallish congregation is exhausted!)
Please contact Marlean Acker, 501-570-0048, firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Antoine Scruggs, 501-570-0090, Apromise1@aol.com, and tell them that Hunger-Free Ark. sent you. They have always been a rock for the poor and homeless of SWLR, and have now opened their doors for the displaced as well.
Hunger-Free Arkansas, Inc.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
With such vivid and horrible pictures still everywhere from Katrina, it is understandable that local governments are being extra sensitive to safety issues, but local folks in Galveston will not take too kindly to it if Rita shifts away. That is one reason Ray Nagin did not call for everybody to get out of New Orleans till the Sunday j before Katrina struck. Hindsight is 2/20.
The important thing is never to hold President Bush responsible for anything. Got it?
Monday, September 19, 2005
Bigdaddyo stirs the pot AGAIN
From Coach Houston Nutt
Dear Mr. Mustain:
Congratulations on your big win over the high school from Oklahoma this weekend! I watched the tape with my brother, and I couldn't help but say to him, "Coach, that Mitch Mustain is special"!
We can't wait to see you in an Arkansas Razorback uniform, Mitch...is it ok if I call you Mitch? I mean that literally! We need you this week!! Ha Ha Ha!!! Of course, we can't have you until next year, but I wanted to remind you that you did make a verbal commitment to come and play for me. We all heard it and we have it on tape.
Have you noticed some of the things we're doing with Peyton Hillis? We have Peyton, he let's me call him Peyton, lined up in four or five different positions! If I want to run my tailback, Peyton lines up as a tailback. If I want to throw a pass, Peyton lines up as a tight end or a wide receiver. If I want to give my fullback a carry, Peyton lines up as a fullback. If I want to run a trick play, Peyton is either on the throwing or the catching end of it. That's the tricky part! My theory is to keep the offense wide open and mix it up so the defenses are never quite sure where we're going with the ball!
When you are in an Arkansas Razorback uniform next year, we will have a double threat! Mitch Mustain hands the ball off to Peyton Hillis! Mitch Mustain throws the ball to Peyton Hillis. Mitch Mustain, ...ummmmmm, well, it'll be special!
Some people may tell you that the University of Arkansas Razorbacks didn't have a very good trip to Southern California over the weekend, Mitch...is it ok if I call you Mitch? Well, we lost. The score isn't important. It doesn't matter whether we lost by one point or by one thousand points, it's an L on our record and that's all that needs to be said about it! I don't want you concentrating on negatives!! I want you concentrating on positives!!! We're going to get better!!!! A big part of our getting better is having Mitch Mustain in an Arkansas Razorbacks uniform next fall!!!!! When you put on that Arkansas Razorbacks uniform, everyone in the whole state is going to love you, at least for the period of time that things are moving along in a positive way, and there's nothing in the whole world like it!!!!!! It is SPECIAL!!!!!!!
Mitch, I want you to talk to Peyton Hillis about what it's like to be a superstar at the University of Arkansas. Peyton has therapy on his broken back several times a week, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind talking with you while he's just laying there hooked up to that electrical stimulation machine. And, if you have any further questions about the program in general or about this past weekend out in Southern California, I want you to call Drive Time Sports and ask Rick Schaeffer anything that's on your mind. Rick always answers any question about the program exactly the way he's supposed to.
Yours in Razorback Red!
Coach Houston Dale Nutt
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Some WAI Programming Notes...
On Monday, Pat Classic moves to a new time slot. Since most of you start to log on after 8:45, it won't matter much. I will stream "live" weekdays starting at 9 and running straight to 1PM. This adds the noon hour to our "live" line-up and leads directly in to "No Holds Barred with Steve and Stone."
By far, one of the funniest moments in my entire talk radio career was Friday morning around 10:30. State Rep. Stephen Bright gets off a GREAT line TWICE. The conversation was about the takeover of Beverly Nursing Homes. It is the most comprehensive discussion you will hear anywhere. A MUST download from the WAI archives.
UPDATE: Remember that my weekly Arkansas Democrat-gazette column is part of tomorrow's Voices page. It's a free speech romp.
The Associated Press
In view of the generally negative and morose tone of this journal lately, I thought you needed an uplifting story. This one even warms my cold darkened heart. You know the drill. Click the headline.
The Associated Press
Watching the Razorbacks keep up with USC, I am trying to take my mind off the impending rehabilitation of Houston Dale Nutt by finding human interest stories about Hurricane Katrina. This one has quite a twist on the "divine retribution" theory.
Long wary of next-door New Orleans, the town stands by its decision to bar the city's evacuees.
By Nicholas Riccardi, Times Staff Writer
Thanks to Max and the gang at Arkansas Times for noticing this penetrating and deeply disturbing story. Here is how the so-called Christians treated their suffering neighbors. The headline is the link.
What will Judgment Day be like for Gretna, La.? (Hint:Matt 25; 42)
Friday, September 16, 2005
12:00 AM CDT on Friday, September 16, 2005
By KATIE FAIRBANK / The Dallas Morning New
I have not lost sight of the Wright Amendment, one of the most contentious transportation issues of the day. Linked above is the newest development in the war for the hearts and minds of airline travelers.
The Daily Citizen story is linked above. Please note that local law enforcement officials state plainly that victims of Hurricane Katrina have committed NO crimes in White County.
This Parish guy must be a real loon.
Human nature loves to acquire and abuse power. Case closed.
Mr. Granny Cam,Rep. Stephen Bright, played the lead role and he is obviously one of the "good guys." Hear him on Friday's show at 10 or in the WAI "on demand" archives.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Friday's Pat Classic is one you will not want to miss.
Drew Pritt, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and archive download grand champion, is on at 9 with some analysis of the latest statewide political polls.
State Senator Stephen Bright has a close look at the Beverly Nursing Home takeover at 10.
Senator Blanche Lincoln has a press conference at 10:45
Big Daddyo Lifts the Cloud of Gloom
10) "with more nukes than you"
9) "searching for your weapons of mass destruction"
8) "with tax loopholes for the very wealthy"
7) "dependent on foreign oil"
6) "with only rich old white men as president"
5) "rockin' hard"
4) "with athletes on steroids"
3) "watching jerry springer"
2) "in debt"
and the #1 phrase to replace "under god" in the pledge of allegiance: "headed straight to hell!"
Political polling, statistics and other lies
Beebe leading Hutchinson in race for Governor. Lendall and Bryan trail considerably.
Atty. Gen. Mike Beebe of Searcy, Democrat, garners support from 42% of Arkansas voters. His Republican counterpart, ex-Cong. Asa Hutchinson of Fort Smith is statistically tied with 35% of Arkansas voters. Ex-State Rep. Jim Lendall of Mabelvale has 2% and record store owner Rod Bryan of Little Rock has less than 1%. 20% of voters are undecided.
Question Wording: If the race for Arkansas Governor were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are:
Wooldridge leads but Hathorn & Pritt both closely matched in Democratic primary for Arkansas Lt. Gov :
State Sen. Tim Wooldridge of Paragould garners support from 27% of Arkansas Democrats for the May 2006 primary compared with 21% for State Rep. Mike Hathorn of Huntsville and 17% for pol. consultant Drew Pritt of Warren. State Rep. Jay Martin of North Little Rock garners 5%. 30% of Democrats are undecided.
Question Wording: If the May 2006 Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are:
Holt has lead, but large undecided base makes this a competitive race all around in Republican primary for Arkansas Lt. Gov:
State Sen. Jim Holt of Springdale leads his opponents with 33% of the vote. His nearest competitor is investment banker Rick Calhoun of Little Rock who garner 15%, followed by attorney Chuck Banks of Little Rock at 12% and State Rep. Doug Matayo
of Springdale at 10%. 30% of voters are undecided.
Question Wording: If the May 2006 Republican primary for Lieutenant Governor were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are:
McDaniel has early lead for Attorney General, trailed by Suskie and Herzfeld for Arkansas Attorney General :
State Rep. Dustin McDaniel of Jonesboro has an early lead with 38% of the vote. City Attorney Paul Suskie of North Little Rock has 21% and prosecutor Robert Herzfeld of Benton has 13% of the vote. 38% of the voters are undecided.
Question Wording: If the May 2006 Democratic primary for Attorney General were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are:
A "source" passed this under my door.
The characters are :
WOOLDRIDGE = Ned Flanders from The Simpsons
MARTIN = The Dad from American Dad
HATHORN = Fred from Scooby Doo
PRITT = Stewie Griffin from Family Guy
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The headline is the link.
I recall segregated buses, lunch counters, water fountains, schools, waiting rooms, railroad trains, and just about every public area. Rosa Parks signed the death warrant of segregation in 1950-something, so it is shocking to see that Jim Crow survives in Alabama at a Tyson plant. Lovely. Just lovely.
From the WAI HIT PARADE, here is a little Jewell. Now the Legendary KO has recorded a song called "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" over an instrumental previously used by West. You can listen to it on my show this morning on WAI Radio.com or by clicking the above link. As always, comments welcome!.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Wednesday on Pat Classic, Allison Johnson returns with an update on her friends in New Orleans. She will in the studios at 10 and I start streaming "live" at 8 on WAI Radio.com.
OPERATION DELIVER UPDATE!
North Little Rock's Operation Deliver now has its' own blog, which is linked in the left hand column. Outstanding site!
This will be the central single phone line for all OPERATION DELIVER information for evacuees as well as volunteers and donors effective 0800 Wednesday September 14.
Hours of operation of the Operation Deliver KARE Center at 2657 Pike Plaza (next to Revenue office) will be Monday through Friday- 10:00 AM- 2:00PM and 5 PM-7 PM with drop-off item time from 8 until 7. On Saturdays hours will be 10 AM until 4 PM with drop-offsduring those hours. This site will have all give-away items such as furniture, clothing (we don't need any more clothes!) kitchen ware, baby goods/toys and non-perishable food items. Essentially all give away item locations are being consolidated for convenience of evacuees. Current clothing location at the NLR Community Center at Pershing and Willow will be closed Tuesday to transfer all items to the Operation Deliver Center. The above listed phone number is already operational and beginning Tuesday will be the one number that should be distributed as all ODC calls will be handled here.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Memo to Hog Fans
Very truly yours,
Bigdaddyo Roasts the Razorbacks
(the following should be read in the voice of lou holtz...even if you're reading silently, you should hear it that way)
i was glad to see that the pre-med students at vanderbilt took a break from their studies to play a football game at razorback stadium last saturday. all work and no play makes a future brain surgeon a dull boy! it was a close ballgame too. i was really impressed with reggie herring's new vaunted razorback defensive scheme right up until they couldn't stop the student ama members from scoring and winning the game! i heard reggie on the phone after the game talking to steinmart and placing a bulk order for pink material! practice next week will look like a mary kae convention. and i don't think houston nutt needs an offensive coordinator. some of those plays he called were extremely imaginative! how often do you see your best receiver throw a bomb to your tailback? i can't imagine a more creative way to an incomplete pass, unless you have that same tailback try to throw one a play or two later and they did that too!
to be fair, the referrees took this game right out of the hands of the razorbacks. i heard that the referees spend most of the offseason planning ways to screw the hogs over. of course, i heard that on drive time sports right here on 1037thebaz but that doesn't mean it isn't true!
these are just a few of my observations but what do i really know? i'm not a brilliant man and i certainly wasn't smart enough to attend the university of notre dame but for some reason they thought i was smart enough to call their plays and be their head football coach.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
There is some important hurricane relief information on the 10:00 segment of today's Pat Classic in the WAI Radio.com archives (linked at the left). Catch a couple of chilling first-hand accounts of survival inside the New Orleans Convention Center.
There are significant efforts being made by North Little Rock city government at the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Citizens Center. Here are some important opportunities:
To donate small appliances and furniture 680 2723
For professional medical volunteers 690 4003
Volunteer lawyers 580 8208
To donate housing 758 1512 or 658 6675. There is a special need for folks who will accept pets.
Mayor Hays has been at the center meeting with folks just in from New Orleans and there is a huge clothing distribution opeation there also.
Recent surveys sow that, despite the ceaseless efforts of FOX News and their Republican spin doctors, over 30% of the American people hold the federal government responsible for the abysmal response. There was a time, during the Truman years, when everybody knew where they buck stopped.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
top ten reasons spanish should be allowed in the workplace:
10) if you work at el chico, you'd have to call it the little boy and then michael jackson would be hanging around all the time!
9) if they be allowin' ebonics then they gots to be allowin' spanish!
8) what the boss don't know don't become an issue!
7) rrrolling rrrr's burrrns calorrrries!
6) how can you take an afternoon siesta break if they don't allow you to speak some damned spanish?!
5) maria in the steno pool is bilingual! ...does that mean what i think it means?!
4) what sounds better for lunch, a hot dog or a caliente perro?!
3) cinco de mayo office party will rock, dude!
2) people just look silly speaking the queen's english while wearing a sombrero!
and the #1 reason spanish should be allowed in the workplace: "if them people is gonna' live here then they gots to learn how to talk the right way!"
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
The allergies have been slowing me down, but I am not completely out of action. There are so many disturbing images from New Orleans, but we must not point fingers. Let's not go holding people accountable, unless it might be poor people or the Democrat Governor of Louisiana. OK, I'll come down from the pulpit. I guess America gets just about the government and the news coverage it deserves.
Tomorrow, beginning at 8 AM on WAI Radio.com, I shall rise above the know-nothings and partisan flacks to provide four hours of truly memorable commentary and conversation. I do know now that Maumelle Fire Chief, George Glenn will join me and he is very well briefed on such things as disaster relief. He is on at 11.
There are many hours of fine programs in the WAI Archives, and it is free.
Finally, Arkansas Business has a wonderful article about the future of radio and it has quite a bit to say about WAI, along with a good photograph of me. This one is going to be a collector's edition!
Monday, September 05, 2005
Updated Katrina Musings
A good deal of blame has to be put on those who failed to load up five days of food and water on their backs, wheelchairs and little red wagons and hike several miles to the Superdome. FOX News is correct, we should all have taken more personal responsibility. Marie and I are feeling especially guilty because, when we were on the Gulf coast back in 2003, we did not drop off a few extra sandbags for the Mississippi River levies. Foolish us! There we were counting on the Corps of Engineers to keep up flood control and Congress to appropriate the money to do it. Thank you Bill O’Riley and FOX News for teaching us a lesson in personal responsibility. In fact, it’s time to stop the blame game. Nobody should be held accountable for anything (except, of course, poor people who failed to abandon every scrap of personal property and all Democratic state officials.)
But seriously friends, it is possible that high Republican officials are not, in the strictest sense, “racist.” It may be more to the point to observe that they just don’t care about the classes of people who do the dirty work of paying taxes and fighting in the wars. The Bush dynasty, headquartered in the sedate upper-crust enclave Kennebunkport, Maine, has a vital vibrant concern about the wealthy and major corporations. They have cared none about the Katrinas that have ruined the lives of so many ordinary people: the War in Iraq, high gas prices, the lack of health insurance, “tort reform,” and the new bankruptcy laws. Why on earth would they care about the demise of a few powerless poor people?
Have a nice holiday.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Outraged New Orleans Times-Picayune Editorial
By E&P Staff
Published: September 04, 2005 10:40 AM ET
NEW YORK The Times-Picayune of New Orleans on Sunday published its third print edition since the hurricane disaster struck, chronicling the arrival, finally, of some relief but also taking President Bush to task for his handling of the crisis, and calling for the firing of FEMA director Michael Brown and others.
In an "open letter" to the president, published on page 15 of the 16-page edition, the paper said it still had grounds for "skepticism" that he would follow through on saving the city and its residents. It pointed out that while the government could not get supplies to the city numerous TV reporters, singer Harry Connick and Times-Picayune staffers managed to
find a way in.
It also cited "bald-faced" lies by Michael Brown. "Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach," the staffers pointed out. "We're angry, Mr. President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry."
Here is the text.
We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we're going to make it right."
Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.
Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It‚s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrainwas easy to reach in 1718.
How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.
Despite the city‚s multiple points of entry, our nation‚s bureaucrats spent days after last week‚s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city's stranded victims nor bringthem food, water and medical supplies.
Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.
Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.
Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.
We're angry, Mr. President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That's to the government's shame.
Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don't know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city's death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.
It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren't they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn't suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?
State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn‚t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially. In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn't known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We've provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they've gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."
Lies don't get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.
Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You're doing a heck of a job."
There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.
We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We're no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.
No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn't be reached.
Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our
beloved communities work right once again.
When you do, we will be the first to applaud.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Paul Craig Roberts is no wimpy liberal. In the essay linked above, he takes on the incompetence of this administration, both in Iraq and in dealing with the most devastating disaster in American history. His conclusion, impeachment of the president.
Dr. Roberts is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
Friday, September 02, 2005
While you are checking out this important story, I need to get off to an emergency meeting of Leftist Media Inc. We are always looking for new deceptions with which to drag America down.
"While no one condones looting, on the other hand, one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression."-- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, explaining why some Iraqi's resorted to looting during the Iraq war.
IMPORTANT HURRICANE LINKS
Bush went to pains to describe the personal loss suffered by United States Senator Trent Lott, a fellow-Republican from Mississippi. The president went a great distance to observe that Lott would rebuild and his new home would be bigger and better. Well. Duh. Trent Lott is a United States Senator. He has the best medical insurance coverage available and his retirement will pay him more after he leaves office than he makes today. He and his ilk don’t know the first damned thing about what working people go through and it has never bee clearer.
The only reason President George W. Bush has had an apparent moment of clarity is to maintain his political viability so that the financial interests of Halliburton and other right wing special interests can continue to be served.
FOX News is a mixed bag. God bless Bill O’Riley for holding the greedy oil companies accountable for un-American activities in the face of national disaster. It would be nice if fair-haired undereducated and very young anchors would use more caution with such language as “thugs” to describe some people who are having trouble in New Orleans. I do not intend to endorse unnecessary looting of any violence, but that is limited to s small number of professional criminals. Many of these troublemakers have lost their drug connections and are out of their minds. It is sadly necessary that military force has arrived to protect the weak. Had they arrived earlier, some of this loss might have been averted.
You know by now that college professors and professional engineers have predicted these enormous losses for decades. Congress and various administrations have consistently under funded essential infrastructure needs, including the levy system on the Mississippi River. There was supposed to be a FEMA study of evacuation scenarios from New Orleans conducted in 1999. It is time for accountability.
Putting the gang members and professional criminals aside, it is perhaps a good thing to remember that none of us know how we might react if we lost every item of personal property, homes, clothing, and every remembrance of better times. How would you do if there were little food and drinking water, no decent toilet, no comfortable bed and no privacy. Judge not.
Top Ten Reasons "W" Hasn't Gone to New Orleans Yet:
10) daddy didn't tell him to!
9) had an early tee time, really needed a nap!
8) we helped them iraqis, now it's their turn!
7) there's prolly some terrorists in new orleans so let them suffer...if some innocent people also suffer, well that's the price of war!
6) was louisiana a red state? can't remember!
5) pouting because chainey said he couldn't take his fishin' pole!
4) jimmy carter handles that kinda' stuff, don't he?!
3) dallas cowboys was playin' on the tv!
2) still trying to figure out why his mom is the quaker oats guy!
and the #1 reason "W" hasn't gone to new orleans yet: "burbon street is closed!"