"We have, I fear confused power with greatness."
Yesterday, while I was sitting in my therapy session with Sarah, there occurred two moderate earthquakes. The first registered 2.8 on the Richter scale, the second one came along less then 10 minutes later and registered 3.4 Both quakes occurred along the Hayward Fault and were centered 4.0 miles east-southeast of Berkeley. That would basically be located beneath the Caldicott tunnel, which connects Alameda County with Contra Costa County, here in the East Bay. My therapy session takes place on the 3rd floor of a lovely old building here in Berkeley, one which had been retrofitted after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. That earthquake registered 7.1 It was a scary moment when that quake hit, and despite all the damage it did, and all the tragety and it's aftermath, I am not afraid to live here in California, the beauty of this state, far outweighs the concerns about natural disasters we Californian's live with. Funny thing however, Sarah and I were talking about New Orleans, and the affect Hurricane Katrina had on that city, and the deplorable way the Bush administration had handled the aftermath. Bodies floating in the streets...weeks later. Starving citizens begging for help, and according to a report issued just the other day, the fact that there are still 2,000 people missing, 130 of which are children under the age of 18. Ironic that we were discussing that subject, just as a gentle reminder hit both of us,indicating that we better prepare ourselves here in the Golden State, because as we know now...there will NO help from our own government to look forward to, shouls the worst happen.
Funny how even now, after all this time Bush and company, can still surprise me in their ineptness. This evening, as I am sure as you have already heard, the Associated Press released video proof that not only did Bush lie through his teeth in the days following Hurricane Katrina, he lied BIG, and he allowed Michael Brown to absorb as much blame as possible to try and deflect any soil from his own hands. It's no longer a suspicion...it's a fact. HE LIED. Bush was more then willing to play Russian Roulette with the lives of everyone along the Gulf coast region. Once again, there was Bush, either in full Monty denial or maybe not capable of understanding the big words being articulated to him, reassuring federal, state and local officials that, "We are fully prepared," And the scary thing? He didn't ask one single question during his final briefing one day before Hurricane Katrina hit. He simply showed up for the conference call, while still on his vacation at his Ranch in Crawford Texas, and gave his pat answer for nearly all questions that come his way..."We are fully prepared."
The White House today urged the American public to,"not read too much into the video footage," of Bush being briefed on the situation, I suppose we should continue to be good little sheep and believe everything he says. Not believe our own eyes, because lets face it, we may not be able to trust ourselves to disseminate information correctly. Pay no attention to the fact that four days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Bush declared, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." I am sure what he actually didn't anticipate was a video of him being warned of the dire possibilities...repeatedly.
George Bush and the White House has had ample time to own up to what has happened, but instead we have been given story after story about how it was everyone else's fault but the fault of the most powerful man on the planet. George Bush. How much more can America take from a man who will not own up to the devastating condition America has been left in since his taking office? How many more lies will come forth? And how about the fact that his conveniently not here at the moment to answer these question for himself? This man is hell bent on turning over our ports to the UAE. How frightening is that? He didn't even know that deal had been made, until he watched the reports , along with us, on the evening news.
Our president is THAT out of touch. And what does he have to say in a recent interview with ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas? "What kind of message would it send, if we say it is ok for one country, such as British to have these contracts and not an Arab country? I don't know about you...but I don't care if we send a message that we are favoring one country over another...I want to feel safe...PERIOD! And when asked about the handling of Katrina and it's aftermath, he continued to make weak justifications. "Listen, here is what happened with Katrina. There was no situational awareness, and that means that we weren't getting good, solid information from people who were on the ground, and we need to do better." He looked Elizabeth Vargas in the eyes...and those of us who were watching the interview, and lied, instead of being a man, standing up, and saying...I take responsibility. It lies with me. I was briefed, and did nothing. I didn't ask any questions during the briefings by the experts, that were trying to warn me, that a devastating hurricane was about to make landfall. George Bush used the words, "situational awareness," no less the three times when trying to justify why the Katrina situation was handled so poorly. Ironic isn't it? And when asked in the same interview how he felt Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff was doing, he replied, "He is doing a fine job." Sound eerily familiar to anyone?
And again, as I was typing this, yet another small earthquake happened. This latest one registered 2.6 and was centered roughly the same place as the earlier ones. Sigh. It is serving as a, so far, gentle reminder that disaster can and will strike, either by man or by nature. We had better have learned some lessons after Hurricane Katrina, such as we are each responsible for ourselves, should the unthinkable occur. The simple act of putting together an emergency kit, that is well stocked with food and provisions for our pets as well, will not only save our own lives, but it will be helping to save the lives of those who can't provide for themselves. It will make us one less person to be taxing what recent history has taught us will be an already overtaxed government resource system. Tomorrow, Alan and I will be investing in a newer, larger pet carrier for Elvis, and we will be stocking up on some additional special food he needs for his diet, and some comfort toys. He is a responsibility we don't take likely, so of course we will be taking care of him, should disaster happen.
Sigh. Listen, we in California began the year with storms pounding the Napa region of Northern California, which also did damage all the way down to parts of Marin County. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was in Washington earlier this week to ask the White House to declare California's levee system a disaster area, and to ask for additional federal funding to shore up our levee system which is currently over 100 years old, and in need to repair and maintenance. Nothing has been said yet by the White House, and the people who were directly affected by the flooding that took place earlier this year, remain "cautiously optimistic." I am not so optimistic, not until I see that our president is actually going to send the funding will I see the light at the end of the tunnel. So tell me, 6 months after Hurricane Katrina, and a lot of truth later, have you prepared yourself for what might happen in your neck of the woods? Don't break my heart and tell me you have become complacent. Share with me what you have done to take care of yourself.
My 2017 Reading List
11 months ago