September 14, 2005

"Goodbye, farewell and amen"

Life's changes are always such that you never expect them, and they take a minute or three to get used to when they occur.

My life is taking a turn now that is forcing me to give up writing Ramblings' Journal.

I've accepted a new position that will preclude me from continuing my writings here. So I'm pulling the plug on R/J in order to focus on the new opportunity that has been placed before me.

Contrary to the opinions of others, I'm not running for office (I don't have the patience), nor am I joining a monastary. But I am turning the page on this chapter of my life, and moving forward. I'm very thankful for the friendships I've developed as a result of the blog, and I'm still going to be around -- you never know when an e-mail from me or a note in your comments section will show up to jab you or give you a thumbs up.

I want to say a special thank you to my Conservative Brotherhood bretheren, and encourage you to take a look at their blogs -- they are each fantastic writers in their own right. Their views are varied and they are each outspoken in their own ways. Their work is beginning to show up elsewhere, which makes me both happy and proud to know them.

The other blogs I've participated in -- Blogcritics and The Dead Pool -- are both worth your time and your thoughts. (Laurence, I'm still in the pool, even though I don't have a bunch of points. And Eric, I'm sorry that I hadn't had the opportunity to do more critiques in the past.)

A huge thank you to the community -- they've been incredibly supportive and fantastic. Pixy, you're the best.

I know I'm forgetting folks, and I apologize to you in advance.

I've asked Pixy to pull the plug next weekend.

Life's changes happen all the time, and for reasons known and unknown. All I can do is to step out on the path that God has lain for me, and know that He is at my side during my journey. I'm also happy to have my wife and my kids with me - they help keep me grounded. After twenty years (it'll be twenty years in a week and a half) of wedded bliss, I'm certainly happy.

Thanks again to everyone. God bless you all, and I'm sure we'll see each other 'round the 'net.


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September 13, 2005

US Senator says it's Bush's fault that Nagin didn't use buses

Just one week after threatening to punch out President Bush, US Senator Mary Landrieu (Moonbat-LA) is now saying that it is Bush's fault that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin didn't use now-submerged school buses to evacuate people from the Louisiana Superdome prior to Hurricane Katrina's landfall.

On Sunday, Landrieu said it was President Bush's fault that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin didn't use city school buses to evacuate those trapped by flooding.

(FEMA Director Michael) Brown's departure, Landrieu said, "will not alone solve all the problems that plagued the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina and the devastating floods that followed the levee breaches."

In a statement posted to her Web site, the Louisiana democrat insisted that the Bush White House still needed to be held responsible.

"The people of our nation, and in particular, the Gulf Coast, deserve and demand full accountability for this administration's missteps in protecting and helping Americans in need," Landrieu complained.

Think about this -- Landrieu holds so much antagonism against Bush that she blames him for the shortcomings of the Mayor of New Orleans!

I've heard of holding a grudge, but this is ridiculous.

Posted by mhking at 10:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Bush takes responsibility for federal failings on Katrina

President George W. Bush today said that he would accept blame for the federal shortcomings on the response to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

After the monster hurricane struck the Gulf Coast, federal agencies, including FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security waited, ostensibly for requests from the state governors in those states. But while they waited, people in all three states suffered.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.

I've been very critical of the failings of the locals on the ground in the region, including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco - and deservedly so. They dropped the ball as it applied to their local residents. They had the obligation to do things sooner than they did; they had the obligation to make moves prior to the storm's arrival -- and both failed in their test of serving and protecting their constituents.

However, the federal bureacracy failed as well. When it became obvious that the locals were not getting the job done, the feds had the obligation to step in and help the people in those locales. President Bush has finally stepped to the plate -- albeit late -- and taken the burdon on his shoulders, as well he should. However, he should have done so sooner.

Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin should both likewise step to the fore and admit their failings in this sordid disaster. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them, however.

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Oldest Buffalo Soldier, aged 111, dies in Washington

Retired First Sergent Mark Matthews passed away last week at 111, as one of the last -- at least to that point -- living Buffalo Soldiers who served this nation during the Indian Wars on the Western frontier.

Sgt. Matthews died of pneumonia at Washington's Fox Chase Nursing Home.

Sgt. Matthews, who also was the oldest Buffalo Soldier, was heir to a proud military heritage that originated with the black soldiers who fought in the Indian wars on the Western frontier. Historians say that the Cheyenne, Kiowa and Apache tribes bestowed the appellation because the soldiers' black, curly hair reminded them of a buffalo's mane.

Sgt. Matthews joined up at the end of the Buffalo Soldiers' colorful Western exploits. The regiments that made up the Buffalo Soldiers -- the 9th and 10th cavalries and 24th and 25th infantries -- stayed together for years afterward, however, fighting in World War I and II and Korea. The all-black regiments were disbanded in 1952 after the Army desegregated.

Sgt. Matthews was born Aug. 7, 1894, in Greenville, Ala., and grew up in Mansfield, Ohio. He rode horses starting when he was a child, delivering newspapers on his pony.

Thank you for your service, Sgt. Matthews; it is much appreciated and admired.

God bless you and Godspeed as you go with God.

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September 12, 2005

The Horse Whisperer leaves FEMA

From Associated Press: FEMA head Michael Brown resigns his post.

Posted by mhking at 03:01 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Roberts confirmation hearings underway

Confirmation hearings for SCOTUS Chief Justice nominee John Roberts got underway last hour on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee began with members each giving opening statements -- which are expected to take most of the remainder of this afternoon.

A number of Democratic members of the committee, including Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Joe Biden of Delaware, insisted that right-wing nominees -- implying without naming Roberts directly -- had no place on the Supreme Court, let alone in a position to lead the court for thirty or more years.

Many pundits, who believed that Roberts would win the nomination in a veritable cake-walk prior to the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist and the subsequent nomination of Roberts to the vacant CJ slot, are now saying that some measure of a verbal battle will take place as Democrats attempt to prevent Roberts' confirmation to the high court.

Once the committee members finish their opening statements, Judge Roberts will have fifteen minutes to provide his own opening statement; this will conclude today's hearing. Tomorrow, the questioning begins at 9:30A ET -- that's where the expected heat will kick in.

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September 09, 2005

Gretna, LA Police Chief says NOLA evacuation route closed to keep people away

Gretna, Louisiana is a self-described "bedroom community" in Jefferson Parish, LA, that lies on the opposite bank of the Mississippi River from a portion of the city of New Orleans.

New Orleans residents get to Gretna by way of the US 90 bridge - The Crescent City Connection - and the Westbank Expressway.

In a recent interview, the Gretna Police Chief, Arthur Lawson, admitted that the bridge was closed to foot and vehicle traffic to prevent people from using it to escape the hell that downtown New Orleans had become.

"We shut down the bridge," Arthur Lawson, chief of the City of Gretna Police Department, confirmed to United Press International, adding that his jurisdiction had been "a closed and secure location" since before the storm hit.

"All our people had evacuated and we locked the city down," he said.

Lawson said that once the storm itself had passed Monday, police from Gretna City, Jefferson Parrish and the Louisiana State Crescent City Connection Police Department closed to foot traffic the three access points to the bridge closest to the West Bank of the river.

He added that the small town, which he called "a bedroom community" for the city of New Orleans, would have been overwhelmed by the influx.

"There was no food, water or shelter" in Gretna City, Lawson said. "We did not have the wherewithal to deal with these people.

If we had opened the bridge, our city would have looked like New Orleans does now: looted, burned and pillaged."

Not only that, but police officers stationed themselves at the foot of the Crescent City Connection-US 90 bridge and actually fired at (or at least over the heads of) people who attempted to use the bridge to escape New Orleans. A web posting on WDSU-TV's web page tells the story.
two paramedics, who were trapped in the city while attending a convention, joined a group of people who had been turned out by the hotels that they were staying in on Wednesday. When the group attempted to get to the Superdome -- designated by city authorities as a shelter for those unable to evacuate -- they were turned away by the National Guard.

"Quite naturally, we asked ... 'What was our alternative?' The guards told us that that was our problem, and no, they did not have extra water to give to us.

"This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile law enforcement."

As they made their way to the bridge in order to leave the city "armed Gretna sheriffs (sic) formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads."

Members of the group nonetheless approached the police lines, and "questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge ... They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City.

two paramedics, who were trapped in the city while attending a convention, joined a group of people who had been turned out by the hotels that they were staying in on Wednesday. When the group attempted to get to the Superdome -- designated by city authorities as a shelter for those unable to evacuate -- they were turned away by the National Guard.

"Quite naturally, we asked ... 'What was our alternative?' The guards told us that that was our problem, and no, they did not have extra water to give to us.

"This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile law enforcement."

As they made their way to the bridge in order to leave the city "armed Gretna sheriffs (sic) formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads."

Members of the group nonetheless approached the police lines, and "questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge ... They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City.

This means that in addition to the continued and constant carping belonging to Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin, Chief Lawson and the officials in Gretna are also to blame for the deaths in New Orleans.

As I pointed out earlier, US 90 was available to allow traffic to completely leave the New Orleans area; the vast majority of those escaping New Orleans had no desire, need or means to remain in Gretna -- after all, if Mayor Nagin's buses had been employed, their destination would have most certainly be somewhere other than Gretna's "bedroom community."

I could very easily raise the spectre of conspiracy regarding a desire on the part of Chief Lawson that poor blacks be allowed to die in the Superdome...but I won't.

However, I do add Chief Lawson's name to that of Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin, and renew my call that he be arrested and charged with any number of crimes from manslaugter to reckless homicide. I feel he, too, should be jailed and held by federal authorities until an investigation and trial is able to convict or exonerate him.

Posted by mhking at 05:34 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Five-day track on Hurricane Maria puts it near ICELAND!

The five-day track from the National Hurricane Center of Tropical Storm Maria, which is presently in the central Atlantic Ocean and no threat to North America, puts the storm -- still as a tropical system -- near Iceland by Tuesday morning, as shown below.

Image hosted by


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ABCNews: FEMA Director Brown out soon

ABCNews is reporting that embattled FEMA Director Michael Brown, the subject of a number of scathing reprisals (including my own) for his mishandling of the Katrina relief effort, is going to be removed from his post shortly.

Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown, under criticism due to his management of Hurricane Katrina as well as reported discrepancies on his resume, is expected to be out as head of the agency very soon, informed sources have told ABC News.

Brown had virtually no experience with emergency management when he was appointed to the position by President Bush two years ago.

Brown was a college roommate of Joseph Allbaugh, a former Bush campaign manager who directed FEMA from March 2001 to March 2003. Brown was the deputy chief of FEMA in 2001 aand moved up when Allbaugh left.

Before becoming part of the agency, Brown was a top official of an Arabian Horse Association. The secretary of that association says it asked him to resign in 2001.

As this story comes up and out, the AP is reporting that Brown is being removed from direct oversight of Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

Posted by mhking at 01:17 PM | Comments (2)

Why aren't Blanco & Nagin under arrest?

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ignored information he received from officials with the National Hurricane Center as early as Friday, 8/26, regarding the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina. Nagin had the capability to commandeer municipal buses and school buses to evacuate those who could not afford to leave the city. Yet the buses he did use, took people to "shelters of last resort," including the New Orleans Convention Center and the Louisiana Superdome, both of which became virtual representations of hell on earth in the ensuing days.

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco was also warned well in advance of Katrina's landfall about the power of the storm. She was asked by the Bush Administration if she needed aid -- in advance of the storm's arrival, an unprecedented move in this nation's history. Blanco demurred, saying that the help would not be necessary.

Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, actually telephoned Blanco and Nagin -- at home in Nagin's case -- Saturday night, imploring them to evacuate New Orleans, and once again, emphasizing the power of this storm.

Still the two did not go on the air until Sunday morning, advising people to evacuate -- yet neither one made provisions outside the city for those who could not afford to leave. Both Blanco and Nagin, when questioned on the air that Sunday morning, said that those who could not afford to leave should go to the Superdome or several other "shelters of last resort."

As Katrina cut a swath across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on that Monday morning, water began to breach the seawall and levee system protecting New Orleans from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain to the north. The waters undermined the 17th Street Canal's seawall, sending water cascading into the city. The water ultimately began to overwhelm the massive pumps used to pump out water, prompting a warning from Nagin that the city would flood to a depth of up to 12 feet or more.

Yet, nothing was done to evacuate those in the Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center.

Hundreds of buses were in the city, yet were not used to evacuate those people.

Additionally, the city's own disaster plan calls for the use of school and city buses to evacute those who could not afford to leave the city on their own -- yet it was apparently ignored.

Governor Blanco denied access to the city by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, both of whom were prepared to bring relief supplies, including food and water, to the people ensconced in the Superdome and 'Convention Center.

Even more damning, the Crescent City Connection, a high-span bridge carrying US 90 across the Mississippi River, remained unobstructed. The bridge goes from downtown New Orleans to the West Bank area of the city, and westward into the Airline Highway, and from there westward away from New Orleans. US 90 remained as an access route for the press and ultimately for rescue vehicles that finally arrived in New Orleans.

There are other issues: President Bush, on arrival in Louisiana, met with Nagin and Blanco. Blanco asked for a 24-hour period to consider Bush's offer of additional aid and resources.

When asked about the buses, Nagin's staffers have refused comment.

Nagin and Blanco have both pointed the finger at each other regarding blame for the disaster.

All of this points toward one overriding question: Why aren't Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin under arrest? They deserve to be charged with multiple counts of manslaughter at the very least -- through their ineptness, malfeasance and incompetence, the pair of them are directly responsible for the deaths of literally hundreds, if not thousands of men, women and children in Orleans Parish and the city of New Orleans.

As opposed to permitting them to continue to posture and play partisan games with each other and with the press (fueling fanatic assertions of blame against the Bush administration in the process), they both should be arrested and detained pending an arraignment hearing and trial.

Posted by mhking at 12:17 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Red Cross confirms they were denied access to New Orleans

Finally silencing those who pooh-poohed what Fox News Channel has reported for the past two days, the Red Cross revealed that Louisiana officials denied them access to the city of New Orleans in the early hours and days of the disaster brought about by Hurricane Katrina.

Louisiana officials rebuffed American Red Cross requests to enter New Orleans with relief supplies last week because of concerns over logistical difficulties, Red Cross and state officials said Thursday.
This points toward a failure of monumental proportions -- not of federal authorities (though there have been mistakes made by DHS and FEMA in their early handling of the disaster), but of Louisiana state officials and city officials in New Orleans.

On an unrelated note, please continue to give to relief organizations like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the United Way and others. All those organizations need your ongoing help during this difficult time in American history.

Posted by mhking at 11:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Political cartoonists can still be counted on to give perspective

Some political cartoonists can be counted on to show what most would think absurd, but then again be so close to reality that it's truly sad.

This is from the print edition of yesterday's San Jose Mercury News.

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September 08, 2005

FNC's Major Garrett learns Blanco's Guard kept Salvation Army out of NOLA

New word tonight from Fox News Channel's Major Garrett on the ongoing fiasco surrounding the prevention of food and supplies last week from reaching people trapped at the New Orleans Convention Center and the Louisiana Superdome.

Last night, Garrett talked to a Red Cross official who confirmed the story regarding Red Cross workers; tonight Garrett talked to officials with the Salvation Army, who also were prevented -- by Louisiana state officials -- from bringing supplies to those who needed them in New Orleans.

The Fox News Channel's Major Garrett made another appearance on the program this evening, following up on his blockbuster story yesterday. Among other things, Garrett got confirmation from the head of the Red cross --on camera-- of the Louisiana State Department of Homeland Security's blocking of the delivery of relief supplies to the Superdome and the Convention Center. In addition, Garrett received confirmation from senior Salvation Army officials in Washington, D.C. that the Salvation Army's efforts at supplying the evacuees were also repeatedly blocked. Radioblogger will have the transcript up later, but the key takeaway was when I asked Garrett if characterizing Louisian's preparation for the storm as "abysmal" was accurate and he confirmed that indeed it was. Read the whole thing.

I also asked Garrett why no other network is on this story. He can't offer an answer for that, event hough he points out that this isn't a hard story to get, and Fox News needn't be credited. All CNN has to do (or MSNBC or CBS) is call the Red Cross and get a camera over there.

I've been getting nastygrams from leftists all day who are calling last night's reports fradulent. I'm sure this will be no different.

Many refuse to accept the facts: that Kathleen Blanco is at best an incompetent fool who has no business supervising a restaurant cleaning crew, much less an entire state -- at worst, she's just plain evil.

In either event, both she and her cohort, N.O. Mayor Ray Nagin should be brought up on manslaughter charges at the very least.

(Video available from The Political Teen)

Posted by mhking at 08:31 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

CNN's Soledad O'Brien given the verbal smackdown by NOLA resident

American Morning co-host Soledad O'Brien has had this holier-than-thou on-air attitude throughout the entire crisis following Hurricane Katrina. The past few mornings, she has been broadcasting from New Orleans to show the magnitude of the disaster.

Well...this morning, a New Orleans resident whose house is high and dry came on the CNN morning program and...let's just say that Soledad got the smackdown.

S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

We've been talking about some of the residents who refuse to go, even though there's a mandatory evacuation order.

Well, Delia Labarre is one of them.

She joins us this morning after riding her bike to our interview.

Good morning.


S. O'BRIEN: Is this pretty much how you're getting around?

LABARRE: Yes, when I go out. Someone loaned it to me, actually. But -- so I found my way here.

S. O'BRIEN: Do you go out a lot?

LABARRE: Yes, I do.

S. O'BRIEN: What's your day like?

LABARRE: I've been staying in the past couple of days doing household things, taking care of business around there. But I -- before, when the refugees were still here, I was making calls for them, trying to get rides for them, getting -- letting relatives know they were OK...

S. O'BRIEN: Where do you live?

LABARRE: ... cooking for them, because I have access to a gas stove. I live over in the Arts Warehouse District and...

S. O'BRIEN: And what's the condition of your house?

LABARRE: Well, it's high and dry and...

S. O'BRIEN: No damage?

LABARRE: No damage. A few shingles that got blown off during the wind, during the storm and a few panes of glass, window panes broken.

S. O'BRIEN: So when you hear about these forced evacuations, when the mayor says and the police chief says...

LABARRE: I'm hearing about this forced evacuations. I'm horrified. It's -- I don't quite understand it. They're not giving us much information. I talked to some state troopers just now and they say they're trying to get the bad elements out. But I, you know, and they said we don't know the difference, so we're just trying to get everyone out. So now they're looking... S. O'BRIEN: But even...

LABARRE: ... they're looking at all of us as criminals.

S. O'BRIEN: But even if you're not talking about bad elements or good elements in the population, I mean smell this water. It's horrible.

LABARRE: You're the one who chose to be here. I don't choose -- I didn't choose to be here. I just came to visit you (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

S. O'BRIEN: But this is an indication of what it's like.

LABARRE: This is where you're camping out and this is what you're showing the world. You have everybody in the world believing that the whole city looks like it. I would suggest that you go over there and start -- and film a little bit where it's not flooded.

S. O'BRIEN: But even if your neighborhood is good this is toxic. I mean everyone...

LABARRE: Well...

S. O'BRIEN: ... agree it's a (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

LABARRE: And why are you breathing it, you know? I mean how many days have you been here?

S. O'BRIEN: That's an excellent question.

LABARRE: I think it is.

S. O'BRIEN: We should wrap up our studio...

LABARRE: I think it is, you know?

S. O'BRIEN: But -- and I get your point. But I'm not going to live here. And I'm...

LABARRE: Well...

S. O'BRIEN: And some people would...

LABARRE: I mean the water is going down and I would not, I would go, I would have gone before the storm hit if I had been living in a low lying area. I know enough about how the city lies, the elevations at various points. I knew I was on one of the highest points in the city. I was above ground. And I had placed my fate with the city. My ancestors were original colonists of the city and they didn't tuck their tail between their legs and run.

S. O'BRIEN: You have electricity yet?

LABARRE: Not yet. It should be on any day.

S. O'BRIEN: Do you have water?

LABARRE: I have running water now. I have lots of bottled water. And lots of other people are in the same way.

S. O'BRIEN: There's no stores. Where do you get your supplies from?

LABARRE: We have plenty. We stocked up, you know? I mean, you know, this is -- people in this country, the majority, are so used to real conveniences, lots of conveniences, and they just -- they can't imagine how to exist. But, you know, some of us are, you know, take it or leave it. But we have, you know, we can exist with far less.

S. O'BRIEN: When you see pictures of people who are surrounded by water and sloshing through that dirty water...

LABARRE: Yes, well...

S. O'BRIEN: ... and they are saying a lot of the same things you're saying...

LABARRE: I understand.

S. O'BRIEN: ... which is I live here, this is my home, I don't want to leave...

LABARRE: I understand.

S. O'BRIEN: ... should they be evacuated?

LABARRE: But, you know, the alternatives that they've been offered have not been humane. And I sympathize with them.

S. O'BRIEN: What do you mean?

LABARRE: Well, I mean I saw where they were putting them. They promised them a bus. They promised them a nice place to live and they put them at -- in hellacious conditions at the Superdome, at the convention center. I talked to those people. They were made promises and they didn't come through with them. And they -- I'm sure they're making promises to them now that they're not -- if they don't come through, you know?

So, and I think that there's a lot of media hype right now. I'm questioning whether or not there's not a little bit of a manipulation of the media so that when the death toll starts coming in, that the mayor and other officials can say see, you've been reporting it for all this time. People refused to leave and that's why there's so many dead.

That is not true.

S. O'BRIEN: That's an interesting...

LABARRE: They did not offer these people a way out to begin with. They offered them a ride to Superdome. They never offered them transportation out of the city.

S. O'BRIEN: Do you have a working shower?

LABARRE: Well, we have a -- the water is on.

S. O'BRIEN: All right.


S. O'BRIEN: So can we come and see where you're living?


S. O'BRIEN: Open up?

LABARRE: Yes, you could, if you like.

S. O'BRIEN: All right. We'll talk about that afterward.


S. O'BRIEN: We would like it.

LABARRE: Oh, wait. Could I just ask one more thing?

S. O'BRIEN: Absolutely.

LABARRE: We would like to ask the mayor to meet with us, those who are here, instead of just this forced evacuation, which I understand is actually illegal, according to our attorneys. We would like to ask him to meet with us, those who are here and would like to stay, and those who are wanting to come in. They're all over the country. They will come in. They will drive to sit down and talk with them about rebuilding the city.

S. O'BRIEN: We'll see what the mayor says to that request.

LABARRE: Thank you very much.

S. O'BRIEN: Delia Labarre, it's so nice to meet you.

LABARRE: Thank you.

S. O'BRIEN: Good luck to you.

LABARRE: Thank you.

S. O'BRIEN: And we're going to take you up on your offer.

LABARRE: Yes, you're welcome.

S. O'BRIEN: We haven't showered for a long time by (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and we'd like to just come and see how you're living.

LABARRE: OK. I'll fix you a cup of coffee.

S. O'BRIEN: I'll take that, too.

LABARRE: Thanks.

S. O'BRIEN: Karen, thank you.

Let's get right back to Miles.

LABARRE: Don't touch me.

Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark...
(video available at The Political Teen)

Posted by mhking at 03:25 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Jesse Lee Peterson blames Nagin & Blanco for NOLA disaster

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson of the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND) has suggested that both New Orleans Mayor
Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco as the culprits in the ongoing blame-game in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

"This is a terrible situation and we need to have compassion. The truth is Black people died not because of President Bush or racism, they died because of their unhealthy dependence on the government and the incompetence of Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco," said Rev. Peterson.

Peterson [continued], "If Black folks want to blame someone for this tragedy they only need to look in the mirror. Mayor Nagin has blamed everyone else except himself. The Mayor failed in his duty to evacuate and protect the people of New Orleans. Our prayers go out to the families of the deceased. Hopefully this will help Black people realize the folly of depending on the government or leaders and serve as a notice to avert future tragedies in other cities."

This is behind the accusations of malfeasance by Nagin directed toward Blanco, and similar charges levied in the other direction by Blanco.

Some sources in Louisiana point toward an ongoing animosity between the two officials, stemming from Nagin's support of Republican Congressional candidate (and ultimately the winner of the US Congressional race from Louisiana) Bobby Jindal. But could political infighting end up being the cause of so many deaths in New Orleans?

Posted by mhking at 12:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Woe unto any black conservative who speaks out

Bob Parks, a fellow member of Project 21 and the writer of the regular column/blog Black & Right, appeared this week on CNN's Daybreak regarding a piece last week where he took the looters to task for their actions last week in New Orleans.

Afterward, the e-mail began to roll in. Of course, much of it was negative. After all, many of them in effect were saying, if you dare to chastize blacks or if you say something critical of the Jesse Jacksons of the world, you must be an Uncle Tom...or worse...

Saw you on C-span. I guess the neo-cons must keep you on retainer for whenever George needs a Nigger in the woodpile. I am lily white and what I saw in New Orleans made me ashamed to be an American. People starving and dying of thirst, right in front of the cameras. The old and very young laying in shit while George plays golf or Condi shops on 5th Av. While FEMA is turning away relief workers, supplies, and rescuers from the city. FEMA also cut emergency phone lines to the city. What we saw was attempted genocide of the poor people of New Orleans, their only crime is that they were squatting on some very, expensive and desirable land.
When I asked the same question last night -- but regarding the actions of Louisiana's Democratic Governor, I was soundly dismissed as a lunatic. After all, a Democratic woman couldn't do such a thing. But it's easy to paint George W. Bush with the same paint brush for many people.
I didn't think modern day Uncle Toms exsisted in such a prevalent form.


I saw you on CNN and was disgusted at what an Uncle Tom you are. I found your comments laughable in that they had no basis in reality.


I was listening to you this morning on CNN and I wanted to know what is wrong with you. I cant believe you have the nerves to question to Rev Jesse Jackson motives. How can you a Black man sit there and dont think this has something to do with Race and Class. Of course, nothing surprises me, you are a black republican.


Bob, you are a sad sad man. You sit the confort of you home and office and write such hateful things about people who have lost everything. God is watching you Bob and I'm sure he doesn't like what he sees. You obvious hate you own race and are using this to your advantage like Justice Clarence Thomas.


Having just listened to your so-called “debate” on CNN Daybreak I feel sorry for you. Why is it that blacks such as yourself who have fled the grips of poverty are so quick to judge those less fortunate? You should be ashamed of yourself f for the comments that you made on national tv just moments ago about blacks in New Orleans who are undoubtedly going through some form of post traumatic stress.


Your opinions are without merit. You speak about African-Americans as if you are wearing a mask; with another face under it.


You are the prime "white on the inside, black on the outside" kind of nigger.


Your opinions are dangerous and lack insight, history and compassion.


You Bob Parks in my opinion are in every sence of the word a NIGAR,how dare you!!!!!!! You even sound white,how far up the Bushes asses do you need to get?? You are a digrace to anyone with a suntan much less black!

You get the picture.

God forbid anyone with an alternative view make their statements in the open.

Those in the mainstream will do their level best to stomp those alternative opinions, along with those expressing those opinions, into the pavement like so many ants underfoot.

Just damn.

Posted by mhking at 09:33 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Steve's been busy: iPod mano, iPhone revealed

Apple revealed their next two iPod innovations yesterday.

First up is the tiny iPod nano which replaces the iPod mini. The color-screened nano is much smaller than the mini, thanks to the 2GB and 4GB flash drives within, as opposed to the hard-drive-based mini. This will increase battery life tremendously.

The other innovation is the iPhone, a combination iPod-cell phone from Apple, Cingular and Motorola (who is calling the phone the ROKR). The iPhone is a full-featured telephone that includes the capability to store roughly about six hours worth of music, podcasts or any other MP3-based files and to, of course, listen to them on the fly.

Apple says that the iPod nano will retail for $199 (for 2 GB) and $249 (for 4 GB). The iPhone (Motorola ROKR) retails for $249, and is available from Cingular Wireless dealers now. The nano -- you can get it in white or black -- is available from Apple's stores, or from any retailer where iPod's are sold.

Posted by mhking at 08:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Did Blanco attempt genocide at Superdome?

The Red Cross has confirmed to Fox News Channel's Major Garrett that they had requested permission to take food and medical supplies to the Louisiana Superdome in the hours immediately after Hurricane Katrina's landfall. That request was denied by none other than Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco.

Garrett appeared on Hugh Hewitt's syndicated radio program this evening to discuss the shocking revelation.

MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They're not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdom, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don't I see that?

HH: And the answer is?

MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state's homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.

HH: Now Major Garrett, on what day did they block the delivery? Do you know specifically?

MG: I am told by the Red Cross, immediately after the storm passed.

The Louisiana Department of Homeland Security is directly under the command and direction of Governor Kathleen Blanco. The same Kathleen Blanco who has whined and blamed the federal government from her perch in Baton Rouge throughout this entire crisis. The same Kathleen Blanco who has stared at cameras with deer-in-headlight-glazed eyes since Hurricane Katrina made landfall. The same Kathleen Blanco who, after being asked about federal help prior to landfall said, "No." The same Kathleen Blanco who rescinded Mayor Ray Nagin's order to completely evacuate the city due to dangerous conditions just today.

Was Kathleen Blanco's goal the death of as many of those in the Superdome as possible?

Posted by mhking at 11:00 PM | Comments (40)

You mean they could have gotten out four days sooner!?


The Crescent City Connection is the tall bridge over the Mississippi River. The bridge and the access ramps to the bridge have remained accessable from downtown New Orleans. That is how the rescue vehicles accessed New Orleans once they arrived.

This overhead shot shows buses that were NOT underwater, yet were not used to evacuate people in the Superdome or in the Convention Center.

The magic question: why!?

(Click photo to enlarge)

(More coverage at Protein Wisdom & others)

Posted by mhking at 08:58 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Day By Day: Playin' the blame game...

(Courtesy Day By Day)

Posted by mhking at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Nagin slams Blanco for stalling

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is slamming Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco for her delays in requesting federal help (free registration required for link) for the survivors of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin told CNN's "American Morning" Monday that he met with Mr. Bush and Mrs. Blanco on Air Force One on Friday and implored the two to "get in sync."

"If you don't get in sync, more people are going to die," Mr. Nagin said.

Mr. Bush met privately first with Mrs. Blanco, then called Mr. Nagin in for a meeting.

"He called me in that office," Mr. Nagin said. "And he said, 'Mr. Mayor, I offered two options to the governor.' I was ready to move. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision."

That decision was a request by Mr. Bush to allow the federal government to take over the evacuation of New Orleans, which had been marked by chaos for days. The Democratic governor, who has clashed behind the scenes with the Bush administration since the storm hit, refused.

Governor Blanco was aware of the gravity of the situation surrounding Hurricane Katrina well before landfall. She was asked by the Bush White House whether or not Louisiana needed federal assistance, and Blanco demurred.

This doesn't negate Mayor Nagin's malfeasance here either -- more than 400 buses are underwater today in the Crescent City, 400 buses that could have been used to evacuate those in the Superdome prior to the disaster. Nagin was also made aware more than three days before landfall, but did not push for an evacuation until a day and a half before landfall, and Nagin never did push for total evacuation of those who did not have the resources to leave on their own.

Please keep in mind that the federal authorities did not have the legal jurisdiction to force an evacuation. That power lay with the state and local authorities -- in other words, with Nagin and Blanco. The two of them clearly did not act in the best interest of their constituents, despite their statements to the contrary on television and in various media over the past week.

Posted by mhking at 09:57 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 06, 2005

TD #16 soon to be TS Ophelia off Florida

Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued from Jupiter Inlet to Titusville in Florida. Loosely organized Tropical Depression #16 is (as of 2P ET today) about 180 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, with max sustained winds of 30 miles per hour. The depression is stationary, but expected to begin a slow northwestward motion later today.

The National Hurricane Center expects it to become a tropical storm sometime tonight and to begin to bring rains to Florida's east coast sometime tomorrow.

Forecast tracks show TD#16 moving northwesterly along the Florida east coast, making landfall as a tropical storm sometime Saturday near St. Augustine, FL.

Posted by mhking at 04:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

By definition, "refugee" isn't racist, but it is not descriptive enough

Jesse Jackson and others are jumping up and down about the use of the term "refugees" to describe those displaced from the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's fury last week. They claim the word to be racist.

This is not true when you look at the etymology and the definition of the word.

Personally, I think Jackson and the others would actually gravitate back toward the word if they stopped and looked at the true dictionary definition of the word.

One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.
After all, Jackson and plenty on the left feel those evacuated from areas damaged or destroyed by Katrina are political refugees.

The common term being used by many however, both politically correct and otherwise -- and correctly so, is evacuee.

A person evacuated from a dangerous area.
Indeed, that is what the people are.

But I have found a better word for them: Survivors. They have survived by the grace of God. And mark my words, most of them have taken to bended knee to thank God for His grace.

Posted by mhking at 01:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 05, 2005

Blog Relief: Helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina

Hundreds of blogs across the blogosphere are taking time out this weekend to focus on the victims of Hurricane Katrina and to ask for your help.

The American Red Cross is coordinating efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and all across the nation to help those affected by the disaster. They are coordinating the use of the facilities at the Astrodome in Houston, where so many refugees are being taken; they are working with the military and other agencies to get those in need of medical help to hospitals across the Southeast. They need your help.

The Salvation Army is also providing support and you be certain that donations there will help also.

You can help by volunteering your time, your money, your blood or your prayers. All will be appreciated.

More details can be found from TTLB, Instapundit and literally hundreds of other blogs around the world.

Thank you and God bless you.

UPDATE: In addition to the resources I've linked to here, DarkStar has an excellent list of black resources and charities over at Vision Circle that are also providing services and relief to victims of Katrina's wrath.

(Pinning this to the top of the page)

Posted by mhking at 11:35 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Jackson: Don't send refugees far; don't call 'em 'refugees'

Jesse Jackson, along with US Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (Clueless-TX), held a press conference today where he made specific demands regarding disaster in New Orleans.

Jackson said he appreciated the willingness of states as far away as Utah and Minnesota to take in evacuees but suggested such plans take them too far from their families and the homes that must be rebuilt.

"It's a long ways from home," he said. "It's a long way from where they have lived, where they were acculturated."

Jackson said evacuees from the Gulf Coast are not refugees, a word he believes suggests subhumans or criminals.

"It is racist to call American citizens refugees,'' he said.

Let's see. The people who evacuated New Orleans are looking for refuge from the disaster. That makes them "refugees" by definition. But don't confuse Jesse with logic.

Will someone please tell me what is racist about the term?

Secondly, there is no room in Texas; we're not dealing with a situation where someone shows up at the airport and asks for a plane to Milwaukee, please.

The crews there are working to load planes and buses to get people out as soon as possible.

Why, pray tell, is Jesse Jackson there in the first place?

Oh. By the way; Jesse's afraid of people becoming "acculturated?" People's culture becoming modified by contact with others? That sounds awful xenophobic, if you ask me...

Posted by mhking at 11:21 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Bush nominates Roberts for CJ

Moving swiftly, as promised, President Bush is nominating John Roberts, previously nominated as an associate justice on the Supreme Court replacing retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, to the now-open spot of Chief Justice.

The prior Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, passed away Saturday night after a year-long bout with thyroid cancer.

Bush wants to have Roberts in place by the beginning of the October term.

He is promising a second nominee to replace O'Connor "in a timely manner."

Posted by mhking at 08:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 04, 2005,, thugs killed by NOLA police

The AP reported that local police had shot at eight thugs, killing five or six on the Danziger Bridge over the Industrial Canal in New Orleans.

The story quickly changed to the police shooting and killing five or six Army Corps of Engineers contractors.

Then the story changed again.

Stations: The latest New Orleans-datelined urgent series Hurricane Katrina-Shootings has been KILLED. The Army Corps of Engineers says the contractors were shot at, then police fatally shot the gunmen who'd fired on the contractors. The contractors were NOT killed.

A kill is mandatory. Make certain the story is not broadcast.

A sub will be filed shortly.

AP Broadcast News Center - Washington


OK. The final story -- I hope -- is as noted: that contractors for the Army Corps of Engineers were shot at by some thugs; NOLA police shot at the thugs, killing them and saving the contractors.


Posted by mhking at 06:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Louisiana Senator threatens to punch Bush

US Senator Mary Landrieu (Moonbat-LA) made what could be construed as a threat to physically assault President George W. Bush during an appearance on ABCNews' This Week this morning.

Sen. Mary Landrieu threatened the president of the United States with physical violence on Sunday, saying that if he or any other government official criticizes New Orleans police for failing to keep civil order in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - "I might likely have to punch him - literally."

"If one person criticizes [our sheriffs], or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me - one more word about it after this show airs and I - I might likely have to punch him - literally," Landrieu railed on "ABC's "This Week."

While I, personally, don't believe that Landrieu meant that she wanted to attack the President physically, a number of people are now calling for a formal censure of Landrieu by the US Senate for her statements.

Landrieu used her on-air soapbox to lambaste the President for what she called a photo-op, specifically his Friday trip to the region to survey damage first hand. Bush is scheduled to return to areas hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina, including New Orleans, tomorrow.

It is illegal to threaten a US President physically.

Posted by mhking at 02:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Chertoff: Katrina scenario didn't exist (UPDATE - More blame to go around)

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff tried to defend his department's initial response to the disaster in New Orleans by saying that a scenario like that presented by Hurricane Katrina didn't exist on government drawing boards.

"That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight," Chertoff said.

He called the disaster "breathtaking in its surprise."

He's full of used food.

Hell, I've known about a potential disaster in the making with New Orleans for years -- anyone who watches The Discovery Channel or National Geographic Channel or even The Weather Channel has known about that potential. All three networks, along with programs like PBS' Nova have shown the possibility of a catastrophe like this happening in New Orleans.

Not only that, but Chertoff's Department of Homeland Security has been charged with preparing for disaster; what if this had been a nuclear or chemical attack from Al Qaeda?

As far as I'm concerned, this was Chertoff's first test as Homeland Security chief. He failed. Miserably.

The bad guys could not have orchestrated this any better.

They now know that the United States is not prepared for another massive terrorist attack on this nation.

Chertoff really ought to start looking for another job.

UPDATE: Chertoff clearly is not the only person who dropped the ball. FEMA Director Michael Brown admitted that he was not more proactive as early as last Sunday, referring to Katrina as a garden-variety hurricane when the National Weather Service talked about "water shortages (that) will make human suffering incredible by modern standards." Michelle Malkin agrees and has further details.

And before you think that only the feds are at fault, let's look at New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

The National Hurricane Center's forecast track pointed toward New Orleans as early as 11P ET Friday the 26th. Nagin was informed, but did nothing. Local residents who escaped were shocked by the fact that Nagin and other Louisiana officials weren't on television or radio sooner.

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Max Mayfield, telephoned Nagin at home Saturday night, imploring him to get people out of New Orleans. The New Orleans disaster plan points toward the use of school buses and other municipally owned vehicles to get people out of Orleans Parish. Those vehicles are underwater today, thanks to Nagin's incompetence.

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco was asked by the Bush Administration to declare a state of emergency and to help evacuate people early on Sunday. Blanco likewise did not do so.

Yet Blanco and Nagin have joined the chorus of finger-pointing.

There is plenty of blame to go around. But one side cannot claim to be blameless, as officials on both sides are trying to do today.

Posted by mhking at 09:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 03, 2005

SCOTUS Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 1924-2005

US Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist died at his Arlington, Virginia home tonight after a long battle with thyroid cancer.

A statement from the spokeswoman said he was surrounded by his three children when he died in Arlington.

"The Chief Justice battled thyroid cancer since being diagnosed last October and continued to perform his dues on the court until a precipitous decline in his health the last couple of days," she said.

Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court as an associate justice in 1971 by President Nixon and took his seat on Jan. 7, 1982. He was elevated to chief justice by President Reagan in 1986.

His death ends a remarkable 33-year Supreme Court career during which Rehnquist oversaw the court's conservative shift, presided over an impeachment trial and helped decide a presidential election.

When was the last time there were two vacancies on the Supreme Court at the same time?

Fasten your seatbelts; September on the Hill has just become even more interesting.

Posted by mhking at 11:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sharpton & Lee on the floor of the Astrodome

Rev. Al Sharpton (R) holds a motherless child along with Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee (L) as they visit survivors of hurricane Katrina on the floor of the Astrodome in Houston, Texas September 3, 2005. President George W. Bush ordered more troops to help evacuate and secure New Orleans on Saturday as rescuers moved thousands of desperate evacuees out of the city and shut down two huge shelters that had become the scene of murder, rape and chaos. Under fire for his government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina, which wrecked one of the world's most famous cities and may have killed thousands of people, Bush said he will send in 7,200 additional active duty troops in the next three days.
Can you say "photo-op?"

Posted by mhking at 05:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Halliburton hired for storm cleanup -- bad move

Word came out of Houston yesterday that Halliburton had been hired by the US Navy to help with the cleanup of areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Halliburton subsidiary KBR will also perform damage assessments at other naval installations in New Orleans as soon as it is safe to do so.

Bad move.

Conspiracy theorists and liberals across the country and around the world already suspicious of Bush administration ties to the firm will have so much cannon fodder that it won't even be funny as a Letterman or Leno joke.

Not a wise move at all.

Posted by mhking at 11:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Rapper West piles on with the race card

Rapper Kanye West, a participant in tonight's Hurricane Relief benefit on five of the NBC Universal networks (NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo & PAX), decided that it was the right time to make a political statement of his own -- while in the middle of soliciting funds for disaster relief.

"George W. Bush doesn't care about black people," West said.
NBC, to their credit, quickly cut away from West, but the cowpie was already in the living room, so to speak.

West was on screen with Mike Myers, and was very nervous to begin with. It was obvious that he was straying from the script on the teleprompter as he nervously rambled on about the perceptions of white versus black looters (as we talked about here day-before-yesterday).

When West dropped his bombshell, Myers looked mortified and embarrassed.

I'm sure Air America and Michael Moore are looking to congratulate him for his idiotic stunt. I'm also sure that the Red Cross and NBC officials are less than happy with it.

Watch the video (35MB MPG; courtesy and decide for yourself.

UPDATE: NBC released a statement regarding West's comments this evening.

"Tonight's telecast was a live television event wrought with emotion. Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks. It would be most unfortunate if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion."
The West Coast feed of the benefit included West's comments, but cut out the Bush comment.

Posted by mhking at 10:14 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Katrina: CBC, Jackson, MSM start 'Blame Bush' game

Blaming President Bush and his administration for the inadequate response to the disaster of Biblical proportions facing New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was the sport of the day today.

Commentators on MSNBC, CNN and elsewhere in the mainstream media hammered home their collective point: "Isn't it important that these people are poor and black? Is that why the response has been inadequate?"

Jesse Jackson, at a press conference in Baton Rouge, continued the refrain.

Racism is partly to blame for the deadly aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, calling President Bush's response to the disaster "incompetent."

Jackson questioned why Bush has not named blacks to top positions in the federal response to the disaster, particularly when the majority of victims remaining stranded in New Orleans are black: "How can blacks be locked out of the leadership, and trapped in the suffering?"

"It is that lack of sensitivity and compassion that represents a kind of incompetence."

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, head of the military task force overseeing operations in the three states, is black. His task force is providing search and rescue, medical help and sending supplies to the three states in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

I guess Jackson missed that memo; otherwise, General Honore isn't the right kind of black person in Jackson's eyes.

Jackson's presser was followed by one by the Congressional Black Caucus, where they, too blamed Bush. CBC head Elijah Cummings (D-MD) led the charge by quoting from the Bible in order to chastise Bush.

He quoted a passage from the New Testament in which Jesus said, “Whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me.” Cummings concluded, “To the president of the United States, I simply say: God can not be pleased with our response.”

“If they president doesn’t have people competent to do the job, he needs to get rid of them, and put somebody else in who can do the job,” Cummings said.

Other members of the Caucus were equally critical.
"It looks dysfunctional to me right now," said Rep. Diane Watson, D-California.

She and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, along with members of the Black Leadership Forum, National Conference of State Legislators, National Urban League and the NAACP, held a news conference and charged that the response was slow because those most affected are poor.

There will be plenty of time for playing 'Monday Morning Quarterback,' and there is plenty of blame to go around -- to people on both sides of the political aisle.

The most important thing right now is saving lives and getting those people's needs taken care of.

Posted by mhking at 06:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

NOLA: Serious looting defense

This is what is painted on the front of a storefront in New Orleans ravaged by Hurricane Katrina:

It reads, "Looters will be shot. Don't try. I am sleeping inside with a big dog, an ugly woman, two shotguns and a claw hammer..."


Posted by mhking at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Katrina/New Orleans Streaming Link Update

Information coming directly from the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina is something that people really are looking for. In addition to the news networks (CNN, FNC, MSNBC), local resources are not only available, but are streaming on the web.

WWL-TV New Orleans (via WFAA Dallas) - WWL-TV is operating from studios at Louisiana Public Broadcasting. CBS has a relay during the morning and afternoon. When available, use the CBS relay first as they have greater streaming capacity. Yahoo has also provided a relay.

WDSU-TV New Orleans - The news staff has started to return to temporary news studios near New Orleans. However, expect evening coverage from Hearst-Argyle sister stations WAPT Jackson and WESH Orlando when the New Orleans staff needs to take a break.

WGNO-TV New Orleans - New Orleans' ABC affiliate has returned to the air with WBRZ-TV and launched video streaming with continuous Katrina coverage.

WPMI-TV Mobile, AL - WPMI is webcasting from 5:30am - 10:30pm CDT. When off air, you can view pre-recorded reports on demand. This feed is often unreliable.

WKRG-TV Mobile, AL - This station is providing good coverage of the situation to the east in Mississippi and Alabama. However, the station is now signing off at around 10:30pm CDT like WWL and WPMI.

WJTV-TV Jackson, MS - The CBS affiliate in Jackson is providing live coverage for both the Jackson area and south Mississippi (knowing a lot of media in that area is off the air).

United Radio From New Orleans: WWL-AM, WNOE-FM, "KISS-FM," WRNO-FM, WYLD-FM, and WJBO-AM who have joined forces as United Radio From New Orleans, and they are streaming.

Gulf Coast Storm Network (Clear Channel Radio) - Clear Channel offers radio listeners across the gulf coast access to a simulcast emergency radio service. This service seems primarily focused on Alabama and Mississippi, but does cover Louisiana to some degree.

New Orleans Police Department & National Guard Operations: Several volunteers are pitching in to help relay these "scanner broadcasts." You can now listen for extended periods of time. The service now also includes broadcasts from the National Guard operating in southern Louisiana.

(capacity 300 listeners)
(capacity 250 listeners)
(capacity 160 listeners)
(capacity 100 listeners)
(capacity 20 listeners)
(unknown capacity)
(unknown capacity)
Gulf Coast ARES Emergency Network: These are amateur radio operators providing assistance and coordination via high frequency (shortwave) links. The audio feed for this will be subject to interference and sound anomalies due to the transmission mode and frequency.

Posted by mhking at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

P21: Liberals Play the Race Card, But Get Dealt a Lousy Hand

Liberals Play the Race Card, But Get Dealt a Lousy Hand

By Michael King

A New Visions Commentary paper published September 2005 by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court NE #200, Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax 202/543-5975, E-Mail, Web Reprints permitted provided source is credited.

Once again, racial politics seems the order of the day for liberals.

Seeking a strategy to keep Judge John Roberts from the U.S. Supreme Court, liberals have apparently concluded race is Roberts' Achilles Heel. Since their assertions are thin, outlandish manure is being thrown against the wall in hopes at least some of it will stick.

For example, the Associated Press posted an article on August 17 portraying Judge Roberts in an unflattering light simply because he grew up in Long Beach, Indiana. The town, which was segregated during Roberts's youth, is now allegedly under "scrutiny" because it might have "influenced his views." One could infer Roberts's still harbors racial animosity born of those youthful days and that this racism may bloom after he's confirmed and lead to a rollback of civil rights.

Judge Roberts and I share some childhood similarities. We both grew up in "Da' Region" of northwest Indiana. We both spent our summers at the beaches of Lake Michigan and our winters going to high school basketball games.

Besides being ten years my senior, but the major difference is that I am black and grew up 20 miles to the west in the predominantly black city of Gary, Indiana.

It's no lie that Long Beach was overwhelmingly white in Roberts's youth and no secret that archaic segregation rules were still enforced - albeit in decline. Many Long Beach properties had "covenants" preventing their sale to blacks and Jews. But "Da' Region" also had a lot of segregation by choice, not unlike many communities today.

This continues today. While the remnants of enforced segregation have long since departed the shores of Lake Michigan, Long Beach remains predominantly white. But the demographics do not reflect a racist attitude, just as those in a primarily black community cannot be assumed to harbor ill will toward their fellow man.

The AP story create controversy where none existed. After describing the discriminatory laws, it is only reported later in the article that the Roberts home did not have a covenant. Race riots in 1970 linked to Long Beach and the Bethlehem Steel plant where Roberts worked in his youth did not actually occur in Long Beach and happened long before Roberts worked at the plant.

Taking AP to task, media critic Brent Bozell said: "The writers are not bold enough to say Roberts was influenced by his hometown's laws - but it's certainly implied. They point such a picture of exclusion and discrimination by his hometown that it marks Roberts as guilty by association."

The end, however, seems to justify the means to those bent on destroying John Roberts.

Roberts's critics also focus on race regarding his decades-old remarks and recommendations about pop star Michael Jackson.

In 1984, Roberts - then a White House lawyer - opposed an award given to Jackson for helping combat drunk driving and a similar request for a personal letter to Jackson from President Ronald Reagan. In a memo to his boss, Roberts wrote: "Quite apart from the problem of appearing to endorse Jackson's androgynous life style, a Presidential award would be perceived as a shallow effort by the President to share in the constant publicity surrounding Jackson... The whole episode would, in my view, be demeaning to the President."

It should be noted, yet often is not, that John Roberts opposed presidential events with white entertainers such as John Wayne and Bing Crosby. Roberts felt such "commercial tributes" demeaned the presidency. Roberts objected to Jackson for many reasons, but race was not among them.

In retrospect, shouldn't Judge Roberts be congratulated for his foresight? While Jackson no longer wears the pomade or the single sequined glove cited by Roberts, the "androgynous life style" later led to criminal allegations and damaging court testimony. While Jackson was acquitted, he's as radioactive as fellow "innocent" celebrities O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake.

Liberals are working overtime to present Judge John Roberts in an unflattering light. Playing the race card is a time-honored tactic, so the charges should not be surprising. The fact that the allegations are so thin, however, should be acknowledged by his defenders as evidence that the President has made a sound choice.

# # #

Michael King is a member of the National Advisory Council of the African-American leadership network Project 21 and a freelance writer and Internet consultant in Atlanta, Georgia. Comments may be sent to

Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.

Posted by mhking at 12:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 01, 2005

Katrina aftermath: N.O. Saints now homeless

With all the disaster and mayhem wrought by Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath, a lot of folks are not ready to think of football, even players for the New Orleans Saints, who face the Raiders in Oakland tonight.

The Saints players, personnel and their families bugged out prior to Katrina's landfall, and have been practicing in San Jose, CA this week in preparation for tonight's final pre-season game for both teams.

After tonight, the Saints will be headed for San Antonio. Saints owner Tom Benson has ties to the San Antonio community. The Saints used San Antonio as a base last year when Hurricane Ivan threatened the Crescent City.

The City of San Antonio has offered the use of the Alamodome as a base for the Saints this season, but the 500-plus mile distance may be more than NFL officials would prefer, even given the circumstances. The Saints' home, the Louisiana Superdome was pressed into service as a shelter for New Orleans residents who could not leave during Hurricane Katrina's passage. The Dome has been heavily damaged, both by the storm, and by the floodwaters now holding New Orleans under siege.

The Houston Texans have offered the use of Reliant Stadium, adjacent to the Astrodome - which has been pressed into use as a facility to house refugees. That idea is not without it's own problems, like the fact that both the Texans and Saints have home-openers scheduled for the same day, September 18.

LSU's Tiger Stadium has been mentioned, but the notion of playing back-to-back LSU and Saints games is problematic at best, not to mention the question of police protection, given that the University's resources have been taxed tremendously by the New Orleans disaster.

No one, least of all the Saints, wants to see them take their entire schedule on the road. Other stadiums that could become a temporary home for the Saints include Memphis' Liberty Bowl, Legion Field in Birmingham and the little-used Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

The AAA-affiliate of baseball's Washington Nationals, the New Orleans Zephyrs are fairly comfortable with finishing out their Pacific Coast League schedule on the road. Their home park, Zephyr Field, has been used as a staging area for rescue teams.

With the damage to the city as extensive as it is, there is a high liklihood that the New Orleans Hornets will play their NBA season elsewhere. No one has discussed the wheres or hows of that yet.

One other big thing that sports fans are thinking about is the Nokia Sugar Bowl, scheduled January 2, 2006 at the Superdome. At this point, the game technically is still scheduled, but no one in their right mind thinks the game - part of the Bowl Championship Series - will be played in New Orleans.

The only real conversation I've heard about it is the possibility of playing at Shreveport's Independence Bowl, but that stadium is much smaller than the Superdome.

If the game is played, I'd guess that it would move to one of a myriad of larger venues, including Atlanta's Georgia Dome, Houston's Reliant Stadium or even Dallas' Texas Stadium.

Posted by mhking at 05:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

NBC Universal to host hurricane relief special

The networks of NBC Universal will be hosting A Concert for Hurricane Relief this Friday evening at 8P ET/PT on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC and in Spanish on Telemundo.

The concert will be hosted Matt Lauer, and feature artists with ties to the area including Tim McGraw, Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr. and others.

Viewers will be urged to donate to the American Red Cross via telephone (1-800-HELP-NOW) or online (

The broadcast will originate from NBC's Rockefeller Center studios in New York City.

Posted by mhking at 11:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack