Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Blame game.

Since everyone seems to want to lay blame, at least ask the right questions. Ace asks the right questions and answers them as well.

Update: Mudville has an excellent overview of the real story. His post includes excerpts from New Orlean's Emergency management plan, which makes it clear that the local and state government failed miserably. It wasn't until today that I learned that it is they (local and state govt) that are the first responders, not FEMA. Now I am but a lowly blogger. It is understandable that I wouldn't know that, but surely the msm knows this?

So what can explain why they are not saying this? If someone can come up with a better answer than the obvious one...a political agenda, then please share it with me.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Volunteering at the Astrodome.

I know. I know. I said I wouldn't blog again until next week, but I had to blog this. I went to the Astrodome this morning to volunteer. I had called the Red Cross yesterday morning and they said they would only take trained Red Cross volunteers, so I donated money. Then I saw on the news that the Red Cross had changed it's mind and would take anyone who showed up.

So I showed up.

Now, I have volunteered in the past for both private and governmental agencies and there is NO doubt that private agencies do everything 100% better. Suffice to say that the volunteer coordination was completely unorganized, but fortunately everyone volunteering (like myself) were self motivators. You don't have to tell us what to do, we just do it. Which is what you had to do there because no one was in charge of the effort. I'm not blaming anyone. God knows the Red Cross has enough to deal with and we volunteers are grownups and can figure out what the needs are pretty quickly.

The whole thing was, of course, heartwrenching. People were packed cot to cot and with their supplies next to them. The really hard thing to see were the children. So small and with so little to keep them busy. The citizens and Churches of Houston came through in a BIG way and there was plenty of food, water, and clothes for everyone. The only thing I really had to dig for were toys. I plan to bring a bunch tomorrow. That seemed to be the only real need that wasn't being meet. There were also plenty of volunteers.

As you might imagine I wanted to hear what it was like being in the Superdome. One teenage girl told me that it was terrifying when the shooting started. "It was the gangs," she said. Her mother said, "The people found the guy who was shooting and beat his ass and his ass needed beating." I found over and over again that people were as disgusted with the behavior of the thugs as the rest of us. I asked them if they were angry at the government. Not one I spoke to said they were. They were angry at the people who behaved badly. They were angry at the thugs with guns. They were angry with the people who threw trash everywhere and went to bathroom in public places.

In other words, they were mad at the right people, unlike our friends on the left.

I was surprised at how good their attitudes were considering all they had been through. The ones I spoke to seem determined to get a job and settle here in Houston. Another wonderful thing to see were people holding signs saying that there were hiring workers. It's a start.

I was feeling irritated yesterday at the leftys commenting here trying to make political points at a desperate time. There were many Democratic leaders doing the same thing on TV. I HATE what the party of my childhood has become. I can only hope that the commenters here don't represent the majority of democrats in this country. I truly don't think they do. I think most Democrats realize the enormity of this tragedy and understand the mistakes that were made by the local, state, and federal government, but also know what an incredible job was done considering the scope of the tragedy. I think they are grateful that we, as a country, can give the enormous amount of money and resources that it will take to get New Orleans, the coast, and the people back on their feet again.

But the leadership in the Democratic party and the fringe left (Kos,, Michael Moore, NARAL ect..) have hijacked the voice of this party and turned it into a petty bitter ranting voice the likes of which I have never seen in politics. It is truly time for grassroots Democrats take back their party.

All this upset me yesterday. But today I feel so much better. One thing helping people in need does is put everything in perspective. When you see how much people can endure and still be strong, the petty voices just don't bother you anymore. When you see people who really have every reason to be angry, but are not, then it makes you understand that the highpitched voice on the left is nothing more than that. An empty voice.

This country is pouring it's heart out to the hurricane's victims. Tragedy tends to bring out the worst and the best of society.

Today I saw the best.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

See Ya Next Week.

As you have probably noticed in the comments, I am becoming a bit testy. Not like me. This whole tragedy with New Orleans and the coast has upset me. Leftys just responding by blaming Bush is just so stupid that it is pushing me to the limits of my patience.

I can take political arguments, but when it comes to the suffering of the people in our country and a disaster where we should all be coming together to help, it is sick and wrong to bring politics into it. This isn't the time or the place.

So I will take my leave for the weekend. I will see what I can do for the refugees in Houston, I will play with my children, I will cook, I will call my family and tell them how much I love them, I will go to Church and pray for those suffering.

Peace be with you all.

Thugs. Ugh.

From the looks of these messages, thugs are roaming the streets of New Orleans. I understand the military is on the way to restore order. It makes me sick to my stomach that evil people would take advantage of this dire situation. I suppose I am naive. It never occurred to me that this would happen.

Amazing Video.

If you want to see some incredible video of the surge of the hurricane go here to MSNBC anc click on "extreme footage."

Here is what I like to see. People helping people. We just need to get this information to the refugees.

Nice To Hear.

I just heard a reporter on the news at the Baton Rouge emergency shelter say that the number one item being requested by the refugees there after food is....a Bible.

Can I get an AMEN?


I don't know if any of you have read some of the blogs or message board commenters who are saying that New Orleans was hit because it was "sin city" and this was God's wrath, but we all know that those people are the same that said that AIDS was God's punishment for being gay ect... In other words, these people are FREAKIN INSANE.

Well guess what.? If you are one of those saying that Bush is responsible for the hurricane because of his environmental policies and global warming (like Robert Kennedy Jr. and Cindy Sheehan) or that because of lack of funding to New Orleans, Bush is responsible for what happened to that city, then you too are FREAKIN INSANE.

Let me just say that everyone who knew anything about New Orleans was saying that the city was a accident waiting to happen since the 80's. So if Bush is somehow responsible, then so is Clinton. Because he didn't fund any upgrades either.

Also, do you think the left could hold off blaming everything on Bush for....I don't know.....maybe a FEW FREAKIN DAYS while we are trying to rescue people and get them settled. Can we focus on these people for just a bit before you go snarling off like a rabid dog on Bush???

Do any of the people on the left understand how the fringe is starting to take over everything your party stands for? Is there a fringe on the right that sounds just as crazy? Yes. But the difference is that everytime they open their mouth and say something stupid, we on the right condemn them and ask them to shutup.

But when the fringe says something crazy on the left, it is usually someone the left LOVES and supports wholeheartly. From the recent comments of RFK Jr. to Cindy Sheehan to Al Franken to Howard Dean to Michael Moore. No one condemns them.

It's pathetic.

On to other things:

I told a friend of mine that I planned to go volunteer at the Astrodome when the refugees got there. She told me I shouldn't do that because these were not the best people and it would be dangerous. She said the same people coming on the buses were the ones who looted. I was taken aback by that. I told her that wasn't true. Just because they were poor didn't mean they were bad.

And then she calls this morning asking if I had heard about shots being fired at rescue helicopters. Then the news said there were gang problems going on with the people left in New Orleans. Which made me wonder if I was being naive.

Can we not even help people now without worrying about our safety? What have we come to that it becomes a "Lord of the Flies" type situation when a disaster happens?


The blogosphere is coming together to ask for hurricane relief help. I am asking you to give to Catholic Charities, not because I am Catholic, but because, as one commenter from Baton Rouge pointed out, Catholic Charities has a strong relationship with the New Orleans and Baton Rouge communities. They already have shelters and food pantrys set up. I think that would be the quickest way to get help to the people who need it. But, of course, give to who you feel the most comfortable with.

Instapundit has a list of other charities.

Technorati has a list of links regarding the hurricane.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Anatomy of a Loss.

Last night I could not stop thinking about the man from New Orleans on the news who had had to let go of his wife when his house split in two. The reporter was crying. I was crying. His pain was raw and heartbreaking to see.

During my prayers I kept seeing the people on their homes waiting for rescue. I thought of two fellow bloggers who have recently experienced a terrible loss in their life. One is very angry at God. I understand that. Some think that if we just believe in God, if we just live good enough lives, then we will be protected somehow, but that isn't what Christ promised us. That isn't the way life is.

Christ discussed sorrow, he knew that we would all experience it. He himself experienced it. Make no mistake about it. God weeps with us.

We cannot escape life's blows. God gave us free will and a world with the law of physics. We can't escape the reality of life and nature. Does God sometimes intervene with miracles? Certainly. I have seen that for myself. But I think those times are rare and are driven by a deep faith or a purpose known only to heaven.

When I was 22 I lost my Daddy to a heart attack. If you are new to my blog, my post on him is here. He was the finest man I ever knew. My heart was completely broken. He was the rock of our family. I didn't see how we could go on without him. I wasn't angry at God. Even that young my faith was deep and I knew that this life is but a small part of eternity. I had learned from reading "The Hiding Place," the story of a Christian woman taken to the concentration camps during the Holocaust for hiding Jews, that one should pray to God with a grateful heart no matter what your circumstances. Why? Because no matter what life throws at us, good can come from it....if we let it. If we pray and give God our pain and our tears.

That was a very difficult thing to do. I watched one brother of mine give in to the pain of losing Daddy. It took him years of heartache to finally give it to God. But that day, the day that I lost the most important thing in my life, I got down on my knees and thanked God for the years that I had had with my father. I thanked him for all that my Daddy had been to me. I thanked him for the wonderful childhood I had had. I thanked him for the values and love my father had given me. In that moment I felt great peace. I felt the comfort of a love that is unending. It was like an invisible warm blanket covered me. It was.....Indescribable.

I thought the world would fall apart. I thought my mom would not be able to go on. I thought my brothers would never be happy again. But in that moment of peace, I knew that it would be alright. I knew.

And it was. My mother happily remarried a wonderful man a few years later. My brothers went on to become the men my father wanted them to be. As I said, it took one of my brothers some self inflicted heartache to get there, but he did get there.

When we are overwhelmed with grief, it is so difficult to pray. We are consumed with our loss and we don't want to let anyone in, even God. But this is when we must pray the most. It is in prayer that we find the comfort we need and the way out of our pain and back into the land of the living.

After the death of my father, I experienced so many gifts from God that helped me and my family get through that terrible time. So many things that have no other explanation. God doesn't promise us a safe life, just one where He will always lead us where we need to be if we let Him.

I had a friend whose child had died. Her grief was beyond what she could endure. She couldn't function. Drowning in her grief she forced herself on her knees. She wept before God, not in anger, but in sorrow. Without words she cried out to God to help her. She told me when she opened her eyes she saw herself at the foot of the cross. She saw Christ on the cross and all the suffering He was enduring. She said she understood then that He suffered with us. And the comfort came. She was given the strength to continue on and she had three more beautiful children. Her life is full of love and laughter now and she knows in her heart that she will see her first child again. Love overcame the sorrow. As I have said many times, it is love that saves us.

1 Corinthians 13:7- "The Man of Suffering is the revelation of that Love which "endures all things."

It is in this time of suffering that we must endure. We must love. We must pray.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Baton Rouge

Well, my son, who came home from LSU Sunday, won't have to return to classes until Tuesday. They are even canceling (gasp!) the football game this weekend. It isn't the weather or any damage done to the university. They just felt given the circumstances, that the highways didn't need students returning and football fans coming in for a game. There is media camped out at one of the dorms there and I read on one of the local blogs that the Baton Rouge airport is providing free wireless. The apartment complexes around town are given month to month leases for those displaced and trying to find free furniture for the apartments. If you live anywhere near the area you might consider donating some used furniture.

A professor at LSU has set up a web site with an open thread for those trying to get information or contact someone. She also suggests that if you can't get through on a cell phone, to try text messaging. That usually works better.

Here is live blogging from New Orleans. Here is a collection of photos from Flickr

This is the time for us all to come together and help out. Right now they need money. I am posting the relief donation sites again.

You can donate to the American Red Cross Fund (specifying the hurricane relief) HERE.

Catholic Charities has a relief fund HERE.

The United Methodist Church has a relief fund HERE.

Remember to keep those hurting in your prayers.

Another Iraqi Voice You Might Want To Hear.

The Mesopotamian gives us his scenario if we get out Iraq the way the protestors wish us to.


When I heard of looting in the aftermath of the Hurricane, it just ticked me off. Ugh. But I just heard Jeff Goldblatt say that a Walmart in New Orleans opened it's doors and is letting people take what they need, no payment necessary.

Nice to hear.

A Letter From An Iraqi to Cindy Sheehan.

I know many of you have read this already, but since I have so many left leaning commenting and asking why we are at war, I thought maybe they needed to read it. Website here.

A message to Cindy Sheehan

I realize how tragic your loss is and I know how much pain there is crushing your heart and I know the darkness that suddenly came to wrap your life and wipe away your dreams and I do feel the heat of your tears that won't dry until you find the answers to your question; why you lost your loved one?

I have heard your story and I understand that you have the full right to ask people to stand by your side and support your cause. At the beginning I told myself, this is yet another woman who lost a piece of her heart and the questions of war, peace and why are killing her everyday. To be frank to you the first thing I thought of was like "why should I listen or care to answer when there are thousands of other women in America, Iraq and Afghanistan who lost a son or a husband or a brother…

”But today I was looking at your picture and I saw in your eyes a persistence, a great pain and a torturing question; why?

I know how you feel Cindy, I lived among the same pains for 35 years but worse than that was the fear from losing our loved ones at any moment. Even while I'm writing these words to you there are feelings of fear, stress, and sadness that interrupt our lives all the time but in spite of all that I'm sticking hard to hope which if I didn't have I would have died years ago.

Ma'am, we asked for your nation's help and we asked you to stand with us in our war and your nation's act was (and still is) an act of ultimate courage and unmatched sense of humanity.Our request is justified, death was our daily bread and a million Iraqi mothers were expecting death to knock on their doors at any second to claim someone from their families.Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours.

Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.

We did nothing to deserve all that suffering, well except for a dream we had; a dream of living like normal people do.

We cried out of joy the day your son and his comrades freed us from the hands of the devil and we went to the streets not believing that the nightmare is over.We practiced our freedom first by kicking and burning the statues and portraits of the hateful idol who stole 35 years from the life of a nation.For the first time air smelled that beautiful, that was the smell of freedom.

The mothers went to break the bars of cells looking for the ones they lost 5, 12 or 20 years ago and other women went to dig the land with their bare hand searching for a few bones they can hold in their arms after they couldn't hold them when they belonged to a living person.

I recall seeing a woman on TV two years ago, she was digging through the dirt with her hands. There was no definite grave in there as the whole place was one large grave but she seemed willing to dig the whole place looking for her two brothers who disappeared from earth 24 years ago when they were dragged from their colleges to a chamber of hell.

Her tears mixed with the dirt of the grave and there were journalists asking her about what her brothers did wrong and she was screaming "I don't know, I don't know. They were only college students. They didn't murder anyone, they didn't steal, and they didn't hurt anyone in their lives. All I want to know is the place of their grave".

Why was this woman chosen to lose her dear ones? Why you? Why did a million women have to go through the same pain?

We did not choose war for the sake of war itself and we didn't sacrifice a million lives for fun! We could've accepted our jailor and kept living in our chains for the rest of our lives but it's freedom ma'am.

Freedom is not an American thing and it's not an Iraqi thing, it's what unites us as human beings. We refuse all kinds of restrictions and that's why we fought and still fighting everyday in spite of the swords in the hands of the cavemen who want us dead or slaves for their evil masters.

You are free to go and leave us alone but what am I going to tell your million sisters in Iraq? Should I ask them to leave Iraq too? Should I leave too? And what about the eight millions who walked through bombs to practice their freedom and vote? Should they leave this land too?Is it a cursed land that no one should live in? Why is it that we were chosen to live in all this pain, why me, why my people, why you?

But I am not leaving this land because the bad guys are not going to leave us or you to live in peace. They are the same ones who flew the planes to kill your people in New York. I ask you in the name of God or whatever you believe in; do not waste your son's blood.We here have decided to avenge humanity, you and all the women who lost their loved ones.
Take a look at our enemy Cindy, look closely at the hooded man holding the sword and if you think he's right then I will back off and support your call.

We live in pain and grief everyday, every hour, every minute; all the horrors of the powers of darkness have been directed at us and I don't know exactly when am I going to feel safe again, maybe in a year, maybe two or even ten; I frankly don't know but I don't want to lose hope and faith.

We are in need for every hand that can offer some help. Please pray for us, I know that God listens to mothers' prayers and I call all the women on earth to pray with you for peace in this world.

Your son sacrificed his life for a very noble cause…No, he sacrificed himself for the most precious value in this existence; that is freedom.

His blood didn't go in vain; your son and our brethren are drawing a great example of selflessness.God bless his free soul and God bless the souls of his comrades who are fighting evil.God bless the souls of Iraqis who suffered and died for the sake of freedom.God bless all the freedom lovers on earth.
- posted by Mohammed @ 23:24

One Story from Crawford.

One of the girls in the Cotillion has up an excellent post on her trip to Crawford this past weekend to take down a loved one's cross at Cindy Sheehan's protest. Some pictures here.

Don't Miss This.

Pundit Review Radio has the latest interview with Michael Yon!!! He talks about his recent post "Gates of Fire," that was the most awesome war reporting I personally have had the pleasure of ever reading. He speaks of the progress we are making and how important it is to stay the course. He also addresses the Cindy Sheehan situation.

The U.S. News and World Report and has articles on Michael Yon. I wonder when more msm and TV media are going to catch on to this incredible reporter that is literally bringing the war into our homes.

Let's Get Moving!!

Remember the Tsunami fund? $631,000,000 was the last amount I could find of U.S. aid there. We need to get busy and take care of our own down in Lousiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. We Republicans are always saying that the government shouldn't take care of everything! Let's take care of some of this ourselves! These are but a few.

You can donate to the American Red Cross Fund (specifying the hurricane relief) HERE.

Catholic Charities has a relief fund HERE.

The United Methodist Church has a relief fund HERE.

Let's put our money where our mouth is.

Update on Able Danger.

And It's a doozy.

"Congressman Curt Weldon (R - Pennsylvania) gave another exclusive interview to Dom Giordano this evening (Monday) and broke the news that he will be giving a speech on September 8th (next Monday) during which he will present yet another 'Able Danger' witness. This new witness will attest (and will swear under oath when called) that he was "ordered to destroy records" relating to the 'Able Danger' program.
This order to destroy the records occurred prior to 9-11-01. Weldon intimated that it happened during the Clinton Administration.
The witness, who Weldon did not name, says that he was ordered to destroy records and was threatened with jail if he failed to comply. Weldon said that he has the names of the people involved, including the person who gave the order, and HE WILL NAME THEM in his speech."

via JunkYardBlog

Did You Hear?

That "all Republican" Fox News Network's Greta Van Susteren's sister, Lise Van Susteren is running for U.S. Senate as an anti-war Democrat. Greta says, ""I love my sister," Greta, 51, told the New York Daily News. "She's smart and I hope she wins."

Caption Contest. Also, I heard about Sharpton's driver (what? he can't drive himself?) taking the Crawford police on a short chase doing 110 miles an hour, but I can't find it in any credible news source. Anyone got that?

Thanks to Robert for the link on the car chase. Isn't it interesting that it seems to be nowhere in the MSM? Imagine if this were Pat Robertson or James Dobson. It would be the lead story after the hurrican aftermath and we all know it. I mean this was FREAKIN 110 miles per hour!! Putting everyone on that highway in danger. They were weaving in and out of traffic too. Heaven forbid the MSM touch the great Al Sharpton.

Monday, August 29, 2005

What the 9/11 Commission narrative left out: Iraqis.

The Weekly Standard updates us on able danger. Read the whole thing. We would all like the answers to the questions at the end of the article.

"AS THE TWO SIDES in the current flap over Able Danger, a Pentagon intelligence unit tracking al Qaeda before 9/11, exchange claims and counterclaims in the news media, the work of the 9/11 Commission is receiving long overdue scrutiny. It may be the case, as three individuals associated with the Pentagon unit claim, that Able Danger had identified Mohammed Atta in January or February 2000 and that the 9/11 Commission simply ignored this information because it clashed with the commission's predetermined storyline. We should soon know more. Whatever the outcome of that debate, the 9/11 Commission's deliberate exclusion of the Iraqis from its analysis is indefensible."

via Ace.

I want to add something here. If all this turns out to be credible, it will be very upsetting to me. Not just because it would have proven Bush right, but because it will prove that some people put politics above the security of our country. Not only that, but drove a bitter wedge between the left and the right here that was not necessary and proved to be fertile ground for discontent and all out hate for one side to the other.

If it can be proven who was responsible for leaving this information out of the commission, then they need to be punished. I don't know how or by what law, but they should be punished. The damage they inflicted on the goodwill of the people of this country is probably irreparable.

Someone make it stop.


Some things just aren't funny.

Why lefties should not try religious humor.

It's all about the money.

Captialist Pigs!
via LGF

Man on the Street from New Orleans tells it to Shepard Smith.

You gotta laugh:

SHEPARD SMITH: You’re live on FOX News Channel, what are you doing?
MAN: Walking my dogs.
SMITH: Why are you still here? I’m just curious.
MAN: None of your f*cking business.
SMITH: Oh that was a good answer, wasn’t it? That was live on international television. Thanks so much for that. You know we apologize.
WMV QUICKTIME (via Crooks and Liars)

via The Political Teen

What is wrong with this picture?

Pro-troop supporters descended on Crawford Texas. This article estimates around 1,000 supporters a noted by San Francisco's KGO radio, included several Gold Star families whose sons had been killed in Iraq. The AP story had this: "Several times the crowd of about 1,500 chanted, "Cindy, go home!"

Yet the news site linked at Drudge says "Meanwhile, a few dozen Bush supporters held signs from their small camp in a ditch across the street from Sheehan's original site, where most of the dozens of protesters have continued camping off the main road leading to Bush's ranch."

Excuse me? a few dozen and around 1000 are two very different numbers. What gives?


Here is a great link for live blogging from those experiencing the Hurricane.

This 2001 article from Popular Mechanics describes what a category 5 hurricane would do to New Orleans. via Boing Boing

I am watching Fox News and I am convinced that Steve Harrigan is insane.


Cell phones aren't all bad. Especially if they help us catch the pervs. via Ace.


A story to warm your heart.

via Glossy Red

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Getting away from the Hurricane.

We left early early Sat. morning heading to Baton Rouge for a barbecue for parents of engineering students a LSU. It wasn't until after the barbecue that we even heard about the hurricane. LSU e-mailed out that it was canceling classes on Monday and depending on the storm, maybe a few more days. We had a great time Satuday night going out with friends and our LSU kids. This morning we decided that we would take our kids home and away from this storm. Especially since LSU was talking about evacuating the entire campus.

Heading out this morning, I-10 was bumper to bumper. A friend called and said it had taken her 5 hours to get from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, usually an hour's drive for her. Luckily, our friend, who was driving, knew all kinds of back ways and it took us about 7 hours to get home. I'm hearing that on I-10 that would have taken anywhere fro m 10 to 12 hours (usual drive time 41/2 to 5 hours)

Anyway, glad to be home with my boy. He is happy to see everyone again so soon and we will wait and see how long classes will be out. It all depends on the damage and extent of this hurricane.