Thursday, September 29, 2005

Too Good Not to Share..

This ditty was just too funny not to pass on..
Thank you Juliepoolie!


Here Comes The 'Seasons'

Remember back in Florida, when I was complaining about the lack of seasonal changes.. back when every orifice/angle/cell of my body was sweating bullets? Where the degree of humidity always superseded the actual temperature?
Well, let me tell you.. all of that is beginning to change. I first noticed it when I woke up & it looked like it was still midnight outdoors. Rain! Lots of it..
I put on my usual rigeur, shorts & tank top. Then I noticed the strange hue of blue on my arms & legs. Dang! It's cold in here. Checking the gauge.. it's like 50. yikes!
So THIS is what a season feels like. Not as much fun as just looking at the pictures in National Geopgraphic, or watching a film on the drive through New Englands autumnal tour. This is the real McCoy.. & I hope I'm up to it.
I can feel many sweatsuits in my future. And I fear returning to my days in Germany where I only removed my multi-layered prs of socks at bath time.

What a person does for the beauty of nature!
And of course it's well worth it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Living Large in a Small Town

Folks, you gotta come to Tellico Plains. It's like Mayberry, RFD.. only miniaturized. Dan & I have driven thru 'downtown' several times but we have never seen a person on the streets. What's w/ that? We have seen empty police cars & a firetruck w/ 2 flat tires. This does not build confidence in the city-fathers. But at least we don't have Barney Fife running around w/ his single bullet, either.
Tellico sports 2 cafes, a bakery, a funny little bookstore (which has fewer books than I have in my house!), & a defunct Farmer's Coop. So to buy groceries/gas/convenience items, etc.. one must go to the outskirts of the town. To buy really good things, like the things that come from department stores, Lowes, Walmart (ha!), etc., one must travel from 1-4 towns 'out'. There is no wasted motion in this methodology. If you're going out of the driveway, you damned well better have purpose, & a list.
I've adopted the same manner of thinking in my home. Don't ask me why an aging, wt-gaining, couple of slow moving city folk, opted to seek out & buy (as their retirement home no less!) a 3 level log cabin. The stairs are even cut about 2" extra steep to give you that fun & games feeling of 'DearGodIamFallingDownTheStairs..I'mNotKidding!'
So all day long we are walking downstairs to the laundry facilities & also 'box-hell' where one can find absolutely everything you can't find on the other 2 stories.
Then we are walking upstairs to the computers & for Dan's biz, & to chase the cats off my sacred room/santuary feathers & fetishes, etc. Then we are walking to the middle story, but we've forgotten what it was we're there for, so we wander aimlessly up & down the staircases until we trip & fall & suddenly 'remember' right before everything goes dark..
Anyway.. I now am conserving my heartbeats (because we are only allotted so many).. & I place piles of things on the appropriate staircases, for when I might happen to be going 'up' or 'down'. Smart cookie, eh? However, I may end up buying a wineflask, just to get me thru all the stepping. (And to think, Cher made an exercise video of this nonsense)
Our happy home is located 9.1 mi up on the Cherahola. You gotta express it in just that term when you give directions to local businesses, because they watch the odometer, like it was a religious symbol. I think if we told them it was just 9 mi, they might plow that pick-up right into a rock wall. "Well, now dang it, she said it were just 9 mile!"
The house faces east/west.. so we watch the sun come over the treetops in the morning, & in the evening, the sun drops into the Smokies.. & there is nothing more grand. (The bed faces north/south, so as to keep our subtle energy fields in synch).
I am happy here.. Dan is happy here.. the cats are still weighing it in the balance, but the scales are tipping in TN's favor, I do believe.
And the hummingbirds love the feeders I put out for them. It's all give & take, isn't it?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Stiil Alive

Hi folks! Still alive & kicking here in SE Tennessee, or as the Cherokee called this area, 'Tanasi'.. that sounds cooler, huh?

We are still holed up in a motel in Sweetwater, while the sellers of the cabin pack up their belongings. I certainly wish them 'godspeed' & perhaps even 'warp-speed' as they pack. There's nothing like a small room & 4 cats to teach you what allergies are all about. I finally had to break down & buy some Primatine Mist to aid & assist my poor swollen broncioles. Realizing this was the same drug that killed some famous model, I'm using it only at nite, sparingly.

Today it is raining. I hope this doesn't affect the 'siteing' of our moving trucks today. Our cabin is 1/4 mi up a windy switchback road.. I'd hate to see my belongings sliding down the side of a mountain!

I am constantly amazed at the friendliness of the people here in this part of the country. Everyone has a hearty greeting & an offer of kindness in one form or another.
Last evening we were in the one fancy restaurant in town, celebrating the 'closing' of the house deal. There was nice ambviance.. we were seated at the window overlooking the river.. there was a pianist playing classical music.. and the food was superb. But then, the 'singer' joined the pianist on the stage.. uh oh. All of a sudden it was a loud, raucous version of 'GotMyMojo Workin'.. which stuck my food right in my throat. His set went on for 3 days, or at least 1/2 hr. We looked around, & everyone else had left..hmmm.
Turns out the place was now closed. I guess the singing is how they clear the room. However, we had a nice visit w/ said singer & I learned yet another lesson about not judging the song by the singer, or something like that. He was a really nice guy! And turns out he's a neighbor. Also had some good news for us, that we may have access to DSL in our area! WAHOO! That's as good as getting good rates at Geico, folks.
So 'we'uns' are getting used to being called 'you'uns'.. & it just feels right.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

An Open Letter From Michael Moore, Who Has My Vote for Secretary of State, When Mayor Nagin is Elected Prez & Blanco is Vice Prez

To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush:

On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel?

How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows?

That's right. Horse shows.

I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.

Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer?

When you look at Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, a man with little experience in national security, do you feel secure?

When men who never served in the military and have never seen young men die in battle send our young people off to war, do you think they know how to conduct a war? Do they know what it means to have your legs blown off for a threat that was never there?

Do you really believe that turning over important government services to private corporations has resulted in better services for the people?

Why do you hate our federal government so much? You have voted for politicians for the past 25 years whose main goal has been to de-fund the federal government. Do you think that cutting federal programs like FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been good or bad for America? GOOD OR BAD?

With the nation's debt at an all-time high, do you think tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea? Will you give yours back so hundreds of thousands of homeless in New Orleans can have a home?

Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us? Hurricane Katrina came in and blew off the facade that we were a nation with liberty and justice for all. The wind howled and the water rose and what was revealed was that the poor in America shall be left to suffer and die while the President of the United States fiddles and tells them to eat cake.

That's not a joke. The day the hurricane hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water.

It would take ANOTHER day before the President would do a flyover in his jumbo jet, peeking out the widow at the misery 2500 feet below him as he flew back to his second home in DC. It would then be TWO MORE DAYS before a trickle of federal aid and troops would arrive. This was no seven minutes in a sitting trance while children read "My Pet Goat" to him. This was FOUR DAYS of doing nothing other than saying "Brownie (FEMA director Michael Brown), you're doing a heck of a job!"

My Republican friends, does it bother you that we are the laughing stock of the world?

And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain?

Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters. We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together. The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever.

Are we safe? Do you really feel safe? You can only move so far out and build so many gated communities before the fruit of what you've sown will be crashing through your walls and demanding retribution. Do you really want to wait until that happens? Or is it your hope that if they are left alone long enough to soil themselves and shoot themselves and drown in the filth that fills the street that maybe the problem will somehow go away?

I know you know better. You gave the country and the world a man who wasn't up for the job and all he does is hire people who aren't up for the job. You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans. Please fix it. Bush is yours. And you know, for our peace and safety and security, this has to be fixed. What do you propose?

I have an idea, and it isn't a horse show.

Michael Moore

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

For Fun..

Ok, here's a shocker.. I'm so disgusted w/ the entire politicalization of a tragedy, that I'm just going to have some fun w/ the blog today. I'm not savvy enough to know how to make one of those nifty 'click here' links.. so bear w/ this old dog who refuses to learn new tricks, & type in the following link;


It's a cute quiz on the lyrics of 80's songs.. checking to see how much you remember. I've always prided myself on that particular genre of great tunes. Lord knows I was out at the clubs & discos at least 4 nights a week. But I came up woefully short when it came to actual lyrics.. apparently I went thru that era humming a lot.
(I'm reminded of the Princess's boyfriend who thought 'Dude Looks Like a Lady' was 'Do The Funky Lady'. You know, it was like that)
So try your hand at it.. & I guarantee you'll have those tunes in your head all danged day!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back at the post..

Folks! I've been out of the loop for 3 days & I come home to read some utterly unbelievable crap about FEMA shutting down all acceptance of aid & assistance from organizations & other countries, until they were 'approved'.. so 1000's more died! Even displaced & traumatized animals were refused support (from companies who had brought in kennels, carriers, food, shelter.. like PetSmart)because FEMA wanted to be dickheads.
Bush is now pulling his little boy stunt of 'she did it!' towards the Dem governor.
And did you ever see a more uncomfortable PR stunt as Bushit attempting to 'hug' a black American? He practically petted them on the head like a dog, not wanting to give a full body contact hug. His strained mug portrayed a picture of a man wanting to barf.. or else extremely constipated.
Good to know Halliburton got another 'no-bid-contract' to rebuild New Orleans.. geez, I was beginning to wonder what the heck they'd be doing after screwing up Iraq.
And Condi left the Ferragamo 5th Ave shops long enough for her 30 second sound-bite, about how much she 'cares'.
Along w/ the nomination of a right-wingnut 'Chief' who's never even sang back-up w/ the Supremes before.. makes you vow never to say, 'Oh, it couldn't get worse than this..' heh heh
Someone.. please help us get our country back!

Bush Lied, New Orleans Died

LA Gov. Blanco Asked Bush for Assistance on 8/28


Sent by a BuzzFlash Reader:

The elected Governor of Louisiana requested immediate assistance from the unelected dictator of the United States before Hurricane Katrina hit. Now the GOP storm troopers and their minions in the corporate press want to blame the locals for a catastrophe beyond the ability of both the Louisiana State Government and the New Orleans City Government to handle promptly or completely.

The bottom line: Bush lied about no one expecting a disaster. And his failure to act resulted in the deaths of as many as 10,000 U.S. citizens. Remember this: On August 5, 2001, when Bush was on vacation, he was briefed on bin Laden expecting to attack U.S. cities with hijacked airplanes, yet Bush did nothing.

In Iraq, Bush lied and our soldiers and Iraqis died. With the latest failure, Bush lied and residents of New Orleans died.

Here’s the LA Governor’s request to the idiot in the White House who did nothing for a nearly a week (oh, but the GOP still wants a tax break for the rich while the urban poor starve to death…):

Friday, September 02, 2005


My labor day wk-end was delayed a day.. so I have been privy to the gigantic photo-op of watching Bushit prance thru the devastated south; hugging folks who haven't eaten in a few days; throwing random cliches to the camera, accompanied by his snide smirk.. and have never wanted so badly to throw a lugwrench at my TV screen. I'm thinking Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans might be the next viable candidate for the Presidency. At least he knows 'Bullshit!' when he sees it.
Dubyah should be forced to spend 5 days wading thru the streets of The Big Easy, sharing space w/ the dead bodies he is partially responsible for, breathing in the petroleum fuels he fights overseas to maintain, letting the raw sewage of over flowing septic tanks to infiltrate his skin. Only seems fair to me..
Is it still 'Bring it on!', monkey-man?

Impeachment NOW!

Wake of the Flood
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 02 September 2005

All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
Thinkin' about my baby and my happy home.

-- Led Zeppelin, "When the Levee Breaks"

This will come as no surprise, but columnist Molly Ivins has again nailed it to the wall. "Government policies have real consequences in people's lives," Ivins wrote in her Thursday column. "This is not 'just politics' or blaming for political advantage. This is about the real consequences of what governments do and do not do about their responsibilities. And about who winds up paying the price for those policies."

Try this timeline on for size. In January of 2001, George W. Bush appointed Texas crony Joe Allbaugh to head FEMA, despite the fact that Allbaugh had exactly zero experience in disaster management. By April of 2001, the Bush administration announced that much of FEMA's work would be privatized and downsized. Allbaugh that month described FEMA as, "an oversized entitlement program."

In December 2002, Allbaugh quit as head of FEMA to create a consulting firm whose purpose was to advise and assist companies looking to do business in occupied Iraq. He was replaced by Michael D. Brown, whose experience in disaster management was gathered while working as an estate planning lawyer in Colorado, and while serving as counsel for the International Arabian Horse Association legal department. In other words, Bush chose back-to-back FEMA heads whose collective ability to work that position could fit inside a thimble with room to spare.

By March of 2003, FEMA was no longer a Cabinet-level position, and was folded into the Department of Homeland Security. Its primary mission was recast towards fighting acts of terrorism. In June of 2004, the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for levee construction in New Orleans was cut by a record $71.2 million. Jefferson Parish emergency management chief Walter Maestri said at the time, "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay."

And then the storm came, and the sea rose, and the levees failed. Filthy sewage-laced water began to fill the bowl of New Orleans. Tens of thousands of poor people who did not have the resources to flee the storm became trapped in a slowly deteriorating city without food, water or electricity. The entire nation has since been glued to their televisions, watching footage of an apocalyptic human tragedy unfold before their eyes. Anyone who has put gasoline in their car since Tuesday has come to know what happens when the port that handles 40% of our national petroleum distribution becomes unusable.

And the response? "Bush mugs for the cameras," says Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly, "cuts a cake for John McCain, plays the guitar for Mark Wills, delivers an address about V-J day, and continues with his vacation. When he finally gets around to acknowledging the scope of the unfolding disaster, he delivers only a photo op on Air Force One and a flat, defensive, laundry list speech in the Rose Garden."

Newsweek described it this way: "For all the president's statements ahead of the hurricane, the region seemed woefully unprepared for the flooding of New Orleans - a catastrophe that has long been predicted by experts and politicians alike. There seems to have been no contingency planning for a total evacuation of the city, including the final refuges of the city's Superdome and its hospitals. There were no supplies of food and water ready offshore - on Navy ships for instance - in the event of such flooding, even though government officials knew there were thousands of people stranded inside the sweltering and powerless city."

Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert twisted the knife on Thursday by bluntly suggesting that we should not bother rebuilding the city of New Orleans. "It doesn't make sense to me," Hastert said to the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. "And it's a question that certainly we should ask. We help replace, we help relieve disaster. But I think federal insurance and everything that goes along with it ... we ought to take a second look at that." This sentiment was echoed by the Republican-American newspaper out of Waterbury, CT: "If the people of New Orleans and other low-lying areas insist on living in harm's way, they ought to accept responsibility for what happens to them and their property."

This is it, right here, right now. This is the Bush administration in a nutshell.

The decision to invade Iraq based on lies has left the federal government's budget woefully, and I daresay deliberately, unprepared for a disaster of this magnitude, despite the fact that decades worth of warnings have been put forth about what would happen to New Orleans should a storm like this hit. Louisiana National Guard soldiers and equipment, such as high-water Humvees for example, are sitting today in Iraq while hundreds or even thousands die because there are not enough hands to reach out and pull them from the water. FEMA - downsized, redirected, budget-slashed and incompetently led - has thus far failed utterly to cope with the scope of the catastrophe.

Actions have consequences. What you see on your television today is not some wild accident, but is a disaster that could have been averted had the priorities of this government been more in line with the needs of the people it pretends to serve. The city of New Orleans, home to so much of the culture that makes America unique and beautiful, is today drowning underneath an avalanche of polluted, diseased water. This, simply, did not have to happen.

Remember that the next time you hear Bush talk about noble causes, national priorities and responsibility. This has been an administration of death, disaster, fear and woe. The whole pack of them should be run out of Washington on a rail. Better yet, they should be air-dropped into the center of New Orleans and made to see and smell and touch and taste the newest disaster they have helped to create.

Labor Day Wk-end Note

Just a note, that I will be out of town for the wk-end. I certainly don't feel celebratory.. & it's w/ a heavy heart that I travel to try & find some solace in this midst of this chaos of emotional loss. Today, I think Michael Moore's open letter to the Shrub says it best.. Indeed.. what if this were happening to folks in Kennebunkport.. hmmm.. you can be sure they wouldn't still be sitting on rooftops.
Please continue to pray for these desperate & needy people.

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.


Michael Moore

P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Adding Insult to Injury!!

Can you believe this nonsense?? What can say "I don't give a sh*t about your plight!" better than going out & shopping for shoes. That's our Sec of State for you..
Her own version of 'Let them eat cake..'

Thursday, September 01, 2005

BREAKING: Sec of State Condi Rice caught buying several-thousand-dollar pair of shoes in NYC moments ago, spends last night at Broadway show!
by John in DC - 9/01/2005 01:12:00 PM

Good God.

From Gawker, moments ago:
According to Drudge, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has recently enjoyed a little Broadway entertainment. And Page Six reports that she’s also working on her backhand with Monica Seles. So the Gulf Coast has gone all Mad Max, women are being raped in the Superdome, and Rice is enjoying a brief vacation in New York. We wish we were surprised.

What does surprise us: Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!” Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the woman.

Angry Lady, whoever you are, we love you. You are a true American.
For anyone who still doesn't get it, let's talk for a moment about why this story matters.

The president, finally, has decided that the hurricane is a problem. He claims yesterday at 5pm, finally, that he's going to be devoting his entire administration to saving the lives of the people currently dying in this growing national disaster. And what does a top member of his cabinet do? She goes to a Broadway comedy and today is buying multi-thousand-dollar shoes on 5th Avenue at the same time CNN is showing dead grandmothers in wheelchairs abandoned on the streets of New Orleans.

This is more than just a cheap shot at Condi. What in the blazes is this woman doing at a Broadway show in the middle of a national emergency? This is akin to going to a Broadway show in the middle of September 11. Don't we expect the Secretary of State to work past 5pm on a day an entire American city is being wiped off the face of the planet? And shouldn't she be doing something else today than shopping at filthy rich stores on 5th Avenue? Could she be - oh, I don't know - working with foreign leaders, like the Mexicans, to see what immediate assistance they can offer to the neighbor?

New Orleans is ceasing to exist. What in God's name is Bush doing letting his secretary of state go on vacation in the middle of this?

Message: "I don't care."

Losing New Orleans..

My heart & soul has been so heavy over the loss of New Orleans. To see women & babies on a 97 degree tarmac, without food, water or hope.. for 2 days (now 3) takes a big chunk of my belief in humanity away. To see an old woman stop a police car & tell them her husband has just dropped dead at her feet, & have them tell her, 'Just roll him out of the way, before he starts stinking' removes another shred of my belief in human decency. To watch looters running rampant (& to see that some of them are law officers themselves), when our state national guardsmen are off protecting an oil field, sours me on the belief of our country's ability to care for one another. To know part of this extreme damage was preventable.. sickens me to my cellular level.
Perhaps Paul Craig Roberts says it better..

September 1, 2005
How New Orleans Was Lost

by Paul Craig Roberts
Chalk up the city of New Orleans as a cost of Bush's Iraq war.

There were not enough helicopters to repair the breached levees and rescue people trapped by rising water. Nor are there enough Louisiana National Guardsmen available to help with rescue efforts and to patrol against looting.

The situation is the same in Mississippi.

The National Guard and helicopters are off on a fool's mission in Iraq.

The National Guard is in Iraq because fanatical neoconservatives in the Bush administration were determined to invade the Middle East and because incompetent Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld refused to listen to the generals, who told him there were not enough regular troops available to do the job.

After the invasion, the arrogant Rumsfeld found out that the generals were right. The National Guard was called up to fill in the gaping gaps.

Now the Guardsmen, trapped in the Iraqi quagmire, are watching on TV the families they left behind trapped by rising waters and wondering if the floating bodies are family members. None know where their dislocated families are, but, shades of Fallujah, they do see their destroyed homes.

The mayor of New Orleans was counting on helicopters to put in place massive sandbags to repair the levee. However, someone called the few helicopters away to rescue people from rooftops. The rising water overwhelmed the massive pumping stations, and New Orleans disappeared under deep water.

What a terrible casualty of the Iraqi war – one of our oldest and most beautiful cities, a famous city, a historic city.

Distracted by its phony war on terrorism, the U.S. government had made no preparations in the event Hurricane Katrina brought catastrophe to New Orleans. No contingency plan existed. Only now after the disaster are FEMA and the Corps of Engineers trying to assemble the material and equipment to save New Orleans from the fate of Atlantis.

Even worse, articles in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and public statements by emergency management chiefs in New Orleans make it clear that the Bush administration slashed the funding for the Corps of Engineers' projects to strengthen and raise the New Orleans levees and diverted the money to the Iraq war.

Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune (June 8, 2004): "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

Why can't the U.S. government focus on America's needs and leave other countries alone? Why are American troops in Iraq instead of protecting our own borders from a mass invasion by illegal immigrants? Why are American helicopters blowing up Iraqi homes instead of saving American homes in New Orleans?

How can the Bush administration be so incompetent as to expose Americans at home to dire risks by exhausting American resources in foolish foreign adventures? What kind of "homeland security" is this?

All Bush has achieved by invading Iraq is to kill and wound thousands of people while destroying America's reputation. The only beneficiaries are oil companies capitalizing on a good excuse to jack up the price of gasoline and Osama bin Laden's recruitment.

What we have is a Republican war for oil company profits while New Orleans sinks beneath the waters.

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