Tag: FEMA

On Living Up To Your Words, Or, Tornado? That’s Not In The Constitution.

per acquistare cialis There are lots of big tough words coming out of our friends in the Tea Party these days, especially when it comes to the permissible functions of the Federal Government.

how ofter has levitra caused blindness “If it’s not specifically enumerated in the Constitution,” they say, “It must be a function of the States-and the 10th Amendment says so!”

go here None are tougher in their language than those living in the States located below the old Mason-Dixon line-and by an amazing coincidence, just this weekend pretty much all of those States got a bit of a “gut check” in the form of dozens of tornados that slammed into the area.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=dove-comprare-vardenafil-originale So we’re going to put the Tea Party philosophy to the test today, and see just what exactly the Federal Government should-and should not-be doing to fulfill the Tea Party vision and to help those folks who were hit by this particular natural disaster.

There are lots of big tough words coming out of our friends in the Tea Party these days, especially when it comes to the permissible functions of the Federal Government.

acquistare vardenafil Campania “If it’s not specifically enumerated in the Constitution,” they say, “It must be a function of the States-and the 10th Amendment says so!”

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=risks-generic-brands-levitra None are tougher in their language than those living in the States located below the old Mason-Dixon line-and by an amazing coincidence, just this weekend pretty much all of those States got a bit of a “gut check” in the form of dozens of tornados that slammed into the area.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=siti-sicuri-per-comprare-levitra-generico-garanzia So we’re going to put the Tea Party philosophy to the test today, and see just what exactly the Federal Government should-and should not-be doing to fulfill the Tea Party vision and to help those folks who were hit by this particular natural disaster.

BP Oil Spill Witness: Kindra Arnesen

Kindra Arnesen is part of a husband and wife fishing & shrimping team that made their living off the coast of Louisiana until the blowout of the BP Deepwater Horizon well destroyed their livelihood.   They then tried working for BP as part of the cleanup.   What do you do if you see your young child on shore getting so sick from the fumes you have no choice but to try to take her away from this ?  What do you do when you see workers told not to use respirators, and fish dying ?  This is her story.

This was originally posted on

http://GulfEmergencySummit.org

and it may be also seen here:

http://www.sott.net/articles/s…

partial transcipt highlights: (I am having trouble with some of this, due to sound quality, incomplete)

Pissed off! (Surely, I’m not saying this out LOUD!

So, I receive this from Sen. Leahy today, as follows:

Dear …….

Figuratively speaking, what BP has done to the communities and ecology of the Gulf Coast is downright criminal.

Eleven workers lost their lives in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion. Countless more have lost their livelihoods. The environmental devastation to marine life and coastal wetlands is unfathomable.

Yet under current law, if a jury finds BP criminally negligent, the company would not necessarily have to pay any restitution to the victims of the spill — not even to the families of rig-workers who perished or to the fishermen put out of work. Furthermore, criminal penalties are currently too lenient to adequately deter corporate wrongdoers from authorizing risky schemes that damage the environment.

That’s why this week I introduced the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) to make restitution for violations of the Clean Water Act mandatory and increase criminal sentences for violators.

Urge your members of Congress to support the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) to start treating preventable environmental catastrophes as serious criminal acts.

This legislation takes important steps towards deterring criminal conduct that leads to environmental and economic catastrophe.

Too often, big oil companies treat criminal fines and penalties as a mere cost of doing business. But passing ECEA would change all that, sentencing corporate wrongdoers to serious prison time and mandating restitution payments be made to the victims of corporate malfeasance.

So please, take a moment to support this important legislation by clicking here.

I fully support lifting the miniscule $75 million liability cap on corporations responsible for environmental disasters like the Deepwater Horizon spill, but I believe we must also go further to treat such acts as serious crimes against our communities, our economy, and our environment.

If you agree, please support the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) today.

Thank you for taking action to hold corporate wrongdoers accountable and ensure something like this never happens again.

Sincerely,

Patrick Leahy

“We think those few extra words are worth the effort.”

Photobucket

I’m on the levees.org email list and I got a message from them today:

Thanks to you, Levees.org was featured in the New York Times!

The article focused on our success in encouraging national media to report accurately on the man-made causes of the metro New Orleans flood.

And making the true story about the flooding as common knowledge as ‘the sun rising in the east’ will help the region recover.

This fine piece of journalism by reporter Brian Stelter greatly increases the reach of Levees.org message!

And it gives evidence that your ongoing efforts are paying off.

And that’s good because when the American people understand that the flooding was a federal responsibility, they may understand that rebuilding is a federal duty.

Thank you for your support!

We’re winning!

Sandy Rosenthal

Founder, Levees.org

levees.org

Here’s the New York Times story.

This should scare the crap out of you

There’s really nothing I can say to comment on this.   You just have to read it.  

It happened in America: Katrina’s secret jail


When the storm hit, Zeitoun stayed, to protect his house, help friends and clients, and watch over properties he and Kathy owned: their office building and houses bought as investments. Kathy and their four children evacuated to Baton Rouge.

Zeitoun weathered the storm’s harrowing landfall, and ended up in a tent on his house’s roof. He dug a secondhand canoe out of the garage and began paddling around, seeing how he could help. He spent the first days aiding neighbors and strangers, saving the life of at least one person trapped in her house, and even feeding stranded dogs.

Then the standing feet of water became toxic with organic material and spilled pollutants, his meetings with people became more fraught and weird, he saw his first body and his first criminal entrepreneurs, and decided it was time to go. And that’s when the unnatural disaster happened.

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005, armed and badged black-uniformed men and a tall woman in a power boat appeared at the door of one of his properties that he, his tenant, and two others were using as a meeting place because it still had a working phone. Zeitoun was in the middle of a call with his brother Ahmad, a ship captain, calling from Spain to repeat his pleas to Zeitoun to leave town.

With no questions asked and no questions allowed, Zeitoun and the others were handcuffed and shackled at automatic weapon-point, dropped into the boat, and taken away; the officers didn’t secure the house or treat it as a crime scene and left it unlocked, which meant it was eventually completely stripped and looted.

Zeitoun documents a little-known fact: the existence of “Camp Greyhound,” an outdoor jail built in New Orleans’ central bus station within hours of the hurricane’s landfall at the behest of the federal Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. Similar to Guantanamo Bay, Camp Greyhound (the guards’ name for it) was a kennel, runs of wire fencing and concrete flooring; there was nothing to sit or sleep on, and toilet facilities were portables outside the enclosures. Power was provided by a running diesel locomotive parked within yards of the cages, providing a continuous deafening hum and diesel pall.

Zeitoun was not formally charged, was not read Miranda rights, was not allowed a phone call. He was physically and verbally abused, pepper sprayed, strip-and body-cavity searched; and was accused of being a “terrorist” during his processing at the “camp.” The details of his captivity only become increasingly outrageous.

Fellow prisoners he was able to talk to included a New Orleans firefighter ordered to stay in the city to work who was arrested in his own yard, and a Houston sanitation worker whose company contracted to help in the cleanup effort – arrested wearing his work uniform, possessing ID, and with the keys to his garbage truck in his hand.

Prisoners included Marlene Maten, 73-year-old diabetic deaconess at Resurrection Mission Baptist Church, arrested as she carried a package of sausages from a cooler in her car, parked beside the hotel to which she was returning.

Marlene, along with Zeitoun and hundreds of others from Camp Greyhound, ended up at maximum security Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, in St. Gabriel, La., 70 miles from New Orleans. They were FEMA prisoners: FEMA rented state prison space and Camp Greyhound transfers were, according to prison staff, “FEMA’s problem.” Again: transferred with no charges, no information, no opportunity to make a phone call or talk to a lawyer.

Thanks to a volunteer prison missionary who agreed to call Kathy, she found out Zeitoun was alive. (His family had assumed him dead once contact was broken for weeks.) She immediately hired a lawyer, who found out there would finally be a hearing on Zeitoun’s “case.” However, when Kathy contacted the Hunt center to find out where the hearing would be held, she was told that location, and whether Zeitoun was even at the prison, was “private information.”

Released from Hunt on Sept. 29, 2005 – after paying a $75,000 bail – Zeitoun was lucky, compared with the three men he was arrested with. Todd, Nasser and Ronnie spent, respectively, five months, six months and eight months in maximum security Hunt prison. All charges against all of them were dropped.

Gustav – The Real Story

The Gulf Coast needs your help.  We were in a MANDATORY evacuation mode during the third anniversary of Katrina, no doubt because of the condition of the levees.  I physically checked, Gustav water did not touch the toe of the lake levees so this was not really a test, contrary to what the Corps indicates.  All the money spent has not done one thing to rebuild the barrier islands, restore wetlands or create incentives to raise buildings.  What has been spent?  What would it cost to do those three things?  Obama, what about you?  Has the good will and tax funds of the citizens of this country been squandered on crony private contractors?

It has been over a week and the commodities (local provides the POD and state provides the commodity) are only starting to arrive, although today it is reported they are out.  People could at least be using the commodities (if they existed) until the food stamp situation is worked out.  At least after Katrina, there were few problems with food stamps and unemployment, but Jindal, a typical republican cut funds and staff to social services.  People stood in line at 2AM and in the heat to be turned away at the food stamp Pod.  A thousand people a day at 35 locations to be handled in 7 days when 2 million people evacuated.  Governor Jindal, your numbers do not work. For the victim, it only works for the republicans (only1/8 of the people will be serviced).  Is this not a traditional corporate media story?   In fact, Jindals’s Social Services program director (Cheryl Michelet) is now on WWL radio (Tuesday @ 3PM).  She is a former media/PR model/stenographer and does not know how many people can be processed.  She has asked for those numbers, but all we get is PR.  She may ask for an extension from the federal government.  She also misstated the monthly income requirement ($3,000=incorrect vs $3,108=incorrect).  Hiring incompetent PR people is the mode of operation.  So if they can handle 1/8 in 7days, this should go on for 7 more weeks.   This is planned not to work,.  the locations and times keep changing (deliberate miscommunication).  http://www.nola.com/news/index…

New Look for FinishtheJobFund.org

Just a quick note,

Commonscribe pointed out FinishtheJobFund.org a while back as being a reputable place to send donations.  They are directly assisting the rebuilding in Mississippi.  

At the time I took the opportunity to email the program and give them some advice on their website.  It looks like they took the advice to heart because their redesigned site is exactly what I had envisioned.  Photos, testimonials, background information, all the things a donor wants to see in order to feel like they are a part of the effort.

So if anyone has a buck or two kicking around their wallets…consider putting it in a place that will have a real impact on people tomorrow.  Thanks!  

An Interview with commonscribe Before Heading for Mississippi to Help Rebuild

Recently commonscribe posted a simple plea entitled: 14,000 in FEMA trailers on the Gulf. Finish The Job. That post sparked some ideas that are worthy of discussion for the entire group,  it also sparked the following interview:

(discussion follows interview)

This will be commonscribe’s third visit to help rebuild homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina so who better to ask about what is needed than one of our own?

accutane generic versions NLOB:   Why did you get involved?

commonscribe:   It was more productive than screaming at the TV. Seriously.

Fires are Burning

This was the evening news from Armageddon…

After discovering a suspicious man in a brush area on the San Bernardino campus  of California State University, police attempted to detain a 27-year-old on suspicion of arson.
Following a chase, officers opened fire and killed him, police said.

“They thought there could be the possibility that he’s an arsonist,” Patterson said. The area “is in the path of the fire.”

Four charred bodies were found Thursday in an apparent migrant camp burned by one of the wildfires raging across southern California, authorities said Thursday.

As wildfires were charging across Southern California, nearly two dozen water-dropping helicopters and two massive cargo planes sat idly by, grounded by government rules and bureaucracy.

A news crew was taping a cabinet meeting at the White House as the president was giving a briefing on the California wildfires. The news crew taped Cheney as he appeared to be nodding off.

“There’s all kinds of time for historians to compare this response to that response,” Bush said during a tour of the state’s fire-ravaged communities.

A lot of people are going to lose their homes today,” San Diego Fire Capt. Lisa Blake predicted earlier.

According to estimates, nearly 1 million southern Californians have been displaced in the biggest evacuation in state history as a result of at least 16 simultaneous wildfires. More than 350,000 houses have been evacuated.

People who need it can get help with “home reprayer – repair,” said the president, handing out the FEMA phone number and Web-site for victims of the wildfires.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger is right. These fires are going to go out… but there are still going to be needs and concerns,” Bush said. “We’re not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.”

These fires are going to go out, and hard work will remain, but I am not counting on Bush to set things right. After the jump, I will tell you what you can do right now to help the people hurt by this crisis.

CA and NOLA

PROLOGUE:
My hear truly goes out to those suffering as California burns.

My husband lived there, and agrees that it is one of the nicest pieces of real estate on Earth.

This essay was originally a response, and got trashed as unsympathetic.  It is not.  But a comparison needed to be made here folks.  Not all are rich and white, but one has to wonder if the response would be as quick in the slums or barrios of LA, as it is up in LaJolla, Del Mar, or San Diego.

This is about GWB’s administration, FEMA and the response.

My heart still bleeds for thousands in danger in California, but I still have to offer this food for thought.

Katrina: Two Years Later

Rather than write another diary on the second anniversary of Katrina, I thought I’d provide a set of resources for people who are interested in reading more, and from a diverse set of viewpoints.  These are newspapers, political blogs, and personal stories, and together they help fill in the giant web of impact that Katrina had on this country, and the distance we’ve come since, and the distance we still need to go.

Katrina: Two Years Later

This week marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, an anniversary we’d be wise to commemorate.  If history is all about lessons learned, then the complete breakdown of local, state, and federal government – the complete inability of the world’s wealthiest nation to rescue its own citizens in a disaster that had been well anticipated – should provide us with the best possible classroom for future change.

Two years later, has anything substantial changed?  Or are we back to where we started, with nothing but a wrecked coast and a few thousand displaced lives to show for it?