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Friday, September 16, 2005
A CASE OF PLAGIARISM
or, WHY WE PAY WRITERS (OR DON'T)
Today was Hell Friday.
I had stayed up all night Thursday/Friday getting the radio bit together for the radio show (I downloaded the speech and had it all cut up and remixed by 6 AM this morning); earlier in the week, my wife had noticed I was five hours short of my thirty of Continuing Professional Education to renew my tax license (which I only have and maintain because she needs me to have it: I hate doing taxes almost as much as I hate the Bush Crime Family).
And the only class that could make up the difference was TODAY. Unfortunately, I was already booked.
So I had to bop straight to the Vet's Club for six hours of tax education (straight from the radio show, no sleep, no breakfast, etc.).
Then at lunch, I was already scheduled for two hours of abortion clinic escort duty, so I spent the lunch hour and one hour of education sitting in the parking lot, wearing my day-glo orange "escort" vest, sitting on a folding chair with the occasional beautiful woman smiling meltingly at me from a passing car (for sticking up for her rights -- which makes the job worthwhile almost) and the religious loonies driving by giving me that look that people get when, barefoot, they realize that they've just stepped in fresh dog poop but haven't looked yet to confirm it.
It is a unique and unforgettable look, difficult to describe if you haven't seen it.
I like the women smiling a lot better, but they're a lot rarer. They represent the only "payment" I receive for the gig.
The people at the clinic treat me with all the respect and deference that they give a plastic plant in the waiting room -- which is kind of depressing, but I'm not doing it for them.
And, many of the women coming in behave somewhere between the "plastic plant" and the "fresh dog poop" -- which seems odd, considering that I'm there for them. But there is no reciprocal arrangement. They're neither there for me, nor are they, in many cases, other than angry at everyone bearing a "Y" chromosome. Just like it's been ever since I visited my first clinic in 1974 (barely post Roe v. Wade), most women aren't accompanied by the contributing boyfriend. They've been left to deal with the whole trauma of unwanted pregnancy and termination of same by themselves.
But, really, I'm there for them anyway.
And I sat there behind my "bug" mirrored shades, trying to keep my eyes open.
The escort I relieved reported that two Catholic ladies had been there for awhile earlier, doing their Rosaries, but they'd lost interest or gotten exhausted from telling other people how to live their lives and had gone home. So, I sat and watched traffic for two hours.
Then, I jammed back to the Vet's Club and sat for two more hours of tax shit that I mostly ALREADY KNEW!!!!
Office in Home, etc. etc.
I stayed awake. Sort of.
The thing you have to understand about Oregon Continuing Professional Education for tax professionals is that we subscribe to the Cowboy Theory of Education:
Your education is calculated based on the number of hours that your ass in physically in the saddle. Some people do crosswords; others do needlepoint. I take number 5B pencils, sharpener, kneaded rubber eraser and acid-free paper, and draw.
Usually, they're pretty good, but I was so tired by the end that the stuff I was drawing looked like stuff I'd drawn in the marginalia of my college notes. Pretty awful. I guess I was just about tapped out.
Went to the office dropped off my FIVE HOURS certificate but my wife wasn't there.
Too bad. I had some weird news for her.
The local rag, the freebie paper, the "underground" tabloid, the EUGENE WEEKLY had reprinted my "Battle Hymn of the NeoCons" without credit, without permission, and had listed the author as "Anon."
http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2005/09/15/news.html (under "SLANT" -- scroll down)
That's called plagiarism. And it's illegal.
But there wasn't anyone I could talk to about it. I went home (after taping the certificate to wifey's computer monitor so she COULDN'T MISS IT), cooked some breakfast/lunch/dinner and called the WEEKLY editor.
He apologized, etc. He'll print a correction. Will they screw THAT up too? (Rhetorical question, of course.) But you know what? It isn't worth making a federal case about, even though I'm well within my rights to sue them for theft of intellectual property.
And, it is an astonishingly bush league kind of literary screwup. But what can you do? It's already in print. Can't repossess the copies, and they don't have any money for compensation (nor was any compensation offered).
Was it worth calling my union grievance officer? Was it worth hassling? Now, is it just me, or is their something WEIRD about the fact that all the "good" writing I've done has made the same overall impression on the zeitgeist that a mosquito makes on the windshield of an eighteen-wheeler, but a few lines of doggerel tossed off casually has galvanized a disconsolate nation?
Maybe, like Ray Bradbury, I should devote the remainder of my brilliant career to poetry.
So, I sent the following letter, so that they wouldn't have any excuse for NOT knowing salient facts. I reproduce it herein, if only to pad out an anemic blog entry, and save some work:
Dear [editor person]:But HELL FRIDAY hath ended. (Praise the Lord.)
I faw down now. Nitey night.
Addendum, Saturday: I realized, as my full brain came back on line this morning that I was imprecise in my accusation. Plagiarism means to arrogate someone else's writing and claim it as one's own. Copyright infringement means to publish another's work without permission or compensation. Clearly, we were talking about copyright infringement, and NOT plagiarism. Both are equally egregious, but they differ in their particulars. -- HW
Thursday, September 15, 2005
FOLLOWING THE FLIM FLAM
or, FROM GEORGE TO GEORGE
How did we manage to get from George Washington ("I cannot tell a lie") to George W. Bush ("I cannot tell the truth")?
I waited for the speech before writing the Thursday blog.
But I am stunned, flabbergasted, speechless. Who knew that George Bush knew how to do such a killer impression of Lyndon Johnson? Why, to hear him, you'd think that the New Deal was alive and well, instead of dead and buried -- mostly by Bush.
Mostly, I felt that way I do at high-pressure used car lots. They flim you and they flam you, and at the end of the day, you've signed a hellish contract and are now the proud owner of a car that you can't stand.
Once, in Glendale, and after my motorcycle had been stolen, I somehow ended up in a hideous Chevy red awful. I don't like Chevys as a rule, but this was hideous for a Chevy. And I wondered how I had ended up with the awful thing. I returned it to the lot, and brought my paperwork. I told them I didn't want it, and they started threatening me. I realized that they had no legal recourse if they HAD possession of the car, so I tore up the papers, and tossed the keys on the desk.
The fellow behind it, a sort of Rush Limbaugh used car salesman type, with a bad comb-over and a white belt, all but chased me out of the dealership -- it was an official Chevrolet dealership -- and I wondered how a person could FORCE someone to take a car they HATED?
As I got to the corner, a bus arrived, like in a bad movie, and I got on it, even though it was heading south on Brand Boulevard, and I was heading NORTH. The doors closed and we pulled away with a reassuring squeal, and I paid the fare, telling the bus driver that I was afraid I'd gotten on the bus going the wrong way.
He gave me a transfer and I got off at the next stop.
Weird luck, the bus heading north arrived within seconds.
And we drove back by the Chevy dealership. And the salesman was still standing at the bus stop, redfaced, and glaring down the street in the direction he thought I was traveling away on.
While he didn't see me, I saw him.
And that was the way I felt watching the the horrific spectacle of the speech. First, they showed the feed to the "pool camera" -- NBC was providing the camera. And they CLEARED Jackson Square, so that this arrogant popinjay could arrogate the entire landscape and talk directly into a camera that he controlled. The equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson reared over Bush's left shoulder for the entire speech. There was a famed church of some sort over the right.
And the pool camera feed had a COUNTDOWN with a digital timer: 2:02 until Presidential Address.
Counting down to shooting off his mouth?
For twenty two minutes, he sounded like a used-car salesman, and ladled it on with a trowel. Sheer snake oil arranged in dream logic: for awhile, he reported anecdotes as though he were some tabloid TV celebrity reporter. Or Geraldo. And then a blizzard of giveaways.
And then, the kicker: More federal control. A stronger role for the military. And a paen to the religion of the "entrepreneur," and thence, Kindly Padre Bush, exhorting his peons.
And I thought he must have been trying to do his impression of Huey "Kingfish" Long. His Bushian Beatitudes were the most disgusting pandering I've ever heard -- and as insincere.
"These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know -- with the help of grace and one another. They remind us of a hope beyond all pain and death, a God who welcomes the lost to a house not made with hands. And they remind us that we're tied together in this life, in this nation -- and that the despair of any touches us all."The rest of the disgusting spectacle is at:
You owe it to yourself as an American Citizen to read it. After all, Bush did. A lot of speechwriting dollars went into it. But the Maalox you'll have to buy on your own.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
or, ADRIFT IN A SEA OF DECEIT
The media have been reporting that George W. "Mad King" Bush has taken responsibility for the mess in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Here's what he actually said:
BUSH: Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong. I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked: Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack or another severe storm? And that's a very important question. And it's in our national interest that we find out exactly what went on and -- so that we can better respond."And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility." Got that?
That is a "confession" on the order of "If I said anything that offended you, I apologize." There is no admission of error, nor is there hint of other than now that he's "taken responsibility" that anything will be done other than continuation of Operation P.R. Blitz.
It is stunning, particularly following (right wing pundit) New York TIMES David Brooks' revelation on a Sunday talk show that NOT EVER ADMITTING A MISTAKE is the conscious policy of this administration. Clearly the nuclear meltdown of Bush's facade of leadership has had an effect to actually spur them to add a NEW PLAY to the Rovak Playbook -- but it's still a trick play, the rhetorical equivalent of a double-reverse flea flicker.
But that hasn't stopped the ever-gullible MSM from crowing that Bush "took responsibility."
This is a page ripped (as are nearly all pages ripped) from the Ronald Reagan Playbook. When Reagan finally could no longer avoid the Iran/Contra scandal, he "took responsibility" in the exact same manner. And the media crowed, and the crimes were forgotten. (Later, Bush the Elder would pardon everyone convicted on his way out the door in 1992.) At the time, I was astonished: having set the precedent, any future president would find it much easier to commit criminal acts with impunity and avoid any consequences.
This was not a crime of commission, of course, but it was clearly a crime of omission, and people died as a result.
Indeed, we're still counting the bodies.
No less a personage than George McGovern has stated that he'd rather Nixon were in the White House than its current occupant. Which is telling.
And Operation P.R. Blitz continues, with the latest incarnation being the false claim of Limbaugh, Hannity and Newt Gingrich that "2000 buses" were available to the Mayor of New Orleans but that he didn't use them.
Er ... the actual number of functioning buses was approximately 250.
But there is not time to trace down the lies and refute them one by one. Instead, we need to focus on this consistent and continuing record of bald-faced lies and intentional misinformation.
Here's the game plan: First Bush issues his "non-denial denial": to the EXTENT ....
An old debater's cliche, by the by, which indicates that Karl Rove personally crafted the lie. (A lie inasmuch as it is not candid, it does not say what it purports to say, and intentionally distorts the factual basis of the implicit charge: that the federal government ASTONISHINGLY dropped the ball on its OWN POLICY on disasters.)
And note as well the "I want to know what went right" which is a parroting of the official talking point. While telling us we can't "point fingers" and shouldn't play the "blame game," the Right Wing Propaganda Machine has been cranked up to full bore, pedal-to-the-metal to a) blame the DEMOCRAT governor of Louisiana and the DEMOCRAT mayor of New Orleans, and b) to scream that the EVIL DEMOCRATS are "politicizing" the "human tragedy."
You know. Kind of like the Warsaw Ghetto Jews not standing still for the Nazi gunners: Rude. That's what it was. Making those poor Nazis waste so many bullets by not standing still and all.
Oh, and now Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has taken "full responsibility" for the slow response. Unfortunately, she took that responsibility in an un-parsed, honest statement (whether it is followed up on remains to be seen), which, sadly, plays into the hands of the Right Wing Propaganda Machine.
Don't be surprised if, at the end of the day, Kathleen Blanco is holding the bag, and Bush (who is investigating himself) is exonerated of ALL responsibility -- at least through the ever-compliant media, and the Hate Megaphone of Right Wing Radio.
The playbook requires that the waters be muddied, and that the issue gets buried as swiftly as, say the Karl Rove outing of the CIA operation that Valerie Plame worked within.
Oh? Forgot that one, did you?
Well, if they can bury Treasongate, then they can bury Katrina. They might need a bigger grave, but the burial is already underway.
Media gives Bush credit he doesn't deserve, ignores blame he has earnedAnd, mendaciously, the MSM is reporting, at all levels, the tremendous "progress" in New Orleans. Why, they've reopened the AIRPORT! (Actually, it never closed). And the PORT IS OPEN AGAIN! (Yeah. At ten percent capacity.)
Hell, they haven't even finished counting up the bodies. Almost unnoticed was the CNN suit against the feds, who were trying to bar the media from covering the recovery of the corpses. This administration, for all its bloodlust, is extremely squeamish about ANYONE actually SEEING dead bodies -- or, am I the only one who's noticed?
According to MediaMatters.org,
Media largely ignored CNN's legal victory over government restrictions on Katrina coverageSo, they're following their standard pattern: if you get a court ruling against you, ignore it. Compare this with the Abu Gharib photos, the unlawful detention of a U.S. national (which John Roberts recently AFFIRMED on the D.C. Circuit Court, even as he was gearing up for his current filibuster in the Senate confirmation hearings); and, well, in several other cases. The edict that no bodies be shown is being carried out in defiance of the Federal judge.
Which brings us (note the snappy segue) to the confirmation of John Roberts.
I've written at length about Roberts before, and I don't intend to cover the same ground again. If we could take him at his word, he's a "modest" judge (who brags about his "modesty"), an honest, principled fellow (who won't answer any questions), and is still using his (adoptive) children as festive floral centerpieces for what OUGHT to be a sober, and historic moment.
I will spare you the repetition of the first performance, except to say that Roberts brought, on the first day, several other family members, as though he were attending his first catechism.
The problem that I have in all of this is the essential frivolity, the PR circus that the Bushies are running to turn a gravely serious process into a GOP carnival. A festival of mendacity.
Mendacity? Yes, Virginia. John Roberts is a lying sack of shit.
He lied about his membership in the Federalist Society, and there is something there that tells me all that I need to know about "Judge" Roberts. Why should I trust a liar's word about his intentions in an office that he has lied to my face about to OBTAIN THAT OFFICE?
Worse, since he is a judge, the lie becomes hundredfold more damning -- and dangerous. What does it tell me?
That he is so hot to get this confirmation he will do or say anything to get it. After all, who in their right mind belongs to a secret society that they're ashamed of? And, if not ashamed, then why the Peterian denial? "I never knew them."
Alas, no cock will crow, however.
Here, from the venerable Christian Science MONITOR:
from the September 15, 2005 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0915/p03s01-uspo.html
WASHINGTON - As one of the most respected advocates practicing before the US Supreme Court, John Roberts held that a good lawyer should be able to argue either side of a case.And, since I have no doubt that he will be confirmed, there is little else I can say. One hopes that the "magic" of the Supreme Court will works its magic on Roberts, but not this year, surely.
Of course, it is astonishingly ironic that this anti-intellectual party and administration would now be touting the "brilliant mind" of Roberts. But then, when has consistency NOT been the hobgoblin of those who aren't simply rapacious, selfish, don't-work-or-play-well-with-others Bushies? If it's in our interest, we do it.
And screw the torpedoes. Full screed ahead!
Once upon a time, Eisenhower named a New Jersey labor lawyer -- noted for his successes in union-busting -- to the high court. He had a change of heart, no longer bound to his corporate masters, and he became the heart and soul of the Warren Court. His name was William J. Brennan.
And Reagan's appointment of Stephen Breyer similarly backfired (my facts may be a little off, but I'm pretty sure it was Reagan/Breyer).
I don't have time or space to go into the suppression of EPA reports on the toxicity of the New Orleans sludge, nor of the continuing quagmire in Iraq. Nor of the depredations of John Bolton at the UN, nor of Bush's unctuous speech "thanking the world" for their help in Katrina before that body -- that he'd like to destroy. Nor the revisiting of the overturning as unconstitutional the "under God" portion of the Pledge of Allegiance. (Ever notice how important the Pledge is to the Bushies? Bush the Elder made the Pledge AND the "evil" ACLU the centerpiece of his 1988 campaign against Michael Dukakis. What a godsend that will be to the hate radio right, and watch that smokescreen wipe away all thought of the Katrina debacle.) No. Neither those, nor a thousand deceits beside. We have lives to live, after all.
So get yourself a lot of popcorn, kiddies. Because it's going to be a long wait before the truth rears its ugly head -- and when it does, there won't be much time for munching popcorn.
There probably won't be much popcorn to munch.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS
Here's the piece heard on KOPT last Friday, and partially this morning.
Download the MP3 (right click and "save as"):
Monday, September 12, 2005
CONNECTING THE DOTS
or, THE USUAL SUSPECTS & NOT ROUNDING UP SAME
Fox News anchor Shepherd Smith was broadcasting from downtown New Orleans in the sunny aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the first day. For several hours, he did not know that Louisiana does not have "counties." He was later corrected that they are "parishes," and having acknowledged that correction, promptly went right back to calling them "counties."
But the little-noticed and most telling part was this: Smith was wearing a baseball cap with the embroidered message: "NFL ON FOX."
Which is a new low, even for Faux Nooz. But it is a metaphor, really. It's about SELLING. It's about selling ideology, selling message, selling a government of, by and for the rich.
It was Shepherd Smith and Faux Nooz who pushed the quietly racist story about looters, and, later, about rampaging gangs and several other "stories" which have proven untrue. I noted over six to eight hours that it was Faux alone who was pushing the stories, coupled with a couple of photos of black men breaking windows. No looting; no shooting. Just breaking windows.
But don't take my word for it. Listen to this:
The Boston Globe SundayBut this whole mess has been egregious. And, continuing the horrific egregiousity, Michael Brown resigned today as the head of FEMA, mere hours after his boss, Michael Chertoff had said, while recalling him to Washington, D.C.:
New Orleans continues grim search for the deadUnfortunately, that brave face only lasted until Monday morning:
Embattled FEMA Director Mike Brown ResignsRight. "I've been working." As if the Mad King George had ever worked a day in his life. And as if his "working" didn't ground all rescue aircraft in a huge radius of wherever he touched down in Air Force One. Bush has "commuted" four times in Air Force One since he "cut short" his month-long vacation. Since arriving in Washington, D.C. he has, at taxpayer expense, treated the 747 Air Force One, as if it were a quick hop into the SUV to run down the street for another six pack on NFL Sunday.
And, of course, the "I've been working" excuse doesn't pass the giggle test. Brown had spoken to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card over the weekend, and an acting head of FEMA had already been appointed by the afternoon.
Does anyone actually believe that Bush "didn't know" that Brown was going to resign Monday morning? Puh-leeze. It is the chutzpah of the husband who's been caught in his bedroom by his wife in flagrante delicto between the legs of the neighbor lady, , and says: "It's not what you think. Don't believe what you see."
Worse, the fellow who is replacing Brown, while experienced in emergencies and fires, is ALSO the same fellow who told us last year to protect ourselves from chemical attacks with duct tape and plastic wrap.
Why don't I feel more relieved?
The only thing that we've learned today is that 1) Michael Brown was ordered to resign, 2) Bush already had his replacement on tap before he left Washington on another 'work' junket and 3) they will lie to your face that it's night, while the noon sun blazes down on you. The lying in this administration is pathological. It no longer serves the purpose of advancing their agenda; it is merely lying for the sake of lying. Worst of all, only they believe it, which is both dangerous and frightening.
Brown's "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president," significantly doesn't mention the victims of the hurricane! How insane is that?
The reasons given are loyalty to the agency and loyalty to "the president" without any hint of his PRIMARY duty to the disaster victims. How twisted is that?
But it gets worse:
Brown sent candid e-mail to familyGood lord. Michael BROWN is the victim? And he's resigning in the best interest of the president? How fantastic is that?
Here is what Brown was resigning FROM:
According to NEWSDAY:
Katrina effort mired in bureaucratic hashStill, they do know how to take care of some forms of business:
Firms with Bush-Cheney ties clinching Katrina dealsBut, of course, they won't.
And Shepherd Smith's baseball-cap "NFL ON FOX" promotion suddenly seems slightly less disgusting. It is, after all, only business as usual.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF 9-11hart williams
or, WHAT HAS 9-11 DONE FOR GEORGE, LATELY, ANYWAY?
George W. Bush is a man with the sensitivity and the reaction time of a tree sloth, and by that I do not mean a living tree sloth. And yet, he has succeeded in 'owning' every crisis he's screwed up.
Chief, of course, is 9-11, and this weekend has been an orgy of pseudo-patriotic wallowing by our Castrati-in-Thief: medals for 442 recipients (whose names are omitted from the speech on the White House web site); a Saturday radio address that begins in 9-11 and ends with Hurricane Katrina, drawing self-glorifying parallels and falsely linking -- as he did the 9-11 attacks and his obsession to "get" Saddam Hussein.
Surely Mr. Bush is the worst marksman in history, having murdered over 100,000 Iraqis and Afghanistanis without ever killing either Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden.
It is important to remember that on 9-11, Mr. Bush dithered and did nothing for a long, long time. He sat for seven minutes and read school children 'My Pet Goat' while later claiming that he "didn't want to scare them" -- an excuse for cowardice under fire that only a Right Wing Radio talk show host could be gullible or cynical enough to keep a straight face while reciting.
He flew all over the country -- significantly to New Orleans and thence to Omaha, Nebraska (which is probably doomed now as well), before returning to Washington D.C. long after nightfall on a day in which the attacks had begun before office workers in the Twin Towers arrived for work in the morning.
When the Tsunami hit, he at first failed to respond for a long time, and then with a pledge of "aid" so niggardly as to beggar the imagination of the commentators of the world.
Eventually, in both cases, Bush and his speechwriters and handlers managed to twist the yellow-bellied cowardice of this craven, unprincipled, never-worked-a-day-in-his-life ne'er-do-well into "virtuous" political capital.
And this weekend, George has gleefully been sodomizing the corpse of 9-11 yet again, even while a shocked country and world has watched his utter failure, and the utter failure of this administration to address one of the worst natural disasters in American history.
Listen to what he said on Saturday on the radio:
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. On Sunday, our nation will observe the fourth anniversary of the September the 11th terrorist attacks. Every American has memories of that day that will never leave them. We remember the images of fire and terror at the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania, and in the heart of New York City.
We remember the ruthlessness of those who murdered the innocent and took joy in their suffering. We remember the courage of the police and firefighters and rescue personnel who rushed into burning buildings to save lives, knowing they might never emerge. And we remember the victims -- moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives -- and the loved ones they left behind.
As night fell on America on September the 11th, 2001, we felt grief and great sorrow. Yet we also saw that, while the terrorists could kill the innocent, they could not defeat the spirit of our nation. The despair and tragedy of that day were overcome by displays of selflessness, courage and compassion.
And in the days and weeks that followed, America answered history's call to bring justice to our enemies and to ensure the survival and success of liberty. And that mission continues today.
[Now watch the shameless change of direction and the "linking" of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina]
Four years later, Americans remember the fears and uncertainty and confusion of that terrible morning. But above all, we remember the resolve of our nation to defend our freedom, rebuild a wounded city, and care for our neighbors in need.
Today, America is confronting another disaster that has caused destruction and loss of life. This time the devastation resulted not from the malice of evil men, but from the fury of water and wind.
Hurricane Katrina flattened entire towns along our Gulf Coast, and left one of America's most storied cities under water. Tens of thousands have lost homes and loved ones and all their earthly possessions. The storm took countless lives and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee from their communities with no assurance of returning soon.
[And, of course, George has limned himself, already, as the "champion" of these victims. It gets worse]
Once more our hearts ache for our fellow citizens, and many are left with questions about the future. Yet we are again being reminded that adversity brings out the best in the American spirit. In this time of great suffering, we have seen the courage and determination of rescue personnel who willingly risk their lives to save the lives of others. We have seen the spirit of America's armies of compassion who have rallied in response to this tragedy. Faith-based organizations and community groups and individual citizens across the country are caring for those affected by the storm, and comforting those whose loved ones are lost or missing. Across our country, Americans are generously opening their homes and hearts to their brothers and sisters in need.
[All of which, by implication, George had a hand in assisting, when the evidence points to the contrary]
To find out how you can help, I urge you to visit usafreedomcorps.gov, or call 1-877-USA CORPS. The citizens of the Gulf Coast can count on their fellow Americans in this time of trial, and their government is standing with them, as well.
[Really? The government who not only didn't know, but refused to acknowledge the 20,000 New Orleanians stranded without food or water at the Convention Center even five days later. That government?]
This week I signed legislation providing an additional $52 billion for response and recovery efforts. We have already begun distributing $2,000 in emergency relief to every displaced household, money they can use immediately for food, clothing and other essentials. I have also called for all people from disaster areas to be granted special evacuee status, making it easier for them to collect federal benefits like food stamps and Medicaid wherever they are in America.
[If you bribe them, they might be quiet. Or quieter. But, worse, the $64 billion that Congress has appropriated has ALL been sent to FEMA to distribute. Already, Halliburton has a contract. So, in whose pockets do you think that $64 billion will end up? Has there ever been a more cynical band of thieves? And where is the mention of the "looters" in corporate suites, who jacked up gasoline prices as far away as Maine and Oregon, when neither had any connection to the Louisiana refineries?]
We are assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and we will help the people of the Gulf Coast recover from adversity. Despite all they've endured, the people of that region are determined to rebuild their homes and reclaim their lives, and their fellow Americans are determined to help them. To accomplish the difficult work ahead of us, our nation will call upon our vast resources and the ingenuity of our citizens, and these will be required in full measure.
[Empty rhetoric. Truly: empty.]
Our greatest resource in such times is the compassionate character of the American people, because even the most destructive storm cannot weaken the heart and soul of our nation. America will overcome this ordeal, and we will be stronger for it.
Even in the deepest darkness, we can see the light of hope, and the light shows us the way forward. We will honor the memory of those we have lost; we will comfort the victims of Katrina; and we will make the Gulf Coast more vibrant than ever.
[More "vibrant"? How about "we will rebuild"?]
In all that lies before us, may God watch over the United States of America. Thank you for listening.
[Obviously, given the transgressions of the Bush administration, God hasn't been watching over America at all. It's bad form to remind us, perhaps, but even worse form to remind God, since he still has plenty of lightning bolts in his quiver.]
But, it gets worse. Here's the Idiot King handing out 9-11 "medals of valor" like Halloween candy on the White House lawn:
President Remembers 9/11 Heroes at Medal of Valor Award Ceremony
The South Lawn
September 9, 2005; 1:00 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Thank you. Welcome to the White House. Laura and I are honored that you're here today. We recognize a group of Americans whose bravery and commitment to their fellow citizens showed us the true meaning of heroism.
The 442 names you just heard belong to men and women of uncommon valor and decency and honor. On one of the worst days our country has ever witnessed, we witnessed the courage of some of the finest people our country has ever produced. And their sacrifice will always be remembered.
I want to thank the Attorney General. I welcome members of the United States Congress and the United States Senate who have joined us -- Bill Frist, Senator Schumer, Congressman Fossella, Congressman Crowley. By the way, thank you for bringing your mother. Congressman Wolf, Congressman Smith, Congressman King, Congressman McCarthy, Congressman Israel. I want to thank Ray Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the great city of New York. (Applause.) I thank all the fire chiefs, police chiefs, and Port Authority personnel. I particularly want to thank the men and women who are on the front line of making us safe -- thank you all for coming today. (Applause.)
The 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor honors the public safety officers who gave their lives on September the 11th. On that day, firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, Port Authority personnel and other public safety officers performed their jobs with extraordinary distinction in the face of unspeakable terror.
We're grateful to the families and friends who have come here to honor their memory. We know that the sense of loss you feel does not disappear with time. Four years later, you still miss your loved ones. America admires your courage in the face of such terrible pain. And your loved ones will always have the thanks and admiration and respect of a grateful nation.
When America has been challenged, there has always been citizens willing to step forward and risk their lives for the rest of us. Over the last 11 days in Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama, we have again seen acts of great compassion and extraordinary bravery from America's first responders. Firefighters and police, and U.S. Coast Guard men and women, and National Guardsmen and active duty forces, disaster and medical assistance teams, search and rescue units from all over the United States have descended on the Gulf Coast to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. They have faced the storm's destruction with valor and determination, and their hard work has saved lives in the face of great adversity.
We're still at the beginning of a huge effort. The tasks before us are enormous. Yet so is the heart of the United States. We're grateful to the emergency personnel -- (applause.) We are grateful to the emergency personnel who are working to assist victims and restore communities affected by this disaster. In these difficult days, we have again seen the great strength and character and resolve of America. And we will continue to work to help the people who are struggling.
In every community we depend on those who carry the badge, who keep the peace and protect our citizens. And in times of national crisis, all Americans are grateful to those who answer the alarms and run toward danger and provide urgent care. Those who place their own lives at risk for others must be recognized and honored by their fellow citizens.
And four years ago, America saw the unparalleled heroism of our nation's public safety officers. We lost brave rescue workers who gave their lives so that others could live. We lost many other citizens who assisted in the rescue efforts, and whose courage and sacrifice that day made them extraordinary.
On September the 11th, 2001, America lost Firefighter Donny Regan of Rescue Company 3 in Bronx. During his 17-year career with the New York City Fire Department he was cited six times for bravery. And today, our nation honors Donny's final act of courage. His son, Peter, lost a father on September the 11th; today, he carries on his father's legacy. Peter followed his dad's footsteps to the fire department. Today he is defending our freedom as a reservist with the 3rd Battalion 25th Marine Regiment in Iraq. (Applause.)
On September the 11th, 2001, America lost Firefighter Ronnie Gies of Squad 288 in Queens. Ronnie had been with the New York Fire Department since 1988. He rushed downtown to the World Trade Center. A video of the day showed Ronnie on his way into the towers. His wife said, "You see him straight on, carrying equipment, with such a look of determination." His own son, Tommy, graduated from the FDNY Academy last August, and is now a member of Ladder 147 in Brooklyn. And we're grateful for Tommy's courage and service. (Applause.)
On September the 11th, 2001, America lost Senior Court Officer Thomas Jurgens, one of about 25 New York State Court officers who responded after the plane hit the first tower. Thomas' last radio transmission came from inside the burning tower, after he'd been warned to get out because the danger was too great. He refused to leave his post. His last words before signing off were, "There are people here who need our help."
On September the 11th, 2001, America lost New York City Police Officer Moira Smith. Moira is remembered by friends for her fearless spirit on and off the job. She ran with the bulls in Spain. And in 1991, she ran into a subway tunnel to rescue dozens of people trapped in one of the worst subway accidents in New York history. On September the 11th, 2001, she ran toward danger once again, into the burning towers of the World Trade Center. A broker she helped to safety remembers her steady blue eyes and her even voice. The next day's papers carried an image of Moira helping an injured man out of the tower, before she rushed back in to save others. And the tower collapsed around her. One of Moira's colleagues said, "She could have saved herself, but nothing would have stopped her saving one more person."
These are some of the examples, only a few of the examples, of the extraordinary bravery that took place that day. All the brave men and women we recognize today brought credit to the uniform, and honor to the United States of America. (Applause.)
And one way our nation can honor their sacrifice is to win the war on terror. (Applause.) On September the 11th, 2001, we saw the future that terrorists intend for us. And I made a decision: America will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy, and we'll defend our freedom. (Applause.)
Since that day we've taken the fight to the enemy. We're hunting down the terrorists in mountains in Afghanistan, in tribal regions of Pakistan, in the deserts of Iraq, and on islands of Southeast Asia, and the Horn of Africa. We're fighting the terrorists and we're fighting their murderous ideology, by spreading the hope of freedom across the broader Middle East. Free nations are peaceful nations, and by advancing freedom's cause, we are laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)
We will succeed. And the legacy of peace and freedom we leave behind will be the greatest memorial to your fallen family members and friends. (Applause.)
The heroes of September the 11th will not be here to see that day. But their moms and dads and children and grandchildren can know a proud America will always stand in the long shadow of their service and sacrifice, and a proud nation will always remember them.
May God bless you all, and may God forever bless the memories of those who sacrificed on behalf of our citizens. (Applause.)
END 1:24 P.M. EDT
Eleven references to 9-11 in the speech, you notice how, at the end, it's not about 9-11. It's about HIS war, HIS policies, and HIS decision to "take the war to the enemy."
And the 442 recipients of the conveniently named and newly minted "9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor" have been retasked into "supporting" Mad King George's policies from beyond the grave.
If this is not political necrophilia, then there is no such thing.
Except that the money promised to New York City for police officers, firefighters, and "first responder" equipment never arrived. One liberal program noted, with regard to Hurricane Katrina victims that, given the NYC experience, they'd better get Bush's promises in writing.
Because, lost in all this patriotic hoo-hah of Bush's shameless necrophilia with 9-11, the citizens of the areas actually affected by the 9-11 attacks -- New York City and Washington D.C. -- voted in OVERWHELMING NUMBERS against Bush in last year's alleged "election."
You'd think that if he'd done such a great job, there would have been no greater supporters of Mad King George than those directly affected by 9-11.
Now 9-11 is the province of the rednecks, the farmers in the backwaters of the "red" states, and people with no real stake in what happened. And, like the convicted felon George W. Bush, they use the deaths of people they neither knew nor ever cared about to scream and yowl their agenda like the schoolyard bullies that they have come to resemble in every detail.
Last week, the KOPT newsman Rick Little asked me if I was going to do anything to commemorate 9-11.
Well, Rick, this is it.
Beyond that, I can only say that the way to honor the victims of 9-11 may be different things to different people, but that using their corpses to justify the dithering in Hurricane Katrina, the rapt ignorance of the London bombing (and Madrid) reaction, and the frozen cowardice of George's cross-country flight in the face of the 9-11 attacks is not the proper way to honor the dead.
Just the opposite, in fact.
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