Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Friday, September 02, 2005

RICH GET OUT - POOR LEFT BEHIND

The U.S. Senate is now poised to vote on the repeal of the estate tax. At a time when our nation is hemorrhaging, our wise "leaders" want to give more tax cuts to the rich. Can you believe it?

I heard people in New Orleans, in the last 24 hours, tell how rich folks in fancy hotels were taken out of the city in SUV's while working class people, holed up in the same hotels, were not allowed to escape in those same SUV's. They were told there was no room for them as the rich folks filled the vehicles with their luggage and expensive possessions.

Another story is about two hospitals in New Orleans. One is at the private Tulane University and the other, just across the street is called Charity Hospital. Tulane University Medical Center has a helicopter pad on the roof. They had 1,000 of their patients evacuated soon after the hurricane. The patients in Charity Hospital, poor people, are still sitting in their squalid conditions. Someone at Charity got the good idea to move their most dire cases across the flooded road on canoes to Tulane Med Center. Then up eight flights of stairs they carried the critical patients to the helicopter pad. They had finally made some arrangements to get a chopper to pick up these folks. The helicopter took the patients to the New Orleans international airport which has, in part, been turned into an emergency medical evacuation center. When the helicopter put down they were turned away. No word yet what happened to the Charity Hospital patients on the chopper. Many more of the suffering poor still sit inside of Charity Hospital waiting for help.

I heard the FEMA director say last night on TV that his office has "just heard" about the thousands of people stranded at the Convention Center in the city. Eyewitnesses told the media that 10 people had already died there and the people there are without food and water now for the 5th day. Now I had known about the people at the Convention Center for the past couple of days. It has been all over the news....but somehow the head of FEMA (the emergency management agency for the federal government) had just heard of this situation. Can this be believed?

The news has reported that 30% of the population of New Orleans had incomes below the national poverty guidelines. It was a city of workers who served the tourist industry - hotel workers, cooks, dishwashers, and the like. The federal government does not give a damn about the poor in this country, we all know that, and we are now seeing the results of this attitude.

It ought to make all of us come to our senses. This country is run by the rich, for the rich and the rest of us are on our own when the shit hits the fan. And on top of all that, the rich want even more tax cuts by repealing the estate tax. By repealing that tax the rich will ensure that they can pass on even more wealth to their children. So for the next generation the divide between the rich and the poor will grow even wider.

The tragedy in New Orleans is a warning sign. Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming. See how the working class and the poor will be treated as our economy begins its collapse. Jobs are moving out of America. Scientists are now saying, that because of global warming, the hurricanes in the future will be more severe because the oceans are becoming warmer and this causes hurricanes to increase in ferocity. So there will be more devastations like New Orlenas in the future. Open you eyes and see what is going on. You might be next.

In the meantime we are blowing YOUR TAX DOLLAR$ on a war for oil in Iraq. Star Wars research and development is eating up tens of billions of YOUR TAX DOLLAR$ every year. It's your future we are talking about here.

7 Comments:

Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

Your righteous indignation is appreciated.

The U.S. Senate is now poised to vote on the repeal of the estate tax.

What bill number is this? A link to the entry in the Thomas register would be apprecaited - your verbage is pretty broad.

I heard people in New Orleans, in the last 24 hours, tell how rich folks in fancy hotels were taken out of the city in SUV's while working class people, holed up in the same hotels, were not allowed to escape in those same SUV's.

Heard from where? Not saying it can't happen but rumor mongering is beneath you.

Now I had known about the people at the Convention Center for the past couple of days. It has been all over the news....but somehow the head of FEMA (the emergency management agency for the federal government) had just heard of this situation. Can this be believed?

You might not believe how fragmented information can be in a crisis. I'm not sure what the head of FEMA has to do with this - surely he has people on the ground to actually do thw work?

The federal government does not give a damn about the poor in this country, we all know that, and we are now seeing the results of this attitude.

Sure they do. Remember the poor are being economically drafted to serve in the neocon war of liberty. Gotta keep them poor people around.

Jobs are moving out of America

And more jobs are being created at home. What's the unemployment rate agan?

Scientists are now saying, that because of global warming, the hurricanes in the future will be more severe because the oceans are becoming warmer and this causes hurricanes to increase in ferocity.

Did you actually read the report you are citing? A scientist tabulated the increase and postualted that global warming might be the cause. He also said there is not enough evidence to say one way or the other.

9/2/05, 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ever find a coffin you didn't need to use as a soapbox? Spend a quiet weekend in self examination some time, especially in how such deranged behavior affects people you purport to want to persuade.

your colleague,
JimO
www.jamesoberg.com

9/2/05, 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps if we had embraced nuclear power, Global warming would not have occured and made Katrina.

Perhaps the irrational fear of nuclear power doomed New Orleans?

That sound flaky? Certainly it is less so than anything the left has said these past few days. Small minds make large leaps.

Paul Vargas

9/2/05, 1:55 PM  
Blogger CarlC said...

I heard people in New Orleans, in the last 24 hours, tell how rich folks in fancy hotels were taken out of the city in SUV's while working class people, holed up in the same hotels, were not allowed to escape in those same SUV's.

This is suspect at best but smells more like rumor mongering. If this was indeed "in the last 24 hours", how were these "rich folks" able to drive out of the flooded city? It doesn't make any sense, but that has never stopped Bruce from posting. I'd ask for a source, but I know from experience that that is a waste of time.

Maybe this was a reference to evacuations before the flooding occurred. Were these rich folks "taken out" or did they leave in their own vehicles? SUV's are hardly limited to the rich, and most poor people have at least one car. Or know someone who does.

The sad truth is that the poor, disproportionately, made the conscious decision not to evacuate. The vast majority of them had the means to get out of town but chose not to do so. Reasons range from a false sense of security (from having dodged previous storms), to not wanting to risk abandoning what little they had. Many indicated that they just didn't want to pay to stay in a motel. Maybe next time they'll realize that sleeping in their car is not the worst thing that can happen to them.

9/2/05, 5:24 PM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

Bruce has hit his stide on this one. I think he managed to hit every major talking point in his repitoire. Bush, the greedy rich, star wars, collapsing economy and of course (as subtext) he has The Answer.

The only keeping you from perfect 10s on this post was that you failed to work an attack on nukes in space. What's that old saw? "to search for perfection .. is all very well .."

9/2/05, 6:21 PM  
Blogger Vic Jacobs said...

What answer might that be, Brian? I confess I missed the constructive, practical suggestions for improvement you allude to. Maybe because I was distracted by the horselaugh-inducing ignorance and shameless grandstanding.

A week from now, Bruce'll be whining about the environmental damage being done by pumping the sewage, chemical, and oooooiiiillll polluted floodwaters from the city back into the lake, and thus to the gulf. Maybe he'll tie that into nukes in space somehow.

9/3/05, 1:41 AM  
Blogger Vic Jacobs said...

And where is Stephen? I was sure he'd have been along by now to defend Bruce's hyperventilations, and put us all in our places with a clever and only slightly smug tu quoque.

Stephen? Oh Steeeeeephen???

9/3/05, 1:47 AM  

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