Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bush Administration Culpable in New Orleans Devastation

Due to significant funding cuts for the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, not to mention, as previously reported, prior relocation of National Guard troops and equipment to Iraq, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina is far worse than it should have been. And now, six days after Katrina first hit the United States and three days after the full strength of Katrina was known, Bush has finallly gotten off his butt and addressed the nation, putting forth the bare minimum for federal disaster relief. How many thousands more will die before federal relief efforts are fully ramped up?

Bush and his cronies have a lot of 'splainin' to do.

Deep In Thought

You surely didn't think I was referring to Iraq...

Louisiana National Guard Wants Equipment to Come Back From Iraq

Oops! Too late.

Not only are a considerable number of Louisiana National Guard members in Iraq, instead of being available to aid vital local relief and security efforts, but they took a lot of equipment with them. This August 1st, 2005 news report from WGNO, the ABC television affiliate in New Orleans, raised the possibility of a problem "in the event of a major natural disaster". Guard spokesman Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider offered that the state "has enough equipment to get by, and if Louisiana were to get hit by a major hurricane, the neighboring states of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have all agreed to help."


Bush's Priorities: Askew, As Usual

As Hurricane Katrina visits immense devastation upon three states - causing many to liken it to the 2004 Southeast Asian tsuanmi, George W. Bush shows his usual masterful grasp of important events by spending Tuesday acting like a country music star and speechifying in San Diego.

While Bush did cut his trip short (by a whole hour - wow), his day would have been better spent actually behaving like the leader of his country as soon as it became obvious that Katrina was going to be far more destructive than orginally anticipated. And since the affected states are two hours ahead of California, knowledge of Katrina's deadliness was available very early Tuesday morning.

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Well, at least Bush has a pretty new guitar to show for it. That's more than many survivors of Hurricane Katrina can claim.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Thoughts Going Out to Katrina Victims

As everyone knows, Hurricane Katrina is devestating New Orleans, as well as other parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. We here at SoCal Grassroots are keeping the victims of Katrina in our thoughts and hearts and ask any readers we might have to give as generously as you can.

Thank you.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Welcome to Connecticut, Patriot Act!

It was only a matter of time: F.B.I., Using Patriot Act, Demands Library's Records.

Per the New York Times:
Using its expanded power under the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, the F.B.I. is demanding library records from a Connecticut institution as part of an intelligence investigation, the American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday.

The demand is the first confirmed instance in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation has used the law in this way, federal officials and the A.C.L.U. said. The government's power to demand access to library borrowing records and other material showing reading habits has been the single most divisive issue in the debate over whether Congress should extend key elements of the act after this year.
Earlier this month your humble contributor checked out both 2001:A Space Odyssey and the Qu'ran from her local library. Any bets whether she's a terrorist in the making, despite her documented anti-war, pro-peace stance?

News Flash: Fox News Gets It Wrong

This time, however, the idiocy of Fox News and its "newscasters" has gone far beyond the usual foaming at the neo-con mouth and, as a result, has endangered an innocent Southern Californian family.

On August 7 Fox pundit John Loftus disclosed the address of a supposed terrorist with ties to the July 7 bombings in London. Two problems with Loftus' actions:

1) He disclosed the La Habra address on national cable television, which is unconscionable;

2) The alleged terrorist had not lived at the disclosed address for three years.

As a result of Loftus' irresponsibility, the Vorick family has endured vandalism, harrassment and invasion of privacy. While Fox News and Loftus have apologized for their actions, neither have issued a public correction.

I'm not someone who believes in issuing lawsuits at the drop of a hat, but I certainly hope the Voricks slap a huge lawsuit on both Fox and Loftus and drains millions of dollars from them. If anyone deserves to be squeezed, it's Fox.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Will Someone PLEASE Do Something About the First Amendment?

Daily Kos and Editor & Publisher tells the quaint story of the American Legion "calling for an end to all 'public protests' and 'media events' against the war, even though they are protected by the Bill of Rights."

Stated Thomas Cadmus - national commander of the American Legion - at the national convention in Honolulu, "The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," whereupon the delegates "voted to use whatever means necessary [emphasis mine] to 'ensure the united backing of the American people to support our troops and the global war on terrorism.'"

Frankly, I'd hate to see what means these folks deem necessary to keep people from exercising the right to free speech they say that they have fought for in past wars. Apparently the right to free speech is only allowed when the speakers are in lock-step, er, I mean, in step with the Commander-in-Thief and his minions.

BTW, in case you haven't heard, dear American Legion, we're no longer fighting "the global war on terrorism." According to good ol' Rumsfeld, it's "the global struggle against violent extremism." One must always keep up on these things, as such distinctions are very important. Just ask our military fighting in Iraq. Ask the brave men and women who have been wounded and are facing drastic reductions in health care.

Just ask the families of our soldiers who have died needless deaths over a pack of lies.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Connecticut Will Not Be Left Behind

AP reports today that Connecticut has become the first state to file suit against the federal government over the No Child Left Behind Act. Way to go, Connecticut! While various groups have also filed suit against the Bush administration over the mis-named act - most notably the National Education Association - and states such as Utah and Bush's very own Texas have openly defied the act, having a state governor stand up and say, "This is an illegal act and we're not going to have our children penalized anymore," by taking the federal government to court is brave, especially in an atmosphere where anything remotely critical of Bush and his administration is considered treasonous.

The fact that the governors of all three states are Republican just makes it all the sweeter. Keep it up, fellas. Who knows, this may be the first step towards bringing some conservatives over from the Dark Side. Could Schwarzenegger and his ilk be next?

Eh, probably not.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Diebold Hires Ex-DNC Leader; "Reframes" the Issues

According to Inside Bay Area in its August 20 issue, Diebold has hired ex-DNC chairman Joe Andrew to be its cheerleader for electronic voting.

History shows that Joe Andrew has long been a proponent of DREs, so it's not at all unusual that he would accept the job as a DRE mouthpiece. What is unusual is that he would throw his lot in with a company with known and documented security and operational problems, many of which have caused the decertification of Diebold machines in California by former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley and has caused current Secretary of State Bruce McPherson to reject Diebold machines less than a month ago.

Perhaps that is why California is Andrew's first stop in his 50 state tour. That and the fact that California has long been a Democratic bastion, current "governor" notwithstanding. So why not start here? If the former DNC head says DREs are good for California, then, by gum, it must be true!

Sorry, but this erstwhile contributor just isn't buying it. And she's especially not about to buy it from Diebold. Neither should California.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

First Amendment = Anti-American Bias

Today Daily Kos reports the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC - which, in this humble contributor's view, provides nothing resembling leadership or Democratic values) has painted all anti-war critics as possessing an anti-American bias. I have only one thing to ask of these so-called Democrats: since when has expressing one's fact-based opinion - granted, I might add, by that seemingly unimportant document, the U. S. Constitution in its very first amendment - become anti-American?

The truth about the manipulation of the American people by the current administration grows more and more damning every day as further lies are uncovered by people willing to put their careers, and themselves, on the line. This is not anti-American. This is not treasonous (take a gander at Rove et al. for true treason). This is as patriotic as it gets.

Too bad the DLC and its craven co-horts don't agree. Maybe someone needs to do something about the Constitution. After all, we can't have a document with such a clear anti-American bias serve as the basis of our government, now can we?