Thursday, September 29, 2005


  • Troops Wait for Body Armor Reimbursements

  • It is absolutely asinine to send kids into a war without the proper equipment to adequately protect them from bodily harm!

    This is completely ridiculous. Reimbursement shouldn't even be an issue. Why isn't the government providing all the necessary gear before shipping them off in the first place? I am ashamed and embarrassed that the president of this country is sending solders to fight HIS war without insuring that everything humanly possible to protect them is being done.

    What next? Should we have them pack sack lunches too? If we're not issuing a bullet proof vest along with that big gun do we next expect them to provide their own food & water? What am I saying? Maybe they are and I don't know it!

    Shame, shame, shame.

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Film at eleven.

    NEWS FLASH ~~~

    Ex-FEMA chief being paid as consultant to aid Katrina probe

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ousted Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown told congressional investigators Monday that he is being paid as a consultant to help FEMA assess what went wrong in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to a senior official familiar with the meeting.

    Brown also said he wished he had pushed more forcefully -- and earlier -- for federal troops to be brought in to restore order in New Orleans, the official told CNN.

    Brown's comments were made to investigators for Rep. Tom Davis, R-Virginia. Davis leads a House select committee probing the federal, state and local response to Katrina, and Brown is scheduled to appear before the panel Tuesday in highly anticipated appearance.

    Congressional aides told CNN that the decision to keep him on the federal payroll for about a month will be scrutinized at Tuesday's hearing. Brown's 2004 salary was $145,600, according to the Plum Book, a congressional reference guide to executive branch salaries. (Posted 7:51 p.m.)

    After hearing this bit of information on the evening news, I turned to the internet for confirmation that Michael Brown is indeed being paid as a FEMA consultant. It has come to mind that perhaps we don't know as much about Brownie as we think we do. I'm just thinking out loud here, but it's completely possible that Mr. Brown could have pictures of Dubya screwing a goat or some other barnyard animal stashed away in his personal safety deposit box. Can't think of any reason he'd be retained otherwise.

    Who are the Lemmings?

    "I would like to say to Cindy Sheehan and her supporters: Don't be a group of unthinking lemmings," said Mitzy Kenny of Ridgeley, W.Va., whose husband died in Iraq last year. She said the anti-war demonstrations "can affect the war in a really negative way. It gives the enemy hope."


    You have a right to your opinion as long as it's the same as mine.

    I am truly very sorry for Ms. Kenny's loss but her husband didn't die because of Cindy's protests. His death is a direct result of a bad decision made by the current President of the United States of America with a personal and selfish agenda. American citizens are all victims... solders and protesters alike.

    Money wisely spent

    Now more than ever...

  • Planned Parenthood

  • ... needs all the support they can get.

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    Exit Strategy

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    Be Safe

    Thinking of STB and others tonight. Hoping all are safe.

    Sunday, September 18, 2005


    It's becoming tiresome for me so I can only imagine my husband, B's, frustration to be back in the hospital again for the fifth time since his February heart attack. Four of the admissions have been made through the emergency room and two involved rides there by ambulance.

    Dozens of tests, IV's, drugs, needles. Good nursing staff, bad nursing staff, CCU, private rooms, room mates from hell. Waiting .... LOTS of waiting.... for your turn, to get a bed, to be seen in ER, for the doctor to come, for food, for help to the bathroom.... lots of waiting. The theory about being in the hospital over the weekend is also true. The care usually sucks.

    Add then the catch 22... the nitroglycerine that eases the chest pain brings on an instant migraine headache, naturally he wasn't happy when they put him on a nitro drip.... then chase the headache around with Tylenol and morphine. The pain is stubborn this time... it's not going away completely so they won't let him eat today and has to fast for the procedure tomorrow which will be another heart catheterization to see if a stent has moved. Hopefully that will happen in the morning... we've played that waiting game before and it's aggravating as hell.

    When he had the heart attack in February, the company he worked for drove him nuts during his recuperation with phone calls. They couldn't make one decision without calling... even the vice president couldn't address the problems that came up. For weeks on end he put out fires from home though doctor's orders were "no stress." Ok, the operations manager for a utility contractor who deals with installing and restoring electricity is always under great stress - you can get dead working with that stuff - so I threw a fit and screamed enough already. ONE person can call twice a day for 10 minutes.... that's it. So, the company he'd worked for 16 years put him on medical leave in mid- June and sent him a letter he'd have his job or equal, same pay and benefits, if he returned in 12 weeks. Oh, and BTW you pay the company for your insurance while on leave. Thank you very little.

    End of August he was feeling pretty good and the doctors said OK to going back to work. B called the company to let them know he was ready to return. Great they reply but we've made some changes you now report to Mr. D in Orlando, give him a call. Mr. D isn't in the office this week, says his clerk, but we're glad you're coming back... very busy, lots of storm damage.

    ::Ya think?::

    I am concerned about the renewed stress but he needs the insurance so back to work with him. Mr. D doesn't call back so "B" makes another call to his office a week after the first. "On another line, he'll call you back in ten minutes." Ten minutes later the phone rings... it's a clerk at corporate... the payroll/human resources clerk to be exact... "sorry B, lots of changes and we don't have anything for you to do anymore so have a nice life, you're terminated. OH, and you can have Cobra insurance for a while, give them a call." Mr. D never did have the balls to call himself. Apparently, the company he'd worked for 16 years just stuck his file in the cabinet and moved on. The bastards... quoting RQM & STB.

    Yes, we've filed a complaint with the Labor Board and have references for a good labor attorney.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Beyond Comprehension

    Today, while reading one blog after another, Bush bashing, chortling over bad pictures with funny caption balloons... I ran across something that stopped me cold. While clicking link after link.... there it was. The truth. It took but a second to burn forever in my mind.

    A simple mouse click, guiding me from one site to another.... one photo to another, then finally to a photo I hadn't seen before. All those pictures out there of bodies floating... nameless, faceless, just one of many statistics... no emotion, no reaction... just there... as if props in a movie. Fact of life... what a shame.

    This time it was different, probably a picture the government doesn't want the world to see. There, in the receding flood waters. a bloated body floated face down.... just like dozens I'd seen before... only this time....

    This time, in the picture with the body, there were two starving dogs. Need I be more graphic? I can't bring myself to type the description.

    OMG!!! I stared at the photo while frantically clicking the mouse to make the image go away. But, it will never go away.

    Who was he two weeks ago.... last year... 1960? What did he do? Family? Friends? Hobbies? Republican? Democrat? Gay? Straight? How long has he been floating there? How did he die? When did the dogs find him?

    That is the reality.... not Dubya or Dick, or Barbara with their photo opportunities and orchestrated lip service. No folks, what I saw in that photograph will never leave my mind. If I couldn't handle that one picture, what is happening to the minds of those who now rescue and recover? Working non-stop. Seeing the tragedy worsen daily. They are the heroes now. That's the reality.

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Food TV

    "We can put a man on the moon but we can't put a spoon in the microwave."
    Tyler Florence host of "How to Boil Water" on Food TV.

    Indeed. Words that describe much more than Tyler intended when he made the comment while warming tortillas for Roasted Green Chile-Chicken Enchiladas. They also perfectly characterize our tax dollars at work. So many basic needs are not addressed while the big deals go through.

    Katrina was a warning... our second major warning in four years. Last summer should have been a drill for FEMA, yet Brownie and Dubya were content with a business as usual approach. The possibility of another disaster looms large. A leader who could handle the challenge would be nice, wouldn't it?

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    Not his fault ...

    I fear the Republican spinners will convince enough die hard dubya followers that none of this nasty hurricane business was his fault and take on the attitude... Oh well, life goes on.

    When discussing the FEMA screw ups with my VERY Republican 80 year old mother, she was surprised when I suggested Bush should be held accountable. She was appalled I would even think such a thing. In fact she said to me, in total disgust, "What can he do about it?"

    She was serious... bless her heart.

    Always a glutton for punishment, I further suggested a good start would be to fire Michael Brown and begin a full investigation. She just shook her head and made "that" face. We changed the subject. She's not the only one defending him. Those with their heads in the sand will allow yet another disaster in the Bush presidency to be accepted, no questions asked.

    A dear cousin likes to remind me from time to time that it's a bitch you can pick your friends but not your relatives!

    I do love my mother but hate her politics.

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Add this to the list

    Borrowed this morning from


  • "Debit cards given out only at Astrodome
    By Michelle Millhollon / Baton Rouge Advocate"

    (Regarding the FEMA's handing out of $2000 debit cards...)

    FEMA is now backpedaling on those plans, limiting the cards to people camped out in the Astrodome.

    "Before it expands, we have to have it working well," said David Passey of FEMA....

    ... Passey wasn't certain what, if any, measures will be in place to prevent fraud.

    Not certain?


    Is there a central screw up list or are we just suppose to remember them all on our own?

    Rosie's post, "red terror alert" is worth a read today.

    Sunday, September 04, 2005


    Let us remain mindful that the devastation is not merely confined to the inner city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Many sorrowful stories of others patiently waiting their "turn" for assistance. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or more are affected covering many miles in several states.

    Rural & suburban;
    communities large & small;
    century old homes as well as newly builds;
    beaches, businesses & farms;
    city & country;
    rich & poor;
    young & old;
    black, white, Hispanic & everything else that comprises America.
    Religious as well as those who don't, won't or can't believe;
    Republicans & Democrats;
    good & bad;
    straight & gay.

    Destruction and need are rampant.
    Victims of every shape and size, every background, every lifestyle.


    The rest of us are their angels and heros they call to for help in this time of need.
    Helping each in our own way makes the labor productive and rewarding.
    Safe Labor Day ~

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    God's Will?

    Reading something on DonDon009's blog brought these thoughts to mind for me today.

    When I was growing up we were regulars at the Wesley United Methodist Church. We had a family pew... we sat in the same spot on that same pew every single Sunday. We went to Sunday School first, then ran next door to the drug store soda fountain for a nickel coke or scoop of Sealtest ice cream in a regular cone. Then back to Wesley for the service. Often I was called upon to be one of two Acolytes. My friend Edward was usually the other one... he was in my same Sunday School class. An acolyte basically light's the candles. We wore robes similar to the the choir's, walked in first and then sat next to the minister by the alter. After the service, we extinguished the candles and followed the minister out of the sanctuary. It gave me a feeling of importance. My mother lamented when I'd take off my shoes or swing my legs during the sermon but I was there and participating. Vacation Bible School was also required in my family but that was only one week in the summer and was mostly fun and like a day camp. When my kids were little and we lived in that same small town, our family followed the same ritual. The only difference was that the soda fountain was no longer a part of that drug store.

    Some of those childhood lessons were accepted completely as fact. As I got older, the ones that didn't make sense I began to question. Today I go through periods where I believe and others when I do not. I remain puzzled why a God would allow us do such awful things to each other but that's not my point.

    In all that traditional church upbringing one thing was definite... assuming there is a God... that God is good. I do not ever remember fire and brimstone, vengeance or hate. The Wesley Methodist God was always good. God could be disappointed in you... or dislike your choices and behavior but always loved you. Like a parent to a child God loved you no matter what. The song says so... Jesus Loves Me! The Bible School grace says so... "God is great, God is good, let us than him for our food. amen" We were taught to always love one another, the Golden Rule, and the Ten Commandments. Follow those simple rules and you were covered with God. We were NEVER taught that any one group of people are bad. The God we learned about was loving and forgiving. You could mess up but if you were truly sorry God will forgive you and love you still.... NOT send you to hell. There wasn't even the threat of hell in my mind. As long as you tried your best to be good it was cool with God. Love and Goodness were always the underlying lessons... at least that's what I got out of them.

    When "religious leaders" announce that natural disasters and tragic things happen because God hates someone I don't understand how that's possible given my upbringing. To those idiots I suggest you come down from your ivory towers and make yourself useful. Not by soliciting money or new members or passing out YOUR propaganda or sending your people to cover it to put your own spin on things. Take some of that money you raised in God's name and do something good with it. Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle or beliefs of those affected. Show up, pray with those who want it, roll up your sleeves and fill some trash bags, serve some food, wash a baby's face, comfort and serve. WWJD? Bet he wouldn't be sitting in a TV studio passing judgement.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Donations for furry friends

    I am donating to the Humane Society and to EARS.
    United Animal Nations Emergency Animal Rescue Services (EARS)
    Humane Society

    Both organizations do a wonderful job of helping out our animal friends. And the money is in honor of the others who have been rescued. Some of my favorites are pictured here.


    I shouldn't have watched it. I know that now. We had a nice dinner with our regular Wednesday night group then came home to watch a little TV. Wednesday night... no West Wing for now but there's always a Law and Order right? Not last night. Instead there was a Hurricane special. It hit me like a freight train and I wept. It's all so surreal and at the same time all that went through my mind was ... THAT COULD HAVE BEEN US!!!!!!

    The powers that be in New Orleans and Louisiana puzzle me. For the last, what, forty years? Since Camille at least, they have known this calamity was certainly a possibility. So. WHY didn't they plan for the "what ifs?" I just don't get it. Just - SURPRISE! - you're trashed... now what are you going to do? Why aren't vehicles full of food and drinking water arriving? They didn't have a staging area out of harms way days before the storm hit just waiting to come in and supply basic needs? It's four days later and the pictures I see largely depict crowds of people just standing around. The reward for weathering the disaster sheltered in the Superdome is to be bussed to the Astrodome in Houston. If they can get those folks out, why can't they get food and water in? What am I missing here?

    Scenes of police officers stealing piles of shoes from Wal-Mart blow my mind. Looting blows my mind.... I understand taking diapers, first aid supplies or food and water but stripping the shelves of electronics, drugstores of their narcotics or you're neighbor's of their keepsakes and valuables... nope, I just don't get that. There are reports of shots being fired and fires being set. Exactly what good will that do?

    We are quite familiar with hurricane restoration and not merely because we live in Florida and have prepared for many a storm. You see, my husband is a utility contractor who has taken hundreds of employees all over the Southeast for several years restoring power after hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and the like. For EVERY predicted storm he is contacted IN ADVANCE to have his crews at the ready, staged at the customer's predetermined location then dispatched after the storm as soon as it is established just where they will go. At each location there is catering, housing and fuel provided which is also contracted WELL IN ADVANCE to be available where the crews will be staying. When a storm approaches, every aspect of the restoration has been pre-planned and all involved are poised to act immediately. Why couldn't this have been done in New Orleans to have ready a few basics for what were certainly going to be SOME victims? Maybe it is and I am not watching the right reports but it sure looks like a big mess to me.

    ::sigh:: I'm angry and frustrated and I'm not even directly involved!

    PS: Saw "W's" statement. He read it... obviously hadn't proof-read it. He'd had three days to rehearse. Guess he doesn't use his time wisely. This hurricane sure did get him out of that nasty Cindy Sheehan business didn't it?