Saturday, March 3, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO OPS AND SUFFERING

President Bush visited Mississippi to "show how great rebuilding is going".

NEW ORLEANS — Stung by criticism that he and his administration had neglected the hurricane-tattered Gulf Coast, President Bush on Thursday made his first visit to the region in six months, proclaiming, "This is a hopeful day."Bush, standing in a muddy lot near new homes in Long Beach, Miss., said: "Part of the reason I've come down is to tell people here in the Gulf Coast that we still think about them in Washington…. Times are changing for the better, and people's lives are improving. And there is hope."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-katrina2mar02,1,7696792.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

Oddly enough, he did not visit the New Orleans area - such as the Lower 9th Ward - and have reporters following him to document the level of destruction here.

80% the city of New Orleans was under water and had incredible destruction. Now try and imagine 80% of Boston or New York or LA going through that level of destruction... Large portions of New Orleans look as if bombs have hit the area as the result of the hurricane wind damage. The destruction is hard to imagine if you are not here to take it all in. The scope of the destruction and the ongoing suffering of the population can be hard to really comprehend if you have not 'seen' it first hand.

I also noticed whilst looking for images to go with this posting that when I visited MSNBC.com http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10816346/ I was led to the "KATRINA THEN AND NOW" under the section called: Multimedia: A look back at Katrina - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10816346/ The images seemed to me to be the "happy versions" of "one year later" that seemed to support the headline spin (deception)...
"President hails progress, says building boom is on the way."

The images seemed to say, "Look at how good things are going". It really bothers me. I am not saying they were consciously practicing deception (I am not a mind reader in this sense) – what I am saying is that "I am here, and guess what, the far greater reality is not the nice cleaned-up pictures that have showed up on this website." The reality is that this place continues to look as if it was heavily bombed in many areas...

I am claiming that it was a deceptive political maneuver on the President's part not to have himself and his entourage of reporters drive through the "reality of the Lower 9th Ward, St. Bernard's Parish, and Orleans Parish. It was a deceptive political maneuver to not show the FEMA trailer camps, which are desolate, depressing places of row upon row of white FEMA trailers with no trees, nor decorative touches to give it any sort of homey feeling...

And it was "all about his political and ideological agenda" when his visit to New Orleans focused not on the destroyed neighborhoods, the lack of affordable rental housing and the poverty, but on "CHARTER SCHOOLS" which for the most part are religious schools. I am not arguing the merit or not of religious schools. I went to one for 8 years, had an excellent education whilst there, and to this day, enjoy beautiful handwriting (I could have done without experiencing and witnessing the sometimes brutal disciplinarian tactics). What I am saying is that "his agenda" was about Charter Schools. The people whom he represents as President, I believe, should have had an agenda that was about "the people". As in, "We, the People. Not he, the Decider."

In my opinion, the President let the people of New Orleans who are still suffering down yesterday. And his speech verbally confirmed for me how disconnected he is from the "reality on the ground".

Here's my parallel reality version of what he might have said if he "walked the talk" of "compassionate" conservatism and (in my judgment only, in this situation) actually followed the teachings of his favorite 'philosopher', "Jesus"…

In this parallel "compassionate" reality, you might have read quotes such as the following, as he toured the still devastated city:

"This administration has looked at the situation and can clearly see that the City of New Orleans and the state of LA is having problems raising the funding necessary to match the funding clause in regards to billion dollars we legislated for you to rebuild… This administration is going to wave the 10% matching funds clause needed to be raised on your part so that the other half a billion dollars we promised you can be released to the City so that rebuilding and cleanup can be accelerated. This administration has recognized that as a result of the devastation of Katrina, the economy in this area is severely depressed, we are aware of the severe housing shortage, low income levels, and the high rents being asked for what housing is available; as a result, we are going to help you by releasing you from this matching funding clause so that you rebuild New Orleans."


Peace and love.

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