Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Zogby Poll: US Soldiers Want Out of Iraq Now
In a Zogby poll released today, US soldiers make no bones about the fact that it is time to come home.
A first-ever survey of U.S. troops on the ground fighting a war overseas has revealed surprising findings, not the least of which is that an overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year.
Further, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows that more than one in four (29%) thought the U.S. should pull its troops immediately.
The poll, conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies, also showed that another 22% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq in the next six months. One in every five troops - 21% - said troops should be out between six and 12 months. Nearly a quarter - 23% - said they should stay “as long as they are needed.”
So only 23% are with Bushco and the Neocons, and that’s in a conservative military! Bring the men and women home now, they never should have gone in the first place.
LSF Review: Sophie Scholl- The Final Days
This coming Sunday at the Academy Awards, the film Sophie Scholl is nominated for Best Foreign Film. It is a true story of the title character who was part of the student resistance movement in Munich in the early 1940’s. The film tells the story of the last week of her life when she is planning an anti-Hitler leaflet handout at her college with the fellow members of their group which they called The White Rose.
There was so much good information in the film and it took me to a place I had thought about before. Where was the resistance within Germany? I knew there must be a significant group of leftists who were not sent to the camps early on and I wanted to know how they tried to stop the collective insanity that was life under the Third Reich. Hearing these people speak their truth amid the fear that was life in 1942 Germany has so much resonance to dissidents in America in 2006. The same tired rhetoric is heard from the Nazi’s about the need for absolute support of the troops that we hear from Neocons and Republicans and fearful Democrats. The strength of a democracy should enable anyone to try and stop an unjust war, even after the fighting starts.
Sophie Scholl has a very good shot at winning the Oscar this Sunday. I think the film “Paradise Now” is an even more affecting film but the odds of a Palestinian film being awarded the prize is unfortunately more of a longshot even though I would love to be proven wrong. The main performance by Julia Jentsch is a better one than any of the 5 nominated Best Actress nominees. The Academy used to recognize great foreign performances but even the Hollywood Foreign Press (The Golden Globes) screwed up royally here by missing both Jentsch’s performance as well as Johnny Depp’s for “The Libertine”.
Monday, February 27, 2006
How Low Can They Go? Bush Approval Ratings Do the Limbo Plunge
So much for my piece last week on the 39% of Bush loyalists who stick with him no matter what. Even the die-hards are now walking away. In a new CBS poll the numbers are tumbling down:
"The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush’s approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.
Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports. Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they’re opposed to the agreement."
The same poll shows Cheney with an 18% approval rating. How low can you go indeed.
It was the heartwarming story of the week, the Jason McElwain scroring streak in his high school basketball game. After all, as Madison Avenue and NBC whined that there were no Olympic stars during the winter games, the media NEEDED a triumph of the human spriti story so badly: there was air time to fill. With Joey Cheek playfully scolding the media about failing to cover the suffering in Africa:
"I love what I do,” Cheek said. “It’s a great job. I’ve seen the entire world, and I’ve met amazing friends.
“But honestly, it’s a pretty ridiculous thing. I mean, I skate around the ice in tights, all right? If you keep it in perspective, I’ve trained my whole life for this, but it’s really not that big a deal. But because I’ve skated well, and because I now have 15 seconds of microphone time, I have the ability to raise some awareness and raise some money."
and Shani Davis refusing to play the dutiful hero athlete for the lazy media, they needed SOME happy story to fill air time.
So young Jason got his Warhollian fifteen minutes. His story had all of the elements. He’s a gung-ho team player. He’s “disadvantaged” by his autism, and “overcame” it. He had a pithy catch phrase ("I was hotter than a pistol!"). I’m sure we are all happy for his moment, his triumph. What, however, does it say about our media, our culture, his school and coach?
Jason, after all, was the team manager. He kept stats, probably gathered towels and water bottles. Anybody who was on a high school sports team remembers a kid like him. Maybe not very athletic, or “challenged” in some way ... “mascot” is often a word quietly used for such kids. Someone takes a liking to them, likes their attitude, and gives them a small place on the team. Hell, there was a popular movie made about such a young man, and Adam Sandler got some laughs from the idea. Jason finally got his chance to play on the last game of his high school years, when his team was way ahead. Nothing to lose, so why not give him a chance?
Nothing to lose. That’s why this story bugs me. How many kids, how many people, are left on the bench, or off the team, or left behind in school, because there isn’t a time that comes along when some well-intentioned coach decides there’s nothing to lose by giving them a shot? Worse, how many never have that teacher, that parent, that minister or local activist who finds a time to give them a moment, one bright shining moment, let alone the opportunities to fully develop their talents? Would Jason have repeated this feat many times if his coach had looked beyond his limitations? Would those kids hanging out on the corner have maybe been teachers or engineers or cops or firemen or artists or singers if someone FOUND THE TIME?
This is not to disparage those who do the hard work in our schools, our social service agencies. They are faced by overwhelming odds, supported by underwhelming funding, abandoned by a political culture that offers them only scorn. We waste human potential in this culture the way we waste plastic and time. Then, every-so-often, we are spoon-fed another uplifting story like Jason’s. Everything is just fine, we’re reassured ... look at that!
There is within every person, I fully believe, a series of potentials, the basic building blocks for them to be more fulfilled, more engaged. It’s not just SOME who have some hidden super power that awaits A MOMENT, some sword lodged in a stone or a radioactive spider lurking just above our heads. Ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things everyday, yet we leave so many un-taught, un-fed, under-sheltered and neglected. Bravo for Jason. I’m glad he had some people in his life willing to give him opportunities. How about, instead of settling for a STORY about another Jason every once in a while, we start pouring some resources into public education, into children’s health care? How many other heroes-in-the-rough are left to fend for themselves every day in this country?
Sunday, February 26, 2006
The Quiet Milestones
I was driving back into the city after being away in New Jersey all day and flipped on the radio. It was a ‘greatest hits’ kind of station that I don’t usually listen to but they have traffic and weather reports. It’s always a good idea to check and see if the bridge or tunnel you take is jammed in advance as it can save you alot of time, also tonight they were saying it might rain/sleet/snow and I wanted to be prepared.
While waiting for the next report to start the DJ took to the microphone to take a request. A young man was on the line and the DJ asked him his name. “Sean”, he replied. The DJ asked him what song he wanted to hear and who he wanted to dedicate it to. He said he wanted to hear The Door’s “Light My Fire” and he wanted to dedicate it to his boyfriend Josh. The DJ said “no problem Sean, and where are you and Josh tonight?”. Josh replied “Hamilton” and the DJ then said “You guys have a good night” and with that the song began to play.
There I was driving on the Garden State Parkway with tears welling up in my eyes. It’s hard to explain to someone what it’s like to hear a young kid be so comfortable calling up and making that request and equally to hear a DJ, after decades of hearing homophobic comments on radio, be nonchalant and treat him like any other love bird on a Saturday night. It felt like a milestone, one of those moments where you find yourself at a marker along a very long road. All those years marching, writing letters, voting, living out loud in an effort to raise consciousness and boom, there it is, raised. On top of that was the sweetness of the whole thing, just being moved by fact that this will now be ordinary. It’s what so many of us have fought so hard for.
There are still tons of battles to be fought but you have to savor those moments when you feel something has been accomplished and tonight was one of those for me, and it feels so damned good.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
One Big Party With One Big Pooper
Starting today 700,000 tourists will descend upon Brazil for one massive party. They will join an entire nation of Brazilians who will party like it’s 2006. Which of course means the bishops are having a hissy in this Catholic country. Here’s Why:
Brazil’s Roman Catholic Church urged revelers on Thursday to abstain from reckless sex, too much alcohol and violence during the country’s Carnival celebrations.
Carnival begins across Brazil, the largest Catholic country in the world, this weekend and crowds of people indulge in a frenzy of drinking, dancing and often licentious behavior. Although the pre-Lenten festival has its roots in Christian tradition, it provides an annual headache for the church.
Agnelo told reporters “Carnival is not intrinsically bad” but said the use of condoms and “day-after pills” were incentives for promiscuous behavior. The government will hand out 25 million free condoms to promote safe sex during the several days of parties, revelry and parades. In northeastern Salvador, health officials will provide “next-day pills,” Correio da Bahia newspaper reported.
Three cheers for a country who actually doesn’t freak when their populace lets off some much need steam and provides them with what they need to do it safely. Condoms and ‘next day pills’ should be available to all citizens here and be as ubiquitous as Starbucks. A sexually healthy human being is a better citizen than an uptight and repressed one. Pretty basic, no? The people in this photo look more joyous and alive than the repressed mugs of Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush who always appear to be grinding their teeth or the troubled visage of Dick Cheney and the rest of the Neo-conservatives who all look eternally constipated.
Friday, February 24, 2006
fri rdm 10 - where are the angry lefties edition
I was reminded that there used to be a vibrant cultural and political left lately when I watched Zappa on Crossfire the other day.
We miss you Frank.
Today’s random ten:
- Rubber Shirt - Frank Zappa
- Feeling Sorry for Myself - Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys
- Your Lies - Shelby Lynne
- One of the Few - Pink Floyd
- Tied up in Gear - Yello
- Wolf Moon - Type O Negative
- Release - Pearl Jam
- The Gentleman Soldier - Pogues
- Weary Blues from Waiting - The The
- Campaigner - Neil Young
Make of that mess what you will. What are you listening to on the Friday on the cusp of Armageddon?
Iraq Civil War: Day 2
It seems to me that the Iraq Civil War has been going on since just after Bush declared “Mission Accomplished”. The general consensus is that the bombing of the mosque Wednesday will be seen as the turning point. Here is something from the Italian site Uruknet:
Day two is far worse than day one with the political crises widening as hundreds of Sunnis and Shia are killed and Sunni mosques continue to burn. Efforts for Shia and Sunni to hold a joint demonstration protesting against the violence seen in the past two days were thwarted when a fake police checkpoint was set up by men in uniforms who then killed many Shia and Sunnis.
I recommend this piece as it contains alot of information. Here’s more:
From Al Jazeera:
More than 130 people are reported to have been killed in sectarian violence that has swept Iraq in the wake of a bomb attack on a major Shia shrine.
In the worst single incident, officials said 47 people who had taken part in a joint Sunni and Shia demonstration in Baghdad against Wednesday’s bombing were hauled from their cars and shot dead.
Police said the attackers, who have not been identified, had set up a fake checkpoint on the outskirts of the capital.
How I dread what will be happening in Iraq over the next several years.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I was at a Move-On vigil last evening to protest Bush and his Illegal Wire-tapping. There were approximately 500 of us signed up and we stood in front of Federal Hall on Wall St. and read the sections of the Constitution that pertain to privacy. While we were doing so people walked casually by us on their way home from work, most paying no attention to us. One man in his 40’s passed by us and screamed at us, shouting ‘W’ is great, ‘W’ over and over again. This of course made us read even louder to drown him out. The thought that 500 of us peacefully reading the incredible document that makes this country possible would threaten him so amazed me.
It got me thinking about the 39% approval rating that never seems to sink lower. Everyone keeps talking about the 53% rating Bush had for so long (even higher after Sept. 11) and how much it has fallen but that isn’t enough for me. I want to know who these 39% of Americans are and why no matter that Bush screws up everything he touches as President, no matter who Cheney shoots, no matter how many lies were told to get our soldiers into Iraq. these people will not demand better. They will neither leave their Party nor reform it, they consistently stand behind inferior performance, subterfuge, lies, cronyism, divisive jingoism and massive corruption.
The 39% show up at rallies and give him unlimited photo ops. They donate to he and the GOP with religious fervor. They defend him with bullying rhetoric devoid of facts. The only conclusion I can come to after 5 years of living with these people is that they willfully live in massive denial of facts and are in some cult of personality where he and the GOP are concerned. No matter how the deficit soars they see him as fiscally responsible. No matter that September 11th happened on his watch and he has never even come close to catching the mastermind he is ‘strong on terror’. He failed in his own service to this country and they seem him as a veteran capable of leading our armed forces. He doesn’t give them the body armor they desperately need as Commander-In-Chief yet they never blame him. He will not fire his horrible Secretary of Defense which exacerbates our debacle in the Middle East yet they do not demand a change, even to help our men and women fighting abroad.
After all we’ve been through together these past 5 years it seems incredible that 1 out of every 2 1/2 Americans is part of this group. I know many of these folks are Fundamentalists who believe he’ll change the laws on abortion. They also portend to believe in Christ’s teachings about the poor yet support a President who has supreme disregard for the poor and a downright passion for helping the wealthy. The rest of his cadre seems to be the wealthy who have access to education and supposedly take advantage of that but use that education soley for the acquisition of more wealth and not for the greater good.
The 39% baffle me and I wonder if it’s because I’m dealing in the rational world and irrationality combined with greed are their currency. The fact that the 39% aren’t going anywhere and are firmly planted frightens me. How do you turn a ship around when it’s hitting the rocks constantly and that large of a percentage of the population thinks it’s smooth sailing?
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
US Not Stopping A Civil War in Iraq, It's Already Happening
Let’s get the talking points out loud and clear. The US isn’t preventing a Civil War in Iraq by our Occupation, it’s happening around our soldiers right now:
Several Sunni mosques are reported to have been targeted in revenge attacks after a gang blew up the golden dome of the al-Askari shrine in Samarra. Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has appealed for calm and called for a week of mourning. It comes a day after 22 people died in a bombing in Shia district of Baghdad.
According to the Mercury News:
It was the deadliest bombing in Baghdad since Jan. 19, when a suicide attacker blew himself up in a coffee shop, killing 22 people and injuring 23. At least eight other people were killed and more than 30 injured Tuesday in bombings and shootings elsewhere in Baghdad and in attacks on beauty parlors and liquor stores - symbols of Western influence—in Baquba northeast of the capital.
Monday, 12 people died when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt on a bus in the heavily Shiite district of Al-Kazimiyah. At least 969 Iraqis have been killed in war-related violence this year and at least 986 have been wounded, according to an Associated Press count.
Sistani and others are calling for a week of mourning, hoping this time gives politicians what they need to stop this, but waiting for solutions via the Iraqi Parliament is a bad bet. When will more people come forward and point out that we are doing damage daily there and no healing will happen via our hands in Iraq? The Iraqi’s must work this out for themselves, it will be a painful and bloody process but it already is that presently. At least this way it will be culturally organic and a long term solution might evolve over time. It’s time to put Colin Powell’s statement out there again so we can change it, ‘we broke it, we bought it’ needs to be amended. We broke it because we didn’t know what the hell we were doing, and we still don’t. Let the Iraqi’s fix their country, the majority want us to exit so they can do just that.
Gitmo Film Stars Detained
The stars of Michael Winterbottom’s new film “The Road To Guantanamo” were detained in Britain while returning from promoting the film. Here’s the info:
The actors who star in movie The Road to Guantanamo were questioned by police at Luton airport under anti-terrorism legislation, it has emerged. The men, who play British inmates at the detention camp, were returning from the Berlin Film Festival where the movie won a Silver Bear award. One of the actors, Rizwan Ahmed, said a police officer asked him if he intended to make any more “political” films.
Mr Ahmed also alleges that he was verbally abused by a police officer and had his mobile phone taken from him for a short period. The actor also claims that he was told by police that he could be held for up to 48 hours without access to a lawyer.
This is something we will be seeing much more of unless we start screaming loud and clear. Can you imagine a customs officer inquiring if you planned on staying political? If Great Britain is acting this cocky and insipid what is happening on these shores with a press that is much more docile? By the way, the film will be opening in the US in the next several weeks. I’ll be posting about it again as the release date nears, unless these actors are detained yet again as they travel the globe to publicize it.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Republicrat vs. Republican in PA
If these Poll Numbers tell us anything, it’s that if Pennsylvania is any indication of the country Dems are in deep shit. First the Dem Gov. Rendell is in a dead heat with many months left to go with an old football player, then we get the Senate numbers.
Republican challenger Lynn Swann has caught Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, a new Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/WTAE-Channel 4 Keystone poll shows.
Swann, who trailed Rendell by 20 points five months ago, has jumped to within three points—a statistical tossup. More than half—54 percent—of voters questioned believe it is time for a change in the governor’s office. About two in five—39 percent—said they believe Rendell deserves re-election.
In the equally high-profile U.S. Senate race, state Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., the likely Democratic nominee, continues to hold a double-digit lead over U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn Hills, although Santorum has gained some ground, according to the poll.
If Swann is even with Rendell he has an awfully good shot unless he shoots himself in the foot. The Casey numbers tell us that in PA, a Democrat has to basically be a Republican to defeat a Republican. If only the Dems would push a real Democrat, Chuck Penacchio we might have a real debate and define what Democrats stand for. I’m no Santorum fan but enough is enough, give voters a real choice. Aren’t we tired of having 1 1/2 political parties in this country?
Science News: Bush Capable of Simultaneous Brain Farts
Turn the volume up, he’s talking about switchgrass again from one side of his mouth and dissing global warming from the other side. Here’s the Poop:
Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would “startle” most Americans, President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.
During his trip, Bush is also focusing on a proposal to increase investment in development of clean electric power sources, and proposals to speed the development of biofuels such as “cellulosic” ethanol made from wood chips or sawgrass.
On Tuesday, Bush plans to visit the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., to talk about speeding the development of biofuels. The lab, with a looming $28 million budget shortfall, had announced it was cutting its staff by 32 people, including eight researchers.
Color me startled that Bush is still the President of this country, only avoiding impeachment because of a thoroughly corrupt Congress. Click ‘More” to get to his next foible.
At TPM Cafe we get an excerpt from the silly Fred Barnes book “Rebel-in-Chief” which should be called “Neocon-in-Jammies”:
"Though he didn’t say so publicly, Bush is a dissenter on the theory of global warming....He avidly read Michael Crichton’s 2004 novel State of Fear, whose villain falsifies scientific studies to justify draconian steps to curb global warming....Early in 2005, political adviser Karl Rove arranged for Crichton to meet with Bush at the White House. They talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement. The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalist s all the more.”
--Fred Barnes, Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush, pp. 22-23
Bush, lover of science that he is, will swallow fiction by the dinosaur dude who wrote “Jurassic Park” over the mountain of evidence by our world’s leading climatologists. If poor Gray Davis can be recalled, isn’t it more than time for the hook to be brought up to yank this bad vaudevillian hack off the world stage?
Monday, February 20, 2006
Going back to school is an interesting experience. Of course, most of us do it to expand or update our job skills. Hell, in this country, education is presented almost primarily in terms of getting “job skills”. One of the great things about it, if you pay attention, is that you may learn tidbits that broaden your understanding of our world. In fact, one of the reasons that the political discourse is so meager in this country is that so few Americans have broad educations, or treat a broad education as a good in-and-of itself.
So this week, a couple of interesting little facts came into view, thanks to a Corporate Practice paralegal class. Two of the most popular ways of organizing business enterprises over the last couple decades are the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP - created first in Texas in 1991 to protect professionals from lawsuits) and the Limited Liability Company (LLC - created first in Wyoming in 1977 to provide the liability protections of corporate structures without the “double taxation" that the investor class loves to whine about). The important words, of course, are “limited liability”. So what does that mean?
Limited liability is a way to protect a person’s individual assets from attack in court due to some damage done by a business that a person invests in. Liability is limited to one’s investment in the enterprise, in much the same way that a shareholder is on the hook only for their investment in shares in the company. LLP’s and LLC’s protect a person’s (or any other legal entity’s) other assets, income and belongings from lawsuits brought by people who may have been harmed by the actions of the LLC or a party within the LLP. Those who argue for these structures argue that investors wouldn’t help grow new businesses without such protections.
These are old arguments, the same ones that were made in the past over the establishment of corporations and business trusts. One of the most troubling things about corporations is that they have so many of the advantages of being legal persons, yet few of the obligations that actual flesh-and-blood people have in their daily activities. In fact, this expansion of “limited liability” for investors has dovetailed a political expansion of the personal liabilities for the vast majority of average people. The average worker can’t protect himself from credit liabilities any more, thanks to the Bankruptcy Act, let alone from debts due to job loss or hospital bills. While investors flock to new legal armor to shield themselves from lawsuits, more and more people at the lower end of the economic spectrum find themselves more and more exposed. Years of workers and consumers and citizens demanding that corporations be exposed to civil litigation when they cause damage are now being undone by these new legal entities. Basically, if you already have, there are more ways to make sure you KEEP. If you don’t, if you’re hanging on, well ...
After all, we all know in Twenty-First Century America that virtue is reflected in what you have. If you are bobbing in the economic seas, trying desperately to keep your and your family’s head above water, then you’re obviously not doing something right. You most likely deserve your fate, while the vituous investor needs to be protected from harm, so that he can spread his “virtue” far and wide, in new business ventures.
This leads to a problem in this culture of cheating and lying. In a civil culture like ours, a culture built out of multiple religions, multiple ethnicities, multiple cultures, there is only the civil sphere that we can rely upon for some share moral structure. Morality, one can easily argue, rests upon a set of rules and a set of consequences when one fails to follow those rules. Yet what is there to say of an investor class that is increasingly walled off from those consequences? Add to that the natural immunity that comes from wealth, in a court system that is weighted toward those who can afford the best lawyers, and a culture of impunity spreads and results in greater and greater inequities.
Those who HAVE expect police protection, while the poor increasingly look at the police as a distant force at best, or an occupying force. It is the poor kid who will pay for the dime bag with jail time, while the wealthy kid, child of an investor, who will get the second chance. This is an old story, yet these new forms of organization reflect a new resurgence of an expectation of privilege on the part of those who have the most.
It isn’t a coincidence that these new legal strategies have risen out of the political cultures of Texas and Wyoming, the political homes of the two men who now govern with an overweening sense of impunity and beligerance. What matters to them is TAKING, while the risk of LOSING is minimized. Deference from the police, from the government, from the electorate, is EXPECTED by this new investor class. A shield from consequence breeds a sense of impunity, an impunity that is more the place of a royal class, the kind of people we once fought a Revolution to escape. THEY can demand that the police come to interview THEM at a time of their choosing, while the rest of us are fair game for sneak-and-peek searches, wiretapping, bag searches and increasing encroachments of both government and corporate surveilance.
It is interesting what you learn, as you go about your education. It’s interesting the various things that offer food-for-thought, in one’s pursuit of expanding job skills and new opportunities. This question of liability is one deserving of debate, of legal challenge and perhaps fresh legislation to return some balance to the current social climate in this country.
Morality GROWS from liability, whether you’re facing eternal damnation or civil tort. This growing trend to protect those with the most from liability is dangerous, while more and more workers and poor have less and less recourse.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
How Long Has This Been Going On?
The answer to the title question is 6 months next week. What am I referring to? THIS:
There are no longer corpses in plain sight, as there were for days after Hurricane Katrina hit. But nearly six months after the storm, officials believe there are still dozens of unrecovered bodies in New Orleans. They even have a pretty good idea where they are.
But no one is looking for them.Instead, they have been left in muck-filled houses or piles of debris for family members to stumble upon. Last Saturday, for example, Alicia and Herman Robertson found their nephew, Kendrick Smith, in the bedroom where he had lain face down since the storm.
Family members, scattered to Houston, San Antonio and Ville Platte, La., said they had repeatedly asked the authorities to go by the house, at 2305 Flood Street, to look for Mr. Smith, 31. “The city never done nothing,” Mr. Robertson said. “It was horrible to see one’s loved one laid out like that.” Based on reports from family members, officials have compiled a list of 225 addresses in the Ninth Ward whose residents are still missing. But the search has become snarled in yet another tangle over agency jurisdiction and cost.
The New Orleans Fire Department’s urban search and rescue team began combing the Ninth Ward in early October, but stopped two months later when money for overtime ran out, Steven P. Glynn, the chief of special operations for the department, said. “The superintendent had to decide whether to continue that operation or provide adequate fire protection,” he said.
The whole article is even more disturbing than just that excerpt. This was in Friday’s NY Times. In Saturday’s “Letters to the Editor” was an amazing letter that i wanted to print in it’s entirety. I’ve been told it’s not a copyright infringement to post the whole thing, and since it’s not available on the Time’s site it is transcribed below:
To the Editor:
Bodies still remain unrecovered in New Orleans homes ("For Want of Money, Remains of Some Hurricane Victimes Are Not Collected,” news article Feb. 17).
There is money for readying the French Quarter for Mardi Gras and for big cleanup contracts. But overtime cash for the Fire Department’s search and rescue team ran out in December.
Is it really lack of money that allows these human remains to be unattended? Where is the leadership that will bring this shame to an end?
What has happened to us as a people? Dare we build one parade float while bodies remain uncared for?
(Rev) Martin Deppe
Chicago, Illinois Feb 17, 2006
Here here Rev. Deppe, I second you wholeheartedly. We may need to keep New Orleans moving forward with Mardi Gras but how can you put large funds into this when there are rotting bodies still in your city from 6 months ago? I can’t even believe I’m speaking about my own country. When did we become Bangladesh?