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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Shame On You, America


Many of the poor in New Orleans and Biloxi were forced to "ride out the storm" in their homes because they did not have money for gas, or even own cars, or were old, sick, or disabled. They had no money for motel rooms and nowhere to go. Most had depended on public transportation to get around - if they got around at all. There were no plans for city buses to evacuate these citizens. There were no plans to employ school buses to move people to higher ground. There were no plans to go door to door to assist those who were crippled or frail. There were no plans to save their lives. Some of these forgotten people are still stranded a full six days after the catastrophic hurricane struck the Gulf Coast. Some have paid for their poverty with their lives.


At first, they were accused of being irresponsible for ignoring the evacuation orders. Then, President Bush, who was on vacation, questioned their honesty when he said," We're hearing rumors of people who don't have any food or medicine. We'll see if it's true when we get to New Orleans."


The national poverty rate in the United States has been rising steadily for the past four years. It is now at 12.7%. Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty. 45.8 million Americans are currently without medical insurance. The poverty rate in New Orleans hovers around 25%. Among the children of New Orleans, 40 % live in poverty. The majority of the poor in "The Big Easy" are African-American.


The ugly truth about America is festering in the hot Louisiana sun. Hurricane Katrina has peeled away the the layers of smug affluence, arrogant indifference, and hypocrisy to reveal the class-based, racist foundation of our compassionless society. A society that ignores its own while it ravages another nation.


New York's Project Billboard and the Center for American Progress place the cost of the War in Iraq at $177 million per day. Policy Studies and Foreign Policy in Focus list the cost of the Bush Administration's military misadventure in Iraq at $186 million per day. The Empire of America spends $7.4 million per hour on it's Baghdad blunder. $122,820 is flushed down the war toilet every minute. The Iraq War is financed with deficit spending and is likely to double the federal deficit in the next ten years.


When asked about the money wasted on the war in Iraq, George W. Bush said, "We've got a job to defend this country in the War on Terror, and we've got a job to bring aid and comfort to the people of the Gulf Coast, and we'll do both. We've got plenty of resources to do both." Will we, George? Do we, George? Thirty-five percent of Louisiana's National Guard is in Iraq along with ALL of their HIGH WATER VEHICLES and some of their refuelers and humvees! Those soldiers and their equipment were needed here!


Poor, elderly convalescent patients, infirm and sick, with tubes hanging, dressed in naught but flimsly hospital gowns were dumped without food, water, or medicine at gathering points throught the city where they waited days for proper care. Many died. This is how American poverty treats its older citizens. This is how American class ignores their very existence.


Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, who referred to George W. Bush as "the king of vacations" and a "cowboy", was astounded that a superpower like the US would fail to excute neither an evacuation nor a quick emergency response when faced with Hurricane Katrina. "That government had no evacuation plan, it is incredible, the first power in the world that is so involved in Iraq.......left it's own population adrift."


"Nobody expected the breach of the levees", explained President Bush, who since 2001 has been consistant in cutting Louisiana's flood control funds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Bush Administration, had been absorbed into The Department of Homeland Security and rendered impotent by its terror-fighting bureaucrats. The Bush government didn't want to bother with natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.


Irresponsible, Indifferent, Incompetent, Inadequate, Inept, and Ineffectual


Too little, Too late


..Kitchen Window Woman..


Blogger Flash!topian said...

Amen, KWW.

I will link to your post at http://bushisincompetent.blogspot.com

5:47 PM  
Blogger Orikinla Osinachi. said...

America is made up of humans and to err is human. But to forgive is divine.

America is not above failures.
But, what matters most is the capacity of America to handle the crisis and I am impressed with what I am seeing right now on the CNN as I am blogging.

This not the time to apportion blames until after you have rehabilitated the refugees in New Orleans.

You have the time to learn from your mistakes.

Please, cool your tempers.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Violence Worker said...

Louisiana disaster plan, pg 13, para 5 , dated 01/00

The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating'...

Why wasn't the plan followed? Why is Nagin and Blanco blaming Bush for not doing his job when it's obvious, they didn't do theirs?

11:57 AM  
Blogger Milt Bogs said...

I agree. Too little too late.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Art said...

I'd agree that it is tragic that there was no evacuation plan for the citizens of New Orleans. I fail to see however what role you expected the federal government to take prior to the disasters. I am from Miami, and survived Hurricane Andrew, and a much weaker Hurricane Katrina. In each hurricane the local government had evacuation plans in place. This seemed to be the only prudent course of action. Federal troops assisted after Andrew but this was at the request of the governor. It is not the normal function of federal troops to provide disaster relief. As for the Lousiana National Guard a quick look at deployed forces would tell you that the units deployed would have been of little help in disaster relief. I noticed that in your rantings you left out the Mayor of New Orleans, and the Governor of Louisiana. Could this be because they happen to be democrats? When mentioning class disparities, you ignore the fact that prior to the hurricane 70% of the people of New Orleans were black. One would assume therefore that the majority of those left behind would also be black. You obviously hate America as is shown by your siding with a communist dictaor. That shows a lot of class. Shame on you.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Pat Kirby said...

Huh. Interesting how leveling criticism at the government nowadays is "hating America."

The notion that we shouldn't examine issues that exacerbated the disaster now is foolish and shortsighted.

Will Nature wait patiently until we've rebuilt and sorted things out? Er, not. Whatever your political leanings, it is reasonable to immediately address any factors that contributed to the problem. Another hurricane could roll over the U.S. tomorrow.

What if this happened when Clinton was in office? I gay-ron-tee, Republicans would be grumbling about funding cuts to key Corps of Engineers maintenance projects. And rightly so. (I worked for the Corps during the Clinton administration. We were scrabbling for maintenance monies then. The floods and destruction in the Pacific Northwest were a function of piss-poor maintenance of key flood control structures.)

Criticizing your goverment is patriotic.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Great post. The Chimperor doesn't give a shit, and this shows up no matter how he tries to spin it.

If Kennebunkport were flooded, he'd have the National Guard there in minutes. It's too bad "important" people weren't trapped in New Orleans. Our government's true colors are on display for the whole world to see.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

The truth is that Bush knew very well what was going on but he declined to act. He was waiting until he would twist events around to make himself look like a hero. All he succeeded in doing was make it look like he hates blacks and make it look like he is unable to take charge. Bush has failed the nation, utterly and for all time. His promises to keep America safe at all costs are proven wrong. He spent money on the war that should have finished the pumps and levees that would have protect New Orleans. Never did a man lie so much about doing so little.

Bush has failed so utterly. I tire of thinking about it but what can I do? I am so angry that I simply cannot stop thinking about it. The blood of fellow southerners is on his oily hands.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

FLASH!TOPIAN...Thanx, glad you came by.

ORINKA OSINACHI...Thank you for your concern but I disagree for the reasons that follow.

The middle class and the working poor here in America pay most of the taxes. Our money is placed in a large pool from which the needs of the American people are supposed to be met. Our elected officials are EMPLOYED to make sure that the people they represent are taken care of and protected. They have failed us on a colossal scale.

The poor pre-hurricane planning and indifference to the conditions of poverty combined with the extremely slow response to the plight of the people in New Orleans, is symptomatic of the political cronyism and classism that have permeated to the very roots of our society.

We are all helping with this disaster. Everyone, everywhere is pitching in. It is a time for compassion for Katrina's victims.

The politians and heads of agencies finally showed and have spent a great deal of time "thanking one another!" For what? For showing up?

To err on this scale is inhuman and it is not a time to discuss forgiving. It is a time for stark ACCOUNTABILITY to match the glaring mistakes. The negligence by this government is criminal.

We should not cool our tempers until the neglegent members of this administration are brought to justice for derelection of duty. In this case we will use "our tempers" as tools for change.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

VIOLENCE WORKER...An evacuation plan was evidently on paper but it costs money to execute such a plan. Was there any money in place from Homeland Security and FEMA to implement this plan? Were there state funds available? City funds? Or were funds lacking as Lousiana is one of the poorest states in the Union.

Which volunteers was the plan referring to? Were those "Volunteers" in place. It seems that all many of the city's school and pulbic buses were parked and left behind. Maybe they should have been driving and down streets picking people up.

I don't know what Nagin and Blance did or did not do but Bush did not have the Marines staged near-by with ready their amphibious vehicles, or send the flat-bottomed boats from Fort Polk in immediately. They can move the military in fast if they want to. Unfortunately, the planned invasions of Syria and Iran will move much faster than the rescue of Americans here at home did.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

MILT BOGS...It is sad isn't it? The days go on and more and more stories of suffering come to light. The death toll will be in the thousands. Yep, too little, WAY TOO LATE!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

ART...I expect the federal government to have extensive plans funded and in place in cities and states that are vulnerable to natural's terrorism. I do not want my tax dollars wasted on unnecessary wars, covert operations in other countries, raises for politicians, tax breaks for the obscenely wealth, or research to develop yet more ways to kill people.

My family and I are survivors of the Cedar Fire in October of 2003. I am well aware of the roles of federal government and the state government. Both were inadequate at the time. The fire killed several people was allowed to destroy hundreds of homes because the military planes were kept on the ground in San Diego.

FEMA was best at handing out piles of papers for victims to fill out. Most people were disappointed in FEMA's performance.

I did not know The Mayor of New Orleans or the Governor of Lousiana were democrats. I DO KNOW that the stateside active military and National Guard units should have been alerted and staged for immediate response on August 28th. This hurricane was huge! FRIDAY WAS WAY TOO LATE!

Americans pay for the military.The military should work for the people not for private corporate interests (OIL-IRAQ).

You ignore that 25% of the people in New Orleans lived below the poverty line.

My use of a Hugo Chavez quote was to point out the irony of the situation and to make people think. He is a tyrant but he spoke the truth about Bush's values.

I have always despised phonies and I hate what this country has become under the corporate whores who occupy the White House and the Congress. Shame on you for pressing your lips so firmly to their behinds.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

PAT KIRBY...It is time for Bush's excuse makers to stop waving the flag long enough look at what really happened. Patriotism does not involve blind obedience and the repetition of slogans. The "hating America" line preferred by its psuedo-patriots is alive and well floating atop the sea of toxic swill in New Orleans.

A critical analysis of pre-hurricane preparation and funding and post hurricane response and operations is needed to make sure this never happens again. The time to start is now, pre-propaganda, while the evidence is fresh and in the open.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

TOM HARPER...I agree. Bush didn't give a shit until he was forced to. Kenye West said it best when he stated that "George Bush doesn't care about Black People." Except Kenye should have added old people, veterans, the Iraqi people, hungry people, poor people, the middle class, and anyone and everyone who does not belong to his country club.

OKLIBERAL...Beautifully stated as usual. He IS twisting it to make hinmself a hero! And then he compounds his failure by awarding Halliburton the bid to clean up Katrina! ARRRRAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

3:19 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

The apologists obfuscate, obfuscate, deny, twist, attempt to suppress. And yet, I ask the same question, over and over again, a question that is ignored every time I ask it.

Where in the HELL is this improved reaction to disasters that El Shrubbo hasd been bragging about for 4 years now? I will remind the apologists that in 2004, El Shrubbo hammered on this theme over and over again-he had done so much to improve the coordination and communication of Federal agencies for disaster response. Homeland Security is, according to El Shrubbo (and his apologists) much better than it was in 2000. Fine-where is it? They could sure use it down South right now. They could have used it a week ago.

Again, the bragging about "I'm always improving coordination" was a brag made by BUSH, not Blanco, not Nagin. Apologize all you want, but you are dismissing the deaths of thousands of your compatriots when you do. Because only a fool doesn't understand from this disaster what happens to you if there is a significant "tur" attack in the United States.

Stop your apologizing, for Christ's sake, and demand some accountability. Ask why you were lied to, just this once, before more of your compatriot citizens die because of incompetence.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

JOLLY ROGER...Karl Rove has reared his ugly fat white head. The apoligists have gone on the attack. Notice how all of Bush's followers have been repeating the same talking point...that we must not engage in the "Blame Game." Yep,they are on the attack to direct attention away from themselves.

The demand for "ACCOUNTABILITY" is not a "GAME!" It is those who are responsible for the negligence who are playing "Keep Away" with the truth.

1:46 PM  
Blogger The Observer said...

"The middle class and the working poor here in America pay most of the taxes. Our money is placed in a large pool from which the needs of the American people are supposed to be met." Total untruth. The working poor and middle class pay the LEAST amount of net taxes. How much money do you get back every year on your income taxes for AFDC? for the Child Tax Credit? for daycare? the wealthy dont get these tax breaks. In many cases the poor get more money back in a refund than they paid in taxes!
Let me re-iteratre again that it is NOT the president responsibility to handle local disasters. Katrina was no more violent a hurricane than any other statistically. She just happened to make landfall in the worst possible place. To blame the president and try and make these weak connections that essentially say that if we werent spending all this money and respurces in Iraq that the devastation wouldnt have been as bad is absurd.
If anyone is negligent it is the local government - the body that IS responsible for the safety of the citizens.
In a nut-shell its all just more liberal babble to blame Bush for anything and everything that Liberals see as wrong with the country. You people need to wake up and think outside your little utopian box.
"I have always despised phonies and I hate what this country has become under the corporate whores who occupy the White House and the Congress. Shame on you for pressing your lips so firmly to their behinds"
Corporations have made this country what is is today. Millions of people come here from all over the world for a better life for themselves and their families. I would much rather have a capitolist in the White House than a draft dodging, womanizing, murdering, stealing criminal...

12:04 PM  
Blogger Debra Twardowski said...

I'm coming over from the Beatlelinks site... (Your daughter sent me).

Maybe, just maybe, they couldn't get everyone out. And you know, they always thought LA wouldn't be hit by a hurricane (always turns at the last moment). BUT, they should have got them out after the levy broke. I sat here on my sofa, watching on the big screen, for three days, while people were dying... no food, and no water. I'm like, okay, maybe I should get in the car and make a road trip, something, but where is the help? How hard can it be to drop some supplies? What a mess. Right on Dishpan. I'm there with you!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...


I must commend you for not hiding behind the shield of anonmity preferred by most of your pro-corporate, compassionless, conservative compatriots. The adminitstration must be pleased with the way you "Polly-parrot" the party-line with such oblivious passion.

Surely you realize that the poor pay taxes on every purchase of toilet paper, or long saved for pair of shoes for their kid just like you do? It is also not true that poor people get more back in their tax returns than they paid in. I was never blessed with such luxury!

Taxes are placed in a pool intended to take care of the needs of the American people. "Obscene profit" does not meet the definition of need. "Obscene profit" falls into the "obsession" category.

The Congress has failed the American people miserably and so has this president. Please refer to the pre-hurricane poverty conditions in New Orleans and the response to the recent natural disaster in the news.

The corporations have driven this country into the ground. They are so populated by men and women, who like infants, demand instant gratification. Addicted to the "game" like an addict is to "crack", they use semantics to dismantle our laws and stash their ill-gotten gains in the Caymans.

The capitalist in the White House IS a murderer. He lied to START a WAR that has KILLED thousands of INNOCENT people. When are you enlisting, by the way?

I hope, for your sake, that the behind your "yes man" lips are adhered to does not suffer from excessive flatulence.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

D...Welcome to the Dishpan. Yeah, my daughter, Beatlechick, has a link to my very political site. We are doing our best to keep the heat on the Bush Admin. The Dishpan Chronicles is a lot of work but necessary.

The gravest danger we face in this country is not Al-Quada. It is the corporatocracy has taken over this country. New Orleans stands as an example of Bush's corporate America.

It has been a heart breaking two weeks and it is now over yet. My heart has broken many times while watching what people have had to go through. The best that we can do to help is to send money to reputable charities, do our best to keep the story out there, and demand full investigations. Many of Katrina's victims will still be in need months, even years from now. I know, we live in the area most destroyed by the Cedar fires of 2003. Some people are still homeless. Recovery takes a long time..psychologically and economically.

10:25 AM  

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