Saturday, September 10, 2005

Dear People of NOLA,

Since I have no choice in the matter, I won't allow you to thank me and my peers for paying to dry your city, and provide order, water, and food to your citizens. No, I don't want your thanks. I don't even want your thanks for paying my insurance premiums, which in large part will go to support your reckless rebuilding on land that will sink further and further below sea level. While I may not require your thanks, and they are certainly in order, all I want from the citizens of NOLA is your attention to this rant.

In 2000 LA voted for Bush by large margins. One must suppose that Clinton's years of peace and prosperity did not appeal to you as manifested by Robot Gore. Initially there was no change because Bush was on vacation.

You must have been as horrified as we were by the 911 attacks on America. I'm sure many of you have visited New York and for those of you who didn't, imaging a New York without twin towers is like imagining yourself without twin limbs jutting out of your shoulders.

I'm sure you joined all of America when we cheered Bush on as he attempted to find and punish the Islam-o-fascists-o-fanatics responsible for the plane attacks. Conservatives and liberals wrote Bush a blank check to do what had to be done. Meanwhile, I guess you weren't paying attention to the corruption of your own politicians as they failed on every level to build levees that would actually work. When you fail on a daily basis to pay attention to the rampant poverty that surrounded you, it's no surprise you also failed to attend to the levees that protected you.

You must have not been paying attention to that country called Iraq. It is located in the Middle East and was ruled by a horrible and secular tyrant named Saddam. You might remember there was a movie called Three Kings with Marky Mark... But that's distant history. All you have to do is remember two words: Saddam (he's the horrible tyrant), and Iraq (that's the country). Funny words aren't they? Both of them are far away and didn't concern us in the slightest until 2003.

Bush invaded that country (Iraq), telling us Saddam (remember, that's the tyrant) harbored weapons of mass destruction, and had ties to the terrorists who flew planes into the world trade center. These later proved to be lies, but they were so convincing at the time that the entire country was up in arms. Bush et ilk also promised that the people in Iraq would welcome us with open arms. And that we would all be one big happy democratic family. We, the US, would play the role of the protective father. Iraq would welcome us with flowers, and play the hard working mother role, pumping oil out of her swollen breast to feed the hungry children around the world.

This was a fantasy. By 2003 the world was treated to our new reality. Our soldiers did not receive flowers. Instead, we learned a new word, the IED, or Improvised Explosive Devices. As US soldiers started dying, we were treated to photographs of our soldiers torturing Iraqi people, some of whom were later released without charges.

Meanwhile, on the home front, America was bleeding about one and a half billion dollars into Iraq weekly. Great time for a tax cut geared towards the rich! In response to this Bush plan, deficits soared. We entered a lukewarm economic recovery. Income levels leveled off for middle America, personal debt grew, but at least the rich were finally able to afford their fifth cars. Some got boats.

This is where you come in. When people pay taxes, they enter into a social contract with the government. In exchange for taxes, we get things like roads, courts, police officers, and regulations to make sure cyanide isn't in baby food. In exchange for taxes, you were supposed to get levees. But with all that money being spent in Iraq, and with all the Bush driven tax cuts, levees got cut out of the budget.

Despite this, the people of LA voted for Bush in November of 2004, almost one year ago. Not a single county went for Kerry, I checked. During the campaign, Bush maintained the war in Iraq was necessary, not a diversion from US interests or our national safety. He still hadn't found Bin Laudin, who was the man responsible for 911.

Bush attacked Kerry for not having a plan to keep America safe from more terrorist attacks. Bush told us he had a plan. He told us he's been getting ready for potential threats from all corners. He even created a Department of Homeland Security to maintain US security. He figured that people who were scared for their security would vote for him. For the most part, you did.

Looks like you just learned that the perception of safety is not the same thing as safety.

Since the election, in which the people of LA supported Bush by over 100,000 votes, the war on Iraq has continued, and gotten much worse. Your taxes have been spent bringing Islamofascism to what was once merely a terrible secular tyranny like many others the world over. But Bush hasn't only taken your taxes to pay for Iraq. Over one third of the LA national guard and one half of their equipment have gone into Iraq, brought there by Bush. This equipment includes high water vehicles, which are presently located in Iraq, mostly desert.

You know the next thing that occurred on this timeline. What you probably don't know about is the fact that Bush spent the five weeks prior to the hurricane on vacation. One day, when 14 US soldiers from Ohio died in Iraq, he was enjoying long bike rides in Crawford Texas and fundraising meetings with the rich people he helped by cutting their taxes. He didn't see any particular need to go to Ohio. He also didn't see any need to meet with Mrs. Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq. Bush hoped something would come along to distract the news away from this failure of his character.

That something came. Katrina didn't come as a sudden hope. It came with 2 days notice. Bush's policies over the 4 years since 911 came to a test. And what did we find? We found there was no plan, no relief for days on end, no coordination. We found chaos on the streets, which were hidden from view by the many feet of water that quickly turned into oily sewage. We found a weak and halfhearted response from the federal agencies as looters helped themselves and dead bodies rotted in the sun. We found FEMA had been stacked with Bush appointments, none of whom have experience with disaster relief. Citizens were left to defend and fend for themselves. Bush, from Air Force one, said, "It must be bad down there." He later said that "no-one expected the levees to breech." No-one other than anyone who had spent any time on the problem, or anyone who lived in New Orleans for more than one week.

If you can't see the connection between the federal government's failure to help the people of NO, to prevent levees from breaching, and Bush's policies over the last 5 years: tax cuts, war in Iraq, then you're probably too stupid to have read this far.

So I included pictures. Below you'll find my other donation to NO. The other donation is a financial charity to support you, but, not content with this, I wanted to give ya'll a concrete gift. These former monetary charities only subsidize and enable your way of life, they do nothing to prevent you and your corrupt politicians at all levels from demanding more of my aid. I don't want you to be forever dependant on my aid, because then you will have reduced incentive to figure things out for yourself. I'm willing to go the extra mile and support you in a very solid way.

I bought a tub of concrete for 10 dollars. I suggest you use it to support your local levee. I will mail it to you, if the US mail still works. It is ready to go and requires no mixing with your sewage, I mean, drinking water. Please use it well. Email me an apology on behalf of all Bush votes in LA and I'll throw in shipping.

BTW: one more thing you ought to know. Robot Gore (NOT one of your elected leaders) spent $50,000 of his own money chartering 2 planes to get some infirm patients out of a hospital after your state and federal agencies failed. So a tub of concrete is the least I can do.

Thanks to Ern, I'm putting this up front.
- Required reading.


Blogger Ern said...

Well said. No one pays attention to what policies might mean for the citizens when put into practice, or what is ACTUALLY going on at Homeland "Security".

I hope that they don't rebuild NO in its current location, but I fear they will.

I'm sure you have seen this timeline:

1:04 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

I hadn't seen the entire thing. Holly shit. I truely hope these idiots see the error of their way now. Bush will be remembered about as harshly as Nero playing a fiddle while Rome burned.

1:44 AM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

Great post. Horrific details. Here, here to Doc and Ern for telling it like it is.

LA are you still a red state? That's what I want to know.

6:20 AM  
Blogger marybishop said...

Chillingly eloquent...exactly the same points my husband was making this morning...I didn't know about Gore - I did know how they voted - Like LB I wonder if there's been enough red in LA to turn it blue...

10:46 AM  
Blogger marybishop said...

Such good points -- so good--Husband has asked me to print your post out rather than try to paraphrase it...

10:52 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Beautifully put Doc. I can't understand why people voted for him in his loser-ness, it still boggles my mind that anyone thinks he is doing a 1/2 decent job.

My husband said in the polls today that his approval is below 40% which is good but really, doesn't mean shit because he's done in a couple years anyway.

Go look at this website to see the New Yorker's cover this week, it's brilliant.

1:04 PM  
Blogger marybishop said...

Acumama - I agree...downstairs I can hear the music of Porgy and Bess wafting up odd how sad...when did it happen that we became a 3rd world county?

9:58 PM  
Blogger paintergirl said...

You know...poverty has always been around. Everyone felt pretty good during the Clinton years. The economy was great, but poverty was still there, no one wanted to contend with it. But when things get really bad (endless war, hurricanes), EVERYTHING starts to look really bad. Nothing like kicking a man when he's down. I'm sick of our government and the people you voted this adminstration in, to continue to beat us up.

5:27 AM  
Blogger marie antoinette said...

Most of the people in NOLA probably did not know that Bush had shortchanged them on the levees. Nobody thinks about levees until they break. Hey, *I* didn't know about it until afterward, and I like to keep on top of things.

I offer a comparable example: Miami after Hurricane Andrew. One of the reasons Andrew was so devastating was that the housing codes were way, way below what you need if you want to build a house in South Florida. But come on, housing codes? Only the biggest Democracy nerds care about housing codes..until your house comes crashing down on you.
It's thirteen years later. People are talking about lowering the housing codes again. People never learn.

7:50 PM  
Blogger echrai said...

Wow. Wonderfully put.

8:17 AM  
Blogger dan dan noodles said...

Pat Robertson says Katrina was payback for tolerating gays and he's a nutjob. You say Katrina is payback for voting for Bush and you get patted on the back.

The hurricane was a natural disaster--the need to blame someone for the unthinkable is a natural human response, but it doesnt make it right. Besides, the levees were ignored for generations--not for one administration. Not to mention the fact that NOLA has Democrats for mayor and governor. If we're dishing out blame, I think they get some too.

Don't get me wrong though--I wouldnt cry a river if the Bush Administration was swept away in a tidal wave.

Though i disagree with you on this one issue, I really like your blog overall. Keep up the good work!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Dan Dan,

I agree all the way. However, two wrongs do not make a right. The failure at the local and personal level do not excuse a failure at the federal level.

Bush preped for the last 4 years for a disaster. A disaster came and the result was disaster.

I'm not saying that Katrina came to LA in direct causation from voting for Bush. I'm saying that LA voted for Bush is large numbers, but after the disaster came, Bush's failures showed.

He's just a bad president. Nothing more, nothing less.

It's altogether sad.

12:27 AM  

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