Saturday, September 17, 2005

Why I Stand With George Bush

First, I didn’t fall off the pickle truck.  I know George Bush is not and will never be the on level Genius Bill Clinton (to his detriment, “is, is”) was or is today.


He is just George.  An accidental president.  I remember when his campaign crucified McCain in 1999.  It was brutal.  I didn’t like Bush then. 


But, now he is our president for good or bad.  I am ever thankful that in the seat of power that GWB occupies today, that Al Gore or John Kerry isn’t there.  It’s not their politics.  It’s who they are.  Who I can believe or not.  Who can and will make things better as opposed to just talk about it.


Bill Clinton was a remarkable man.  His wife will probably be the 44th president of the USA.  But he was nearly always form over substance.  I’ll never forget a trip to Russia he made in the 7th year of his presidency.  After his return on NPR radio Veteran reporter-commentator Daniel Schorr, who is well over 80, was waxing eloquent on his conquests and accomplishments as a result of  this trip Clinton had just returned from.  His two guests, both Russian experts, both well versed in the things of the world were asked to list the main accomplishments of Clinton on the trip.  Both said none, they said, he had done nothing, it was all smoke and mirrors.  Schorr astonished asked, NOTHING?  Nope, Nothing.  He accomplished nothing they said.  These were not right wing conservatives.  They were scholars who had an objective view of what they hoped might happen.  


Bill Clinton was a heck of a guy.  I would enjoy hanging out with him.  He certainly would be fun.  But he was all form over function.  Today People long for the Clinton days.  The Tech bubble that he fed with fantasy that exploded a year after his departure from the White House.  The artificial surplus that so many people talk about because he cut spending and reduced military and raised taxes that eventually created the market collapse.  Just after he was gone.  I think madam President will be smarter.  Bill will be good to make speeches.  We might be back to the days of co-presidency.  Just as long as Hillary is in charge.


So why do I trust and honor President Bush?  Because, in spite of low approval numbers (like Truman), a hostile press (like Lincoln), explosive national catastrophes (like Roosevelt) and an unpopular war with a divided nation (like Washington) he stays the course.  People call him an idiot, stupid and a moron.  They regret voting for him if they did and they think others that did are beyond understanding.  He is considered elite and aloof (like Roosevelt), out of touch with the people (like Eisenhower), and too stupid to hold the office (like Carter). 


So, with those disqualifications I think he has a good bet to be one of our all time great presidents in the rear view mirror.  Popular and approved doesn’t make for presidential quality, it just makes good press.  People who are influenced by negative press need to start thinking for themselves.


I don’t want the likes of a cynical Bill Mahr or Michael Moore to be leading this country.  Thank God for President Bush.


Here is why I back him:


I can trust him to do what he says.  He does very little hyperbole and empty promises.  If he says it, count on it.  He’s a man of very few eloquent words and much follow thru to the chagrin of his critics.  When he said he was going to take on the terrorists, he did.  It’s not done, but have you visited any training camps protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan lately? Neither has anyone else. 


He is loyal to a fault to his staff and his friends.  The lack of political executions of those who fail him is admirable.  Michael Brown was a dope.  Should have gone.  I don’t know the man but he hung around longer than most people would have given him.  Loyalty to a fault is better than falsehood.  I can admire this and respect a man who is loyal to those to whom he makes a commitment.


He is at his core motivated to help others if he can.  Sometimes he can’t, sometime he doesn’t know what to do.  That’s why he has staff, but in the end you can trust him to help if he can.  It’s who he is.


His using pet names for people, even to the preposterous limits he does (Putti Put Putin) irritates me at some level but I have known people like this.  They in their heart are friendly folks.  Take em out the ranch and barbeque, even the prime minister of China.  I think a smile has power, Bush knows how to do this better than many of his stiff predecessors.


His heart is kind and compassionate.  He is moved sincerely by the needs of people if he knows about it.  Sometimes he is too insulated by his schedule and his staff but when he becomes aware of a situation he responds with kindness and action.  Real Kindness.  Only Jimmy Carter is his equal in this.


He knows his role and he stays within it.   He understands his place in the scope of things.  Sometimes I wish his staff would stay out of the way but he knows there is an order and a structure and he tries hard to stay in it unlike the image many try to lay on him of a wild cowboy.  I don’t see it.


He is an optimist.  He never seems to be downhearted.  He is always cheerful.  Sometimes more than I am.  He hangs in there.  When the world sees a destroyed New Orleans he sees the new dawn of the Crescent City better than ever.  I may think it na├»ve, but sometimes I want to believe.


He is a fiscal conservative but with too big a heart.  I have often wished he would spend less, take away his credit card.  The NOLA spending scares me.  But I’m timid.  On the other hand he has already talked about the changes needed to fund this.  I am hoping his core thrifty bent will dominate.


He is courageous.  At the UN, in Iraq, against an Axis of Evil, against naysayers.  He is not deferred.  He doesn’t take a 3pm poll and adjust his policies to fit the mood of the country.  Clinton did.  He was popular but ineffective.  I hope his wife when she becomes president does better. 


He exemplifies order and decorum in every way.  He has been criticized for working out as much as he does.  OK, I’ll bite.  He always wears a suit.  He always looks the part.  And that is wrong how?  He’s trim, ready and alles in ordnung.  He makes other walk the walk too.  I admire him for being in order.


He is a God fearing man.  I have been lambasted by enough so called Christians to know that I’m in good company with George Bush.  Jesus was accused over 20 times of being in cahoots with the devil, not being a good Jew, of breaking religious ordinances.  So, if Jesus got it, I get it, and George Bush gets it, I’m ok with that.   I know this, he knows God.  You might not understand this but with him as the head of our country knowing his ear is had by the likes of TD Jakes, James Robinson, and Kim Clement makes me sleep at night.  He will hear the word of the Lord loud and clear.  I don’t think Bill Mahr who is an avouwed atheist has much to say about this.


In Conclusion, George Bush is better prepared in many ways to be president at these critical times and the times to come than any other person we might have had in office.  (There will be two more MAJOR crises equal or greater than 9-11 or Katrina in his presidency before his term is done)


I for one along with many am thankful he is there.  Perfect, no.  But even the perfect one was crucified.  Why should GWB get off any easier. 


So, hang in there, he’s going to the president for the next 3 years no matter what any of us thinks  He is one of the great ones.  Maybe the greatest we ever had.  Only history will tell.  I’ll wait.


We’re in good hands.




ABC News Experiences Shock and Awe

An ABC News reporter who apparently expected hurricane evacuees to criticize the president after his speech Thursday night, instead heard words of praise for Bush and blame for local officials.

Dean Reynolds, in the parking lot of Houston's Astrodome, spoke with black evacuees from New Orleans, but "not one of the six people interviewed on camera had a bad word for Bush – despite Reynolds' best efforts," said the Media Research Center in a report on the segment.

A video excerpt can be viewed here.

Reynolds asked Connie London: "Did you harbor any anger toward the president because of the slow federal response?"

"No, none whatsoever," she said, "because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in."

London pointed out: "They had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people."

Reynolds asked Brenda Marshall: "Was there anything that you found hard to believe that he said, that you thought, well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?"

She replied, "No, I didn't," prompting Reynolds to marvel to anchor Ted Koppel: "Very little skepticism here."

Reynolds pressed another woman: "Did you feel that the president was sincere tonight?"

She affirmed: "Yes, he was."

Reynolds asked who they held culpable for the levee breaks – a problem national media have blamed on Bush-mandated budget cuts:

One evacuee said, "They've been allocated federal funds to fix the levee system, and it never got done. I fault the mayor of our city personally. I really do."

The full text of Reynolds interviews is as follows:

"I'd like to get the reaction of Connie London who spent several horrible hours at the Superdome. You heard the president say repeatedly that you are not alone, that the country stands beside you. Do you believe him?"

Connie London: "Yeah, I believe him, because here in Texas, they have truly been good to us. I mean-"

Reynolds: "Did you get a sense of hope that you could return to your home one day in New Orleans?"

London: "Yes, I did. I did."

Reynolds: "Did you harbor any anger toward the President because of the slow federal response?"

London: "No, none whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in. They should have been on their jobs."

Reynolds: "And they weren't?"

London: "No, no, no, no. Lord, they wasn't. I mean, they had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people."

Reynolds: "Now, Mary, you were rescued from your house which was basically submerged in your neighborhood. Did you hear something in the President's words that you could glean some hope from?"

Mary: "Yes. He said we're coming back, and I believe we're coming back. He's going to build the city up. I believe that."

Reynolds: "You believe you'll be able to return to your home?"

Mary: "Yes, I do."

Reynolds: "Why?"

Mary: "Because I really believe what he said. I believe. I got faith."

Reynolds: "Back here in the corner, we've got Brenda Marshall, right?"

Brenda Marshall: "Yes."

Reynolds: "Now, Brenda, you were, spent, what, several days at the Superdome, correct?"

Marshall: "Yes, I did."

Reynolds: "What did you think of what the President told you tonight?"

Marshall: "Well, I think -- I think the speech was wonderful, you know, him specifying that we will return back and that we will have like mobile homes, you know, rent or whatever. I was listening to that pretty good. But I think it was a well fine speech."

Reynolds: "Was there any particular part of it that stood out in your mind? I mean, I saw you all nod when he said the Crescent City is going to come back one day."

Marshall: "Well, I think I was more excited about what he said. That's probably why I nodded."

Reynolds: "Was there anything that you found hard to believe that he said, that you thought, well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?"

Marshall: "No, I didn't."

Reynolds: "Good. Well, very little skepticism here. Frederick Gould, did you hear something that you could hang on to tonight from the President?"

Frederick Gould: "Well, I just know, you know, he said good things to me, you know, what he said, you know. I was just trying to listen to everything they were saying, you know."

Reynolds: "And Cecilia, did you feel that the President was sincere tonight?"

Cecilia: "Yes, he was."

Reynolds: "Do you think this is a little too late, or do you think he's got a handle on the situation?"

Cecilia: "To me it was a little too late. It was too late, but he should have did something more about it."

Reynolds: "Now do you all believe that you will one day return to your homes?"

Voices: "Yes" and "I do."

Reynolds: "I mean, do you all want to return to your homes? We're hearing some people don't even want to go back."

Mary: "I want to go back."

Reynolds: "You want to go back."

Mary: "I want to go back. That's my home. That's all I know."

Reynolds: "Is it your home for your whole life?"

Mary: "Right. That's my home."

Reynolds: "And do you expect to go back to the house or a brand new dwelling or what?"

Mary: "I expect to go back to something. I know it ain't my house, because it's gone."

Reynolds: "What is the one mistake that could have been prevented that would have made your lives much better? Is it simply getting all of you out much sooner or what was it?"

Mary: "I'm going to tell you the truth. I had the opportunity to get out, but I didn't believe it. So I stayed there till it was too late."

Reynolds: "Did you all have the same feeling? I mean, did you all have the opportunity to get out, but you were skeptical that this was the really bad one?"

Unnamed woman: "No, I got out when they said evacuate. I got out that Sunday and I left before the storm came. But I know they could have did better than what they did because like they said, buses were just sitting there, and they could have came through there and got people out, because they were saying immediate evacuation. Some people didn't believe it. But they should have brung the force of the army through to help these people and make them understand it really was coming."

London: "And really it wasn't Hurricane Katrina that really tore up the city. It was when they opened the floodgates. It was not the hurricane itself. It was the floodgates, when they opened the floodgates, that's where all the water came."

Reynolds: "Do you blame anybody for this?"

London: "Yes. I mean, they've been allocated federal funds to fix the levee system, and it never got done. I fault the mayor of our city personally. I really do."

Reynolds: "All right. Well, thank you all very much. I wish you all the best of luck. I hope you don't have to spend too much more time here in the Reliant Center and you can get back to New Orleans as the President said. Ted, that is the word from the Houston Astrodome. And as I said, when the President said that the Crescent City will rise again, there were nods all around this parking lot."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Not Every Sad Tale is True

You saw it.  The Parish President from the New Orleans area on Meet the Press telling the tale of a woman in a nursing home who called her son every day for several days as the water rose to ask:  "Are they coming, is anyone coming".  And tearfully he assured, "Yes Momma, they're coming". 
Then we were told she drown because no one came.
It broke my heart.  Peggy cried.  The man on TV cried.  It was tragic. 
It was all a lie.  He broke my wife's heart for POLITICAL gain.  I doubt some sad stories I see on TV.  Sometimes they are just too darn convenient.  So should you.
I have been accused of being just a little cynical.  Accused of not being the Christian I "Pretend" to be.  I'll let others decide.  I know in whom I believe.
My only question is, will this play on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, or perhaps the show which started it all, Meet the Press.    We'll see.  This is my little coal to help see if more heat will stoke up the feet I hope are in the fire.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I'm the Guilty One

I'll come clean.

That mess in Southern Louisiana and Mississippi. I did it. I caused the Hurricane, I made sure that the evacuation was incomplete, I didn't send the busses, I just left them in the parking lot, I bombed the Levy so it would flood the city, I stranded thousands in Convention Centers and the Superdome to be abused.

I kept the FEMA crew away a few extra days for sensitivity training. I didn't use the national guard when I could have. I didn't send the military as quickly as I might have. I stole money for pet pork projects in New Orleans for years so the infrastructure would fail under pressure.

I am keeping the remains of the victims hidden to keep the death count down.

Don't bother blaming anyone else. I did it all by myself. Guilty as charged.

What? You don't believe I did all those things? I'm holding me accountable. Why can't you?

So why in heck do we blame our President or the Governor of LA for these things even if they are willing to say the buck stops there. HUH? I admire both for saying I didn't do as well as I should have. I think it shows true statesmanship. Something that is missing in politics, I've been watching the Roberts Hearings. The left should hang their head in shame. When I fix the next election I'll make sure GWB and LA's Gov get re-elected (I'll have to fix the constitution too, but with Roberts as Chief Justice that's no problem).

This is so Stupid - the we gotta blame somebody society is out of control.

Blame your cat, he's just as guilty. MEOW

Money is NOT the Answer

Unless you ask the right questions.
This is true in life, in business, in government and in politics.
The New Orleans rebuilding and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts are about to demonstrate the truth of this.  You,Me, FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and the US taxpayer continues to throw money at a problem that needs much more.  Short term it is OK.  People are being fed, clothed, housed, and in general welfare ways being placed where they can live, work and create a life.
That's all admirable. 
I remember an experiment from the late 1970's.  50 different people from all backgrounds, poverty, wealth, color, ethnicity, working class, middle class were all discovered at a time where for one reason or another they had all found themselves flat broke.  Out of money.  Destitute.  Lots of reasons.  Lots of backgrounds.  Over 3 years when these people were discovered they were give an equal financial stipend.
Each of them was given unrestrained a significant amount of money.  $200,000 dollars.  This was a grant.   Given to them.  They had to agree to be tracked for the 3 years following the grant.
The results were not surprising.  Those who came from poverty returned to poverty after the money ran out.  Those from wealth emerged wealthy.  Those middle class, middle classed, those working class working classed. 
So, what does this mean?  It means that to give money without a cultural and sociological change only means you interrupt a cultural dependency mentality which money can't break.  Eventually they will return to what they were. This is not about education.  It's about a cultural expectations.  It's about who they are and what they see themselves becoming.  Low expectation low results.
When I saw what happened in New Orleans after Katrina was not color, it was culture.  If the culture of these people doesn't change New Orleans will not be better.  It will end up ultimately like those people of the grant who returned to their former state. 
One cultural condition in Southern Louisiana particularly in the metro New Orleans area among leadership and power brokers is a culture of corruption, graft, people on the take and crime.  If we as the American taxpayers and those who contribute money and time are going to really help we must not pour money into a black hole with no accountability.  I implore those who can to be careful and discerning in how you give.  I implore those in positions of authority to not just give money. 
Let's do what we can to change the culture with those people who need the change or nothing will change. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I couldn't disagree with him more but I like him

Jack Sunday is a radio star on WDAY in Fargo ND.  He also writes a blog called NODAK JACK.  He's a real guy with guy issues.  One issue he differs from me with is politics.  It's ok.  I think it would be fun to chew the proverbial fat with him.
His latest post was full-on left wingnut crazy again.  He mentioned something about a SCOTUS test.  That was a new one on me.  I decided to look it up on google.  Here's what I found.  Take the SCOTUS test and decide if you are politically properly centered (Right Wing Wacko) or a (Outer Space Left Wing) Progressive.
I'm proudly a Right Wing Wacko thank you very much. Now about invading Belgium....

Send Money, but Send it to the RIGHT Charity

I will get in trouble with some of you. You will think I'm awful. But I must take a stand. I have friends on the front lines of Katrina right now in Louisiana and Mississippi. I get reports from them about what's going on there every day.

I have considered publishing the emails directly but I don't want to jaundice them. I don't mind being a little jaundiced. Two examples:

Catholic friends of mine in Biloxi were feeding thousands. The Red Cross came in and stopped them. If they continued to do so any aid they might have gotten would be cut off. They ended up throwing away pots of Jambalaya because of this.

FEMA thru the Red Cross will not help people with relief who are being housed if that housing did not come thru the Red Cross. This from another friend of mine. This is happening right now. It's tragic.

I have a dozen others I am cataloging. This is not a pretty sight. It's all about power and control.

The Red Cross has done many good things. They have become a controlling bureaucracy which may not be the best use of our contributions.

A few days ago a fellow blogger rebuked me in my questioning of the Red Cross, I backed down. I now have to take it back. I have continued to get backchannel feeds which tell me something is really wrong. Either all those people who don't know each other are lying or.....What?

My suspicion is no one who is in a position to be hurt or not helped by the Red Cross is going to say anything right now. My further suspicion is there are so many stories like this which will come to the surface in time. I hope the Red Cross can resolve the questions that will be raised. I have doubts.

Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, any good sound faith based organization is a better way to give. Lutheran Relief. Baptist whatever your bent is, most of that money is funneled properly and without the control, agenda and the bureaucracy that the Red Cross has become.

Hang on to your hats. When the stories start coming they will be brutal. Red Cross, this shot is directly across your bow. Your future depends on it. You can't afford a scandal now. The work you do is too important for you to mess it up now.

I appeal to any representative of the Red Cross to contact me, I would like to get to the bottom of this. I await your email.

Told Ya So

Larry Ristvedt used to say the cure for high prices was high prices. I commented a while back that the best news in the world was the high price of oil because it meant that Gasoline prices would come down. Only artificially controlled oil prices keep gas expensive and in short supply. There has been a foolish petition to ask Bush to lower gas prices. I didn't sign it. It's counterintuitive.

Larry used to say that if Soybeans were $20 a bushel everyone in America would be growing them in their back yard. And the price would come down.

Don't top off your tank just yet.

I Dream of Cars

I have recurring pleasant dreams at night. 


No, not that kind. Shame on you for even thinking that. 


I dream of Cars.  Wonderful cars.  Cars of my youth.  Cars of pure pleasure. 


I confess, I was a gear head as a youth.  I loved the smell of burning rubber in the morning.


When I left home I left behind two huge boxes of assorted “Hot Rod” type magazines.  All with wonderful cars in them with flames on the side.  If I had them today I would be financially better off.  I digress.


My friend Charlie Comstock (He’s now Chuck) had a car I thought was wonderful.  A 56 4 door Chevy Bellaire.  It had a piston knock.  It smoked.  He painted it sea green.  It was a beautiful thing.  I dream of that car.  That series of automobile was one of Detroit’s finest ever made.


I dream of old Dodge’s.  48-50.  You sat upright, you could wear a hat in the car. 

I never owned one but always wanted to.  I had a straight eight 53 Pontiac Cheiftan Black and Chartreuse (I painted it).  It was 400 yards long.  Slow as molasses.  Still in all a wonderful car.


I dream of all these cars.  AND MORE:


Last night I dreamed of a 57 Chevy Station Wagon.  It had a 37 gallon gas tank and got 30 miles to the gallon on the road.  Do the math.  That’s a thousand mile range or better.  In my sleep it had one of those on board computers that shows all the MPG and stuff like the Buick I drive now has.  It was luxurious inside.  Had power windows, door locks and power rear gate air and the 367 engine.   I suspect in my stupor it was a PT Cruiser type reiteration of the 57 wagon.  Sort of like, if you could go back and get the beauty and charm of the 57 wagon combined with the modern plusses of today’s vehicles.


In my dream we (Peggy and I are younger again) are with our kids going somewhere on one tank of gas driving this wonderful car. 


I have these perfect car dreams often. 


Am I weird?


Maybe.  But I note that Detroit keeps trying to reinvent cars that were perfect.  Look at the new 1950 Chevy pickup.  Or the new Chevy 1948 suburban.  And the PT cruiser.


I know where this all comes from.  Lloyd Ertelt had a 57 Chevy, Brown and White with a 367.  It was a beaut.  I never forgot it.  55-57 were great Chevy years.  Then the Aircraft carriers came along.


Detroit, take a hint.  Build the 57 Chevy Wagon again.  I can see it.  4WD.  367.

30 mpg.  37 gallon tank.  The marriage between the SUV and the Minivan with mileage. 


Call me, I’ll tell you where to send the royalty check.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bush is Hiding Dead Bodies in New Orleans

I am constant in my amazement at Bush Hating liberals. They see everything thru their darkly clouded lenses. The REDLIN COMMISSION report will appear in a few days. I will then give you the truth about what happened in the wake of Katrina, who to blame and what should be done next. What gives me the right you ask? I have as much right as those on the left (like Molly Ivins) who continue to beat this already dead dog. They know less than you (or me).

A writer of some quality has parodied the left wing mentality in his new blog. It's pretty good read. He's from Berkley California. There are conservatives in Berkley.

Sadly, here is a news story written by a liberal reporter that in essence accuses Bush of hiding dead people and their body count for political gain.

You would think the fact that we will end up far less than a thousand total dead from Katrina is good news. That the fact people were wise, saved, rescued, and now being housed, clothed and fed by volunteers nationwide would be a positive. If you take the total of the population, subtract the dead, the percentage saved is very high.

This is bad news for liberals. Really bad. It means that the flotsam of dead bodies upon who's graves the liberals intended to dance their victory dance will not be there. They really counted on this albatross to hang around Bush's neck.