Friday, September 30, 2005

mizry of buddy don: terrbull day yesterdy

i dont know ifn i ever had a wurser day fer wontin to vomit than yesterdy. ended up takin zomig twice n still feel fogged. miz bd is spozed to pick up a new erb formula today, witch frank butler the acupunkchurst thanks twill knock this out. he sez whut i gut is 'liver invadin spleen,' ifn ye use tradishunull chinese medicine terms.

jes to be safe, i gut the quickest pointment with my reglar docter (10/18) on a counta i wonta git tested fer whut could be rong with my digestchun.

ifn i wuz well a nuff, i wood be talkin bout the follerin stories:
  • Decline in Iraqi Troops' Readiness Cited; Generals Tell Lawmakers They Cannot Predict When U.S. Forces Can Withdraw:
    The number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help has dropped from three to one, top U.S. generals told Congress yesterday, adding that the security situation in Iraq is too uncertain to predict large-scale American troop withdrawals anytime soon.

    Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who oversees U.S. forces in Iraq, said there are fewer Iraqi battalions at "Level 1" readiness than there were a few months ago. Although Casey said the number of troops and overall readiness of Iraqi security forces have steadily increased in recent months, and that there has not been a "step backwards," both Republican and Democratic senators expressed deep concern that the United States is not making enough progress against a resilient insurgency.

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his commanders yesterday publicly hedged their forecasts of U.S. involvement in Iraq, leaving it unclear when troops will be able to come home or how long it will take before Iraqi security forces can defend their homeland. The officials also gave somber forecasts of significant insurgent attacks in the coming weeks as Iraq faces important political milestones.

    Yesterday in Iraq, three suicide attackers set off a series of car bombs in a northern, mainly Shiite town, killing at least 40 people and wounding many more. In western Iraq, a roadside bomb killed five U.S. soldiers. Sunni insurgents have said they want to disrupt the constitutional referendum next month and the elections set for December.
  • N.Y. Times Reporter Released From Jail; Miller to Testify In CIA Leak Probe
  • DeLay Faces Tough Road Back to Top; Indictment, Ethics Questions, Abramoff Case Are Obstacles
but all i kin do is cut n paste. mayhap i kin do better in the mornin.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

mizry of buddy don: unbearabull

i thought i wuz better yesterdy, but once i gut out on the streets of man hattan, i nearly vomited n couldnt shake it. gut releaf whilest i wuz at the acupunkchurst n had the needles in, but it cum back once they wuz out. my erbs wonta cum up now, so a nuther day will go missin due to bein in a zomig coma. whenever i kin see my reglar docter, ima gone try to git everthang tested.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

pinions of buddy don: reality strikes back!

thays been a war on the partisan tricks bein used by reality. tiz becummin a real problem on a counta how ye kin beat reality back long a nuff to trick folks into votin yer way, but that jes seems to rile up reality till it deecides its gut to have a lil revenge.

fer instunts, we wuz tole that thars no way to know whuther global warmin in real without more study, even tho thays been studies a'plenty up to now, but lack i jes sed, reality has been foolishly partisan, cunsistently cummin out agin them that thanks we orta slow down on how much carbon die-oxide we putt into the atmosfear.

now we are bein tole that global warmin caint be proovd to have innythang to do with them hurricanes. how could it possibly cuntribute? all it duz is raze the temperchur of the water a few lil deegrees, but duz that mean it has really caused them hurricanes to git wurser? is that realitys point?
Yet these same scientists - in research reports appearing in reputable journals like Science, Nature and The Journal of Climate - have detected increases of up to 70 percent in hurricane intensity, a measure that combines the power of a hurricane and its duration.
is thay sum dots we gut to conneck?

then thays 'heckuva-job' brownie trine to take a nuther cheap shot at reality, claimin that his biggest miss take wuz not gittin the dysfunkshunull gummint of new awlins n louisianan to wurk together better. but reality fought back a'usin its main weppon, facks, first them that brownie dint know:
Brown displayed the command of facts that made him famous over the past month. He did not know how much FEMA had spent on communications, guessing, "a boatload of money." He had to ask members of his entourage how many MREs were in a trailer load. "I don't have a clue how many [people] were truly in the Superdome," he volunteered at one point. Asked whether he is still a federal employee, Brown said: "You know, I don't know." (He is.)
then, once reality had im down fer the count, twuz able to pump sum truth out of the fackless feller:
One hour and 36 minutes passed before Brown acknowledged that "FEMA has a logistics problem." Gradually, Brown's admissions grew more damaging.

Money for "catastrophic planning" for a New Orleans hurricane "was removed by the Department of Homeland Security," he said. Brown said he should have asked for President Bush's help earlier, and should have urged the military to come in sooner. He said it was a mistake that FEMA had no contingency contract for recovering dead bodies.

Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.) elicited the biggest confession. "One of my frustrations over the past three years has been the emaciation of FEMA," Brown told him. Speaking of dwindling funds and a "brain drain," Brown said he struggled just "to keep that place together" and asserted that he "predicted privately for several years that we were going to reach this point."

As the questioning progressed, Brown turned his fury on the administration. "I probably should have just resigned my post earlier and gone public with some of these things," he told Granger.
ye mite could thank reality wood be pleasd as punch with that lil victry, but taint so. nex thang ye know, reality is seepin into the buyin patterns of them that lacks to drive cars! as ye know, thonly reason them car cumpnies makes suvs is that folks wonts em (thats why ye dont never half to see no addvert-eyes-mint fer em since they sell thayself ... i bet reality hates that lie!) so magin thar shock whenever this day cum:
John Mathews of Universal Toyota in San Antonio has witnessed the day that auto industry executives in Detroit said would never come.

"We are seeing people who are driving $40,000 Suburbans trading them in on $15,000 Corollas," said Mathews, who manages a dealership in a state where big trucks and sport-utility vehicles rule the roads. "The last 30 days have been unlike anything I've ever seen in the automotive industry."

Even in hurricane-addled Alabama, people pouring in from Louisiana and Mississippi are popping into Treadwell Honda looking for replacements for destroyed cars. Harold Wesley, a salesman, in the midst of fielding calls last week, said he can't keep Civics on the lot -- new or used. "As soon as the new ones get here, they are sold." Wesley said the manufacturer is allocating dealers a few at a time to be fair. Treadwell's last shipment of 12 sold in three days, he said.
thar even havin truble gittin folks to bleeve that reality is too cumplex to be here without a intelligent deesigner even tho they dont take up the cumplexity of the intelligent deesigner n whut intelligent deesign wuz needed to make him/her/it! mayhap ifn ye call them that bleeves in reality n in larnin bout it usin the scientifick method, mayhap ifn ye call em names thar partnership with reality mite fail em:
HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 27 -- Parents in federal court Tuesday described an atmosphere of intimidation and anger when school board members in Dover, Pa., last year decided to require high school biology teachers to read a statement that casts doubt on the theory of evolution.

Bryan Rehm, a parent who also taught physics at Dover High School, testified of continual pressure from board members not to "teach monkeys-to-man evolution." He said that the board required teachers to watch a film critical of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and that board members talked openly of teaching creationism alongside evolution.

The atmosphere became so heated that neighbors began to call him an "atheist with . . . a lot of words added on to it," Rehm said. He said that "it was turning into a real zoo" and that students were quarreling about evolution.
fer that matter, ye mite half to wunder whut bizness reality has in stickin its nose into the stories we dun herd bout how torchur wuz jes a bunch of bad apples with this kinda thang frum a letter writ by a feller name of captain fishback to john mccain frum todays washington post that wuz over thar cunfruntin reality on the frunt lines:
I am a graduate of West Point currently serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Infantry. I have served two combat tours with the 82nd Airborne Division, one each in Afghanistan and Iraq. While I served in the Global War on Terror, the actions and statements of my leadership led me to believe that United States policy did not require application of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan or Iraq. On 7 May 2004, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's testimony that the United States followed the Geneva Conventions in Iraq and the "spirit" of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan prompted me to begin an approach for clarification. For 17 months, I tried to determine what specific standards governed the treatment of detainees by consulting my chain of command through battalion commander, multiple JAG lawyers, multiple Democrat and Republican Congressmen and their aides, the Ft. Bragg Inspector General's office, multiple government reports, the Secretary of the Army and multiple general officers, a professional interrogator at Guantanamo Bay, the deputy head of the department at West Point responsible for teaching Just War Theory and Law of Land Warfare, and numerous peers who I regard as honorable and intelligent men.

Instead of resolving my concerns, the approach for clarification process leaves me deeply troubled. Despite my efforts, I have been unable to get clear, consistent answers from my leadership about what constitutes lawful and humane treatment of detainees. I am certain that this confusion contributed to a wide range of abuses including death threats, beatings, broken bones, murder, exposure to elements, extreme forced physical exertion, hostage-taking, stripping, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment. I and troops under my command witnessed some of these abuses in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
turns out reality dont even lack ye trine to outsource safety inspeckshuns n repairs! kin ye bleeve whar jetblue takes keer of its long term airplane maintenance:
Amid the horrific images that flashed across our TV screens during the past month, there was one last week that stood out because it was so unexpectedly reassuring: that of a supremely competent pilot steering a JetBlue airliner with jammed front wheels to a safe landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

Since last week's landing, though, we've learned a couple of other things that aren't quite so comforting -- for instance, that this was at least the seventh time that the front wheels on an Airbus A-320 have gotten locked in the wrong position.

More surprising still was the news about JetBlue's long-term maintenance of its aircraft. When the planes are inspected for damage and then reassembled, the work takes place either in Canada or El Salvador.

El Salvador?
mayhap karen hughes kin beat back reality. shes startin in the rite place, our grate ally saudi arabia, home of 15 out of 19 9/11 terrists. birthplace of osama bin laden:
JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 27 -- Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes questioned Tuesday the Saudi ban on driving by women, telling a crowd of several hundred Saudi women, covered head to toe in black clothing, that it had negatively shaped the image of Saudi society in the United States.

"We in America take our freedoms very seriously," Hughes said. "I believe women should be free and equal participants in society. I feel that as an American woman that my ability to drive is an important part of my freedom."

Women in the audience applauded after she also mentioned that they should have a greater voice in the Saudi political system, including eventually receiving the right to vote.
mayhap we kin git on one of them cruises to nowhar, witch thats whar ye git ifn ye deny reality long a nuff.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

mizry of buddy don: more of the same migraine

i couldnt even watch the game last nite. feels lack im missin my own life. i hope to choke down my erbs befor takin that awfull zomig. i count the blessin of havin such nice folk drop by here to wish me well. mayhap i will have to try a nuther form of medicine? thay has to be a anser.

Monday, September 26, 2005

mizry of buddy don: nuther migraine

caint seem to kill em off. dun went 3 hole munths without one, but woke sick. barely could choke down the erbs. hope they dont cum back up. trine ever trick me n miz bd knows befor lettin that black hole name of zomig suck me in.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

pinions of buddy don: saturdy noosepapers

thays a thang folks duz to git bad news out without nobidy hardly notissin, witch whut ye do is give it out on a fridy nite. that way, tiz only cuverd in the saturdy noosepapers, witch dont hardly nobidy read em. todays a good eggzample of that:shhh! dont tell nobidy bout them stories! mayhap nobidy will notiss! i jes posted them lanks sos ye kin know witch stories yer spozed to ignore.

mazement of buddy don: weaker?

i been playin round with sonnets lately, trine to rite my pinions with rhymes. fer doin that, i lack to use a cuple grate tools frum the innernets. ifn yer a'gone rite ye sum rhymes, tiz a good idee to use a rhymin dickshunairy, witch i lack to use one name of rhymezone.

corse, ye caint always find jes the rite wurd or sumtimes ye git ye a wurd lack 'orange' that dont hardly rhyme with nuthin else, so ye need to use ye sumthin fer synonyms, witch everbidy knows that wood be a thesaurus. i been usin one frum a site name of tiz purty good on a counta how ye gut four thangs ye kin search frum one site:
  • a dickshunairy
  • a thesaurus
  • a encyclopedia
  • the web
i caint say i ever had no cumplaint bout that site befor. whut they do is give ye ansers frum a slew of dickshunairies. ye kin git translayshuns n puzzles n have the wurd of the day sent to ye.

but wuz i ever amazed whenever i wuz lookin fer a synonym fer the wurd 'weaker'! heres whut i gut:
  • frum Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1) ye larn that the main entry fer 'weaker' is 'fair sex' n the definishun is female sex. heres the synonyms they give fer the wurd 'weaker':
    gentle sex, second sex, softer sex, weaker sex, women, womenfolk
  • frum that same sorce, ye gut a nuther main entry, witch thisns 'female' with the definishun 'woman' n this amazin list of synonyms:
    amazon, babe, beauty, broad, cheesecake, chichi, cupcake, cutie, dame, doll, dowager, duchess, femme, filly, fox, frail, gal, gentlewoman, girl, hussy, kid, lady, madam, mama, matron, old bat, old lady, old woman, petticoat, piece, pinup, seductress, she, she-stuff, shrew, siren, sis, skirt, temptress, ten, tomato, weaker sex, wench, wren
  • but wait, thays more, still frum that same roget's thesaurus. third one has main entry of 'gentle sex' with definishun of 'female sex.' the synonyms aint gittin no nicer neethur:
    air sex, softer sex, weaker sex, womankind, women
  • n ifn that aint a nuff, ye gut one more shot frum rogets, this with main entry of 'lady,' definishun of 'woman' n this list of synonyms:
    adult, babe, bag, baroness, bitch, broad, butterfly, contessa, countess, dame, doll, duchess, empress, female, gal, gentlewoman, girl, little woman, mama, mare, matron, missus, mistress, noblewoman, old bag, old lady, old woman, petticoat, princess, queen, queen bee, rib, squaw, sultana, weaker sex
is it jes me, or wuz ye also specktin to git sum kind a synonym that meant sumthin that wuznt a woman, jes weaker, sumthin lack 'less strong' or 'more anemic' or 'limper' or 'punier' or 'sicklier' or mos innythang. but all ye git is women.

i been on this earth moren fifty years. been marrd moren once. been studyin women off n on the hole time. i half to be honest: weaker aint whut i wood use to deescribe em!

Friday, September 23, 2005

pomes of buddy don: War's Welfare Must End

War's Welfare Must End

When it came to welfare reform we said
to subsidize our poor is wrong. Instead
we must make sure that our poor understand
that they on their own must learn how to stand.

And yet when it comes to our Iraqi friends
our fear for their safety somehow transcends
the fact that sooner not later they must
announce to the world that they'll put their trust

in Iraqi forces to make secure
their own independence. For aren't we sure
that coddling the weak just makes them weaker?
Or do we believe that bleak would be bleaker

if we proclaim Iraqis must defend
their homeland themselves? War's welfare must end!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

pomes of buddy don: Something Complex

Something Complex

We've all heard the claim once made by the Greeks
That anything moving must have been forced
From earth's deepest seas to her highest peaks
The moved from mover cannot be divorced

And something complex must have a maker
A watch, for example, can't just appear
And each loaf of bread must have a baker
Each levee built needs its own engineer

Some think this proves their god must be real
That nature's great mysteries have to reveal
The rightness of all their faith makes them feel
It's known as the argument from design
We know it will work if you just define
A complex designer that needs no design

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

pomes of buddy don: For Money to Work

For Money to Work

For money to work its amount must be
Maintained at a rather constant supply.
For if you expand the whole quantity
Each dollar's worth starts to wither and die.

That means just one billionaire to create
Requires one million others decrease
The net worth potential of their estates
By one thousand U.S. dollars apiece.

Rich folks have castles protected by moats,
Communities that their great walls surround.
And though rising tides can lift all the boats
If you have no boat, you'll prob'ly be drowned.

Why do tears fill Jesus' eyes to the brim?
What's done to our poor is done unto Him.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

pinions of buddy don: gummint is not the problem

ronald raygun lacked to claim gummint is the problem. tiz a insult to all of us that bleeves the gummint is of the people, by the people n for the people. so ifn ye claim gummint is the problem, then yer really saying people is the problem.

in fack, gummint aint the problem. the problem is letting folks guvern who bleeves gummint is the problem.

heres whut ye git whenever ye let such folk guvern ...
  • Bush Official Arrested in Corruption Probe:
    The Bush administration's top federal procurement official resigned Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the federal government. It was the first criminal complaint filed against a government official in the ongoing corruption probe related to Abramoff's activities in Washington.
  • Kerry, Edwards Criticize Bush Over Response to Hurricane:
    Using the nickname Bush used for Brown, Kerry said, "Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq, what George Tenet is to slam-dunk intelligence, what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad, what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy, what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning, what Tom DeLay is to ethics and what George Bush is to 'Mission Accomplished' and 'Wanted Dead or Alive.' "
  • Recruits Sought for Porn Squad:
    The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.

    "I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."
  • Immigration Nominee's Credentials Questioned:
    The Bush administration is seeking to appoint a lawyer with little immigration or customs experience to head the troubled law enforcement agency that handles those issues, prompting sharp criticism from some employee groups, immigration advocates and homeland security experts.
  • Bush Proposes Vouchers for All Displaced Students:
    Under President Bush's plan to cover most of the cost of educating students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, parents could enroll their children in a private or religious school this year at federal expense, even if they had gone to public schools back home, administration officials said yesterday.


    The expansive eligibility for private-school payments intensified the dispute over Bush's approach to providing federal relief to people and places harmed by the hurricane. Democrats on Capitol Hill and public education advocates had begun to complain that the president was using the catastrophe to weave into legislation a version of federal funding of vouchers for private education, which the administration has sought, unsuccessfully, since 2001.
  • FEC Sues Pro-Republican Political Group:
    The Federal Election Commission filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington against the Club for Growth, the first case of its kind to arise from high-dollar fundraising during the 2004 elections. The pro-Republican group spent at least $21 million in the 2003-2004 election cycle.
  • British Smash Into Iraqi Jail To Free 2 Detained Soldiers:
    British armored vehicles backed by helicopter gunships burst through the walls of an Iraqi jail Monday in the southern city of Basra to free two British commandos detained earlier in the day by Iraqi police, witnesses and Iraqi officials said. The incident climaxed a confrontation between the two nominal allies that had sparked hours of gun battles and rioting in Basra's streets.

    An Iraqi official said a half-dozen armored vehicles had smashed into the jail, the Reuters news agency reported. The provincial governor, Mohammed Walli, told news agencies that the British assault was "barbaric, savage and irresponsible."
  • Two Unanswered Questions:
    Two pretty basic questions are throwing President Bush and his top aides for a loop as they push their ambitious reconstruction plan for the Gulf Coast:

    1) What will it cost?

    2) Who is going to pay for it?

    For a White House that normally has a smooth comeback at the ready for even the most caustic queries, the response to these two straightforward questions has been notably fumbling.

    Bush, who has not held a regular press conference in more than three and a half months, made a brief public appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. That gave Associated Press reporter Terence Hunt the chance to ask the obvious:

    Who will pay?

    Bush wouldn't say.
  • Bush and the mad scientists; The administration strikes again in its infuriating war against science:
    THE LAMENTATION in the forthcoming New England Journal of Medicine is typical of a growing genre: complaints about the misuse of science by the Bush administration. It is merely the latest jeremiad, from a group of distinguished experts, about the loss of reason by our leaders. This particular editorial, titled "A Sad Day for Science at the FDA," concerned so-called Plan B emergency contraception (the "morning after" pill), but it just as well could have been about the science of global warming or mercury pollution. Yawn. We've heard it all before.

    There's an inherent difficulty when it comes to sustaining outrage over how science gets continually misused in the Bush administration. The complexity of scientific disputation, paired with the intricacies of bureaucratic decision-making, make for a truly soporific combination. It's tough to get past the latest scandal and see the big picture — even when, as in this case, three distinguished doctors are writing that the Food and Drug Administration has made "a mockery of the process of evaluating scientific evidence, disillusioned scientists both inside and outside the agency, squandered the public trust and tarnished the agency's image."
  • A new storm on the right:
    Unfortunately, the president still seems to believe that the severe poverty of New Orleans is an anomaly exposed by the storm, rather than a disturbing national reality he should have long since confronted. One wishes he would take to heart the words Bishop T.D. Jakes of Dallas offered before Bush spoke at the National Cathedral on Friday: "Katrina, perhaps she has done something to this nation that we needed to have done. She has made us think, and look, and reach beyond the breach." He also noted: "We can no longer be a nation that overlooks the poor and the suffering and continue past the ghetto on our way to the Mardi Gras, or past Harlem for Manhattan, or past Compton for Rodeo Drive."

    Of course, it should not have taken a devastating hurricane to reveal to our president the depth of human misery in a nation that could easily afford to have no poor people. Perhaps Bush simply hasn't fallen far enough from the tree, considering it was famously said of his father that he was a man who was born on third base and thought he hit a triple. His even more clueless mother thinks letting devastated African American evacuees sleep in the Astrodome worked out "very well for them" because they "were underprivileged anyway."

    One would have hoped that the avowedly "born again" younger Bush would have witnessed the disconnect between the teachings of the son of God, which repeatedly counsel aiding the poor and vulnerable, and his own family's "let them eat cake" approach to governance. After all, 37 million Americans — 13 million of them children — are living in poverty, 4.5 million more than when Bush was first inaugurated. This sad fact is never mentioned when the president trumpets the alleged benefits of his tax cuts for the rich.
  • Bush’s uncaring tax-cut math:
    WE HAVE two wars abroad. Moreover, we must rebuild a Gulf Coast region so thoroughly devastated that had the destruction come from human hostilities, we would have declared a third war. Yet President Bush pretends in a critical way as if nothing happened at all.

    ‘‘You bet, it’s going to cost money,’’ Bush told reporters last Friday. ‘‘But I’m confident we can handle it, and I’m confident we can handle our other priorities. It’s going to mean that we’re going to have to make sure we cut unnecessary spending. It’s going to mean we don’t do — we’ve got to maintain economic growth, and therefore we should not raise taxes.’’

    Bush then hid behind a familiar prop of politicians: the common person. ‘‘Working people have had to pay a tax, in essence, by higher gasoline prices,’’ Bush said. ‘‘And we don’t need to be taking more money out of their pocket.’’

    What Bush really meant was better said by White House spokesman Scott McClellan. On Sept. 8, a day after White House requests for emergency aid in the wake of Hurricane Katrina soared past $62 billion, McClellan was asked, ‘‘Why does the president believe it is morally justified, why is it the right thing, to give some of the richest people on the planet a huge tax cut right now?’’

    McClellan said, ‘‘It’s not a fair description.’’

Monday, September 19, 2005

nite life of buddy don: dinner with the ambassadoor

me n miz bd went into the city tuther day. thats whut local folks sez when they mean they went into man hattan. furst thang we wunderd wuz whuts everbidy a'lookin at?

puzzlin behavyer indeed. could these folks be a'lookin fer the same feller we wuz? let me eggsplain a lil better.

twuz saturdy nite n me n miz bd had us a dinner pointment with a feller ye all orta know by now. heres a pitcher of im, witch tiz true how taint in focus, but thats kindly how yer bloggers are ere ye meet em:

mayhap ye caint make im out. twuz sorta thataway fer me whenever i cummenced to readin his blog. twuz hard to tell much bout im, but the more i red, the closer i cum. corse, with ritin as good as his, yer drawn back time after time. heres a lil closer shot, witch even tho taint in focus neethur, mayhap ye know who tiz by now on a counta how tiz a lil closer:

as ye kin see, ye kin git closer n still not git a clear view. but we wuz lucky a nuff to have dinner planned n we reckon-eyesed him immediately: twuz the blogger known as straight white guy, eric to them that reads his blog.

twuz our grate good fortchune to have dinner with eric n his beeyootifull wife fiona, witch shes gut as musicull a voice as ever ye did here. as luck (or fate) wood have it, we met at the verr same place, st andrews, n the verr same table we sat at whenever we had dinner with them red mollys.

once we met up n tuck our table, we gut down to the serious bizness of figurin out witch scotch to drank, witch as ye know, thays quite a seeleckshun at st andrews. me n eric settled on a talisker 10 fer the furst round on a counta that bein one of the three he reckomended whenever he gut us started on our obsesshun with the amber liquid of the gods.

ye mite could thank we woodnt talk bout nuthin but scotch n blogs on a counta how we bofus have grate innerest in em, but twernt so. eric is a well-traveled feller who can talk on mos inny subjeck. hes dun lived fer years over in scotland, witch me n miz bd has a fondness fer that place on a counta we gut marrd in edinburgh. twuznt till we wuz makin our secunt choice -- miz bd gut the verr las drops of sum port ellen, eric sum aberlour a'bunadh n i had sum ardbeg uigedail -- that we gut onto the topick of blogs.

turns out eric is the ambassadoor of the blog worl. he has met n drunk whisky with more bloggers than i have probly even read. ifn ye ever meet im, ye kin see why. he has that gift of gittin along with mos innybidy, mayhap on a counta thay aint no hypockrussy in im n he dont lack to argue bout pallticks on a counta how tiz a fack that ye caint really change nobidys palliticull pinions by whut ye say or argue bout.

ifn ye wonta git to know the ambassadoor, check out his site. i reckun hes back home by now n soon ye kin read much better ritin -- his -- bout his trip to the big city.

havin a close encounter with a nuther blogger gives ye a chants to larn a lot. tiz true in real life as well. ifn ye wonta larn sumthin more bout sumbidy or sumthang, ye gut to cum a lil closer.

tiz our hope to drop in on im whenever we git down to tennessee, witch were bettin on the end of october now on a counta we hope to take a trip to ohio to see miz bds mom early in october. but everthang deepends on when we kin close on our dwellin.

have a grate day, yall.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

pinions of buddy don: the gang the couldnt add strate

the gang that couldnt add strate

we need to buy a calculator for
the folks in the administration who
seem not to know how to approach the chore
of getting four by adding two plus two

for if they knew how to do basic math
they soon would notice that you can't produce
a deficit reduction of one half
while spending more as taxes are reduced

and while we're at it we should proffer them
a map to help them find reality
their optimism we would not condemn
except that it is based on fantasy

run flood relief by one who sprang the leak?
so, paddle-less, they're up a famous creek!

[note frum buddy don: my pallgies fer not ritin much the past few days. i knew i wood be wurkin verr long hours windsdy thru fridy -- 15 n 16 hour days -- so i gut a few pitchers reddy to have sumthin to post but dint have no time to rite. i hope i never half to wurk so hard or long agin!]

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

pomes of buddy don: the truth shall set them free

the truth shall set them free

now that the levees of spin have been breached
and even the faithful cannot be reached
how will the partisans ever conceal
the flood of cruel truth, its stench all too real?

and how as the waters are pumped and drained
is so much asserted but nothing explained?
and where is the wedge, abortion or gay,
to distract the base till this fades away?

and who will persuade the heads on tv
to quit doing stories about what they see?
to play both sides now, their favorite game
where whoever's guilty, they aren't to blame!

yes, how will they win in two thousand six
with so little left in their bag of tricks?
when all see their spin is superficial
and truth no lamb, no lamb sacrificial!

Monday, September 12, 2005

pinions of buddy don: more questchuns

is thar a silver linin fer halliburton in ever nashunull deesaster that cums along?

aint it grate how them that gits wurk rebildin the gulf coast wont half to be paid the locally prevailin wage?

duz friendship mean never havin to be accountabull?

is this the wurst amurkin deesaster ever?

will the bush add ministrayshun ackshly make progress with black folks after katrina?

will his third trip be the charm fer mr bush?

kin law enforcement ever see black folks as innythang other than perps to be searched?

finely, via red molly cums this chillin story, witch it makes me wunder is this the way we do in amurka?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

saturdy of buddy don: fire dept fund fer katrina releaf

yesterdy mornin miz bd gut together a sack of grossries that we woodnt never be able to eat on a counta me havin migraines whenever i eat sartin thangs, witch msg mite could be the wurst. we had us sum cans of bahrs landin soups, witch they wuz yummy but dangerus n sum other thangs we could git more of ifn we needed to. she also went scroungin fer rolls of quarters, witch she found a slew of em i never even knew we had.

reason fer all that gathern wuz sos we could go down to the hoboken firemans museeum n give it to em fer heppin out them folks that gut lef or chose to stay behind in the hurricane n flood.

fer days we had bin a'readin stories bout katrina n who is to blame n wundrin how kin we say were reddy? tiz obveeus we aint n tiz hard to tell ifn thays a nuff money fer gittin reddy.

today thays a grate articull in the dc post bout how we cum to be unreddy fer katrina, step by step eggsplainayshun of how it happend ... or dint happen. taint over neethur. with all them folks a'moovin lack thar a'doon, minny places is a'gone change.

me ni miz bd wuz reddy fer a change frum all that news, so we up n lef sos we could at lease do sum lil sumthin.

whenever we gut thar them firemen wuz happy to see us n tole us whar to putt our grossries n money. we ast could we take sum pitchers, witch they seemed rite proud that we wood wonta. we tuck a few pitchers of all the piles of stuff -- twuz jes 10 am, but they wuz alreddy runnin outta room.

i ast em could i git sum pitchers inside n that shore pleased this one feller name of joseph t kennedy to whar he invited us in. furst thang we seen wuz this ole fashun fire injun ...

joseph t kennedy tuck us upstairs to see the hall whar them firefiters, retired or awurkin, meets. joseph t. kennedy wuz retired after 32 years. his daddy wuz on the job fer 33 years, witch this heres a pitcher of a pitcher of his daddy ...

he gut to talkin to miz bd bout bein a fireman n bein part of the romeo club, witch romeo means Retired Ole Men Eatin Out. he tole er bout taps. thar mascot fer 18 years n whut a dog he wuz n how sad everbidy wuz whenever he passd. i wanderd round takin pitchers. this here pitcher of marty sinatra n his son wuz a wee sprize ...

after that me n miz bd went over to man hattan, whar i tuck a slew of good pitchers over in washington square park on our way over to astor place to revue sum whisky stocks. we coulndt pass up sum laphroaig 10 year fer $32.99.

later on we went out into the frunt yard of our bilden, witch now that we herd them morgidge folks had 'plugged all our numbers in' n sussed out how we wuz 'in the green' n we could maybe even 'go to close' within 30 days, now that we dun herd all that, the frunt of the bilden seems kindly lack our frunt yard. we wonted to try takin sum pitchers of the moon agin. heres bout as good as we kin do with whut we know so far ...

we wuz bout to go back upstairs whenever miz bd noticed sum huge lites in the sky. turnt out to be part of the 9/11 memoryall, twin beams, thick blue beams of lite, shinin whar them towers used to stand, with folks watchin em n havin em a weddin party in the dark (ye kin barely see em ifn ye look at the pitcher close), out on the pier with the ferry flashin by ...

tiz four years now since we wuz attackd by osama bin laden. we dint git im. not whenever he wuz in tora bora, witch furst the gummint lied bout it (habit its gut) even tho twuz true n we really did lose im jes lack john kerry sed in that deebate on a counta outsourcin the job.

now osama is moren a man ... hes dun a caws with ideology. ifn ye wonta take a look at whut were really up agin, read this here articull name of Taking Stock of the Forever War by mark danner in the new york times magazine. taint purty, but tiz a damn site bettern mos innythang else thats dun been writ on the global war on terror.

taint over by a long shot. the signs is everwhar. so what ye a'gone do?

how bout we donate a lil time or money to the red cross? or give away sum grossries n whutever money we kin spare?

or maybe watch them lites out on the pier?

on a counta how life goes on.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

ramblins of buddy don: a lil this n that

whut do ye git when ye privatize a good chunk of yer war?

is hurricane katrina ackshly washin away a wee dab of of sumbidys feet of clay?

ifn ye dont know the persun yer talkin to is a reporter n ye thank yer ansern questchuns bout how the law wurks n ye aint even talkin bout innybidy in particlar, kin ye be fired fer talkin to a reporter bout karl rove?

ye reckun these folks needs acktin lessons to teach em how to ack sincere?

is this six-year ole the hero of new awlins?

Friday, September 09, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: moon thru our winder

pinions of buddy don: a few questchuns

who shoulda led the effort to git reddy fer the hurricane everbidy knew wuz a'cummin?
  • the mayor of one of the cities that wuz hit?
  • the guvner of a state with a budget of $17 billions?
  • or the hed of the fedrull agency thats spozed to direck our efforts to manage emergencies?
fer that matter, duz innybidy know whut leadership wood even look lack?

after this:
Blanco declared a state of emergency on Aug. 26 -- a day before Bush declared a federal emergency in Louisiana. (You can see Blanco's official declaration in PDF format here; the Washington Post has corrected its article.) On Aug. 28 -- the day before Katrina made landfall -- Blanco followed her declaration with an official letter (PDF) to Bush that requested all manner of emergency supplies her state would need for the aftermath.

[George] Haddow [deputy chief of staff at FEMA under James Lee Witt] says that these requests should have been enough -- more than enough -- to prompt a full-scale federal response.
could it be this?
Under the Clinton administration's FEMA, with Witt as the head, a storm of Katrina's magnitude would have prompted federal and state officials to actually meet in order to coordinate their response. "You were all working together to anticipate needs," Haddow says. "You're all sitting in the same room when the things happened -- the Midwest flood, the Northridge quake, the Oklahoma City bombing and all the disasters we responded to. We were in the same room together and nobody had to point fingers."

Close coordination with state officials was key to the Clinton administration's capacity to act quickly in the heat of a disaster, Haddow says. "We had a really solid partnership, so we received solid, timely information from the ground. Then we managed that information and turned it into a mission assignment." In other words, when people on the ground needed something, they knew who in the federal government to ask, and when the federal government had extra resources at the ready -- cops from Chicago, say, or water from Wal-Mart -- it would know where to send them.
or wood it be this?
Contrast that situation to what happened after Katrina, when both Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, and Michael Brown, the FEMA director, admitted to several reporters that they had no idea that people were starving at the New Orleans Convention Center, even though the grim scene there had been played and replayed on television all day.

The Bush administration's distance from local disaster-relief officials is by design. From the moment Bush stepped into office, he's been determined to move away from the coordinated state/local/federal disaster-relief approach used by Clinton. Instead, as Joe Allbaugh, Bush's first FEMA dirctor, told a congressional panel in 2001, Bush wanted to pull the federal government out of the disaster-relief business and aimed to "restore the predominant role of state and local response to most disasters." The federal government became even less involved in natural disaster relief after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when FEMA's mission was shifted toward responding to terrorist attacks. In 2002, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA -- which Clinton had elevated to a Cabinet-level agency -- was made one department in the massive bureaucracy. As a result, although George W. Bush has a nickname for FEMA director Brown ("Brownie"), Brown enjoys far less clout under Bush than Witt enjoyed under Clinton, which Haddow says is an "incalculable loss of influence" for FEMA.
how did folks reack to real leadership when fema ackshly wurked? heres a eggzample of whut wuz writ in 1997 by a feller name of james bovard about clintons fema:
Since early 1993, the Clinton administration has delivered a total of over $25 billion in disaster aid, including over $7 billion from FEMA. From the beginning, Clinton understood the political possibilities of disaster relief. In an era when public perceptions are increasingly dominated by the television news, Clinton and his tear ducts have been in the right places at the right times.

In July 1993, massive floods struck the Midwest. ABC's Brit Hume reported that when Clinton visited Iowa flood victims, he was playing the role of the "comforter"-"almost the national chaplain to those in distress." The New York Times and USA Today ran a front-page picture of Clinton hugging a 24-year-old woman as she cried on his shoulder. Clinton promised Midwesterners at least $2.5 billion in aid and later upped the ante to over $4 billion.

When Clinton was asked whether the billions of dollars of flood relief would cost more in taxes, he answered,

"No, no. This is a one-shot, one-time expenditure that will slightly increase this year's deficit. But this year's deficit will still be much smaller than we thought it was going to be in January so we can manage it."

This is typical liberal magic economics-the notion that government can give away billions of dollars and yet never cause any burden on taxpayers.
how duz that square with this?
President Bush sent Congress a request for $51.8 billion in additional hurricane relief yesterday, raising Katrina's cost to the federal government to $62.3 billion so far, easily a record for domestic disaster relief.

Separately, Republican leaders moved to try to contain the political fallout from Katrina, forming a joint House-Senate review committee of senior lawmakers who will investigate the government's preparation and initial response to the catastrophe. Democrats called again for an independent probe similar to the investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The mounting cost of the hurricane and its aftermath comes at a time when federal budget deficits were finally in retreat after three successive years of rising red ink. Katrina's impact, coupled with the stubbornly high cost of the war in Iraq, will probably keep the deficit well above $300 billion and near record territory in 2006, budget analysts said.

And White House budget director Joshua B. Bolten made it clear: "This will not be the last request." Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was spending just over $500 million a day, an unprecedented rate, House Appropriations Committee aides said. But over the weekend, Bolten said, that "burn rate" soared to more than $2 billion a day as FEMA began signing contracts for the construction of temporary housing.
how duz fema gut time to ast the press not to dishonor the ded on the streets of new awlins by takin thar pitchers but barely have time to honor them same bodies by pickin em up n givin em a deecent buryall?

how has firefighters gut time to handout leaflets?

ifn thay aint no time to ast why hep wuz so fatally slow in cummin (blame game) or fatally flawd in eggsequeshun, how kin thar be time fer

Thursday, September 08, 2005

pomes of buddy don: this is no time

this is no time

this is no time for the laying of blame
for pointing of fingers, yelling of "shame"
unless you are talking about bureaucrats
who happen in one state to be democrats

this is no time for collecting the dead
we must make the living leave home instead
nor should we allow pics on our tv
to smear the dead folks that no one should see

and this is no time for partisan plays
that make us look bad for needless delays
for not knowing levees could have been breached
next thing you know, folks will want me impeached!

what must we do to save our great nation?
let our party run the investigation!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

pinions of buddy don: water aint thonly thang that flooded us

william raspberry of the washington post has writ one of the best articulls bout whuts really a'goin on so that we kin have such a deesaster as we are havin in the gulf states n new awlins: Two Storms, Ample Warning. whilst them waters wuz risin in new awlins n gittin everbidys attenchun, ye mite coulda missed how poverty rose fer the fourth strate year:
That is to say, while no one could have predicted the ferocity of Katrina -- a storm of unprecedented fury -- it was known that New Orleans was in jeopardy from deteriorating levees.

And back in 1998, former senator Fred Harris and Alan Curtis, president of the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, the private-sector continuation of the 1968 Kerner Commission, were warning of resurgent poverty.

"If anything, the numbers out of the Census Bureau underestimate the problem of poverty in America," Curtis said in an interview last week. "The bureau's definition of the poverty threshold is $19,300 a year for a family of four. But a lot depends on where you happen to live. By one scale I'm familiar with, that family of four -- if they lived in Baltimore -- would cross the poverty threshold at $44,000 a year.

"But the major mistake is to take the census report as a one-year phenomenon. This is the fourth straight year of increasing poverty, following a seven-year decline, from 1993 to 2000. Shouldn't wise journalists be asking why?"
meanwhile, one of the thangs that orta been swamped is the publican agenda of cuttin taxes on the rich agin, starvin the gummint by underfundin infrastructchur n cuttin entitlement spendin that heps the poorest amung us. fer this to wurk them publicans has to git us to quit noticin the poor, witch tiz a lot harder now that thar on tv near 24 hours a day.

but ye kin easly make the argument that the real problem is jes the blind unwillingness of them in cuntrol to understand that thay is poor folk amung us n to understand the lease lil thang bout whut it means to be poor. as result, ye git such tone deef statements as this by rick santorum:
In a weekend interview with WTAE-TV about the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Santorum said: "You have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."
as is generly the case when he opens his mouth befor a microfone, mr santorum had to start splainin whut he meant, but twuz way too late fer that. we know whut he meant. still, twuz his turn to talk, so he used it to blame local authorties:
"Obviously most of the people here in this case, an overwhelming majority of people just literally couldn't have gotten out on their own," he said. "Many didn't have cars ... and that really was a failure on the part of local officials in not making transportation available to get people out."
corse he wonts to make that case, even ifn it means tellin a lie, but tiz confounded by them stubborn facks bout how mr bush dun dismantled -- disassembled? -- fema. in a articull name of Why FEMA failed; Ideologically opposed to a strong federal role in disaster relief and obsessed with terrorism, the Bush administration let a once-admired agency fall apart thays plenty eggsplained bout this (pallgies fer the long quote -- ye really orta read the hold thang):
During the 1990s, FEMA was routinely praised as one of the best-functioning federal agencies. Its response to the Midwestern floods of 1993, the Northridge earthquake of 1994, and 1995's Oklahoma City terrorist attack are considered models of emergency response. By contrast, its performance during Katrina is almost universally acknowledged to have been abysmally poor. At first, FEMA's post-Katrina failure appears baffling: What happened to the once-great FEMA? But George Haddow, who served as the deputy chief of staff at FEMA under James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's FEMA director, thinks that FEMA's current flaws are all too understandable -- and are a direct consequence of the Bush administration's decision to pull the federal government out of the natural disaster-relief business and turn over more power to state and local officials.

Indeed, the White House's new response to the political disaster prompted by Katrina -- one in which officials are attempting to blame authorities in Louisiana, rather than in Washington, for the slow aid -- underscores the Bush philosophy. According to Haddow, instead of working with local officials to try to minimize the impacts of an impending storm, the White House has decided its best strategy is to keep its distance from people on the ground. That way if anything goes wrong, the White House can "attack, attack, attack."

We began to see some of these attacks over the weekend. Sunday's Washington Post cited an anonymous Bush administration official who explained that one reason that the federal government didn't intervene more quickly in Louisiana was because Kathleen Blanco, the state's Democratic governor, failed to declare a state of emergency there, a necessary step for federal help to flow. An article in Newsweek repeats the same claim.

But there's a problem with the White House's excuse: It's patently false. As Josh Marshall points out, Blanco declared a state of emergency on Aug. 26 -- a day before Bush declared a federal emergency in Louisiana. (You can see Blanco's official declaration in PDF format here; the Washington Post has corrected its article.) On Aug. 28 -- the day before Katrina made landfall -- Blanco followed her declaration with an official letter (PDF) to Bush that requested all manner of emergency supplies her state would need for the aftermath.

Haddow says that these requests should have been enough -- more than enough -- to prompt a full-scale federal response. Under the Clinton administration's FEMA, with Witt as the head, a storm of Katrina's magnitude would have prompted federal and state officials to actually meet in order to coordinate their response. "You were all working together to anticipate needs," Haddow says. "You're all sitting in the same room when the things happened -- the Midwest flood, the Northridge quake, the Oklahoma City bombing and all the disasters we responded to. We were in the same room together and nobody had to point fingers."

Close coordination with state officials was key to the Clinton administration's capacity to act quickly in the heat of a disaster, Haddow says. "We had a really solid partnership, so we received solid, timely information from the ground. Then we managed that information and turned it into a mission assignment." In other words, when people on the ground needed something, they knew who in the federal government to ask, and when the federal government had extra resources at the ready -- cops from Chicago, say, or water from Wal-Mart -- it would know where to send them. Contrast that situation to what happened after Katrina, when both Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, and Michael Brown, the FEMA director, admitted to several reporters that they had no idea that people were starving at the New Orleans Convention Center, even though the grim scene there had been played and replayed on television all day.

The Bush administration's distance from local disaster-relief officials is by design. From the moment Bush stepped into office, he's been determined to move away from the coordinated state/local/federal disaster-relief approach used by Clinton. Instead, as Joe Allbaugh, Bush's first FEMA dirctor, told a congressional panel in 2001, Bush wanted to pull the federal government out of the disaster-relief business and aimed to "restore the predominant role of state and local response to most disasters." The federal government became even less involved in natural disaster relief after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when FEMA's mission was shifted toward responding to terrorist attacks. In 2002, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA -- which Clinton had elevated to a Cabinet-level agency -- was made one department in the massive bureaucracy. As a result, although George W. Bush has a nickname for FEMA director Brown ("Brownie"), Brown enjoys far less clout under Bush than Witt enjoyed under Clinton, which Haddow says is an "incalculable loss of influence" for FEMA.
nuther articull that splains thangs purty well was writ by eugene robinson, It's Your Failure, Too, Mr. Bush. tiz a nuther that deeserves a full readin, but heres a taste:
First, an administration that since Sept. 11, 2001, has told us a major terrorist strike is inevitable should have had in place a well-elaborated plan for evacuating a major American city. Even if there wasn't a specific plan for New Orleans -- although it was clear that a breach of the city's levees was one of the likeliest natural catastrophes -- there should have been a generic plan. George W. Bush told us time and again that our cities were threatened. Shouldn't he have ordered up a plan to get people out?

Second, someone should have thought about what to do with hundreds of thousands of evacuees, both in the days after a disaster and in the long term. As people flooded out of New Orleans, it was officials at the state and local level who rose to the challenge, making it up as they went along. Bring a bunch of people to the Astrodome. We have a vacant hotel that we can use. Send a hundred or so down to our church and we'll do the best we can.
taint lack they wuznt offerd hep, as tiz splaind in a articull name of Offers of Aid Immediate, but U.S. Approval Delayed for Days writ by elizabeth williamson:
Offers of foreign aid worth tens of millions of dollars -- including a Swedish water purification system, a German cellular telephone network and two Canadian rescue ships -- have been delayed for days awaiting review by backlogged federal agencies, according to European diplomats and information collected by the State Department.

Since Hurricane Katrina, more than 90 countries and international organizations offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements, in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
fortchunuttly, mr bush has promissd he will lead the investigayshun into his own addministrayshun! i reckun he has the best view, but seems unlackly we wood allow innybidy else accused of makin miss takes that leads to folks dyin to investigate thar ownself. is he hoping to git rid of groups that investigates fer a livin, folks lack law enforcement n congress? how bout one of the bipartisan commisshuns lack they dun with 9/11, once twuz allowd. instead, he wonts to doot:
Stung by criticism of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, President Bush yesterday promised to investigate his own administration's emergency management, then readied a request for tens of billions of dollars for relief and cleanup.

From the Pentagon to Capitol Hill, official Washington spent yesterday grappling with a hurricane recovery effort that, according to some estimates, will cost more than $100 billion and influence a broad range of federal policy, from emergency response to coastal development, from expanded domestic oil exploration to the future of the estate tax.
corse, timin is everthang, as tiz eggsplaind in a articull name of Deconstructing Katrina:
But there was a disconnect yesterday at opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. On the Hill, outraged lawmakers launched a bipartisan investigation and demanded to know what good had come from all that homeland security spending. At the White House, the president was still operating in the conditional. "If things went wrong, we'll correct them," he said. "And when things went right, we'll duplicate them."

Collins and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, had scheduled their announcement of an investigation for 11:15 yesterday morning. Bush preempted them, inviting reporters into the Cabinet Room at 11:08. "What I intend to do is to lead an investigation to find out what went right and what went wrong," the president said.

Bush was in no hurry to probe. "There will be ample time to assess," he said. Rearranging a presidential coaster on the Cabinet table, he said that to ask questions while the relief operation is underway would be "to play a blame game."
sumbidy orta tell im taint no game. tiz dedly serious, real life n real death.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

pinions of buddy don: makin shore gummint is the problem

ronald raygun lacked to say gummin aint the solushun; tiz the problem. corse, that aint a verr honest assessment since it dont make no differnts twixt good gummint n bad. far as i kin tell, them publicans lacks to proov gummint is the problem by runnin it so badly that ye gut this kinda thang a'goin on:
  • Millions for bridges, not a penny for defense: President Bush signed the $286.5 billion transportation bill this week and critics were horrified by the number of pork-laden local road projects. The two most notable bacon-soaked items are $223 million for the Gravina Island bridge and another $229 million for the Knik Arm Bridge. Both projects are in the Alaska district of Don Young, the chairman of the House Transportation Infrastructure Committee. The Gravina Island project will link the 8,000 residents of the city of Ketchikan with the 50 people on Gravina Island. Also on Gravina Island: Ketchikan Airport, which offers a dozen scheduled flights a day and is currently linked to the city by a 7-minute ferry ride. As currently planned, the 2-mile-long Gravina span will be nearly as long as the Golden Gate Bridge and higher than the Brooklyn Bridge. The Knik Arm Bridge would link Anchorage with Port MacKenzie, which has just one tenant. In contrast to Young's $452 million bridges, the nation has spent a total of $115 million on mass-transit security since 9/11. Mass-transit systems in the United States carry an estimated 14 million riders a day.
  • The authorities in Louisiana, including the military, pleaded long ago with Washington to reinforce the levees. The Army Corps of Engineers asked for $US105 million ($A137 million): the White House gave them $US40 million.
  • Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, told the Times-Picayune Sunday afternoon that officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, including FEMA Director Mike Brown and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, listened in on electronic briefings given by his staff in advance of Hurricane Katrina slamming Louisiana and Mississippi--and were advised of the storm’s potential deadly effects.

    "Mayfield said the strength of the storm and the potential disaster it could bring were made clear during both the briefings and in formal advisories, which warned of a storm surge capable of overtopping levees in New Orleans and winds strong enough to blow out windows of high-rise buildings," the paper reported. "He said the briefings included information on expected wind speed, storm surge, rainfall and the potential for tornados to accompany the storm as it came ashore.

    "We were briefing them way before landfall," Mayfield said. "It’s not like this was a surprise. We had in the advisories that the levee could be topped."
  • The vast scope of the calamity triggered by the storm was still emerging. officials estimated that more than 1 million people -- many of whom fled with only the clothes on their back and a few prized possessions stuffed in a bag -- have been forced from their homes, most likely for many months.
lease they gut em a scapegoat, michael d. brown:
Michael D. Brown has been called the accidental director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, caricatured as the failed head of an Arabian horse sporting group who was plucked from obscurity to become President Bush's point man for the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

Amid the swirl of human misery along the Gulf Coast, Brown admitted initially underestimating the impact of Hurricane Katrina, whose winds and water swamped the agency's preparations. As the nation reeled at images of the calamity, he appeared to blame storm victims by noting that the crisis was worsened by New Orleans residents who did not comply with a mandatory evacuation order.

By last weekend, facing mounting calls for his resignation, he told reporters: "People want to lash out at me, lash out at FEMA. I think that's fine. Just lash out, because my job is to continue to save lives." More broadly, the 50-year-old Oklahoma lawyer and the agency he leads have become the focus of a broad reappraisal of U.S. homeland security efforts four years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In recent days, politicians and officials in both parties have derided Brown's qualifications to head the nation's chief disaster-response agency -- as well as the performance of the agency and its federal, state and local partners.

At a time when homeland security experts called for greater domestic focus on preparing for calamity, Brown faced years of funding cuts, personnel departures and FEMA's downgrading from an independent, Cabinet-level agency.

As recently as three weeks ago, state emergency managers urged Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and his deputy, Michael P. Jackson, to ease the department's focus on terrorism, warning that the shift away from traditional disaster management left FEMA a bureaucratic backwater less able to respond to natural events such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
taint gummint thats the problem. tiz badly run gummint, gummint that hasnt gut the imaginayshun to unnerstnad whut is meant by wurds lacktaint gummint, but gummint run badly thats the problem, gummint that has piss poor execushun, whuther in iraq or the gulf states.

as fer dealin with pallticks, them that runs the gummint is verr good at imaginayshun n eggsecushun. they imagined that rehnquist wood die n could reack in much less time than it takes fer a baby to deehydrate. they imagined that folks wuz a'gone ast em hard questchuns bout why nobidy wuz reddy fer the damage a hurricane dun perdickted everwhar to do horrbull damage n they wuz reddy to eggsecute: everbidy in the addministrayshun sez the same thang evertime the questchun is ast: 'now is not the time to look for blame but the time to get the job done.'

corse by sayin that, it begs the questchun bout why twuznt time to evacuate folks befor the hurricane struck or to git em good n water befor five days had dun passed. when will it be time fer them questchuns to be anserd?

till then, barbara bush putts it all into perspecktiv fer us:
"Almost everyone I have talked to says, `We're going to move to Houston,'" she said in remarks to National Public Radio's "Marketplace."

"What I'm hearing is they all want to stay in Texas," she said. "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."
i reckun gittin stuck in that hurricane musta been lack winnin the lotto! them lucky duckies!"

Sunday, September 04, 2005

pinions of buddy don: drownd it in the bathtub

lack as not ye dun herd bout that publican name of grover norquist n how he wonts to to git gummint so small he could drownd it in a bathtub. hes rite proud of the idee:
“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”
mayhap he dont know it yet, but katrina dun give im a big a nuff of a bathtub sos we could all git a look at whut happens when ye drownd yer gummint. it dont perpare. it barely reacks. it aint effectiv.

its drownded.

the baby in this bathwater is a'gone be the ongoin publican assault on gummint, witch thats thar agenda:
  • permanent repeal of the estate tax
  • an extension of deep cuts to capital gains and dividend taxes
  • the first entitlement spending cuts in nearly a decade
  • the advent of private investment accounts for Social Security.
point is, that agenda is eggspozed as totally out of touch with current reality:
  • enormus budget deficits:
    • in fedrull spendin (bush has dun grew the gummint to be drownded fastern inny presdint since lbj)
    • in forn trade (them chinese folks is walmartin us!)
  • a war we dont know how to end thats costin us a forchun:
    • in soljers
    • in nashunull treasure
    • in our standin in the worl
    • in our abilty to git osama bin laden
    • in our abilty to win them harts n minds we need to win ifn we hope to change thangs in the middle east
  • poverty on the rise with all them poor people (A Nation's Castaways) thats been left behind suddenly eggspozed fer all to see
  • wages fer 80% of folks stagnunt
  • eggsplodin health care cost
  • deterioratin infrastruckchur ... n
  • a furst reesponts system that aint even close to reddy fer sumthin uneggspeckted on a counta how piss poor the reesponts wuz when thay wuz days of warnin!
mayhap ye thank i am contradicktin myself when i say them publicans grew the gummint -- witch they are on track to git the recurd fer growin it fastern inny addministrayshun in histry -- yet they gut it to whar it could be dronwded in the bathtub katrina made out of new awlins. but they dun it. drownded it.

as ye know, even a giant kin drownd in a few inches of water, speshly ifn hes dun been knockd down.

ye kin git whut ye need to proove that in this here articull name of Storm Exposed Disarray at the Top. it splains jes how the publican agenda disabulld the gummint to whar it could be drownded by katrina. n they dun it lack they been a'doin everthang in the past four years -- usin 9/11:
After Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992, federal response was panned, and FEMA was due for an overhaul. It got it in 1993, when Clinton brought in James Lee Witt, a veteran emergency manager and political ally, to take over, granted the agency Cabinet-level status and gave it a highly visible role it had not previously had. Its response to crises such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing received high marks, though some Republicans complained that it was used as a pot of money doled out to bolster Clinton's political standing.

But after 9/11, FEMA lost out in the massive bureaucratic shuffle.

Not only did its Cabinet status disappear, but it became one of 22 government agencies to be consolidated into Homeland Security. For a time, recalled Ervin, even its name was slated to vanish and become simply the directorate of emergency preparedness and response until then-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge relented.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from hurricane-prone states fought a rear-guard action against FEMA's absorption. "What we were afraid of, and what is coming to pass, is that FEMA has basically been destroyed as a coherent, fast-on-its-feet, independent agency," said Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.). In creating DHS, "people were thinking about the possibility of terrorism," said Walter Gillis Peacock, director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. "They weren't thinking about the reality of a hurricane."
in effeck, they changed the focus frum natcherull disasters to plannin fer terrst attacks, developin 12 of 15 disaster scenarios on terrst attacks, tutherns bein on pandemick flu, major earthquake or hurricane, witch i reckun they dint have much time fer them last three:
By this year, almost three of every four grant dollars appropriated to DHS for first responders went to programs explicitly focused on terrorism, the Government Accountability Office noted in a July report. Out of $3.4 billion in proposed spending for homeland security preparedness grants in the upcoming fiscal year, GAO found, $2.6 billion would be on terrorism-focused programs. At the same time, the budget for much of what remained of FEMA has been cut every year; for the current fiscal year, funding for the core FEMA functions went down to $444 million from $664 million.

New leaders such as Allbaugh were critical of FEMA's natural disaster focus and lectured senior managers about the need to adjust to the post-9/11 fear of terrorism. So did his friend Michael D. Brown, a lawyer with no previous disaster management experience whom Allbaugh brought in as his deputy and who now has the top FEMA post. "Allbaugh's quote was 'You don't get it,' " recalled the senior FEMA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "If you brought up natural disasters, you were accused of being a pre-9/11 thinker." The result, the official said, was that "FEMA was being taxed by the department, having money and slots taken. Because we didn't conform with the mission of the agency."

"I'm guilty of saying, 'you don't get it,' " Allbaugh said. "Absolutely." The former FEMA chief said he had encountered bureaucratic resistance to thinking about a "monumental" disaster, such as Katrina or 9/11, rather than the more standard diet of "tornadoes and rising waters."

But experts in emergency response inside and outside the government sounded warnings about the changes at FEMA. Peacock said FEMA's traditional emphasis on emergency response "all went up in smoke" after 9/11, creating a "blind spot" as a result of a "police-action, militaristic view" of homeland security. When it came to natural disasters, "It was not only forgetting about it, it was not funding it."
one of the ways folks in charge at fema has been trine to git offn the hook on not bein reddy is claimin they dint have no idee twood be so bad, witch even the presdint sed nobidy had ever magined the levees mite brake. problem is, wuz widely knowd how bad twood be:
But other officials said they warned well before Monday about what could happen. For years, said another senior FEMA official, he had sat at meetings where plans were discussed to send evacuees to the Superdome. "We used to stare at each other and say, 'This is the plan? Are you really using the Superdome?' People used to say, what if there is water around it? They didn't have an alternative," he recalled.

In the run-up to the current crisis, Allbaugh said he knew "for a fact" that officials at FEMA and other federal agencies had requested that New Orleans issue a mandatory evacuation order earlier than Sunday morning.

But DHS did not ask the U.S. military to assist in pre-hurricane evacuation efforts, despite well-known estimates that a major hurricane would cause levees in New Orleans to fail. In an interview, the general charged with operations for the military's Northern Command said such a request to help with the evacuation "did not come our way."

"At the point that we were all watching the evacuation and the clogged Interstate 10 going to the west on Sunday, we were watching the storm very carefully," Maj. Gen. Richard Rowe said. "At that time, it was a Category 5 storm and we knew that it would be among the worst storms to ever hit the United States. . . . I knew there was an excellent chance of flooding."
even them publican masters of spin caint spin thisn away. they caint spin away the fack that we wuznt reddy. they caint swift-boat slime a nuff folks to git em all to shut up. not this time. jes lack they caint spin them good people left behind down in new awlins, them folks that waited peacefull as could be in agony fer five long days, waitin fer releef in the hot sun of new awlins -- they caint spin them folks into looters nor scary rioters nor folks that deeserved whut they gut fer not gittin (Living Paycheck to Paycheck Made Leaving Impossible) out. ye caint spin it on a counta taint true n everbidy gut plenty of time to see it with thar own eyes. rite thar on the tv.

fack is, this time tiz so cumpellin a situwayshun that yer jurnlists has dun quit playin bof sides now. yer jurnlists have dun started uncuverin the truth in sted of cuverin spin.

that means folks is gittin a chants to see whut gummint wood look lack, drownded in a bathtub.

taint purty. taint rite.

most of all, taint American to be trine to drownd the gummint on a counta, in case ye dun fergut, our gummint is:
  • of the people
  • by the people
  • for the people
the people. american citizens. lack them folks down in new awlins.

Friday, September 02, 2005

pinions of buddy don: no deefents

tomorra them vols starts thar season n im trine to be all eggcited bout it even ifn tiz almos impossibull to thank bout innythang ceptn that hurricane katrina n all its dun led to.

fer sum reason, thankin bout them vols cummencin thar season n thankin bout that hurricane makes me thank bout genrull Robert R. Neyland n how he made his fame a'usin deefents, puntin on 3rd down now n then, that kinda thang.

them vols won a'doin it. durin the reglar season of 1939, they wuz unbeaten, untied n unscored upon. sadly, usc beat em in the rose bowl 14-0 a'usin thar own deefents agin us.

i git to wundern why we dint have no deefents agin that thar hurricane. no way to git them folks evacuated, no help fer days fer so minny folks, no plan fer such a deesaster. no deefents. we jes wuznt reddy.

taint lack we dint know twuz a'cummin on us, but we dint do nuthin bout it.

no deefents.

wunder why we dint have no deefents?

twuz that thar war in iraq. all the money spent thar couldnt be spent on deefents ... all the nashunull guards in iraq couldnt be used on deefents ... all that equipment thats over thar in iraq couldnt be used on deefents.

member how them that wuz fer the iraq war lacked to say we couldnt afford to have a defentsiv war? we had to take the fite to them terrsts. beat em over thar so they wont attack us over here. n ifn they aint attackin over here, we dont need no deefents.

besides, twood take a lot of money n men n equipment.

so we dint. we jes seen us five days proof of that.

cawz when that hurricane katrina cum on us, we dint have no deefents.

o whar is genrull neyland when we need him?

silents of buddy don: caint do nuthin but cut n paste

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? 'Times-Picayune' Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune Web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming. ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: "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."
Planning, Response Are Faulted
Tens of thousands of people remain stranded on the streets of New Orleans in desperate conditions because officials failed to plan for a serious levee breach and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina was slow, according to disaster experts and Louisiana government officials.

Though experts had long predicted that the city -- which sits mostly below sea level and is surrounded by water -- would face unprecedented devastation after an immense hurricane, they said problems were worsened by a late evacuation order and insufficient emergency shelter for as many as 100,000 people.

Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans's emergency operations, said the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was inadequate and that Louisiana officials have been overwhelmed.

"This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control," Ebbert told the Associated Press as he watched refugees evacuate the Superdome yesterday. "We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans. We have got a mayor who has been pushing and asking, but we're not getting supplies."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin sent out a frustrated plea for help yesterday as thousands of people remained marooned at the city's Convention Center in the heat and filth, with as many as seven corpses nearby.

"This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the Convention Center and don't anticipate enough buses. Currently the Convention Center is unsanitary and unsafe and we are running out of supplies for 15,000 to 25,000 people," Nagin said in a statement read by CNN.
Critics Say Bush Undercut New Orleans Flood Control
President Bush repeatedly requested less money for programs to guard against catastrophic storms in New Orleans than many federal and state officials requested, decisions that are triggering a partisan debate over administration priorities at a time when the budget is strained by the Iraq war.

Even with full funding in recent years, none of the flood-control projects would have been completed in time to prevent the swamping of the city, as Democrats yesterday acknowledged. But they said Bush's decision to hold down spending on fortifying levees around New Orleans reflected a broader shuffling of resources -- to pay for tax cuts and the Iraq invasion -- that has left the United States more vulnerable.

The complaints showed how the Hurricane Katrina disaster is prompting the same recriminations that surround nearly all subjects in the capital's current angry mood. The reaction was in contrast to the response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when for a season partisan politics was largely suspended and Bush had the backing of the opposition party.

A main point of controversy hinges on what until now were obscure decisions in the annual budget process, marked by routine tensions between agencies and local congressional delegations on one side and White House budget officials on the other.

In recent years, Bush repeatedly sought to slice the Army Corps of Engineers' funding requests to improve the levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain, which Katrina smashed through, flooding New Orleans. In 2005, Bush asked for $3.9 million, a small fraction of the request the corps made in internal administration deliberations. Under pressure from Congress, Bush ultimately agreed to spend $5.7 million. Since coming to office, Bush has essentially frozen spending on the Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for protecting the coastlines, waterways and other areas susceptible to natural disaster, at around $4.7 billion.

As recently as July, the White House lobbied unsuccessfully against a plan to spend $1 billion over four years to rebuild coastlines and wetlands, which serve as buffers against hurricanes. More than half of that money goes to Louisiana.

At the same time, the president has reorganized government to prepare for possible terrorist attacks, folding emergency-response agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency into the Department of Homeland Security. Bush said government functions needed to be streamlined to allow for better communications among agencies and speedier responses to terrorist attacks and other crises.
Anatomy of an unnatural disaster; With FEMA gutted for Homeland Security and flood projects delayed for lack of funding, the New Orleans nightmare should surprise no one
Sept. 1, 2005 | WASHINGTON -- Eric Tolbert, a former top disaster response official in the Bush administration, knew a calamity like Hurricane Katrina would be coming, sooner or later. And he also knew that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he worked until February, was not ready to properly respond. There were too few full-time employees, not enough contracts in place to provide assistance, and a lack of money to do proper pre-planning. The added burden of the war on terror, he says, diverted funds away from FEMA's core mission.

"FEMA had to compete and had to help finance the creation of the Department of Homeland Security," Tolbert, who now works for PBS&J, a private contractor, said Thursday morning. "They were taking chunks of money out of the budget. We always referred to it as taxes."

Last summer, for instance, Tolbert said FEMA staged a "tabletop exercise" in Baton Rouge, La., to gauge how well it would respond if a Category 3 hurricane hit New Orleans. Officials learned a lot from the role-play, says Tolbert, and then returned to their offices to create a new plan to respond to an actual disaster in the region. "Unfortunately, we were not able to finish the plan," Tolbert said. The funding for it ran out.

FEMA is not the only agency that found itself bled of required funding by White House decisions after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Shortly after the attacks, the Army Corps of Engineers found itself facing deep cuts in funding for the largest flood control and drainage program in the New Orleans area. In the first full budget year after the attacks, the Bush administration funded the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA, at only 20 percent of the Corps' request of $100 million. In fiscal year 2004, the White House funding came in at 17 percent of the request.

For each of these years, Congress, with the support of the Louisiana delegation, appropriated more money, but funding still came in far below the requirements. Work was delayed. Contractors worked without pay. Whole projects were put off. Local project managers complained that New Orleans was competing with the war in Iraq for funding. "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle Homeland Security and the war in Iraq," Walter Maestri, the emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, told the Times-Picayune in 2004. Of the $500 million requested for levees, pumping stations and new drainage canals between 2001 and 2005, only $249 million passed out of Congress. As recently as March, the Corps warned in a briefing memo that the funding shortfalls "will significantly increase the cost of the project, delay project completion and delay project benefits."

"If the Army Corps capabilities for the SELA program had been fully funded, there is no question that Jefferson Parish and New Orleans would be in a much better position to remove the water on the streets once the pumps start working," says Hunter Johnston, a lobbyist for Johnston and Associates who worked to secure the money.
Government Saw Flood Risk but Not Levee Failure
In an interview Thursday on "Good Morning America," President Bush said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." He added, "Now we're having to deal with it, and will."
Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan Novels) (Mass Market Paperback)by Tom Clancy
I read this Clancy novel the moment it came out in '96. It has one of the BEST ENDINGS of any book I've read. Unfortunately, September 11th, 2001 shed a completely different light on this book. In fact, the first thought I had when I learned of the horrible attack on that morning was, "someone read DEBT OF HONOR." (If I reveal the ending here, there's not much of a point for you to read it...)

So when Condoleeza Rice said to the press that "no one could have imagined" that someone would use airliners to attack buildings I was appalled by the bald-faced lie. Everyone knows that D.C. (the Pentagon, the White House, the CIA) reads Clancy's novels, in galley form before they're published. Not only did the terrorists imagine this, Clancy wrote a remarkably similar and spectacular scenario, allowing the D.C. war-gamers to imagine yet another horrible possibility. After all, Reagan purportedly got all fired up about the Star Wars Missile Defense System after reading Clancy's RED STORM RISING.
Grover Norquist
Norquist was one of the so-called "Gang of Five" identified in Nina Easton's 2000 book by that name, which gives a history of leaders of the modern conservative movement. He has been described as "a thumb-in-the-eye radical rightist" (The Nation), and "Tom Paine crossed with Lee Atwater plus just a soupçon of Madame Defarge" (P.J. O'Rourke). Norquist has been noted for his widely quoted quip: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." The pledge of "no new taxes" that many Republican legislators have signed was his project.
Drowning New Orleans from Scientific American
THE BOXES are stacked eight feet high and line the walls of the large, windowless room. Inside them are new body bags, 10,000 in all. If a big, slow-moving hurricane crossed the Gulf of Mexico on the right track, it would drive a sea surge that would drown New Orleans under 20 feet of water. "As the water recedes," says Walter Maestri, a local emergency management director, "we expect to find a lot of dead bodies."

New Orleans is a disaster waiting to happen. The city lies below sea level, in a bowl bordered by levees that fend off Lake Pontchartrain to the north and the Mississippi River to the south and west. And because of a damning confluence of factors, the city is sinking further, putting it at increasing flood risk after even minor storms. The low-lying Mississippi Delta, which buffers the city from the gulf, is also rapidly disappearing. A year from now another 25 to 30 square miles of delta marsh-an area the size of Manhattan-will have vanished. An acre disappears every 24 minutes. Each loss gives a storm surge a clearer path to wash over the delta and pour into the bowl, trapping one million people inside and another million in surrounding communities. Extensive evacuation would be impossible because the surging water would cut off the few escape routes. Scientists at Louisiana State University (L.S.U.), who have modeled hundreds of possible storm tracks on advanced computers, predict that more than 100,000 people could die. The body bags wouldn't go very far.