What About the Environment?

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Call me a bleeding-heart treehugger, but am I the only one who’s worried about the millions of gallons of sludge and toxic wast being pumped into Louisiana waterways? We now have a situation where New Orleans has been turned into a toxic cesspool of raw sewage, oil, chemicals, and bacteria. Every can of paint thinner someone had sitting in their garage has been oozing out into the floodwater, and packages of spoiled meat sit rotting in the hot Louisiana sun.

If your skin so much as touches the water, you are assured of getting an infection, so I’m wondering why nobody is asking questions about the long-term environmental impact of simply pumping all this sludge and biohazard waste back into lakes and rivers? Granted, I understand that it needs to be cleaned up, and I don’t pretend to know how one might go about detoxifying all that waste, but I do feel that it is important to evaluate the impact before simply dumping all that toxic mess out into the environment.

If anyone knows of any measures being taken to protect the environment during the cleanup effort, please post a comment. I would love to hear about it.

Bloggers Run Condoleeza Rice out of NYC

All over the net, people are talking about how the Bush Administration’s failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina might prove to be the downfall of his administration. Based on his failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and the Gulf Coast, it is certainly clear Bush and his Neo-Conservative followers have become damaged goods, and some are even calling for him to “resign in shame“.

While reading Zach’s story “Is Katrina Bush’s Waterloo?” I found a link to a New York Times story that reports how bloggers, demanding answers about the Bush administration’s failure to act, chased Condoleeza Rice out of the city where she had been shopping for shoes and enjoying plays rather than responding to the death and devastation in New Orleans.

It would be one thing if President Bush and his inner circle – Dick Cheney was vacationing in Wyoming; Condi Rice was shoe shopping at Ferragamo’s on Fifth Avenue and attended “Spamalot” before bloggers chased her back to Washington; and Andy Card was off in Maine – lacked empathy but could get the job done. But it is a chilling lack of empathy combined with a stunning lack of efficiency that could make this administration implode.

Everywhere we look, this government has failed us. During his time in office, Bush has staged a war built on lies against an imagined enemy, perpetuated a fear of terrorism in order to exert social control, and eroded our civil rights, while padding the pockets of his executive campaign contributers. There can be no doubt that this administration is corrupt and incompetent, and I, for one, do feel he should resign.

Helping the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

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With everything going to Hell in Washington, the White House has totally failed to provide any substantive help for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Organizations we are supposed to trust; Organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency are actually encouraging donations to bloodthirsty Neo-Conservative radicals such as Pat Robinson, and we find ourselves in a situation where we want to aid in the relief effort, but we don’t know how to make sure our donations find their way to those who truly need help, and not into the pockets of the corrupt Washington establishment.

In some cases, National Guard units are activated, but simply waiting to be deployed, because there is no Federal funding to get them there.

The best way to help, and the way I will be helping for my part, is by giving to the American Red Cross, and by giving them the things on their list that are most needed. As I write this, they are looking for the following items:

  • Bottled water (liter or larger)
  • Nonperishable food
  • Clothing (new or like-new condition)
  • Infant supplies (formula, diapers, etc.)
  • Snacks/protein bars
  • First aid kits
  • Transistor radios
  • Batteries (AA, C, D, 9V)
  • Flashlights
  • Hygiene products (bar soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Dog/cat food

If you live in Vermont, as I do, you can bring these items to the following locations:

  • BENNINGTON: Town Clerk’s Office
  • DERBY: State police barracks
  • HARTFORD: Fire and police departments
  • MONTPELIER: Statehouse
  • ST. ALBANS: Collins Perley Recreation Facility
  • ST. JOHNSBURY: Municipal Office Building and Fire Station
  • ROCKINGHAM: State police barracks
  • RUTLAND: State police barracks
  • VERGENNES: Vergennes High School
  • WILLISTON: State police barracks

Or, if you would like to make a donation of money to the Red Cross, you can click here to do so.