Friday, September 30, 2005


This is from my tag from E-Lo.

Mother Nature, I give up. "So I was lying there mostly naked drowning in my own sweat."

I think I was talking about how I had to finally turn on the air conditioner because it was just unbearably hot in my apartment. Yea, I'm that cheap.

So now I pass the tag along to you...
The rules are:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

Yea, this site isn’t popular enough to lose 5 more readers with tags. As a matter of fact, I don’t think we have 5 readers now. Negative number readers would be bad.


So today’s my official day of unemployment. I did a very poor job in negotiating between my old and new job. Initially I had wanted a month off between jobs. Then it went down to a week. The final agreement was 1 lousy day off between jobs.

Argh. What the hell happened?

You’d think I’d be sitting around doing nothing being that this is my only day off. Oh, but I wish. I’ve been up and running around non-stop since 7:30am this morning. Yes, that’s very early for me to be working. I think I was more productive this morning than I usually am all day.

This is the first time since maybe 4 years ago that I've really had a day to myself. Usually when I take a day off, I'm flying somewhere. Who knew there was so much to do around the house. With my move still not yet planned, there's so much to do. I need an assistant.

I'd ask Pup to help, but as usual, he's drunk and watch Jerry Springer.

OK, back to running around being productive.

I’ll leave you all with a funny.

"The president believes the government should be limited not in size, Jon, but in effectiveness. In terms of effectiveness, this is the most limited government we've ever had."--Daily Show correspondent Rob Corddry

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's one day late, but....


You're like totally old. I bet you can't even read this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Another Chapter in the Book

Today is Wednesday. Tomorrow will be my last day of work at my current job.

It’s always a weird feeling for me to leave a job. I often wonder how things will be once I leave. Will anyone even notice? Will things get better? Get worst? Then there’s always the sense that I am abandoning them. How could they possibly work without all my silliness and random interruptions? I think this is especially true with this move. My current group is going to be in a lot of trouble and lacking some serious manpower to run things with me and another person leaving. Even more serious than that, my boss has also decided to leave the group.

I’ve really liked my job here and the people that I’ve worked with. I’ve gotten to do some really cool things that I’ve read about in school. In the 2 years I’ve been here, a lot has changed. When I first got here, the company was laying off thousands of people. This is in sharp contrast to the recent merger and adding another 20,000 people to company. Having gone through major lay offs and merger between fortune 100 companies is something one doesn’t often experience.

It’s really too bad that my job is located in Kansas City and far away from anyone I know. I’ve always told everyone that I really liked my job, but can’t stand the place I lived at. Now, I’m going to a city with people that I know I’ll love, but the job is now the unknown.

I’ll be leaving some people here that I hope to keep in touch with. It seems that as people’s lives get more complicated (or just old), it gets harder and harder to keep up. What would I do without the random drunk calling (and now drunk text messaging)? I think that’s the only mechanism I have to keeping up with people I don’t talk to on a regular basis.

On Monday I’ll be starting my new job. This job will be very different in structure and scope from what I’ve done before. First of all, the company is virtual. That means pretty much everyone works from home. We will see how I adapt to being cooped up at home all day. I’m not sure how great that is for my sanity.

One big draw for the job is that I’ll be able to move back to Atlanta. I grew up mostly in Atlanta. I never did like it much back then. While I was growing up, I’ve always wanted to live Seattle and/or LA. And if you look at where I’ve lived, I was slowly creeping towards the west coast.

The longer I’ve been away from Atlanta, the more I’ve missed it. I’ve missed being able to order sweet tea without someone saying ‘there’s sugar packs on the table’. I’ve missed being close to people I know. I’ve missed being in the city that I’ve raved at many a warehouses. And lastly, I’ve missed the city I grew up in.

I’ve been moving around for quite a while now. Moving from job to job every couple of years. In an interview, I would explain it as my need to be exposed to different industries and companies, and that is true to some degree. I would however, say that my need to move is just part of a search. My search for a home.

Home doesn’t just mean a place. It also means the people that populate that place. I’ve lived in many areas that would be great to build a home, but a house doesn’t make for a home. A home is a stable place you know you will be for a while. A home is where you build your life. A home is where it’s surrounded by your people who make your home part of a group. A home is a place I want to share with someone else and grow old.

Another chapter of my life closes and a new one begins. This new road will be filled with uncertainty (job wise) that I have never experienced before, but I will be comforted by the familiar, yet seemingly unending, search for a home that I so much long for.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Porn Squad

~insert porn music here~

I wonder if they’ll have uniforms or a theme song. Porn Squad uniforms would kick ass.

Damn it! Why didn’t someone tell me there was a job opening for this?!! I would’ve applied for this instead of the one I just got.

Being that I’m in the employment selection field, I wonder what and how they’ll be doing the selection for these positions? Would they test their knowledge of explicit and disturbing porn? Would they test how quickly they could find explicit and disturbing porn?

So many questions?!! All I know is, I would LOVE to make up the selection test for this position. Of course, knowing how this administration does things, I’m sure someone completely unqualified will get this privilege.

On another point, I’m glad we have rid the country of crime, internal terrorism, and a number of really bad things hurting our country. .

Oh wait.. What?! We haven’t done that yet? Well hell…

This new initiative came down the administration through the Attorney General Robert Gonzales. Christian conservatives, long skeptical of Gonzales, greeted the pornography initiative with what the Family Research Council called "a growing sense of confidence in our new attorney general."

I’m glad this administration is willing to do ANYTHING just to get a nice pat on the back from groups like the Family Research Counsel.

I think this says it all.

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

Among friends and trusted colleagues, an experienced national security analyst said, "it's a running joke for us."

Just like the administration from which this initiative came, it’s all just a running joke.

Have a great Monday Everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Behind the Mask of Natural Disasters: Open Season for the Gouging of America

This information is very upsetting, though not surprising, as we continue to see how this administration ONLY caters to big businesses even in times when America and Americans need the most help.

After hurricane Katrina hit, several oil refineries were damaged for a few days. Within this time span, the price of gasoline went up to an average of $3.07. With Hurricane Rita now on the path to Texas and specifically the Houston area (which produces about ¼ of the oil used in the country), we are very likely to see another hike in gas prices.

However, are the drastic increases in gas justified?

Many economist and energy specialist have noted that in order for gas to be at $3 a gallon, oil per gallon would have to be around the $90 per barrel range. Even at the height of the crisis, oil per barrel floated around the $70 range.

There are several signs that have pointed to profiteering and gouging of gas prices by the major oil companies (the ExxonMobile, ChevonTexaco, etc.) during this time of crisis. I can’t think of a more despicable thing than for large businesses to take advantage when people most need help.

Some have talked about the looting in New Orleans after Katrina. Well, the real looting wasn’t in New Orleans, it was all around the country. The evil culprit here wasn’t nature or water, it was pure greed. The focus should have been on these oil companies instead of just a couple of guys looting some shoes and TVs.

Eight Democratic governors have asked the president to investigate the possible price gouging from the major oil companies. In a letter, they say they're concerned about "excessive profits being made by oil companies who are taking advantage of this national crisis.”

The letter cites a study by a University of Wisconsin economist who found the hurricane was not entirely to blame for high prices at the pump.

So all is good right? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now looking into this possible price gouging by the oil companies. We may get some answers as to why gas went up so quickly (as well as back down so quickly). We may get to hold gas companies accountable if they are ones to blame for this gas gouge.

Oh.. silly silly you. This administration is way ahead of you on this one. How could you possibly think that this administration would let anything hurt the profits of the oil industry that has given the GOP so much financial support in the past?

So how will they get over this one? Well, guess who runs the FTC? Last year, Bush appointed a former ChevonTexaco Lawyer, Deborah Majoras, to head the FTC. Isn’t that fantastic and forward thinking of Bush? A former oil lawyer at the FTC. That pretty much eliminates any type of investigation on the oil companies.

The likelihood that the FTC will find any price gouging offenses by the oil companies is slim to none. Not only is this bad, but it gives a stamp of approval to any future gouging that the oil companies will no doubt try after any disaster.

Way to be there for the American People again Mr. President.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

By the power of GreySkull... I am He-Jeb!!!

This is just so ridiculous that it’s funny.

There’s something horribly wrong with the Bush Family.

From the Herald Tribune:

“More than an hour into a solemn ceremony naming Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, as the 2007-08 House Speaker, Gov. Jeb Bush stepped to the podium in the House chamber last week and told a short story about "unleashing Chang," his "mystical warrior" friend.”

Here are Bush's words, spoken before hundreds of lawmakers and politicians: "Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society."

I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.

"Bush then unsheathed a golden sword and gave it to Rubio as a gift."I'm going to bestow on you the sword of a great conservative warrior," he said, as the crowd roared.

See here for a picture.

His mystical warrior friend?! What the fuck? Are you kidding me? I bet you all thought I was crazy when I say I ask advice from Pup for my tough decisions. Doesn’t seem so crazy now does it?

I truly feel bad for people living in Florida. It can NOT be comforting to know that their governor gets advice from a mystical warrior friend. It’d be one thing if it was a real Asian person name Chang, but an imaginary mystical warrior as your main advisor?

BTW, what happened to the Bush family’s whole Christian thing? Where are all those religious rights who should be protesting this? Shouldn’t Jeb be calling on Jesus for advice instead of Chang? Doesn't Chang count as a false prophet or something?

I've seen WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), but now I guess it's WWCD? Man, I would so put that bumper sticker on my car.

Could it be that Jeb isn’t actually as much of a Christian conservative as he would like people to believe? Could it be that the 'favors' he does for the right are only to use the religious right to keep him in power? Who's the real puppet master here? Jeb or the Religious right?

Hmmm… makes you wonder.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Can you people stoop any lower?

To busy to post or make comments, but I think you can imagine what my comments would be for this (hint: It involves the word Fuck a lot.)

Desperately trying to salvage his imagine, the president talked to the nation last week in front of a lit French Quarter (which by the way, was dark once he left). In his address, he said that he would get to the bottom of what happened with Kathrina.

Would he look at the processes for emergency relief to ensure local, state, and federal agencies are on the same page?

Would he ensure that those who are in charge of these organizations have the right credentials, experiences, and are competent to do the job?

Would he ensure the right projects to protect against natural disasters are properly funded?

You’d think that wouldn’t you? But with this administration, you would be WRONG.

Apparently, this is what this administration is going to do to ‘get to the bottom’ of what happened.

Read here:

“The Clarion-Ledger said Friday it obtained an internal Justice Department e-mail sent out this week to U.S. attorneys that asks: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

Nice finger pointing and mis-direction there. You people really have no idea what accountability or real leadership is do you? You're going to some how blame this on environmental groups? Are you fucking kidding me?

This is all a little fucking game to you isn't it? To see what 'creative' ways you can think of to shift the blame, then get as much money and power for you and your friends from this disaster?

Those damn tree huggers and environmentalist. They’re obviously the ones to blame for what happened in the gulf coast.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Select Start

This is going to be a seriously geeky and boring post for most of you, but then again, all this reminiscence isn’t for you :p

So this is what I was thinking about this last weekend.

When I was young, I spent a lot of time in Arcades. Like a LOT. Like the amount of time a crack head would spend at a crack house. There was no better baby sitter for me than for my mom to take me to the arcade with a couple of dollars.

Yes, I was raised by Jimmy and Billy of Double Dragon and the good folks of Street fighter.

There was something great about being at an arcade with all these games, and everyone there came for the same reason. Whether it’s to beat M. Bison from taking over the world, saving the world from aliens, or to rescue the number of women that somehow gets captured by big evil guys, the arcade was an exciting place.

The games were mainly for one player at a time (Pac-man, Galaga, etc.), it was rare at that time to see cooperative 2 player games (e.g., Double Dragon, Ikari warriors). Or the super-rare 4 player cooperative game (Gauntlet).

Then came the ground breaking game Street Fighter. The original street fighter actually had these giant pads that the harder you hit, the harder Ryu hit (you could only play Ryu in the original unless there was a second player that was Ken). I’ve seen many a bloody knuckles after someone played this repeatedly.

And the first time I saw someone actually get off a dragon punch. Ah.. chills.

From this moment on, many games in the arcade became 2 player cooperative or competitive. Having 2 player games just means the arcade can take in quarters twice as quickly. From my experience, these fighting games created a strange sense of camaraderie among those more elite players. Yes, there were the elite players.

The elite were those guys that spent WAY too much time on the machine. Mind you, this is before the home game console. So it’s not like they were at home practicing and then coming to the arcade to kick ass (as many kids do today). No, these guys spent their time on the actual machines.

From spending so much time together, strange bizarre friendships would develop. Even those that weren’t friends, there was always a level of respect and acknowledgement among those that were there.

What made me think of this is the extinction of arcades and the evolution of the home consoles (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, etc.). The home game console has come very far from the Atari or Commodore 64.

The new game consoles have made the video game experience at home just as good, if not better, than the arcade machines. However, I think this comes at a price. No longer do kids have to go to a place where they interact with others with similar interest, and as bizarre as the interactions are, they still interact with live people.

The home game console has taken this away by isolating kids in their own familiar places (their home or friend’s home), and to interact with only their previously established friends. I think there is a big loss without the interaction and competition of others.

Children do not learn to humble their abilities (i.e., beating the computer is nothing compare to playing another human so don’t say how good you are), nor do they see how good they could be.

With an over emphasis on self esteem in child rearing in the last 2 decades, children have become out of control in their own self righteousness. In a small way, getting beat down in public at a game will humble a kid, and make him/her strive to be better.

Or not, maybe this is just me.

The other big thing is the cheats in today’s games and the mentality that creates. I don’t know if you know, but all these cheat codes and strategy guides that comes with almost EVERY game (on home game consoles) is one of my biggest peeves. I understand all the financial reasons behind companies making them. However, parents should know better than to buy these things for their kids.

Having a cheat code completely ruins the game. If you are able to have such an advantage over the normal rules of the game, the game ceases to be what it was designed to be. It would be like taking a novel, and inserting your own character in the story line.

What is the point of a game if you are given a guide to everything in a game? Does life come with a walk through book? I don’t think games should either.

The home game consoles have also destroyed the sense of value of the game. In the arcade, game play is limited by the amount of money you have, and in my younger days, that would be 2 may be 3 dollars at the very very most. With the game consoles, a person can play for as long as they want simply by hitting the start button. This idea that you can just keep playing devalues each game because you know that even if you mess up, you can just play again.

The unlimited play, plus the isolation with playing in their own homes, seriously undermines the desire to get good at anything. Why would you need to be good if you can just keep playing? How would you know how good you really are?

I think all this destroys the lure of the game. We had to be good at the games, cause there was only so many times we could play it because of how much money we had. Look at the way kids play games today. They try for a while, and when they get stuck, they simply quit or put in a cheat code. What kind of example is this setting for how the kids will act in the real world? What are they going to do when they figure out there is no cheat code in the real world.

The Arcade didn’t have cheats, and there was a cost associated with each play. I think to a point that makes the player enjoy and hold dear the experience more. I know it’s a far fetch, but the home game consoles have destroyed the real gaming experience.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

At LAST….. The PUP has come BACK to Atlaaaaaaaaaataaaaa!!
(If you know where this is from, cool points.)

So here’s the big change happening with my life. As of today, I have accepted a new job that will allow me to move back to Atlanta and have given my notice to Sprint. The new job is different from what I do now and my education, but I’m excited at learning some new things. I think it’ll be a good experience in the long run.

I’ll get to travel for this new job which I love to do, and there may also be opportunities for international travel which I’m very excited about. Then of course, there’s the Atlanta thing. As some of you know, I’ve been trying to get out of Kansas and move back to Atlanta for a while now. So Yay!

There are some big unknowns of course that I’ll have to get accustomed to. For one, I’ll be working from home. I’m one of these people that enjoys going to a different place for work, and seeing people. With just me and pup all day every day, I may go totally insane. One positive with this, with no commute, gas can now go up to $5 a gallon.

It took me a while to talk myself into the job. I was leaning toward saying no to this position, but things happened and I decided to go for it. The main thing being that there probably isn’t that much room for advancement here in my present job in the near future, and as I’m not a patient person when it comes to this, I decided to head for greener pastures. This new job will be vastly different, in both job duties and work environment, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

Moving back to ATL will mean that I’ll be able to hang out with a lot of my friends and be able to see my nephew (I won’t have to be trapped in the phone anymore) and niece (from now on be called baby-girl) all the time. With a strong established network of friends and family already in ATL, I think my quality of life will definitely improve.

Even more awesome, I’ll be able to start looking for a house. Maybe with a yard for a dog (Wink Wink CC). To have a house, a yard, and a dog would just kick SO much ass.

So I’ll be busy with coordinating all the moving, which is just the most expensive thing EVER, and preparing to leave my present job. Things will be hectic for a while so the posts maybe a bit more random.

Happy Hump Wednesday!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Non-Political Stuff on My Mind.

Coming into work this morning I saw an email from our CEO stating that we have met the $100,000 donation match from the company. So Team Pup's contributions are out of luck.

However, since I did promise double contributions to everyone who has given me money, Pup and I discussed it and has decided to fulfill its promise and personally double everyone's contributions.

So yay and thanks to everyone for contributing!


College football was terrible this weekend as Ohio State lost a thriller to Freaken Texas. At least it wasn't to Texas A&M cause then there would be chairs and windows broken.


There's going to be some big exciting changes going on for me and Pup pretty soon. I'll fill everyone in when I get everything confirmed.


Yesterday, my two year old nephew asked my sister to call me. He does this pretty often. I think the reason is that everything I talk to him on the phone I say "Help! I'm trapped in the phone Scotty! Tell your parents to call me so I can come out and play!"

Being a two year old, he doesn't quite understand the concept of the phone yet, so this is a funny thing. So Scotty will usually say "call uncle Pup" a couple of times a week.


After a 2.5 week break from Ultimate Frisbee, I went back and played on Sunday. After an hour, I thought I was going to die. It was pretty hot, and I think at points my heart was actually hurting from beating so fast.

Who knew you could get so out of shape so quickly.


Ok, I have to sneak in one political thing. 38% approval, 55% disapproval rating for the president. Guess all you people that voted for him for his "moral" values forgot that this is a real job that has a lot of responsibilities and requires real leadership/administration skills. The presidency is more than being 'moral'.

Good judgement there on electing this guy.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Please give me a break!

You know, I WANT to write a normal non-political post, I really do, but the administration refuses to give me a break. How much insanity can you people create?

The craziness continues.

From CNN:

“President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage.”

Have you gone totally fucking insane or have your true self-serving self of catering only to the rich finally showing itself?

What is your response to one of the worst disasters this country has ever seen? First, you are slow and unresponsive to help the poor majority that was affected. They’re poor, fuck’em right? Now, you want to use this disaster to help these rich and big companies even more? You ARE a fucking great leader for this country.

What exactly do you think this will do for the country and for the people affected? At a time when people need to rebuild their city and their lives, they need to make some money. What do you do? You take that wage right under them. You give these big companies the right to pay people LESS?!

Oh my fucking lord!! What the fuck is wrong with you?

Do you somehow think this will lower the cost of rebuilding? The federal contracts use strict formulas to decide how much money should be spent. These formulas include things like prevailing wages. They calculate that and then add a profit percentage on top of it.

Of course, that was until now. Now your ignorant self-righteous self has made it ok for the big companies that are rewarded with these contracts to pay less than the normal wage. These savings aren’t being passed on to anyone but their profit bottom line.

Basically, the companies get the same money from the government, but they have lower costs because they don’t have to pay their people as much.

This will NOT create more jobs, and if it does. It just means more people are making less than sustainable wages. How the fuck does that help the people affected or anyone but the companies? Oh please explain that to me oh wise one.

The law that you revoked was created for a reason. To protect greedy fuck wades like you and your friends from taking advantage of people in the lower socio-economical status during a disaster.

You, Mr. President, are a fucking embarrassment.


Corinna Corinna?

I’m not saying that I pronounce things clearly or correctly all the time, and at times I mumble, BUT

I think I would know enough by now to not call this Hurricane Corinna as the first lady, Laura Bush yesterday. Not once, but twice.

Fan Fucking Tastic.


Now for a Friday Funny

Jon Stewart: The president has vowed to personally lead the investigation into the government's failed response to Katrina? Isn't that a job perhaps someone else should be doing?

Samantha Bee: No, not at all, Jon. To truly find out what went wrong, it's important for an investigator to have a little distance from the situation. And it's hard to get any more distant from it than the president was last week.

--The Daily Show

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back to our regularly scheduled program

For those of you that think me and others who are criticizing the failure of the hurricane relief for political reasons instead of the intent of wanting to do what we can to help those in need, take a look at what the administration and FEMA is doing. Tell me they are not only thinking of saving themselves after this pathetic and life destroying failure.

Please read this article from yesterday’s Salt Lake Tribune.

This is totally fucked up.

Instead of using these firemen and women who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, and haz-mat certified for emergency worker duties, FEMA has them doing fucking PR work. The PR work involves basically handing out a flyer with FEMA’s number on it.

What in the Hell?!! How completely incompetent are you people over there? Who the hell is running things at FEMA and came up with this brilliant plan? Talk about a completely misuse of a very valuable group of resource.

When the firefighters began to complain that they are not being utilized to the best of their skills, FEMA has the gall to say this.

“I would go back and ask the firefighter to revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country," said FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak

Are you fucking kidding me? First of all, they have no commitments to FEMA. They do however, have commitments to firefighting and the citizens of this country that you are not allowing them to fulfill. They are here to help people. Not to be your damn PR zombies.

How the hell can you people even be thinking about PR in a time like this? Emergency crews are still needed. People are still missing and there is still hope to find them. Why in the hell are you using our best people/hope of finding the people still missing for PR and handling out fliers?!!

Damn you people! Can't you stop thinking about yourselves for even a second?

This is a clear indication that the mentality of the administration and its agencies has changed their purpose. No longer is their main purpose to serve the people. Clearly, the administration and its agency’s mentality is public relations machine first, and helping others second.

I think this paragraph from the article sums things up quite nicely.

“But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.”

Human backdrops. Now that’s a good use of our skilled fire and rescue personnel.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

And now, for something different.

Don’t worry, I have much more ranting about things going on, but I’m going to take a break with a post about something else.

A good friend from work is leaving for San Antonio. He was in the same group as I, in the same field, and sits in the cube next to mine. So we spent quite a bit of time together everyday. He’s leaving because of something crazy about not wanting to live thousands of miles from his girlfriend. Whatever.

Seriously though. It’s been great hanging out with him this last year. It’s no secret that I don’t like where I’m living, but it was a lot better with him around and I got to see a lot more of the city (mainly bars) and met more people, then I would have by myself. Besides that, it was the small stuff like going to lunch or even the Best Buy trips after work that made the work day not seem so bad.

Besides that, it’s hard to find someone to talk about what we do (job wise). We do a pretty specific thing and most people would probably find it painfully boring, so I’ll miss that too.

There are still some friends to hang out with here, but I’m sure it’ll be a lot more different.

Good luck in San Antonio and at your new job!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

“Ah, how beautiful....let's all turn this disaster into a partisan issue.”

My Response.

Please look at all the information around you. Do not automatically assume that your party and your political leaders always do the right thing as quickly and efficiently as possible. Do not be so quick to dismiss criticisms and different views simply as a political move.

Republicans won the elections. Republican leaders control the presidency, congress, and have appointed most of the leaders involved in this matter (FEMA, homeland security, etc.). If the response for this tragedy was good, they would have taken the credit, as well they should if they did a good job.

For example, think about the response to 9/11. I believed they did do a good job, and no one said anything but praises for Rudy and the administration for their quick response.

How in 4 years’ time, with the restructure of FEMA and other organizational changes did we come to see what we did in New Orleans? This is what we are asking. FEMA went from a fast powerful responsive agency that can take over situations like this, to a slow bureaucratic impotent agency after the administration restructure and gutted the agency.

Not only have the administration have 4 years time to plan, but they’ve used billions of dollars, and have appoint all major leadership in these agency to plan for a disaster response. This response to the hurricane is what the last 4 years of planning has gotten us?

It is not the far left or the crazy liberals that are saying the reaction to this disaster is an embarrassment. If you would like, I can get you quotes from all the republicans coming out saying that the response so far has been unacceptable. I believe even the president has said that the response has been unacceptable.

What I don’t understand is how ANYONE can say that the response was acceptable or say that the administration is doing what they can. Good God it took 4 days!! The media and red cross was there within hours and days at the most. How can you tell me the government couldn’t have gotten in there within the same time frame? Now they are in there with the thousands of troops and we're supposed to be impressed by that?

Too little too late.

Please don’t use the ‘I don’t think Kerry could’ve done any better’ response. That doesn’t matter because we will never know. Bush is the president and for better or worst, he is the leader for all that’s happening and all responsibilities ultimately go back to him. I’m sure if the response had been at all successful he would’ve taken all the credit.

Good leaders take responsibilities for their action or lack of actions. They don’t blame others for mistakes. Since this administration is not filled with good leaders, here they go with blaming the state and local authorities for the lack of response.

That’s real classy.

It may sound like I’m attacking the administration on a political level, but I’m angry for the people in New Orleans. Their government was not there at a time when they needed them the most. You should know by now that my concern is for the well being of the people. I could care less what type of political affiliation one is with or whoever the hell you are. Just find someone that can fix problems, and fix them now.

In this case, the leadership of the country has failed its people, and speaking out to ensure that something is changed so this doesn't happen again is the only thing I have the power to do, so that's just what I'll do.

I can't be down there helping anyone. I've contributed money, and done what I can to help. Trying to vent some of the anger and frustration for those in New Orleans and Mississippi that other wise don't have a voice is what the blogging community can do for them.

I would like you to send me a response, I will gladly post it on my site. We are opened to differing opinions here, and I would like to hear what your views of what's going on. It doesn't help to disagree if I don't know what the other points are.


Perhaps we can agree that the newspaper of New Orleans would know best about the situation in New Orleans. The following is a letter they published to the President.


We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to make it right."

Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.

Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.

Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don’t know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city’s death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.

It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren’t they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn’t suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day.

"Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job.

"That’s unbelievable.

There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.

We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.

No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn’t be reached.

Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.

When you do, we will be the first to applaud.

Friday, September 02, 2005

You can’t make this up.

Grover Norquist sent this memo (PDF) out today. Getting rid of the Death/estate tax has been a long time goal for the Republicans.

Is this guy fucking serious?

From the memo:

The 2003 tax cut lifted economic growth far beyond what most people expected. We know repeal of the Death Tax will also have a similar effect. And higher levels of economic growth is exactly what the residents of the Gulf Region need at this time to start the rebuilding process for their neighborhoods and more importantly for their lives.”

The estate tax cut is what the people of the gulf region needs?!! Could you be MORE of a whore for the rich? With people still suffering from the hurricanes and all the problems still ahead, you’re telling us that a Death Tax cut is what’s on your mind and what these people need?!

Luckily, Norquist can rest easy tonight.

From Think Progress

“Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.

One stands in awe of Sen. Frist’s timing. Permanently repealing the estate tax would be a major blow to the nation’s charities. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has “found that the estate tax encourages wealthy individuals to donate considerably more to charity, since estate tax liability is reduced through donations made both during life and at death.” If there were no estate tax in 2000, for example, “charitable donations would have been between $13 billion to $25 billion lower than they actually were.”

As they did after 9/11 and during the lead-up to the Iraq war, conservatives have placed tax cuts for the most wealthy and well-off over the spirit of shared national sacrifice. What a stark contrast to the outpouring of generosity being shown by the American people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.”

How do any of you live with yourselves? Frist, I didn’t think you could get any lower, but once again, you prove me wrong.

Along these same lines, the confirmation hearing for John Roberts is also supposed to begin next week. Business as usual for the Republicans. No need to worry about the tens of thousands of displaced people. How very nobel of all of you.
Even for someone who can’t stand this administration, I hope this is false.

Shopping? Are you fucking kidding me?

From Gawker:

“According to Drudge, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has recently enjoyed a little Broadway entertainment. And Page Six reports that she’s also working on her backhand with Monica Seles. So the Gulf Coast has gone all Mad Max, women are being raped in the Superdome, and Rice is enjoying a brief vacation in New York. We wish we were surprised.

What does surprise us: Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!” Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the woman.

Angry Lady, whoever you are, we love you. You are a true American, and we’ll go shoe shopping with you anytime.”

I usually laugh when people say something has gone Mad Max, but it’s not funny when it’s true.
There is no excuse for this. None. Someone please enlighten me cause I can’t think of any reason or scenario where this would be ok. Please don’t say she can do what she wants on her own time. In a crisis this big, the secretary of state does not get the luxury of personal time.

What the Fuck FEMA?

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am at how FEMA has performed so far in this crisis. FEMA is the emergency agency that takes cares of major crisis such as this. I think my anger is also cause by my former fascination with FEMA and their ability to come into a crisis situation and get things done quickly and efficiently. FEMA is given a lot of power to take over a crisis situation (including declaring Marsha law). Whatever is necessary to take control of a crisis situation.

In years before, FEMA has always been bad ass. Coming into a crisis situation HOURS after something bad has happened, taking control, and getting things done. As of yesterday, the Major of New Orleans was still looking for people from FEMA.

I know I’m not there. Perhaps FEMA is there, but obviously, they are not doing a good enough job. This isn’t the CIA. People want to see FEMA people swarming around. Letting people know that help is there and everything will be ok.

This is the first test for FEMA since they were placed under the control of the Homeland Security Department. I don’t know why they have become another slow bureaucratic government agency. I don’t know how they could’ve been so ineffective in this situation. This is your whole purpose for existence, and you’re letting the people that needs you most down.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael D. Brown leapt into action, mustering all the emergency disaster management skills he learned as a lawyer for the International Arabian Horse Association Legal Department (from which he was fired). His money quote: "Paula, the federal government did not even know about the Convention Center people until today."

Please don’t think I blame the individuals out there helping out. I know all the emergency crew, national guard, military personnel, and others are all doing as much as they can to help everyone with what they have. There is just something horribly incompetent about the leadership right now that didn’t send help sooner and are not better organized.

Just throwing it out there.

Sprint Nextel is currently matching all employee contributions to the Red Cross Hurricane relief fund. If anyone is interested in having their contributions doubled, email me and let me know how much you want to contribute and I can send one check for all of us. Then it will be doubled!

No pressure, just wanted to throw it out there. I promise Pup will not steal all the money to buy booze with. Feel free to post this elsewhere.

I have until September 12th to get the money to the company to be matched, so if you’re interested, send a check to me soon.

In case you didn’t know, Sprint and Nextel merged about a month ago. Yesterday was our big Customer Launch. You should be seeing a lot of yellow from us soon.

Save some money this weekend so you can send it to me! Drink domestics instead of the fancy stuff. Have some Pabst or stay at home and get a 40 oz. If you do get a 40, remember to pour some out for your homies.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Not that I’m inferring anything would be different… (Updated)


Take a look at this article from the New Orleans City Business (Feb. 7th, 2005).

The Bush administration's proposed fiscal 2005 budget includes only $3.9 million for the east bank hurricane project. Congress likely will increase that amount, although last year it bumped up the administration's $3 million proposal only to $5.5 million.

The New Orleans district has at least $65 million in projects in need of fiscal year 2005 funding. In fiscal year 2006, the need more than doubles to at least $150 million.

Coming into 2005, the New Orleans district already owed about $11 million to construction companies after funding dried up last July, well before the end of the fiscal year. The project needed an absolute minimum of $11 million this year (2005), and they got $5.5 million. In 2006, the projects needs $22.5 million next year to do everything that needs doing, and the first $4.5 million of that will go to pay four contractors who couldn't get paid this year.

Beginning in 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA) dropped to a trickle. The Army Corps of Engineers (who are in charge of this project) never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

I don’t know how to convey the message any more clearly than that each action from this administration causes a major cancer to this country. Every major thing they’ve pushed through has had horrible side effects. Steroids is destroying our society? Let's put a man on Mars? Why don't you grow up and worry about real problems like a real president instead of making up more conflicts?

The Republicans love to cheer and gloat about their tax cuts, but if you looked at it now, how has that help the majority of Americans? It hasn’t. The tax cut has, however, sheltered much needed money for a second mansion for the wealthy. Fantastic.

All that job growth would have come back naturally. Giving the rich more money has not caused them to put in more jobs. That just simply isn't how it works.

War is expensive. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but there has NEVER been a time in the history of man where there was a tax cut during a war. If the population supports a war, they will be glad to pay more taxes to support it. Think about it, you had to buy off the country to go to war? What kind of war are you fighting? Certainly, it's not one of public support.

Hurricane Katrina and her devastation in New Orleans were bound to happen. This was no secret. This is no Tsunami where there were no warnings. The Army Corps of Engineers has been working SELA since 1995. They’ve used $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But with least $250 million in crucial projects remained, the money dried up.

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for SELA.

All that for what? A war built on lies? Where’s the WMDs?!! Don’t change the fucking reason for the war to some crap about having to save Iraqi’s and get rid of a bad dictator. There are far worst humanitarian atrocities happening in Africa. Where are we going there?

Oh right, no oil. Your Halliburton friends won't make money, so I guess the people of Africa are screwed.

I know most of you already have the same political stances as I do, but those that do not, please look around. It’s not all as pretty as the administration’s spin machine would like you to believe.

I want to keep these thoughts in mind, but right now, it's more important that we all try to help.

American Red Cross

* Update *

President George W. Bush is reported to have said this on ABC's "Good Morning America.":

From the BBC:

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did appreciate a serious storm but these levees got breached and as a result much of New Orleans is flooded and now we're having to deal with it and will," he said.

Holy shit. Are you in that much denial or are you just really that ignorant about your actions? Either way, how can anyone have any confidence in you?