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NCMEC and things that make you want to go HMMMMMM

by Chris McElroy, President of the Kidsearch Network

Ok, if you read my blog articles, you see that the NCMEC comes up quite often. People email me and ask me questions about some of the posts because it seems outrageous, first that they get so many millions per year, and second that they aren't actually involved in the searches for missing children. Some find those things hard to believe and believe that maybe it is just some sour grapes on my part. Let me give you some facts you can check out for yourself then . . .

Mini disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this article are my own and the facts that back up my opinion are referenced for your convenience. The statements by Ernest Allen are pulled from his testimony to congress. Click here for the full document.

Myth The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have a search team that actually shows up when a child is missing or abducted to help police recruit volunteers and help conduct a search.

Fact NCMEC is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1984, and serves as the official national resource center and clearinghouse as mandated by the Missing Children’s Assistance Act. In the 1984 Act, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Justice to designate such a center.

Fact in 1999 Congress passed the Missing, Exploited and Runaway Protection Act of 1999, officially codifying, authorizing and mandating NCMEC in that role under law. The 1999 legislation was authored and sponsored by a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Mr. Castle of Delaware.

Fact NCMEC is charged with operating a national 24-hour toll-free telephone line for reporting information regarding missing children.

Fact In Ernie Allen's own words, "Our primary role is technical assistance for law enforcement, as it is a local police officer somewhere in America who is actually recovering the child."

Myth Again in Mr. Allen's words, "Working in concert with the Justice Department, NCMEC focuses on the most serious cases in which the child is at greatest risk. On cases meeting DOJ-approved criteria, we have worked with law enforcement on 89,599 cases, and played a role in the recovery of 73,351 children. Yet, most importantly, the recovery rate in those cases has climbed from 62% in 1990 to 93.9% today."

The fact on the above statement is that most cases that are in the database of the NCMEC website are "family or non-custodial abductions" where the child is at little or no risk. The next group that is listed there are "runaways". While we agree that runaways are possibly at risk due to their youth and being on the street, we disagree that these two groups which make up most of the database justify Mr. Allen to say "NCMEC focuses on the most serious cases in which the child is at greatest risk".

The next part he claims they have worked with law enforcement on 89,599 cases and played a role in the recovery of 73,351 cases. When a child is reported missing to the local police they enter it into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center). It is then automatically entered into the NCMEC database and website. If the police officers find the child 10 minutes later, then the NCMEC "has played a role in their recovery?" What role? The police would have found that child with or without an NCMEC

Fact NCMEC is now playing a key role in international child abduction cases as the State Department’s representative on in-coming cases under the Hague Convention. Since September 1995, we have handled 3,143 cases under the Hague Convention, resulting in the return of 2,211 children. We are also using the worldwide web to build a network to distribute images worldwide in partnership with INTERPOL. However, again, these are parental or non-custodial abductions for the most part. I would guess that the 11 in 2211 children recovered were possibly not parental or non-custodial abductions.

Fact According to Mr. Allen, "NCMEC has designed, written, edited and published many collaterals and publications for law enforcement, other child serving professionals, and the general public. Since 1984, NCMEC has disseminated 28,762,912 free publications." Again there is a "however", according to their IRS 990 form, they made $40,000 selling publications vs giving them away for free just in 2001. Considering that their revenue for that year was $32,386,780, and at the end of the year had a net of $12,385,095 that they did not spend, they could have just given the publications away for free. But I guess they needed to make up the more than $30,000 they lost due to investments, because it sure didn't make a dent in the $1,868,228 they spent on travel or the $646,683 on conferences, conventions, and meetings that year.

Myth until proven otherwise. ADVO, the Connecticut-based marketing company whose "Have You Seen Me? flyers" go into 85 million homes per week in the U.S.. This incredible company has been providing this service at no cost for eighteen years, and most importantly, 1 in every 7 of the children featured is recovered as a direct result of the ADVO card. I applaud ADVO for doing this at NO COST to the NCMEC. It is a great program. I just want proof of the 1 in 7 figure and since that is being told to congress and to the public when Ernest Allen talks about it to them. Show me specific cases where you can prove that figure and I will publicly admonish myself and apologize to Mr. Allen, the NCMEC, the public, and my readers.

Another Myth until proven wrong Mr. Allen again, "But there are many others. Six years ago, Wal-Mart became a strong supporter of this effort. Wal-Mart created its Missing Children’s Network, partnering with NCMEC to create bulletin boards with photos of missing children in all of their 3,000+ Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs. Eighty-four children are home safely today as a direct result of the Wal-Mart bulletin boards." Today they claim it's over 100 cases. Again, show me specific cases that prove that to be a fact, Mr. Allen.

Fact From transcripts of Mr. Allen speaking to congress, "We are not asking Congress for more money. In recent years, NCMEC has received a core appropriation to support its work under the Missing Children’s Act, an appropriation for the Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center, an appropriation from Treasury/Postal Appropriations through the U.S. Secret Service primarily to address and support our efforts in the field of child sexual exploitation, and additional earmarks to support special programs like NetSmartz, LOCATER, School Resource Officer training, etc.

We are very grateful and enthusiastic about the action of the Congress in the PROTECT Act to raise NCMEC’s appropriations authorization ceiling. While such action will not necessarily increase the amount of appropriations NCMEC receives, it gives us the opportunity to consolidate some of the current separate appropriations and maintain and properly manage the current ongoing programs.

Where we do have some concern is in our ability to manage potential new challenges. For example, at this point we do not know how costly or complicated the national background screening pilot project will be that was approved in the PROTECT Act.

Thus, we ask the Subcommittee’s consideration for increases in the appropriations authorization ceiling for those years beyond 2005, the current end year for our authorization."

Did I miss something here? First paragraph, ""We are not asking Congress for more money". Now look at the last paragraph. Very smooth considering the financial facts I'll give you next.

But first, there is a real problem here that people sometimes fail to see. Our government is like anyone else. We want something done about missing children but we don't know exactly what to do so we throw money at it in hopes it will go away. It won't. And creating a "catch-all" bureaucracy for every missing child program or idea that comes along is not the answer. Let me give you an example. You get software that has like 100 different functions. It never works better than the software you have that only does one function. Same rule applies here. In order to continually increase it's funding each year, the NCMEC convinces our government they should just add each new program about missing children to the NCMEC rather than funding another organization who probably created the idea in the first place. Bigger government doesn't work and neither does a bigger NCMEC.

Fact The NCMEC claims to the public that 94 cents of every dollar goes into programs that help find missing children. Well, lets take a look at the figures from their 990 they file with the IRS for year 2002, the most recent one offered as far as I can find. But it's a good sample year.

Gross Revenue, $32,386,780, with $25,838,215 coming from tax dollars.
Management costs $466,114
Fundraising costs $880,448

Officers and Directors $543,438
Other salaries/wages $8,980,018
Pensions $510,637
Employee benefits $1,045,578
Payroll Taxes $691,971
Accounting $49,640 reasonable to find an accountant who can make this look like 94 cents of every dollar going into programs.
Legal Fees $163,080 I'd say necessary under the circumstances
Travel $1,868,228
Office $1,540,820
Conferences, Conventions, Meetings $646,683

Net Assets $23,820,725. They could almost last a year without new funding.

Ernest Allen CEO $222,117 and $14,622 in benefits
Michael Lynch CFO $154,678 and $10,345 in bennies
John Rabun Jr. $166,643 and $11,118 in benefits
Rick Minicucci CTO $137,692

There are others with nice salaries. They brought in another $31,146 SELLING child identification kits. It would seem they could give these away so that as many children have them as possible if they truly believe every child should have one. Kidsearch gives them away for free and we have a little smaller budget than they do, about $32,000,000 smaller than theirs.

They held an auction in Palm Beach, Florida. They took in $415,574. They only netted $249,560. Do you think they told the donors that 94 cents of every dollar goes to help find missing children? Do you think they mentioned spending almost a million dollars per year for fundraising? Do you think it's ok that they didn't?

NY Auction they held that year. $455,616 raised, $269,870 netted after expenses. Still wondering about the 94 cents thing?

Total for events like that in 2001, $1,823,933 raised because they told people they needed more money. $700,000 of that actually went to the NCMEC, then their "other" expenses and salaries and travel come out of that. So for anyone attending any of these events who may have been told that 94 cents of every dollar goes to help find missing children and gave just $1, then about 38 cents of that dollar ever went to the NCMEC and thats before they take out more expenses, salary, etc.

My point is that I challenge the notion that 94 cents of every dollar donated to the NCMEC goes to help find missing children and again I challenge any supporter of their's to dispute my findings with actual facts and figures.

Sun Microsystems is listed on the website as a SPONSOR, yet that year they made $879,284? Can I be a sponsor? please, please!

Viewpoint Software Development made $500,000

Those that want to verify these figures or get more of the picture Click here for the 990 in PDF format.

I'm not saying people don't need to be paid to do this. They do. I may not agree they need to be paid that much, but that's my opinion. Some will say they need to compete with for profit businesses for the best and the brightest. I think that is exactly what is wrong with the nonprofit sector in general. They hire CEOs, Lawyers, and accountants from the for profit sector and act more like a for profit than a nonprofit as a natural result of doing so. This destroys the mission in my opinion and creates a PR machine that is more concerned with the perception of doing something than they are about actually doing anything. We've seen it with the United Way and the Red Cross just to name a couple of similar entities.

From 1998-2001 NCMEC got $69,312,084 and according to Ernest Allen again, "Today more missing children are coming home safely than ever before. America is better prepared. There is a national network in place." yet there are a lot more missing children today than there was in 1998 or 1999 or 2000 or 2001 or 2002 and so on. So where is this huge impact the NCMEC claims to have made?

Fact In 2001 there were less than 250 missing children in the state of California. Today there are 266 unsolved cases. Last year in Florida, during August there were 132 unsolved missing child cases. Today there are 152. This is gathered from the NCMEC website, so I still ask where is the impact for that amount of tax dollars and donations spent?

For those at the NCMEC who would like to dispute my opinions here, bring it. I have a question. Why, with all that money coming in and all that travel being paid for, hasn't your staff, directors, or anyone from there, ever been to the house where the parents are missing a child right now? We have barely any budget and we've been there many times. We have "solved" cases that we were ACTUALLY there and involved in. I have an 18-year-old girl you can meet that will tell you how she was abducted by a two-time registered sex offender and we found her with absolutely zero help from the police or the NCMEC. There are more cases like that. We were THERE. What a concept! It works. All your statistics and impact studies and technical support and training can never equal showing up and helping the parents find their missing child.

We have proven that has real impact, yet you refuse to fund us, donate to us, or even acknowledge that we exist, while you buddy up to congress to make sure that ANY money that goes toward missing children gets swallowed up by your organization. Not only that, the LAW that created the NCMEC states that you are supposed to help fund organizations that help find missing children. We find missing children. Where is our help?

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Ok, here we go. This just pisses me off! But before I go into the article, what pisses me off even worse is that soon republicrooks will be saying that all of this is a left-wing conspiracy and they will be defending the crooks this article is about. Watch and see.

From the Washington PostBack in January, House Republican leaders backed off a rule change that would have allowed senior officials in the chamber--say, maybe the House majority leader--to hold onto their posts even if indicted.

Boy, that looks huge right now.

The leadership caved because of rank-and-file complaints that the party would send a lousy message by protecting one of its leaders who was charged with a crime. And with Tom DeLay's indictment yesterday, it's clear why they were so worried. DeLay stepped aside within minutes.

We have, at the moment, a remarkable situation: The Senate majority leader under investigation because of a questionable stock sale, and the House majority leader is under indictment. Before I finish typing this paragraph, I'm sure Democrats will be declaiming and decrying the lack of ethics in the Republican Party.

And they are sure to add that Republican lobbyist (and close DeLay pal) Jack Abramoff is under indictment in one case and under investigation in others, while the top White House procurement official, David Safavian, was accused last week of lying and obstruction in the Abramoff probe. A special prosecutor is still sniffing around the Valerie Plame leak, and the FDA commissioner quit weeks into his tenure for failing to report holdings on his financial disclosure form, says the NYT.(End of Washington Post Quote)

The LEADER of the HOUSE. The LEADER of the SENATE. Both alleged to be involved in crimes. What a shock! Politicians involved in a crime? No way! Surely not! Republicans involved in illegal activities? No way!

More from the Washington Post Some Repubs are reacting by criticizing the indictment--exactly the sort of thing they scoffed at when Clinton and his allies were ripping Ken Starr's tactics. Sean Hannity (with Colmes banished for the segment) told his first guest he couldn't figure out what the indictment was about. The guest? Tom DeLay, who called the case "ridiculous." Interestingly, DeLay complained about the "politics of personal destruction," a phrase popularized by Bill Clinton, whose ouster the Texan crusaded for ("Anybody who lies to a grand jury ought to be impeached.")(End of Washington Post Quote)

Another FoxNews "fair and balanced report". And some republicrooks actually criticized the indictment? Again I'm shocked.

Slate's John Dickerson says the Dems should think twice before celebrating: "Democrats would have to be nuts to root for DeLay's scalp, something many of them admit in private. He's the best villain they'll ever have. DeLay's got troubles hanging from him like charm bracelets. Not only does he have the Texas mess, but he's been knocked three times by the House ethics committee for misusing his post, and he's been closely linked to indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. At the level of personality, he positively oozes meanness, making him a perfect foil for Democrats. His poll numbers have been tanking. And now he's under indictment. DeLay makes an even more potent symbol bookended by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who is having his own ethical inquiries into his stock sales.

Democrooks can't capitalize on it like they want to because the issues that plague Frist and Delay are ones they are vulnerable to as well. What this really shows is not that the republicans are all crooked but that an entire system is corrupted.

Just like with all the recent indictments of CEOs of major corporations. They make the campaign contributions, job offers, book deals, trips, and other incentives. They get people elected. The elected republicrooks and democrooks in return pass laws that benefit them at the expense of taxpayers. The CEOs of these corporations and the politicians are in bed with each other.

The indictments with the corporations are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more corporations that are doing illegal accounting, insider trading, and other crimes. The answer? Bush appointed a guy to head the SEC that says corporations are over-regulated. Translation, we just make what they are doing legal then no more indictments and they can continue to do business as usual. The indictments of the politicians is again just the tip of the iceberg, both parties engage in all sorts of under-the-table deals, illegal activities, scams, and bribes. A few get caught. They rarely ever go to jail. Then laws get passed, so that the others who were doing the same things but haven't been caught yet, can't be prosecuted because the new laws made their activities "technically legal".

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More things that just piss me off

Baseball's Cyborgs

The whole issue of steroid use in sports just pisses me off. Especially the overpriced milloionaires who get to play baseball for a living and complian they can't do it for less than another few million next year, then insist that balls they hit over the fence belong to them and not to the fans who pay them their millions.

Thos baseball players who refuse to or worse charge for autographs. You should be ashamed of yourself. You get millions to play a game for a living. The fans are responsible for that. Your lack of respect and refusal to accept the responsibility of being a role model will be your downfall and anything that makes that occur faster should be welcome to the fans.

I agree with some senators and others when they propose that all records set by someone who has tested even once for steroid use should be barred from the hall of fame or at the very least have an Rx symbol next to their stats in the record books. Anyone who uses a corked bat, same thing.

They barred Pete Rose for gambling and we can't bar someone cheating with corked bats and steroids? What sense does that make?

Whats next, implanted robotics? We will have some Cyborg up to bat with enhanced optical devices and powerful robotic arms and a Big flat bat like they use in cricket and we will have to honor their records above those actual humans who played and relied on their own ability without cheating?

It's time to send a message. Performance drugs are cheating. Let's don't call it anything other than it is. Don't defend them just because you are a fan and you like them. If you are a true baseball fan then you want the players to compete with each other fairly and without enhancements. If they want to use steroids, let them go to the new DBL. (Doper Baseball League).

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More things that just piss me off


Corporations on Welfare

Now it will be interesting to see what happens when the Supreme Court examines so-called business tax credits. It's another way Corporations get by on paying less taxes while we pay more. You don't think so?

Corporate welfare has created a culture of dependency that has encouraged certain industries to live off the taxpayers. There are huge corporations that own most of the farming in this country. Don't be fooled by stats that say a large % of farms are family farms. That statistic counts anyone who sells $1000 a year in produce a farm. That way the percentage looks good when just counting farms.

Large corporations produce 98 percent of all poultry in the United States;

Just two percent of farms produce 50 percent of all agricultural products in the country;

Four firms handle more than 80 percent of all beef slaughter. Just two decades ago, concentration in this sector was below 40 percent;

Sixty percent of pork production in the U.S. is owned by just four firms

Yet when there is a bill coming up to give more "farm subsidies" to our nation's poor farmers the subsidies are structured so that the majority of that money is going to who produces the most produce. Who is that? Corporations. This is just one example of corporate welfare.

States have been in competition to recruit corporations to build in their state for years and years now. They are given tax credits, free water, free electricity, a moritorium on paying any taxes for a number of years, free land that the states and municipalities take from citizens through eminent domain, and a number of other things.

Lightening their tax burdens supposedly creates more jobs etc. but it also increases the tax burden on the citizens of that state. Federal corporate welfare like the subsidies I mentioned affect all US taxpayers with a heavier burden.

These corporations work the system like professional athletes negotiate contracts. They move to the highest bidder with no regard for the consequences of leaving the state they are in and no loyalty to the state they are moving to. They will leave them too as soon as a better offer is on the table.

I'm glad the Supreme Court is taking a look at business tax credits, but the whole system of corporate welfare needs to be addressed. I'm not an economist but laws that continue to lean toward corporations at the expense of taxpayers is a bad thing no matter what economists try to justify.

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Beavis and Butthead

Beavis and Butthead


Bush Lightbulb Joke

Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; it's condition is improving every day. Any reports of it's lack of incandescence are
totally unfounded, and the result of delusional "spin" assaults from the fanatic, elitist, liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect and dims it's ego. Why do you hate freedom?

Katrina and the Contractors who loved her

On September 16th, I blogged This Article, Louisiana - The New Scam about where the katrina Relief Money approved by congress and bush will go.

Today unfortunately, I get to report the article was right on target. "Connected" companies again receiving "no-bid" contracts for federal money. Rewards for campaign contributions? Presidents before bush and senators before the current ones have also done this for a long time. It's just way more apparent and visible in the bush administration. It's like they don't care if we know they are rewarding these companies who supported their campaigns, and that are their friends and business associates.

From the NY Times; (shortened for length) The first detailed tally of commitments from federal agencies since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast four weeks ago shows that more than 15 contracts exceed $100 million, including 5 of $500 million or more. More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency alone were awarded without bidding or with limited competition, government records show.

Already, questions have been raised about the political connections of two major contractors - the Shaw Group and Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton - that have been represented by the lobbyist Joe M. Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former leader of FEMA.

You remember Haliburton, right? The same company tied to dick cheney? The same company that he gave "no-bid" contracts to when he was working for Ronald Reagan? The same company that hired him as CEO and paid him millions of dollars after his generosity during the Reagan Administration? The same company that ended up with "no-bid" contracts totalling millions in Iraq? I'm sure you remember them.

More From the NY Times;Bills have come in for deals that apparently were clinched with a handshake, with no documentation to back them up, said Mr. Skinner, who declined to provide details. Congress appropriated $62.3 billion in emergency financing after Hurricane Katrina struck. So far, a total of $15.8 billion has been allocated from a FEMA-managed disaster relief fund, of which $11.6 billion has been committed through contracts, direct aid to individuals or work performed by government agencies.

Congressional investigators are looking into the $568 million awarded to AshBritt, a Pompano Beach, Fla., company that was a client of the former lobbying firm of Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi. According to Senate filings, AshBritt paid about $40,000 in the first half of 2005 to Barbour Griffith & Rogers, the Washington lobbying firm co-founded by Governor Barbour of Mississippi, who is also a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

The Bechtel Corporation, awarded a contract that could be worth $100 million, is under scrutiny for its oversight of the "Big Dig" construction project in Boston. And Kellogg, Brown & Root, subsidiary of haliburton, which was given $60 million in contracts, was rebuked by federal auditors for unsubstantiated billing from the Iraq reconstruction and criticized for bills like $100-per-bag laundry service.

As of last week, the federal government was spending more than $263 million a day on the recovery effort. The two most expensive services the government has signed contracts for so far are manufactured housing and debris removal, which alone have totaled $2 billion, according to contracting records. AshBritt, which has won the biggest share of those contracts, is being paid about $15 per cubic yard to collect and process debris, federal officials said. It is also being reimbursed for costs if it has to dispose of material in landfills.

Other contracts signed elsewhere in the Gulf Coast Region are lower than $11 per cubic yard. Had competitive bidding been in place it would be quite a savings.

Basically what we have here is a disaster "industry" capable of being used to reward the cronies of whoever happens to be in power at the time. Right now, those are bush's cronies, later it will be the democrat's cronies. Even now on a smaller scale there are democrats who are rewarding their contributors, friends, and associates with lucrative contracts in return for their campaign contributions and other favors.

It's the same with bush appointing brown to be the head of fema. You help someone get elected, you get a cushy job or a lucrative contract whether you are qualified or not. Brown at fema couldn't even run an organization that dealt with arabian horses, let alone handle a disaster. Unfortunately even the people under him were cronies, so he didn't even have more qualified people than himself to fall back on.

If people don't pay attention to what is going on with these contracts and appointments, and don't speak out about it, or answer with their votes it will only get worse, if that's possible.

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More things that just piss me off


The "STATE" of New Orleans

This is a letter I received. I cannot vouch for it's validity, but the writer seems to have inside information about the situation in New Orleans and some of it is easily verifiable. I lived in New Orleans for 5 years. I can vouch for the fact that New Orleans is it's own entity and the state doesn't exercize much power over it. Maybe it should in the future.

Here is the letter:

I am a Sheriff's Deputy who is part of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in the New Orleans MSA.

Mayor Nagin has been speaking furiously about the lack of everything from the State and Federal Government. Here is some info:

1. There are two States here. Louisiana and the City of New Orleans/Orleans Parish. Always has been and always will be. When a State Law passes, Law Makers ALWAYS write whether Orleans Parish will allow the Law or not.

2. When the MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) meets for Disaster Planning and Equipment Purchases (6 times a year for the last 15 years), we all agree how we will spend the Federal Money as a team since we are in this together. Orleans Parish DEMANDS they will choose how they will spend their portion.

3. During Communication Infrastructure Planning we> ALL (N.O. MSA) purchased Satellite Phones. We all pay several hundred dollars a month as a "Just In Case Measure". Orleans Parish said their Infrastructure was TOP NOTCH and the money would be better spent on Ford F-150 Pickup Trucks. I dunno what they bought, but it wasn't satellite phones.

4. The looting, Rape (Newly Wedded European Woman who was raped and beaten as well as MANY others), etc. That is life in New Orleans. Why people find New Orleans a romantic, cherish able place is beyond 90% of all Louisianians. It is hot, it stinks, none of us even go into New Orleans without a sidearm and we prefer to leave our women at home. Rapes, thefts, and murder in New Orleans are as common as a High Speed pursuit in California.

5. When we enter New Orleans to issue an arrest warrant, the SCAT (Street Crime Arrest Team) is ALWAYS present. I and/or other officers have been part of 18 arrests in New Orleans and have been shot at 17 times. Eleven of those were with AK-47s and 3 of those 11 had two 40-round clips taped together.

6. Even before Mayor Naggin took office, the Fed's and State were never allowed to do anything to improve New Orleans. New Orleans ALWAYS wanted the cash to do their own improvements, their way.

7. There was no way in Hell the State was gonna make a move until New Orleans asked for help. There was no way in Hell the Fed's were gonna make a move until the Governor asked for help. That is Law.

8. The people looting and shooting have it better than ever. Those areas are known for people living in crappy homes without electricity. Now they have some flood water in their home. They stole guns, ammo and food. They have never had it so good and don't want to leave.

9. The people whining the loudest about racism are the same people who always whined about racism.

10. Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard declared martial law Monday Night. Mayor Ray Naggin didn't want to alienate any refugees and allowed all this to happen. We sent officers in to help. After a report of an officer being shot, and supplies and a boat stolen, we BEGGED Mayor Naggin to pass Martial Law. NOPE!!!!!! After two days, our department left New Orleans to die; then Mayor Naggin decided to declare Martial Law.

In our own Parish, we have arrested several refugees. We have recovered stolen Corvettes, Escalades, Mercedes Benz, BMW's, etc. A young black female ran over one of our officers. She was driving a Nissan with a VIN from an Oldsmobile 88, and a Plate from Alabama registered to a Ford Van.

An elderly white man died because our Hospital was unable to fill his Oxygen Bottle. Refugees have stolen an EMS Generator at the Mobile Command Center. Refugees have stolen an Energy Truck trying to restore power.

Most Parishes are out of gas at all stations, and most of us cannot drive to work.
All gas stations have a 15-20 minute wait for gas. Some stations are selling only 2 gallons per customer. One station raised prices to $5.64 a gallon. When the owner refused to lower prices, we promptly hooked him in the cuffs and dumped him in jail. There is tons more.

Mayor Haggin had years and so did his predecessors to prepare, but they refused and they refused everyone else's help. Now he is bitching because no one is coming and everything is falling apart.

The media is asking why was the State and Feds not prepared; New Orleans NEVER allowed us to hold drills. All other Parishes and Baton Rouge have drills just for this. The media is asking why no help is coming for the dead. They're Dead; we are only worried about the living. We are tying the dead to a tree or pushing them aside in an attempt to save the living.

I say, if you want out, we'll get you out. You wanna stay, then stay.



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The Pork in Katrina Relief

This should just piss YOU off! Our illustrious leaders at it again. They are sneaking pork into the bill for katrina relief!

From the NY Times September 22, 2005

Gaming the Price of Leadership

Never underestimate the brazenness of incumbent politicians determined to sneak unfair rule changes into the game. Incumbent treachery is under way in the Senate, where Republicans are using a big spending bill as cover to try to gut campaign donation limits and give themselves an eight-to-one spending advantage over election challengers.

The move has the two champions of the campaign finance reform law - John McCain of Arizona and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin - livid, and demanding a showdown vote. That's the least this sorry bit of political greed deserves. Any lawmaker who supports it should be put on a watch list of those machine hacks capable of stealing hot stoves.

The plan, slipped into the transportation spending bill, would free incumbents to make unlimited "soft money" donations to the national party from their misnamed "leadership" political action committees. These are lawmakers' secondary campaign slush funds, in effect, but with a spending range limited by law until now. Under the Senate's snooker move, an incumbent's donation to the national party would be free for recycling right back through the new loophole as found money for the donor's own campaign. Allowing that would circumvent the three-year-old reform limits and establish dual campaign standards: a free and easy one for incumbents, and a tight one for challengers, barred from running "leadership" kitties. Challengers would be restricted to collecting $4,200 per person for a campaign, while a senator could collect $34,200 per donor for the same race.

The shamelessness of this ploy is underscored by its inclusion in a bill that includes some emergency money for Hurricane Katrina repairs - added cover, no doubt, in the eyes of supporters, whose first priority is political self-preservation.

Katrina is already being brandished like a scythe by House conservatives, who are determined to use the reconstruction cost as an excuse to further their age-old campaign to eliminate valuable government programs, including the public financing law that was intended to hold down the outrageously booming costs of presidential elections. If the Senate games the campaign law, the injustice can only grow in the House. End of Times Editorial

You know if you read my blog that I believe politicians from BOTH parties are lowlifes. Whether it is republicrooks or democrooks makes no difference to me. The fact they will use a disaster like katrina to sneak things into law shows that they care nothing about anyone and only about being re-elected.

They used the 911 tragedy to pass law enforcement legislation they had been trying to pass for years, so it's no surprise this disaster becomes another opportunity for them to sneak more legislation in. Before 911, several controversial law enforcement tools were under scrutiny, eschelon to name one, Carnivore to name another. Before 911 these programs were being scrutinized, mostly Carnivore because it affected illegal surveillance of American Citizens.

But after 911 everyone forgot about it and with the Patriot Act giving law enforcement the ability to search your home, your computer, your email, the books you read at the library, and anything else they want WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A SEARCH WARRANT, Carnivore seems harmless in comparison. No need to get a Judge to sign a search warrant means they no longer need probable cause. The checks and balances our forefathers put into the constitution and bill of rights is gon e. Before police had to prove to a judge they had probable cause and get his signature before they could search anything of yours. Now they just inform the judge they are doing it and don't need him to agree that there is probable cause.

Worse than that, if they invoke other parts of the patriot act, they can arrest you, not give you access to a lawyer, if they do give you access to a lawyer they can listen in, they can hold you indefinitely without charging you with a crime or giving you due process. Does that sound like America? If we allow terrorism to take away our rights, then the terrorists have already won.

Sorry to get a little off target since this article is not about the patriot act or terrorism. However it does show a pattern of abuse by our lawmakers. The fact they will stoop as low as necessary to get what they or their financial backers want should alarm everyone who considers themselves an American Patriot. If you only spent 2 hours per week really finding out what is going on and doing a little research you would find out some very troubling issues on your own. Maybe you'd even become a blogger. Just maybe you'd think twice before voting an all republican or all democrat ticket, MAYBE YOU WOULD JUST THINK.

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Tyco Executives sentenced

Now this DOES NOT just piss me off!

From the NY Times: Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco International who was convicted of looting the company of $150 million, was sentenced yesterday to 81/3 to 25 years in a New York State prison, the latest corporate figure to be handed a lengthy prison term in a corruption case.

Mark H. Swartz, his chief lieutenant, received the same sentence for his role in the thefts and fraud. The two men were convicted in June after a four-month retrial.

Judge Michael J. Obus of State Supreme Court in Manhattan also ordered Mr. Kozlowski to pay $167 million in restitution and fines. Mr. Swartz was ordered to pay $72 million in fines and restitution.

The sentencing follows a parade of other substantial terms imposed on former chief executives convicted of white-collar crimes, most notably Bernard J. Ebbers of WorldCom, who received a prison term of 25 years, and John J. Rigas of the cable operator Adelphia Communications, who was sentenced to 15 years. Those sentences - in federal courts - were seen as sending a message to deter huge corporate frauds in the future.

The Tyco sentencing may be the last high-profile corporate misconduct before the most prominent one of them all: the trial next year of Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling of Enron.

Handing down the sentence in a packed courtroom, Judge Obus said yesterday: "The crimes at issue here were violations of the defendants' positions of trust and their fiduciary duty on a grand scale. They caused damage to Tyco and to others, including the shareholders who are Tyco's owners and who, like the investing public, generally should be able to rely on the integrity of the management of publicly traded companies."

Mr. Kozlowski, 58, became a symbol of corporate greed for a $6,000 shower curtain, as well as a $2 million birthday party in Sardinia for his wife that was partly paid for by the company. He stared straight ahead, overwhelmed, as the sentence was read aloud. Mr. Swartz, 45, looked down at the floor.

The two men, both dressed in gray suits and starched-white shirts, were then handcuffed behind their backs and led away by court officers. As any criminal should be Mr. Swartz wistfully winked at his wife and parents. Mr. Kozlowski's wife, wearing sunglasses, wiped away tears that had run down her face as his two daughters, also crying, consoled each other.

Lawyers for Mr. Kozlowski and Mr. Swartz said they planned to seek bail pending appeal from an appellate court today or tomorrow. The two men spent last night in the Bernard B. Kerik Complex near the courthouse. If their lawyers are unsuccessful, the two men will be transferred to Rikers Island by the end of the week to be processed and will most likely serve their time in a maximum-security state prison like Attica. Again as it should be. The average joe, you or me, could not get bail while waiting to go to prison

The State Department of Correctional Services will determine where they serve their time. Other former executives recently convicted in federal courts - including Mr. Ebbers - remain free pending their appeals.

Most legal specialists said yesterday that the sentence imposed by Judge Obus on Mr. Kozlowski and Mr. Swartz was measured but fair.

"It would be a mistake to confuse this with leniency," said Robert A. Mintz, a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at McCarter & English. "For these two former executives, even several years in a state prison will be a very long stretch of time."

The two men will be eligible for parole after eight years and four months, and could be put in a work-release program after serving at least six years, according to State Department of Correctional Services guidelines.

Still, they may yet fare worse than their white-collar counterparts in federal prisons because New York generally requires that criminals with sentences longer than six years go to maximum-security prisons, to be mixed among men convicted of murder and other violent crimes. Wait til they meet BUBBA!

An assistant Manhattan district attorney, Owen E. Heimer, had asked the judge to impose the maximum of 15 to 30 years, contending that Mr. Kozlowski "should not be shown any leniency," as Mr. Heimer compared Tyco to Enron.

In perhaps the most dramatic moment of the hearing, Mr. Heimer read aloud from a letter Mr. Kozlowski had written in 1995 to a Houston judge overseeing the sentencing of a Tyco employee who had been convicted of stealing from the company; Mr. Kozlowski urged that a maximum sentence be imposed. Mr. Heimer said of Mr. Kozlowski, "What the defendant said on that occasion applies on this occasion." I agree. It's like when Rush Limbaugh used to say all people who use illegal drugs should go to prison!

But Judge Obus rejected the harshest sentence and explicitly tried to distance this case from corporate corruption cases against executives at Enron and WorldCom. Unlike Tyco, a conglomerate whose products include security systems and medical devices, those two companies were forced to file for bankruptcy as a result of the accounting frauds.

"It is worth repeating, as the jury panel was instructed at the outset, that this is not about any other case," Judge Obus said. "This is not a matter in which the fraudulent distortion of the records reflecting the financial health of the company have been shown to have been so distorted as to precipitate the company's collapse. That apparently is some other case, perhaps more than one other case, but that is not the case that was before us here."

Before being sentenced, Mr. Kozlowski asked the judge for mercy, pointing to more than 130 letters submitted on his behalf by friends and family. Who all benefitted from the money he stole and spent on them

In explaining why he did not give the maximum sentence, Judge Obus cited the letters and said: "I think the letters are genuinely sincere and they show aspects of the defendants' lives that are at odds with the conduct which has brought them before this court. They certainly make it all the more difficult to fully grasp, even with hindsight, how the defendants, with all they had going for them, managed to get themselves into this disastrous position, but that is what they have done."

While the two men's sentences are lower than Mr. Ebbers's, they are still much higher than those of many of the high-profile executives convicted of white-collar crimes in the 1980's. Michael R. Milken of Drexel Burnham Lambert, for instance, was sentenced to three and a half years and served less than two years for securities fraud.

"The concern that too many executives were misbehaving has caused prosecutors and judges to want to send a much stronger warning signal than they felt the need to send before," said Jennifer H. Arlen, a law professor and expert in business crime at New York University.

Mr. Kozlowski still faces charges of evading more than $1 million in state sales taxes on artwork. Judge Obus scheduled a hearing for Oct. 21. It is unclear whether prosecutors will continue to pursue that case.

The men also face a barrage of civil suits, claiming billions of dollars in damages, from Tyco and shareholders. The men made hundreds of millions of dollars while at Tyco, but it is unclear how much money either Mr. Kozlowski and Mr. Swartz will have left after paying restitution and fines.

In the two years before his fall in 2001, Mr. Kozlowski made more than $330 million in profits from exercising stock options and selling stock grants, in addition to his salary and bonus of about $5 million a year. But his lawyers have suggested that after the civil litigation, on top of the fines and restitution ordered yesterday, he could be bankrupt.

There is also a civil dispute between Mr. Kozlowski and Tyco over whether tens of millions of dollars of deferred compensation should still be paid.

The first case against Mr. Kozlowski and Mr. Swartz was declared a mistrial in April 2004, when a juror holding out for an acquittal made what appeared to be an "O.K." signal to the defense and subsequently received a threatening letter from a stranger, upending the trial.

Yesterday, as the gallery of courtroom spectators spilled into the hallway, that juror, Ruth B. Jordan, shuffled out. She said she had come to watch the sentencing. "It's not as bad as he could have done," she said, "but I still think it's unduly harsh."


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Displaced Children

Now this really pisses me off!

Displaced is a much better term, since the children are not missing and have not been abducted, the NCMEC should be referring to them as children DISPLACED by hurricane katrina. They are not FINDING MISSING CHILDREN. They are REUNITING DISPLACED CHILDREN.

When I spoke with sheriffs in Louisiana parrishes, each of them has stated they have no need for a search team for missing children at this point in time since they have NO REPORTS of children who are actually missing or abducted. At some point in time there may be a child that can really be determined as missing and we will be there to help police in that case.

In the meantime, the children that the ncmec are reporting as missing, are mostly being reported missing by non-custodial parents who want to know which evacuation center their child and the custodial parent were taken to. While I have concern for any parent who does not know where their child is, this is not the same a missing or abducted child report.

From Reuters: "If a parent calls in here, and sometimes the parent is saying they are non-custodial parent, we take that case," Ben Ermini said. "Before we would turn a child over, and there was a question, we'd require a custody order, which has been the case in several instances."

Gautreau said the number should actually turn out to be lower because many children are already with a parent but were reported missing by someone who doesn't have legal custody.

"The number of thousands of missing children, if you're getting them from that national center for missing children, is not necessarily the number of human bodies we have had and touched in our shelters," Gautreau told reporters, according to Reuters.

In some instances the custodial parent was seperated from their child. They were sent to different centers. Again the ncmec and the police are REUNITING the DISPLACED children with their parents. Yet the ncmec is claiming they have found over 500 missing children! This is all paperwork, not a search for children who are assumed to be in danger.

There may be some children who are actually missing and in danger, but no one will be paying any attention because the ncmec has everyone thinking they are performing miracles and have it all under control. They do harm by calling what they are doing finding missing children. They need to change that and call it reuniting displaced children with their families. That way if a report comes in about a child who is actually missing and needs an actual search team to go look for them, then an organization, like Kidsearch, with actual experience in searching for and finding missing and abducted children can go in and do the job the NCMEC is incapable and unwilling to do.

Donate to Kidsearch to help make sure they are ready when the real missing child reports come in!

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Louisiana - The new scam

Ok, I get it now. In the whole time bush has been in office he never admitted any mistakes. Not one. Not even a little one. Never admitted waving at stevie wonder in a concert even. But suddenly he takes responsibility for slow federal response during the disaster along the gulf coast. I was shocked and awed . . . and almost believed him.

But one of his first acts is to get rid of the law that says that contractors in louisiana have to pay a living/prevailing wage to their employees. So with all these people out of work, they get a chance to get jobs rebuilding the cities, but now they will get paid less. Again bush sides with companies profit margins than with the workers of America.

The next thing he does is throw as much money at the disaster relief and rebuilding fund. Sounds great right? But let's examine where that money will actually go. When they got billions for Iraq it went to haliburton, brown and root, exxon-mobile, worldcom, and other companies bush and his administration have close ties with. That is what is about to happen again. Bush has yet another excuse to filter tax payer's money to his buddies.

This is a president with no morals, no concept of conflict of interest, and one that uses disasters as windfalls for his circle of rich cronies. If he had actually cared about disasters, then after 911 he wouldn't have put a failed ceo of an arabian horse association at the head of fema when that is the very person that has to be ready when we have disasters.

And that just pisses me off!

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People who want their life burger king style

You know who they are. You know if you're one of them. People who ask you a favor, then once you agree to the favor they hound you until it's done. "When are you goiung to do that?" "You said you would do that and I'm still waiting" "It doesn't take much time, why can't you do it right now?"

People who think the earth revolves around them and what they want or need is obviously the most important thing in the universe just piss me off. They do not realize that you might have other things to do that are equally important to you or to other people. All they understand is what they need or want and can't understand that since this is important to them that anything else could possibly be important enough to stand in the way of what they are asking you to do.

My new rule is that when people ask me to do them a favor, the more they ask me about when it will be done the longer it will take me to do it. I may never do it and just leave them hanging thinking that I really will do it someday. That should just piss them off instead.

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Political Nepotism - Nevermind Qualifications - Give my friends jobs instead

That's exactly how washington works. Anyone who does favors for a president, senator, congressman, or even your local politicians, that help them get elected get paid off with cushy agency jobs whether they are qualified or not. That just pisses me off.

Let's take FEMA for example. Why not?

Michael Brown was made the director of FEMA after he was asked to resign from the International Arabian Horse Association. Asked to resign? From the International Arabian Horse Association? What about that uniquely qualifies him to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency?

Well let's take a look at his resume/biography. That bio and a White House news release says Brown worked for the city of Edmund, Okla., overseeing its Emergency Services Division. That still wouldn't qualify him to run FEMA, but wait . . . there's more!

But Carolina Miranda, a reporter for Time, tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler that doesn't appear to have been the case.

"His bio, the White House press release, and a number of sources list him as assistant city manager in Edmund, Okla.," Miranda says. " When we called the folks in Edmund, they told us that, no, his position in fact had been assistant to the city manager, which is a purely administrative job, a very different job. He was an administrative assistant. It's sort of an entry-level, intern-type job for somebody who's interested in learning about government. …When he began that job in 1977, he was still a college student. He didn't graduate with his B.A. until 1978."

Oh, now I see. That's what qualifies him to run FEMA. Wait . . . he has more qualifications that explain everything! Mr. Morris was a press handler with the Bush presidential campaign. Previously, he worked for the company that produced Bush campaign commercials.

Other top officials at FEMA don't exactly have impressive résumés in emergency management either. The Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday that neither the acting deputy director, Patrick Rhode, nor the acting deputy chief of staff, Brooks Altshuler, came to FEMA with any previous experience in disaster management. Ditto for Scott Morris, the third in command until May.

Patrick James Rhode, Chief of Staff, FEMA. Patrick Rhode was appointed chief of staff for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the new Department of Homeland Security, by President Bush in April 2003. As chief of staff, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency and for directing the implementation of Under Secretary Michael Brown's priorities and policies. FEMA coordinates federal disaster relief activities, including the response and recovery operations of 26 federal agencies and departments and the American Red Cross.

Before joining FEMA, Mr. Rhode was associate administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration and White House liaison for the Department of Commerce. His first position with the Bush Administration was as special assistant to the President and deputy director of National Advance Operations, a position he assumed in January 2001.

Previously, Mr. Rhode served as deputy director of National Advance Operations for the George W. Bush Presidential Campaign, in Austin, Texas. His other professional credits include serving in communications and public affairs roles in the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and Entergy Corporation. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rhode was an anchor/reporter with network affiliated television stations in Alabama and Arkansas.

Mr. Altshuler and Mr. Rhode had worked in the White House's Office of National Advance Operations. Those are the people who decide where the president will stand on stage and which loyal supporters will be permitted into the audience - and how many firefighters will be diverted from rescue duty to surround the president as he patrols the New Orleans airport trying to look busy. Mr. Morris was a press handler with the Bush presidential campaign. Previously, he worked for the company that produced Bush campaign commercials.

That's what FEMA needs. PR men to spin the public a story when there is a disaster, instead of people who actually know how to respond in an emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced this week that it didn't want the news media taking photographs of the dead in New Orleans. A FEMA spokeswoman talked unconvincingly about the dignity of the dead. But the bizarre demand, a creepy echo of the ban on news media coverage of the coffins returning from Iraq, is simply the latest spasm of a gutted federal agency.

It's not really all that surprising that the officials who run FEMA are stressing that all-important emergency response function: the public relations campaign. As it turns out, that's all they really have experience at doing.

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White Collar Crooks

This always pisses me off, so called white collar crime. If you go to a local store and rob them or steal from them, you get charged with armed robbery, burglary, theft, or any number of criminal charges. If an executive steals from people it's called fraud or illegal accounting or some other harmless name. They don't even call them crimes, they use the word "violations". All this language makes it seem what they do is harmless.

They get preferential treatment, get fined instead of going to jail, and if they do go to jail it's a special jail for special people with conjugal visits, internet access, tennis, golf, etc.

This is totally unfair. They are criminals and just because they steal a lot more money than the average crook, they aren't treated as criminals. The message the government gives is if you can steal a whole lot of money without using a gun, you will be treated special.

These executives at worldcom, tyco, anderson, enron, kpmg, merril lynch, bank of america, deutchbank, martha stewart, and others stole money, cheated on their taxes, made millions on insider trading, and generally did as they pleased ignoring the law because they believe they are above the law. They are common thieves, no better. They should be treated as such.

These are the same executives of big corporations that president-select bush wanted to give 15 years of taxes they DID pay back to them, saying that they will do the right thing and create jobs with the money. When the senators suggested we attach strings to the money requiring them to create jobs with the money, bush countered with there is no need to attach strings, these patriotic american executives will do the right thing.

These are the same executives bush wants to turn our social security over to. He wants your social security to go to companies like merril lynch and others and to let them take care of investing it for you. He beieves they again, will do the right thing with the money.

In a time where there have been so many corporations involved in criminal activity, we should be cracking down on them. But the problem is so widespread that these criminal tactics have become commonplace. People are scared that a crackdown will expose such wide corruption that it will hurt the stock market and the economy. They don't want to crackdown on these criminals. To prove it bush appointed a new guy to head the securities and exchange commission who in his own words believes there is too many regulations on these corporations. In other words he will make all the illegal activity they are participating in legal instead. That way no crackdown is needed and they can steal all they want without that awful inconvenience of going to trial and having to pay a pesky fine.

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Disaster Mismanagement

Yesterday I blogged quoting Chertoff the Creepy, Homeland Security Secretary when he said, "The Government's response to this disaster is a source of pride to me." Yet today he says this "Local and state resources were so weakened, said Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, that in the future federal authorities need to take "more of an upfront role earlier on, when we have these truly ultracatastrophes."

Now you aren't proud of the effort? What happened between yesterday and today Michael? Finally actually read some reports? Turned on Fox news? What changed your pride there? How about actually going there yourself Chertoff? How about showing some leadership if you want us to have confidence in Homeland Security being in charge of everything from FEMA to the Border Patrol?

From the NY Times; But furious state and local officials insisted that the real problem was that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which Mr. Chertoff's department oversees, failed to deliver urgently needed help and, through incomprehensible red tape, even thwarted others' efforts to help. "We wanted soldiers, helicopters, food and water," said Denise Bottcher, press secretary for Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana. "They wanted to negotiate an organizational chart."

In one of several such appeals, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, called on President Bush on Sunday to appoint an independent national commission to examine the relief effort. She also said that she intends to introduce legislation to remove FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security and restore its previous status as an independent agency with cabinet-level status.

As much as I hate to agree with anything Hilary the Horrible brings up, she is absolutely right on this one. Chertoff obviously isn't capable of handling managing so many different departments so FEMA should be removed and given seperate authority in a disaster as it was intended and as it was before it became part of Homeland Insecurity.

I enjoy this part more though. Hilary the Hun is wrong that we need a whole new commission, committee, agency, department, or any other new entity to review, discuss, or investigate anything. The last thing we need is another group of people trying to figure out what all the other groups of people are doing or have done. Get this Hilary the Hag, we don't need anymore departments, commissions, or anything else like that. We have enough bureaucracy now. Thats the problem.

From the NY Times; When Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water, FEMA officials turned them away, he said. Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish's emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA, Mr. Broussard said.

This is what happens when you put politicians in charge of anything. This is what happens when our elected officials like bush put their cronies and buddies in charge of departments to give them nice well-paying jobs insted of putting in people that can actually get the job done.

A note on Wal-Mart though. Did you know they refused to accept FEMA vouchers to purchase goods there? These vouchers are money in the bank and even if it took time to get the money later, Wal-Fart has the resources to wait for it. Not accepting these vouchers held up the relief effort as well. Wal-Mart isn't giving in people's time of need, they are selling and doing a booming business during the disaster and they have the nerve to be picky about where the money comes from. So much for walmart giving a damn about anyone.

From the NY Times; One sign of the continuing battle over who was in charge was Governor Blanco's refusal to sign an agreement proposed by the White House to share control of National Guard forces with the federal authorities. Under the White House plan, Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré would oversee both the National Guard and the active duty federal troops, reporting jointly to the president and Ms. Blanco.

"She would lose control when she had been in control from the very beginning," said Ms. Bottcher, the governor's press secretary.

Someone claims they were in control? What exactly have you been doing MS. Governor? If you were in control you have proven you can't handle your job either. Not a surprise.

From the NY Times; Ms. Bottcher was one of several officials yesterday who said she believed FEMA had interfered with the delivery of aid, including offers from the mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, and the governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. Adam Sharp, a spokesman for Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, said the problem was not who was in command. FEMA repeatedly held up assistance that could have been critical, he said. "FEMA has just been very slow to make these decisions," Mr. Sharp said.

Well . . . Duh!

From the NY Times; In a clear slap at Mr. Chertoff and the FEMA director, Michael D. Brown, Governor Blanco announced Saturday that she had hired James Lee Witt, the director of FEMA during the Clinton administration, to advise her on the recovery.

Oh great! Another Screwup Politician in the mix. That'll fix everything.

From the NY Times; From our friend Chertoff the Careless again; "What happened here was that essentially, the demolishment of that state and local infrastructure, and I think that really caused the cascading series of breakdowns," he said.

Oh that explains everything. The local people scewed it all up. THEY HAD A FLOOD AND A HURRICANE MICHAEL! The departments you are in charge of were supposed to go in, restore order, get food and water to the people, then begin evacuating them. They chose "none of the above" and instead argued over who was in charge. If the people who work for me are arguing about who is in charge then I have not done MY job in preparing them and I have created the atmosphere of ineffectiveness and inactivity. If I was in charge and this happened then I would have to take responsibility. It's lonely at the top. So Michael the Moronic, it's time you stepped up and claimed responsibility if you are in charge of this mess.

From the NY Times; But Mayor Nagin said the root of the breakdown was the failure of the federal government to deliver relief supplies and personnel quickly. "They kept promising and saying things would happen," he said. "I was getting excited and telling people that. They kept making promises and promises."

Isn't that what politicians do Mayor?

Scott Shane and Eric Lipton reported from Washington, and Christopher Drew from New Orleans. Jeremy Alford contributed reporting from Baton Rouge, La., and Gardiner Harris from Lafayette, La.

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Emergency Nonresponse

Now this is a nobrainer. To NOT be pissed off at the way the feds have responded to the tragedy in New Orleans and surrounding states would be the real surprise. Reporters could get in to where the people were from day 1. FEMA and the Red Cross claim Friday was the first time they were able to get close enough to help. Then give all the donated money to the reporters. They seem more capable of reaching the victims.

If your only job is to come mow my lawn when I call and I pay you to be ready for that call at all times, then you damned well better be there to mow my lawn when I call. I run a missing children's organization. If you call me on a Monday because your child has been abducted and I tell you well, let's see, I need to get gas, make some calls, gather some equipment . . . would Friday be good for you? How would you feel?

FEMA and the Red Cross exist solely to be ready for ANY emergency that migbht come up. Homeland Security is to manage ANY disaster that comes along. Their entire job is to plan for the unexpected, to be ready to go at a moments notice, to respond right away, to help people. FEMA and the Red Cross don't have other jobs to worry about. Their only job is to be prepared to respond right away when there is a disaster like Katrina.

They failed. They didn't get there for 4 days. FEMA didn't get there for 4 days. The red cross didn't get there for 4 days. And they even had warning that katrina was going to hit. They had a week to prepare then "just in case" katrina actually hits new orleans. So that really means the red cross and fema didn't respond to the threat for a week and 4 days.

Homeland Security are in charge of "managing" the disaster. To quote the Homeland Security Secretary, "The federal government's response to this disaster is a source of pride to me." Fire him. Fire him right now. If this is his idea of a response to be proud of what will happen when there is another terrorist attack. This response is obviously, in his own words, something to be proud of, so that means this is the best he can do or hopes to do in an emergency. He has by his own words disqualified himself from the job he currently holds.

I love Bush's response. He told everyone on Tuesday, I'm going to have lunch with the heads of different departments and decide what needs to be done. George, did you at least drop the leftovers from lunch to the victims?

Why wasn't water and food dropped from helicopters as a first response by fema or the red cross? They would have had food and water. Thanks to Orville and Wilbur Wright, trucks are not the only way you could have gotten supplies into the area.

More later . . .

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