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Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Pieces....

9/1/2005 The first letter of my letter writing campaign.....
Dear FEMA:
cnn reports that you are 'too far away' from the people.
for gods sake, don't make these poor souls try to fight their way to your stations. please find a way to increase your ability to help these people. i am horrified by the overall lack of real 'critical thinking' leadership in this beyond catastrophic emergency of the masses...

9/2/2005 Letter to Fox, CNN and MSNBC News
NPR aired a segment on the 'Hurricane Pam' simulation. It was mentioned that no practical solution could be developed, as to how to get mass numbers out of the cities in the gulf coast area. I would like to read what you think about the exercise earlier this year, as compared to now. Thank you.

9/3/2005 - Message Emailed To The White House...
...for all of the overwhelming sights that i am watching / listening to , everyday. my heart breaks at the sight of the poor souls in the southeast gulf coast.
maybe the role of your staff / dept's should be the nameless faceless first hand responders, doing a job w/ out constant accolades for their efforts.
for now, please voice your concern of the plight of the people, please be more uplifting in your speeches....aimed at illustrating the peoples lives, the peoples stories.
it just seems so arrogant to applaud department heads, that really have only begun.
stay out in front of the about the people you talk w/ and the people they lost. the pets, the livestock, all of the lives that were lost. your heart has to come through your words w/ some element of 'lived' wisdom, sincerity and mercy that you are feeling for the 'peoples' catastrophe, because you have lost something, sometime in your life. if you could put yourself even a fraction closer to these people, in order to relate, i think one layer of calm could blanket an entire nation of people, who are completely shocked and surprised.
each time you take that approach, each time more 'people' are show cased, each time they are allowed the therapy of talking about their horrific experience, a nation can get back to the business of living. communication through you, is critical. but it is the delivery of your words that will make the difference.
please ignore the habit of sounding defensive. please choose words that imply 'embracing' a people in pain. with words that strike the heart. not a tone that makes one think that their "government just doesn't get it, yet."
please keep saying you'll right the wrong, repeatedly. if no one government offical takes individual responsibility for this extended catastrophe, then where is the integrity that we rely on for our structure, our country's cohesiveness, our citizens responsibility to each other? thank you.

9/3/2005 Message to NBC
Kanye West said what I have been wondering about, through out this absolutely horrific snap shot of how my southern neighbors are being treated in their time of utter devastation.
Shame on you - NBC - for censoring freedom of speech!
We are part of a global network and NBC cannot afford to take today back to the 1950s. There are so many unanswered questions, that one persons voice to an audience of millions....helps to start communication between people. That process has to be done, in order to go forward, in order to right a wrong.
I invite you - NBC, to check out the BBC's website 'Have your say' and read what people all over the world are saying / thinking, even before you took the steps to censor Kenye West

Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 08:22:08 Senator Landrieu, Senator Vitter, Mayor Nagin...Disbelief but hopeful for all...I just wanted to send a message of deep felt wishes for the smoothest recovery of your gulf coast devastation. I have been watching your public appearances through CNN, Fox and MSNBC, conveying a true and utter passion for the people of your area. That is what captured my attention through the endless parade of public servant faces in the past few weeks. I am hearing that there are no-bid contractor companies in your area now, that will begin the clean-up and rebuilding. And the company doing the recovery of bodies, their parent company involved in the shocking incident in Florida.
I have been shocked, perplexed and flabbergasted by all that has unfolded since the catastrophe. Not to mention deeply heart sickened and angry for the treatment of everyone in the area. It seems that the surprises never end, but then again, I shouldn't be surprised that outside corporate buddies should be allowed to come in and rake in the profits of an area that needs to get and keep their people working and earning a pay check. I am a big supporter of small business. Midsize and small business give the public something added or special that corporate entities cannot. A sense of homegrown and a feeling of closeness. Commerce needs small and midsize business for all the right reasons. Commerce needs corporations to remember their beginnings and be sensitive and ethical in practical business matters.
Because your area is in its beginning phases of building back a strong commerce, it seems that salt continues to pour on the wounds that need heavy healing. This includes the absolute disregard by the insurance industry. Does everyone and everything need a paid mediator today? Thank God for all of the nameless / faceless angels of mercy, who out of the sheer goodness of their hearts and from a necessary humanitarian perspective, those souls are making the difference. Watching your areas people strain under the efforts to crawl and jump through each systems phase of endless hoops, I just sit back in thought and truly wonder how the gulf coast will be able to bring back all the people who make each and every part of our nation whole. A nation of the people and by the people. Thoughts and prayers for all. Thank you.

10/2/2005 Dear Editor: Positive that I am not the only one thinking this, but why would anyone under the current circumstance want anyone who was affiliated with or partial to the big parties on the hill, want that person to watch over billions and billions of dollars for the rebuilding of lives in the gulf coast. Isn't Ralph Nader available to over see and monitor the contracts and monies coming through the systems pipeline? I recall him being the 'Go to Guy' for all consumers at one time. The voice of an honest person, advocating for the little guy and gal when business gouged customers. The extreme dedication that it took to peel back layers after layer of corporate apathy and disregard, helped to strike a united nerve so that the customer could get a fair shake...

10/2/2005 Part of a Letter e-mailed to the Governor of Minnesota
The great energy, time and attention that it takes to field and catch every unjust act going through the systems pipeline, makes it absolutely impossible and overwhelming for the average citizen to feel like they can do anything about anything.
Why wait till a big election or a catastrophe, for elected officials to inform effectively through the media? Is there another kind of 'PC' that I am not aware of? If the federal level reduces money to the state and the state reduces money to the counties, cities and townships, money and programs are taken away from the local citizens. The 'No New Taxes' chant is really not true.
I now see why some important departments at the federal level became store front departments, instead of what I thought it was to truthfully portray. In a blink of an eye, on someone's watch. The horrific aftermath of the gulf coast peoples plight just opened the raw reel of red tape to inner workings of the government system for all to see. Scary to no end.

10/18/2005 Dear Times Picayune, Mayor Nagin and City Leaders:
I wanted to share my sisters and my gratitude to NOLA online, for their efforts in creating the 'Missing Persons' data base and forums...

11/26/2005 Letter Sent to Congress & Committee Members Responsible for Gulfcoast Relief Funding and Money for the New Orleans Levee System

I have been following all gulfcoast matters since the beginning. The flood protection needs are more than necessary to the New Orleans area, it is crucial socially and economically. Each day that passes, without resolution to the matter of the levee's, is a day lost to a future catastrophe. I really used to believe that my tax dollars on all levels were used to develop, build and maintain the fabric of my nations many needs. I will not dwell on what did not happen that should have, but can only hold on to hope, that my neighbors to my south, find social justice, peace of mind and body, mercy from many and find their way back home to safety.
Please rebuild the levee's. Thank you.
Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn. - Sen. Thad Cochran, R-MissSen. - Robert Byrd, D-W.Va .- Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska - Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. - Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D - Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla - Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont - Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill - Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo - Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif - Rep. David Obey, D-Wis - Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa - Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C - Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., - Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va - Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, - Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn -
Senator websites that were not user-friendly, received their message through other Senators who did have e-mail addresses or websites that were user friendly.

12/1/2005 Dear Minnesotans: Plain and simple, I would like to propose a day of support for the people of New Orleans. The citizens of New Orleans need help to get the levee's rebuilt, stronger and better. Unfortunately, the levee bill that would allow the city to go forward is stuck in congress. And unfortunately, the repair of the levee's at this point, is on the very same structure that collapsed from the force of the hurricane strength winds and water. New Orleans is us, a city like our city, with people like our people. The things that make them unique is the same thing we are unique for, life, love and liberty. We have to "Back Off, Stay Away, and Keep Our Hands Off - business as usual." Because the people of New Orleans cannot go back to business as usual and we can.
This was My attempt to rally people who wanted to do something for the people in the gulfcoast, with one big action. Maybe our government would listen to the plea of a people through one united effort. I e-mailed the entire letter to local newspapers and others through out the state. Tried several times, but no replies from the print media, except for one small local newspaper that wanted to know why I was sending them a story about people in the gulfcoast. I decided it was a good idea to keep writing the newspapers, so they won't forget about the people and their plight, and maybe the newspapers would consider writing more of their own stories.

12/6/2005 Excerpts of House Select Committee hearing on the government's response to Katrina. Among those who testified:- Ishmael Muhammad, attorney
- Leah Hodges, New Orleans evacuee. - Dyan French, New Orleans community leader. - Harry Alford, president and CEO
"They died from abject neglect," retorted community activist Leah Hodges. "We left body bags behind...the people of New Orleans were stranded in a flood and were allowed to die."
December 11, 2005 NEW YORK TIMES Editorial Published:
Death of an American City
We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum...

12/20/2005 Letter to the Editor & Publisher Online
Thank you for your article. I cannot agree with you more and am extremely perplexed as to why there is this massive wall of silence, from most newspapers. I have done endless searches, trying to find stories about the city and the people of New Orleans, especially evacuees (exiles) from New Orleans. I ended up writing many, many letters to as many newspapers as I could find. Of course I am not a professional writer and only hoped to spark news staff interest and maybe they would write more about this awful, awful tragedy and put a better face on the aftermath. And not forget about the thousands of people. Keeping their stories, their city stories out in front, on the front page. I at least expected newspapers staff to reply to my letters, if not to say...thank you but no thank you or tell me that they would consider doing more stories. Instead I received 4 replies, 3 from non-newspaper sources and one that asked me 'Why, I was writing to them?' And out of the many letters I've written, to all levels of public officials, foundations, agencies, small town newspapers and metropolitan sized newspapers, no one seems to want to hear about anything remotely connected to the gulfcoast catastrophe. I just don't understand it. There is such a big Non-attention and Noninterest, in the peoples plight and the city's fight to stay alive, that, it breaks my heart. Thank you and I hope enough people stop to read your article and just maybe, they will begin writing letters. Maybe more letters from people will prompt the newspapers to print more, about the people, the city, the region of the gulfcoast catastrophe.

12/20/2005 A Reply From Editor & Publisher Online
Thanks for your kind words. Can we use this as a letter to the editor on our site?

12/21/2005 Reply back to Editor & Publisher Online
Thank you so much for your reply. I don't mind you using my letter at all. I do hope that you get lots of replies from people who feel your article speaks to a real concern and deserves more attention from all newspapers. I look forward to any of your future writings. Thank you again for taking time to reply to me.

11/20/2005 Dear Senator Clinton:
The unhumanitarian like behavior by those that would strip life giving safetynets away - all social programs, farmer assistance and small business supports, have crossed over into a full fledged Workplace Bully mode. Many of the obvious traits in the politicians that are desperate to threaten and initiate control over the masses seem to exhibit traits of a notorious workplace bully. And the behavior exhibited by the Targets are deeply in line with what a workplace bully does to its targets. Many separate incidents seem trivial when the Target tries to voice concern over the inappropriate or threatening behavior. Which makes the bully look more like a victim of nit picking, rather than the manipulator and instigator. The profile of a workplace bully fits well with what has been happening on Capital Hill and in many of the pockets of our nations municipalities. The range and types of workplace bullying amazingly resemble the disturbing behavior thus far witnessed. Though it has always been there I'm sure, the large looming arrogance in which it is being played out is hurting the rational common sensed citizen in spirit and mind. I hope that your party can build back strength through a meaningful message that really hits home with regular, everyday mainstream people. "Substance in Action" is the key. Not 'promises' of a new image, as your party website advertises. That sort of discounts all the important issues and good deeds of the past? I really appreciate any thought to my message and allowing me to write even though I do not reside in your area.

12/16/2005 Message to Senator Clinton:
Today a couple -- husband and wife from the gulfcoast, met with a county staff person, to be assessed for enrollment into a program. The spouse is still trying to apply for unemployment, months later. The staff person tried the telephone number and met up with the same recording as the couple have, no feature to leave a message and waiting not permitted. The message states..."because of hurricane Katrina..."One and half hours trying the telephone number. Going on line didn't help either. Every time the staff person tried to enter the social security number the site would freeze and shut down. The couple told the staff person that they are now ready to give up after sending hours and hours trying to get through. The staff person was extremely frustrated for the people, who have been hopelessly trying to get unemployment for the spouse, laid off through no fault of their own. They have no other money's at all. Something is drastically wrong with the system coming from the southern region? I have never had or heard of a situation like this. People do get through to apply no matter what, here. So, it makes me wonder about all the other people from the gulfcoast, who are giving up something else that is rightfully theirs. The only option for this person, it was suggested, that they keep sitting on the telephone and wait hour after hour. Is this being done on purpose? Why wouldn't the Unemployment system be rerouted to an area that could handle the calls and take the information? I am just heartbroken over all that is not happening for the people who survived the hurricane and the floods. Thank you.

12/26/05 - THANK YOU - Dear Senator Cochran:
I understand that you are instrumental in getting healthy hurricane relief block grants for Mississippi and Louisiana, through Congress. Thank you for all the hours spent analyzing, researching and piecing together what now is a real first ray of hope for the citizens (my southern neighbors) who survived this national tragedy. Thank you.

12/27/2005 - Message to the Times Picayune -
Dear Editor,
I can't imagine, now, thousands of survivors staying rooted in the south. If there is no place to live, then people / families will have to relocate to other states by February. Won't they?
Thank you for your time.

1/4/2006 POD Alert - Here, There & Everywhere -
The letter below was sent to both the Democratic and Republican party and several areas of interest because of recent events to do with the gulf coast catastrophe and the realization of our present governmental departments role to the public. Where money really went and where new monies will go. It hit me as I watched the people in the gulf coast helpless, lost and fractured from not just mother natures hand, but from our very own governmental process. The scenes that unraveled the infrastructure on the federal level was alarming enough....

...What happened that this many people never came together to begin action on the plan from exercise - Hurricane Pam? The gulf coast faces and voices of class, race, age, gender and even religion make a remarkable statement as a whole and can't be minimized, covered up or omitted by statistics on paper. Something was not present before the hurricane hit the region. Something was missing after the hurricane. Several things occurred to me that I will keep to myself for now. My voice is one tiny blip, it may have no value for anyone who read my words. The meaning of my message is, however, important to me because I am not sure about my own states political climate.

1/10/2006 - Letter to the Louisiana Weekly -
Dear Louisiana Weekly:

Thank you for the list of Important Issues for Blacks to Watch in 2006, by Mr. Taylor.

Unless the issues surrounding the survivors of Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of levees are not placed first, anywhere and everywhere, it is difficult for mainstream citizens to grasp the severity of it all. The mainstream print media has not been motivated enough to keep this horrific tragedy out in front. We - every -- citizen, need more and better local and national reporting on the daily activities of the gulf coast recovery and rebuilding of the people.

People need more people centered stories. Putting a real face on the exiles, evacuees and survivors. Stories that show case as many families as possible and their history in their beloved New Orleans. And depicticting the struggle to get back, the barriers, the challenges and the reason they can't get back yet. From the lips of the people to the public.

Anyone following the peoples stories from New Orleans (few as they are), the exiles, the evacuees, the survivors, knows of the fracture and breaks in whole family units in the aftermath. Large generational families desperate to be together again, but cannot, until they are allowed to go home to the place of their birth.

This story needs to stay out in front, for the sake of saving one of the few places in the United States, where many generations of family held a unique spot in our country. They show the nation and the world that family is important, family is life and that family can overcome any adversity.

Right now, families in the number of 40 and 50 from New Orleans, are torn apart, mourning the loss and struggling every hour of every day, to make it to the next day. All the while in their hearts, they want to go home with their loved ones and begin repairing the damage done to them.

If mainstream media, in every area of the United States could do better, your list of issues may strike a united cord with all people. Then all people ~ together ~ could find the strength lacking since that fateful day. Thank you again for putting forth one of the most critical lists for the year 2006.

1/13/2006 - NIMBY has a CURE -
My brother In-law and I used to debated everything in the world, two opposing views at all cross roads, yet we had deep respect for one another as human beings, all here under one creator. My sister would get so tired from our long debates, that she would leave us to our words and go off to do other things. I miss him, my debate buddy. He died from cancer a few years ago. We can learn from one another, if we want to. I learned a world of differences through my brother In-laws eyes and his life.

2/19/2006 - SBA - Another Gov't Arm has gone Code Blue -
The Gulf Coast - New Orleans is feeling the pangs of small business hunger.

The Small Business Administration is another arm of our government forced to become chronically malnourished, lingering somewhere between life and lifelessness. Like so many departments at the federal level, I am learning that the SBA has drastically changed from what they once were to what they presently represent...a store front department with name recognition only. Another great piece of the homemade - homegrown American pie reduced to artificial additives and empty calories.

03/5/2006 - The Fabic of Democracy -
The failure to protect the domestic fabric of lives and property, before and in the aftermath of the Gulf Coast catastrophe, has been added to a growing list of national failures, fetishes and fiction....
...If learning from the past ever worked to the advantage of those who know or want democracy and peace, then why is "today" filled with all the tragic recycled human flaws; greed, power and dictatorship? It is plausible that the predatory flaws create the other side of the spectrum in recycled human victims; the passive-aggressives, the oppressed and the abused. The center, the middle of the road American is hanging on by a few threads and there are fewer and fewer everyday.

3/6/2006 - "Hurricane Pam" Not Finished Not Funded -
The funding for a follow-up to Pam was cut by Homeland Security officials, Eric Tolbert, a former senior FEMA official, told Knight Ridder last summer.
"Not all capabilities-related issues identified in the Hurricane Pam exercise were addressed before Hurricane Katrina hit," the GAO report found.

3/22/2006 - Creative Crazy Making -
A drastic and immediate budget reduction to the New Orleans US Army Corps of Engineers in June of 2005 for fiscal year 2006 of 71 million dollars, meant pulling back and shelving front line work. An immediate hiring freeze meant immediate exclusion to local engineering firms to provide hurricane and flood control project assistance.

3/26/2006 - POD Alert ~ Bumping Up -
All of my neighboring Southern citizens; generations of a people who helped build this country, those citizens deserve much better than they are receiving. They need everyone's caring, love, prayers and constant attention upon them. My awareness is increasing and I can almost see beyond my own blurry backyard into the horizon. Into the horizon where Lady Liberty stands strong. I can almost see where the statue of President Lincoln sits in honor and I can almost see our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution still intact. So carefully and purposely preserved for the generations of people who would want to know who we are and why we're here, in America.


Blogger cehwiedel said...

I will include a link to your post in this week's Carnival of Hurricane Relief:

Good luck and God bless.



January 03, 2006 7:38 AM  

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