The American Gazette

Commonsense political and social commentary from "Flyover Country"

Location: Rural Michigan, United States

Sunday, September 24, 2006


On Aug 30 I was on my way into work, the 6th day in a row out of 8 all together, when I managed to misjudge what was happening up the road in front of me, resulting in the end in my rolling my Jeep, a soft top Wrangler.

I was near a crossroad where an antique car museum is, I watched several old tractors come flying across the road in front of a couple vehicles in front of me, it looked as if the tractors were racing perhaps. I had put my clutch in to slow myself down being at least 70 yards away from the vehicles in front of me. Once the tractors had cleared the road I let out the clutch and accelerated. I had anticipated the vehicles in front of me would begin moving once the tractors were out of the way. I anticipated wrong. All of a sudden I realized the truck in front of me was not moving, but was stationary. I hit the brakes but it was clear I would not be able to stop before I hit the truck in front of me. I opted to go to the right hand side of the road and hopefully pass them by with no ill result except for scaring the hell out of myself. Wrong again.

I went to the right going too fast, I would guess about 40 miles an hour. I remember it felt like I hit something hard, whatever it was it jounced the Jeep hard, it bounced me to the left and I was afraid I was going to hit a red car that was in front of the truck, something that I could identify as a 1960's muscle car. I tried to move instead further to the right, it was a very wrong move. Instead of saving me I hit a dirt road turning right and going too fast, the result was the Jeep rolled to the driver side.

I remember realizing that the Jeep was falling and hitting on my side, I recall watching my front windshield shatter. I remember absolutely nothing after that until I was stopped on my passenger side. It is a very odd sensation to realize this accident is probably the most traumatic event of my life and yet I recall very little of what happened. I have absolutely no recall of rolling on my roof or of even stopping. My recall starts at a point where I was already stopped.

I think the reaction I had has everything to do with the fact that I am an RN. I became very analytical. The first thing I recall was realizing that I was laying on my passenger side, that I was awake and conscious. The next thing I did was take my right hand and run it around my head, my left hand was still on the wheel. I found no obvious head injury, thought ok no numbness or tingling anywhere so likely no spinal cord trauma. I was hanging in place with my seat belt holding me completely against the seat. I then realized that I had blood running down my left arm. I took a quick look and could see a laceration that was totally clean, no rough edges and then realized I could see what I believed was bone. I then put pressure on the area to stop the bleeding. At that point I remember thinking it seemed a long time had passed and no one was coming to see if I was ok. I tried to think how I could get out of my seatbelt, then a man's voice yelling "Are you OK?"

I said yes, I just needed help getting out of my seatbelt, and then there was the sound the Jeep's top being torn. I am still not sure if there was already a hole from going over or if in his panic this man simply tore the top open. He asked me if I was hurt, I told him it was only my elbow. Even though I had seen bone I told him it was bleeding but that I didn't think it was broken, didn't seem to hurt too much. I asked him to get me out of my seatbelt because I couldn't get it. He was initially reluctant to do this, but I told him that I hadn't any other injuries, that I had checked and I was a nurse so to please do this. I recall him reaching up and turning off the engine and me thinking I didn't even realize it was still running. Someone else from outside the Jeep said I don't see or smell any gas but we better get her out of there just in case. The original man and another man got me out by one holding me while the other undid the seat belt. I was then sitting on my passenger side window. A woman came up and told me she used to be an EMT, another woman who obviously was with the first asked if I were ok. I told them I was except for my elbow when I suddenly became very light headed, I stated out loud I thought I was going to pass out, I had become very nausated as well. I recognized that my blood pressure had taken a nose dive, and I seriously feared passing out or vomiting. When I say I feared passing out I really mean I had great fear of losing my grip on what was going on, feeling that it was paramount that I not pass out. The woman who had been an EMT told me to put my head between my knees, which I had started to do but she pushed me forward which put pressure on my elbow as I was still holding it and I told her not to do that because it hurt my arm. After about a minute the feeling that I was going to pass out went away.

Somewhere in all this someone brought me a glass of water, and a towel with ice in it for my elbow. I remember thinking it must be the woman from the house on the corner, they sell fresh vegetables and fresh BBQ. I vaguely recall someone either saying I needed both of those items or someone asking me if I wanted them, I am not sure which.

Once the feeling that I was going to pass out went away I asked one of the ladies to get my cell phone out of my purse, she told me 911 had already been called. I explained I needed to call my husband and my work. I could not make my left arm work so I asked her to dial a number for me, explaining that I was on my way into work as a nurse and that I had to let them know I would not be making it to work. She asked if I wanted to call my husband first, I know it sounds really stupid but I had to call work first because I knew they would have to find a replacement on short notice, and in the nursing world that is a major issue. Patients have to be taken care of no matter what and if there are not enough nurses it means someone has to stay over a shift that is already 12 hours until a replacement can get there. So I called work. Got the charge nurse told her I had rolled my Jeep and that I would not be in. Somehow it made complete sense right at that moment that this was the first phone call I had to make.

Next I had the lady call my husband. First that lady spoke to him, I think she was afraid I would scare him or something, I told her I needed to talk to him and she asked me if I was sure. I said yes and she gave me the phone. I was still having trouble making my left arm move, but in my mind I was sure I had not broke it, it was simply that the impact which was also making my shoulder ache, had made it difficult. I calmly explained to my husband what had happened, that I was essentially ok, and for him to please come.

Shortly thereafter the fire dept came. Some fireman climbed into the back of the Jeep to hold my head to make sure that I kept my spine and head straight just in case I had injured it, a police man asked me what happened, I realized it was a State Trooper and wondered how they got a trooper out here in this rural area so quickly. I told him I had misjudged what was going on in front of me, and briefly outlined the same story of what happened as I have told here. By this time the initial people who helped me had stepped back, I wanted them to still be there though, I was thinking how I needed to get their names so that I could thank them properly, but by now there was the police, the firemen and the EMTs. Someone said to do a walk around the vehicle to make sure gas was not going to ignite and I told them the gentlemen who had initially helped me had already done that. I told everyone who would listen to me that I was a nurse, that I knew I had only injured my elbow and that I wanted to get up now. Finally after trying to figure out how to get me on the back board several times but with me insisting I could get up, the EMS guys allowed me to stand up, at which time they assisted to the cart and into the ambulance I went.

I was asked if I had a preferance as to where I was treated, I told them to take me to my hospital which also was the closest in any case. I remember telling the EMS guys to make sure and get my work bag out of my Jeep because it had my stethoscope in it as well as a couple of rare books I had recently purchased to do research with. While in the ambulance I had the gentleman who was with me get my phone out again so I could call my husband and let him know where I was going. Then I chatted with the EMS guy about little things, I felt completely in control of myself and frankly in the situation. I felt everything was really ok, that I could get the laceration in my elbow sewn up in the ER, it had been wrapped by this point, it stung but the pain did not seem unbearable by any means. I stressed to the EMS guy that I routinely carried a low blood pressure because I did not want him thinking I was going into shock, often my pressure is below a 100 on a good day.

Once in the ER I chatted with the nurse, annoyed the resident who was treating by insisting I was going to use my cell phone there to call my husband again because as I explained, I had to let him know I was now at the hospital and ok. The resident informed me that I could not use my phone as I am talking to my husband, I got off the phone and explained to her the policy of the hospital was I could not use the phone within 6 feet of a medical device and since I was not hooked up to a monitor and was more than 6 feet away from the patient next to me I could use my phone and would if I wanted to. Very unreasonable of me, but at the time completely reasonable. The resident asked me if I needed anything for pain, I told her a vicadin would probably do. I really felt very little pain. In a bit my nurse brought me one vicadin and I took it thinking maybe I didn't even need that but that I probably should take something.

In a bit the nurse came back and told me she was going to give me a tetanus shot unless I had had one recently. Told her not since I started nursing school some 17 or 18 years before. So she was going to give me the shot and I told her no I didn't think I would care to do that. The resident came back and told me that I was going to get an xray of my left arm shortly. So far everything was just the way it was supposed to be, some little gal came in and started asking me about insurance and I was answering her questions when I saw my husband behind her. Me, the nurse who had not cried, who had willed myself not to pass out, who had remained completely calm and analytical then came completely undone. I started to cry, I couldn't stop myself and I tried, I didn't want to cry in front of people that I knew, I found that embarrassing. But I could not help myself. My husband was there and it dawned on me that I could have been dead instead of a simple injury and that he could have been identifying my body instead of coming to be with me.

Shortly thereafter the orthopedic doc on call came in. He started talking about my arm, he told me I had a break. I was a bit surprised, I just had not believed that I had broken it. He explained it was not my arm, but the elbow itself. Next he asked me when was the last time I had eaten, I asked him to repeat himself and he did. I looked at him and said "Are you taking me to surgery?" and he answered yes. I could not believe it, why did I need surgery? The doc, bless his heart, looked at me like I was out of my mind and then spoke slowly and surely. I had an open fracture, it needed to be cleansed and as soon as possible. Did I not tell the resident earlier that I had seen bone when I had looked at it initially? Well yes, but I believed that was because the laceration was very deep. He explained no, it was an open fracture and that I would need to stay a couple days for IV antibiotics.

So I started to cry again, we were supposed to go up to St. Ignace for the Labor Day Weekend and go camping, go do the Bridge Walk, go to the Soo so our youngest could see the locs. I had worked six days in a row, what was to be 8 days in a row so we could do this. I had looked forward to it for six months and now we couldn't go. Somehow the fact that I wasn't dead just injured escaped my thought process. When I said all this to the doc, he asked do you mean camping camping? I said yes, what fun was camping if it was pretend camping? He looked at me and said no camping. No, you cannot go up north. And I wailed, my stupidity had cost my family a trip we were all looking forward to. The doc went out and then came back in and asked if I wanted a narcotic, that apparently I had only asked for a vicadin? He acted like I was out of my mind. I told him I didn't think I needed more. He told me he insisted that I take a narcotic, that I simply was probably having some numbness but in time that would go away.

To make the rest of my story short, I woke up in the recovery room to a nurse I had worked with and liked a great deal. I was very grateful to him. Within an hour of coming around, well enough that they let you leave the recovery room anyway, my elbow was in a great deal of pain. I spent two more days in the hospital, most of which is a blur in my mind, I took a fair amount of pain med.

A little over a week later I had a second surgery to put two screws in my elbow. I was told I had a very unusual break, most have. Some seven physicians looked at the xrays. I may have permanant inability to fully extend and flex my left arm. I am hoping at least it is better than it is right now. I spent 3 weeks in a half cast and ace wraps and initially when it was taken off 5 days ago I had almost no control over that arm at all. Right now I am grateful that I can lift the arm up on it's own without having to take my right and lift the left. I do have better range than I did 5 days ago, but right now I cannot reach my face with my left hand by a good 10 inches, nor can I fully extend my arm. The physician told me I may have some permanent impairment before the second surgery was ever done. Next week I start Occupational therapy and hope that a great difference can be made. I have already compensated to a large extent and can manage to dress myself with no help now, and at least do my hair enough not to look like a wild woman. I am off work until at least the end of November if not more. Hell of a way to get time off.

A good many things have been put in proper perspective. The fact that my college age children seem to think living with their respective significant other is ok is not nearly as distressing as it was. I still don't like it, but don't think it is worth fighting with them about it anymore, it has lost a great deal of importance. What is important is that I still am able to talk with that at all. How horrible it would have been if I had died and the last things I had said to them were harsh things. While I still do not approve, there are better ways to handle it than I have been. I look at my youngest, age 10 now and thank God several times a day for sparing my life. I swear I had an angel riding with me that day. The Jeep was totalled, yet it says something for the construction of the Wrangler when one realizes that I completely rolled my vehicle with a soft top on and the only injury I have is a busted elbow. The roll bars did exactly what they are designed to do. I will buy a Wrangler again.

This is not the true end of the story. My accident occured Aug 30. On Sept 16 in exactly the same place there was a fatal accident. On Sept 19 at the same place there was another car accident fatality. It is an area that used to be a sleepy little rural spot, but with the expansion of the car museum there is much more traffic there, and the cross road that comes up to that intersection has a stop sign that is poorly posted ahead, one comes up on it not expecting to stop. It is my intent to write to MDOT and get the ball rolling to see about changes in that intersection. Hopefully no one else dies first.

I still have a great deal of pain, better than when I was in the hospital and better than it was the first week or so, but still there. The area is still deeply bruised with a fair amount of soft tissue damage so the soft tissue is still swollen. I believe I will have better mobility once that swelling is completely gone. I wonder how much general achiness I will have on cold wet days. In the end though all of that is small in comparison to what could have been.

So hug and kiss your children and remember how precious it is to have them and be alive. I have written little on this blog in the last year as I have been fairly absorbed in researching the cross pollination between liberal protestants and socialism. I had intended initially to write about it all here on this blog, but later I determined the amount of material I had needed to be a written book or a specific website all it's own. It certainly is a story that needs to be told, and given time it is something that I intend to do. For those of us who believe in true freedom it has to be done, and right now I have a couple months worth of time on my hands so it is time to get started at least.

So I close thanking God for the blessing I have, for my children and for my husband. Go to bed at night and think of all the blessing you have, and what others do not. It keeps you humble.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Just who is writing about the cell phone boys in the Detroit Free Press

I think it is always good to put things into perspective.

The Majority of articles on the cell phone boys have been written by Niraj Warikoo, being the curious sort I wondered who he was and how he writes.

The answer? A bit of fearmongering on his part. I actually find it nearly unbelieveable this ended up in the paper.

Please note this is a google cache, but it is an article from the Detroit Free Press, written by the same individual who is trying to convince us the cell phone boys are really just kids trying to make a buck.

Hey, Niraj not asking for anybody to be rounded up and put in concentration camps just asking for the Muslim community to understand the rules apply to them as much as it does to the rest of the country. Including not buying items in bulk that can be used to blow up multitudes.


Just tourists, really!

The boys from Texas buying umpteen cell phones are apparently just regular tourists taking pictures of the Mighty Mac, cause it's just so freaking awesome and all.

The Michigan State police did a press conference a couple days ago letting all of us Michiganders know that all was well, that contrary to earlier reports there was no threat to the Mackinac Bridge, yes, they had pictures but then so does everybody that sees the bridge.

As my husband and I watched the press conference on Channel 8 Wood TV out of Grand Rapids I joked around saying since these guys had receipts from stores in Wisconsin must be they came to Michigan through the Upper Penisula, then down across the bridge where they stopped to take tourist pictures to bring back to the family in Texas, and then continued on to a little town near Bad Ax. Just taking a tour of the beauty of Michigan while buying a 1000 or so cell phones that can be used as detonators for bombs.

Next day that is just what showed up in the Detroit Free Press. (near the bottom)

And what the heck, its all just good business.

Apparently the kind of business that is needed to jump start Michigan's economy, and according to the writer of this drivil, to not embrace his thinking means one is a fearmonger or an xenophobic.

What Mr. Dickerson seems to be having trouble understanding himself is this. It is not immigrants per se that are the problem, it is immigrants who cannot leave behind the norms of the culture they came from and assimulate into the culture that is already here. Once upon a time this was an expected thing from immigrants, today to have that expectation is to be labeled a racist, a nativist, xenophobic, a fearmonger and last but not least, a Nazi.

It is not inappropriate to believe that those who come to my country should follow the laws and cultural norms of said country. Just what kind of business thrives by buying stock from retail instead of wholesale, marks it up and sells it through a "distributor" without even the basic items that come with it, such as a charger for the phones or even an intact package. Simply on the face of it this none of this makes sense from a business perspective. It does make complete sense if one realizes that people operating outside of the law can use these phones that are untraceable and untrackable to do whatever illegal deeds they are doing and are likely to pay good money to remain undetected, apparently very good money since it would be far cheaper for anyone who wants one of these phones to buy them at Walmart AND get the charger with intact packaging.

Currently terrorism primarily relates to people who have a particular religion. It is ludicious to pretend otherwise. To state the arrests of those in Caro Michigan and Marietta Ohio is simply motivated by racism is to live in a world where reality does not exist. A world where the Mafia has no connection to those of Italian descent, where the IRA was not a Catholic based terrorist, and where when the American Communist Party was formed in 1921 the majority of its members were English speaking Americans. In the real world where most of us live the Mafia is certainly connected to those who hailed from Italy once upon a time, the IRA is a Catholic terrorist group committed to killing Protestants and the still thriving Communist Party in America was initially made up of nearly all foreigners with only 10% of its members able to speak English. Mr. Dickerson your socialist slip is showing.

The two boys from Dearborn that had been held in Ohio on terrorist charges are home which is very kindly illustrated in this piece from the Detroit Free Press. Just regular kids out to make a buck, what could be more American than that? After all its just common business practice of Arab American businessmen to load up on various things and resell them. Personally I think they would do much better if they bought in bulk from wholesalers, but maybe I didn't learn the same economics as they did.

This activity is also culturally normal for the Muslim community, it is nonetheless still illegal here. There is a reason only three TRAC phones can be purchased at one time, and it is not all terrorist related, but still is illegal activity. I don't believe we should encourage either of them.

It is worth noting there is strong support for Hezbelloh in Dearborn, just as there was once strong support for the IRA in Catholic circles in Ireland as well as in some areas of America. It is worth noting that in 1916 the IRA had what was called the Easter Rising, that the weapons for that were supplied by Germany, than at war with England, and that it was done under the auspices of a leading Human Rights Campaigner, Sir Roger Casement. Those weapons did not make it to the IRA, but not because of the want of trying. 90 years later we have the same situation, different religions. Hezbelloh is supplied by a foreign government that wishes to use proxies against its enemy, the terrorist group is supported by those that deem themselves people just fighting for human rights. During WWII, the pro-German leanings of the IRA are well documented. There is in fact, a great deal of fellow traveling between those who are Nationalist and those who are Socialist, the Nazi's being the most prominent. Yes, Virginia, the Nazi's were socialists, just not socialists who were communists. And the Arab Muslims hatred of Israel and its inhabitants are rooted in Arab Nationalism, with intimate ties to the Nazi's at one time.

The reality is it is not those who want the truth of the terrorist situation recognized who are the Fascists/Nazi's. It is those who seek to cover up the truth who are the Fascists.

To understand this situation it is imperative to understand the history of socialism. The Fascists/Nazi's and the Communists were branches off the same socialist tree. One grew to the left, one grew to the right. But the roots for both were socialism. It is often noted that Hezbelloh runs various social services for the people of Lebanon, well so did the Nazi's for the Germans, in fact the Nazi's deliberatedly removed a great many social services from the Lutheran church and into the Nazi orbit instead. Just take a look at the early structure of the Nazi's previous to their take over of power and the structure of Hezbelloh and Hamas. The Nazi's were a state within a state. In today's language they would be militants operating to give care and sustanance to a German people who were completely downtrodden by the German losses in WWI, and the Jewish bankers. Turn that same thing into the whine heard from throughout the Muslim world. The various terrorist groups are simply militants seeking to redress the wrongs inflicted on a Muslim world by Imperialists, and of course the Jews. Listen to the rants of Hitler and tell me you cannot hear his echo in the speeches of today's Muslim terrorists as they seek to excuse their nationalist behavior because "their people" have been so badly treated.

It is not normal business practices to buy items from a retailer in bulk to resell elsewhere for profit. It is to a wholesaler one would look to if one truly intended on making a decent profit. However if one wished to hide what one was doing, buying multiple items that can be used for various illegal enterprises, it would only make good sense to not buy in bulk where it can be noted easily, but instead to buy just enough under in various small communities around the country and to make a profit from those who are willing to pay well to have said items without an easy trace.

So just regular tourists my ass. Maybe not terrorists, but not all around aw shucks good boys either. And it ain't the Baptists threatening to blow airplanes out of the sky.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Terrorism links in Michigan-annual bridge walk

3 men of Middle Eastern descent have been arraigned in Caro Michigan on terrorist charges after authorities found them in possession of approximately 1000 cell phones, which may be used to detonate improvised bombs. It is being reported that authorities are concerned the Mackinac Bridge was a target.

What most outside Michigan are not going to know is that over Labor Day weekend Michigan has an annual bridge walk. The bridge is partially closed to motor traffic and those that wish to do so walk the bridge, which spans 5 miles connecting the Upper and Lower Penisula's. If you follow that link note how many people participate. This is something my husbands family has done for a number of years, and something that we planned on doing with them this year.

So far there is no indication as to what makes authorities believe that the Mackinac was targeted, it is simply knowing that the bridge walk is coming up and how many thousands are on that bridge is what made me connect the two. If these three men are not terrorists, not to mention the other two recently arrested in Marietta Ohio that are from the Dearborn area, all I can say is that they are fairly stupid people doing what they are doing.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mark Steyn says it all

Go here and start asking questions America.


Mayor New Orleans-Gov. Delayed by 24 hours

From an interview on CNN.

S. O'BRIEN: There are people who say your evacuation plan, obviously in hindsight, was disastrous.


S. O'BRIEN: Your evacuation plan before -- when you put people into the Superdome. It wasn't thought out. You got 20,000 people in there. And that you bear the brunt of the blame for some of this, a large chunk of it.

NAGIN: Look, I'll take whatever responsibility that I have to take. But let me ask you this question: When you have a city of 500,000 people, and you have a category 5 storm bearing down on you, and you have the best you've ever done is evacuate 60 percent of the people out of the city, and you have never issued a mandatory evacuation in the city's history, a city that is a couple of hundred years old, I did that. I elevated the level of distress to the citizens.

And I don't know what else I could do, other than to tell them that it's a mandatory evacuation. And if they stayed, make sure you have a frigging ax in your home, where you can bust out the roof just in case the water starts flowing.

And as a last resort, once this thing is above a category 3, there are no buildings in this city to withstand a category 3, a category 4 or a category 5 storm, other than the Superdome. That's where we sent people as a shelter of last resort. When that filled up, we sent them to the Convention Center. Now, you tell me what else we could have done.

S. O'BRIEN: What has Secretary Chertoff promised you? What has Donald Rumsfeld given you and promised you?

NAGIN: Look, I've gotten promises to -- I can't stand anymore promises. I don't want to hear anymore promises. I want to see stuff done. And that's why I'm so happy that the president came down here, because I think they were feeding him a line of bull also. And they were telling him things weren't as bad as it was.

He came down and saw it, and he put a general on the field. His name is General Honore. And when he hit the field, we started to see action.

And what the state was doing, I don't frigging know. But I tell you, I am pissed. It wasn't adequate.

And then, the president and the governor sat down. We were in Air Force One. I said, 'Mr. President, Madam Governor, you two have to get in sync. If you don't get in sync, more people are going to die.'

S. O'BRIEN: What date was this? When did you say that? When did you say...

NAGIN: Whenever air Force One was here.


NAGIN: And this was after I called him on the telephone two days earlier. And I said, 'Mr. President, Madam Governor, you two need to get together on the same page, because of the lack of coordination, people are dying in my city.'

S. O'BRIEN: That's two days ago.

NAGIN: They both shook -- I don't know the exact date. They both shook their head and said yes. I said, 'Great.' I said, 'Everybody in this room is getting ready to leave.' There was senators and his cabinet people, you name it, they were there. Generals. I said, 'Everybody right now, we're leaving. These two people need to sit in a room together and make a doggone decision right now.'

S. O'BRIEN: And was that done?

NAGIN: The president looked at me. I think he was a little surprised. He said, "No, you guys stay here. We're going to another section of the plane, and we're going to make a decision."

He called me in that office after that. And he said, "Mr. Mayor, I offered two options to the governor." I said -- and I don't remember exactly what. There were two options. I was ready to move today. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision.

S. O'BRIEN: You're telling me the president told you the governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision?


S. O'BRIEN: Regarding what? Bringing troops in?

NAGIN: Whatever they had discussed. As far as what the -- I was abdicating a clear chain of command, so that we could get resources flowing in the right places.

S. O'BRIEN: And the governor said no.

NAGIN: She said that she needed 24 hours to make a decision. It would have been great if we could of left Air Force One, walked outside, and told the world that we had this all worked out. It didn't happen, and more people died.


S. O'BRIEN: The mayor making it clear that much politicking was going on, even as people here were continuing to suffer. The mayor clearly thinking that the governor did way too little, way too late for her part.

We put a call into Governor Blanco's office. They declined to come on our show this morning and talk to us. Her spokesperson did say, though, that it was a -- this was a tragedy now that was being reduced to politics.

Transcript here


Saturday, September 03, 2005

What is the real cause of the outcome from Katrina?

As Katrina was preparing to hit land I watched the news, and as many people in the country did I breathed a sigh of relief when it appeared that the storm would not end up being as bad as it first appeared it would.

The aftermath initially was bad, as bad as some of the other big hurricanes in this country had been, yet it appeared to me and apparently many who stayed in New Orleans that the worst of it had passed. They crept out of their houses and peeked about and thought ok, we escaped the worst of it. A great deal of damage to be sure, one only needed to look at coast of Mississippi to see that, but still it seemed the great catastrophe had not come.

When I don't work I watch the news quite a bit, I troll through various news sites and blogs and generally keep up with what is going on in the world. I suppose one could call me a real news and political junkie. But on the days I work I have little time for much more than eating, sleeping and working. As any nurse who works 12 hour shifts can tell you, that's just the way it works. Because I work nights I prefer to do all my shifts in a row as it makes it easier for my sleeping schedule. So on the nights I work I catch a bit of news here and there, but usually not much more than half an hour or so before I eat dinner and get around for work. So it was quite a shock when I got up Wednesday afternoon to find that 80% of New Orleans was under water. As I watched the news and found out the levees had not held, that the Mayor of New Orleans was saying it was likely that thousands of people would die, I just kept thinking what? On top of the images of devastation that were projected into my living room where also images of people happily looting whatever wasn't nailed down.

One image regarding the looting remains with me. Two black men walking away with clothes, one also carrying along with the clothes what appeared to me to be a DVD player. A burly black policeman pointed a shotgun at the two of them yelling "put it down" the two men did so, pitching what they had into the knee deep water all were wading through, but what really struck me was the attitude of the two looters. They seemed entirely unconcerned that theyhad a shotgun that I presume was loaded, pointed at them. They grinned and goofed as they threw down the items in their arms and wandered away from the police officer, still laughing and grinning as if they were out for a party.

As I watched my little bit of half hour news that day, I ,like most of the world it appears, could not help but notice that the vast majority of people left in New Orleans were black. Too poor one imagines to easily get out of New Orleans. Does it stand to reason than that the looters are simply a black poor underclass that by and large are taking advantage of a time to get what they don't have? Not to my mind.

It is quite true that the majority left in New Orleans are black and poor, it is also quite true that the majority are not looters, nor are the majority those that have shot at rescue helicopters or personnel, nor are a majority those who have attacked police officers or people who did have vehicles but still opted to stay who were now trying to get out and were carjacked.

So just who are these people who are not simply taking the necessities of life? I begrude no one for taking food and water, in the same circumstances I could imagine myself taking food and water from a store in order to ensure my children's survival. However, that is not what was taking place in New Orleans. What instead took place was a criminal class of people who were taking advantage of a situation to mass prey on the same people they have preyed on for years. The black poor underclass. This criminal element is not only stealing whatever is not nailed down, they are killing those who are trying to survive to get whatever they can from them, they are raping little girls, they are shooting at the very people who are trying to help. It is these people who have made a horrid situation into the unbearable and untenable thing it is now.

The political left of the American spectrum are busy blaming the Bush Administration for the hurricane to begin with. They screech that by not signing the Kyoto Agreement and acknowledging that global warming is a fact, the hurricane itself is the fault of the current adminstration in Washington. It is also the Bush Adminstrations fault that the levees did not hold, it is also their fault that National guard troops were not there even before the levees broke, because you know all the National guard are in Iraq. Facts don't seem to get in the way of the American left, since a quick look at hurricanes previous to Katrina would show catagory 4 and 5 hurricanes were more prevalent in the 1930's and 1960's than today. It would also show that the decision regarding the levees predate the Bush Adminstration quite a bit, not to mention that this country functions under Federalism which means the state has responsibility for certain things prior to the Federal Government. Thats a simplification I realize, but nonetheless Louisiana itself had responsiblity for much before the Federal government did. And lastly the fact that 75% of the National Guard remain in the United States certainly doesn't seem to get in the way of the left yelling about Iraq, thereby blaming the Iraq war for the response of the government.

Let's get down to some brass tacks shall we?

To me the reality is this. An act of nature took place. A storm the size of Katrina may be rare but it is not unpreceded, again look at the statistics regarding this. Levees failed, not completely unanticipated given a storm of the size of Katrina. It seems people who deal with this kind of thing, as well as those who lived in New Orleans were well aware it would happen if a storm the size of Katrina made it to New Orleans, however there seems to have been a thought process that the city could make it on a wing and a prayer, in other words, wishful thinking that it would never really happen. A bit like the young man who goes out drunk driving under the belief that bad things only happen to other people, but not to me. So that young man goes out driving drunk and wonders how he managed to kill someone. So what no one seems to have wanted to acknowledge could ever really happen did.

48 hours before the storm a mandatory evacuation order was sent out, but some people did not evacuate. The majority because they had very little means to do so, some because they opted to stay for a variety of reasons. The storm went through, and it appeared the levees held. As the world now knows they didn't. Which takes us to the violence and anarchy that followed.

So here are some things that the political left, as they attempt to use this disaster to their political ends, won't say. And which have more bearing on the outcome of this disaster then not signing the Kyoto agreement or where National Guards troops are ever did or will.

Much previous to Katrina showing up on the shores of Louisina, that state has struggled consistantly with political corruption that is not a new problem for that state. The FBI has a New Orleans Crime Commission. Here are a few remarks made in March 2004 by Lou Reigel, special agent in charge of that Commission.

While terrorism is our top priority and has redefined our mission, the FBI's criminal responsibilities remain an important part of the work we do, and public corruption remains the number one criminal program in the FBI. It is certainly the number one criminal program in the NO office. It is said that money is the root of all evil. While I don't know if that's true, it is at the root of most public corruption – whether legislative, regulatory, judicial or law enforcement.
There is good reason for it being at the top of our list of criminal priorities, and the reason is this: like you, we in the FBI believe that public corruption is among the most serious of criminal violations. It is a betrayal of the public's sacred trust. If allowed to grow, public corruption permeates all aspects of society and affects all other criminal priorities. And if allowed to spread unchecked, public corruption can threaten the very foundation of democracy.
Theodore Roosevelt said, "No man who is corrupt, no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his duty by the community." Here Roosevelt identified a truth at the heart of why public corruption is a serious threat to the fabric of our society. Corrupt public officials are inherently compromised, and that corrupt behavior can migrate into every facet of our society. Regardless of their talents and their accomplishments, corrupt officials break down the order, confidence and trust of society. They allow illicit drugs and weapons to flow freely; organized crime to operate with impunity; and open the door for terrorists who threaten our way of life.
To address the PC program in Louisiana, the New Orleans office has two PC squads and my intention is to place a PC squad in the Baton Rouge Resident Agency this summer. The New Orleans office has several ongoing investigations and historically has made significant inroads into the public corruption area. Last year, as the 19th in size of our 56 field offices, the FBI in Louisiana was 10th in public corruption indictments with 24, and number 6 in public corruption convictions. Public corruption in Louisiana has been described to me as epidemic, endemic, and entrenched. No branch of government is exempt. Public corruption investigations are among the most complicated, often requiring years of effort to make a case. That is why working with our partners in law enforcement and civic organizations, like the Metropolitan Crime Commission, is essential for the successful prosecution of significant cases. Joint investigations with federal, state, and local law enforcement counterparts are conducted whenever possible. Investigations involving public officials must be coordinated in order to ensure that we are able to address sophisticated conspiracies using the best investigative techniques.

To stress-Public Corruption allows and in fact, encourages criminal elements in society to thrive, and this is exactly what occurred in New Orleans, to the end of the spectacule that we have witnessed in Katrina's aftermath.

A great many people left in New Orleans then were criminal elements that have thrived in the climate of corruption that premeates the political system of the city as well as a great many poor who rely on the government to take care of them on a good day. Katrina did not turn innocent desperate citizens into criminals, nor did society at large simply neglect those poor who remained in the city.

Unlike the majority of big cities, New Orleans has a murder rate that is going up, despite some progress made in the mid 90's. New Orleans has been called the murder capital of America much previous to Katrina. Failure to put criminals behind bars has led to the wanton looting as well as murder following Katrina's landfall.

Combine this then, with the mindset of socialism that has breed a poor underclass that seems intractable. That mindset, which a large portion of black Americans have taken as gosbel, assisted in the horror we are now witnessing in New Orleans. Blacks are not the only group in America that has fallen for what America's socialists pass out as placebos. They are the group however that perhaps has been affected by it the worst. There is a cultural mileu within the black underclass that escrews education as a way to get ahead in society, that winks and nods at criminal activity as a right of the have nots against those of the haves. The problem with that however, is the criminal element does not most often prey on the middle class, they prey instead of the culture that enables them. To speak outloud the social ills of the black underclass in this country means I run the risk of being labeled a racist, however I believe that speaking out about this is so important I am willing to run that risk.

One cannot get out of poverty by having children with no expectation that the father of that child will be in the childs life. By 1990 64% of black children were born to unmarried mothers. One can argue the causes, however it should be clear that irregardless of what particular cause one may argue, out of wedlock births have become a cultural norm in this particular section of America. The statistics on the jail rate for black America should be just as shocking. By mid year 2004 there were 4,919 black male prison and jail inmates per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared to 1,717 hispanic male inmates per 100,000 hispanic male Americans, and 717 white male inmates per 100,000 white male Americans.

The tempation to simply lay these statistics down to subtle and "institutional" racism on the part of the white America is simply too great for both many in the black community as well as white socialists also known as the American Left. Unwilling and therefore unable, to tackle the cultural mileu that has led to the social problems of the black underclass those ills are blamed on racism, on lack of money because of racism, on subtle race based hiring practices etc... I do not deny that racism exists, because of course it does. I do deny however, that racism is the dominant issue here. The dominant issue here is a cultural mileu that has come to encourage out of wedlock births as well as criminal activity that in the end preys on those that have the most to lose from it. What is lacking here is not a social net, as hole filled as it is. What is lacking is a sense of personal responsibility for ones life. And that is where the failings of socialism comes into play.

It matters not what tools are provided whether it comes from the state or private charity, if those tools are not used to build a life that is tenable. To utilize those tools one must be willing to take some sort of personal responsiblity, but America's left is not too big on personal responsiblity, instead they take it as a given from the very ideology that socialism is built on that the state is itself responsible for it's citizens, with little to no responsiblity being placed with the individual or even within a culture/society as a whole.

So in New Orleans we have witnessed the converging of political corruption that has enabled and encouraged a criminal class to flourish, a black underclass that has been most often preyed on by the criminal class as well as a cultural mileu that allows and encourages behavior that nearly guarantees perpetual poverty.

From a Detroit Free Press article August 22, just days before Hurricane Katrina.
Corruption has also hampered severely New Orleans ability to turn out jobs. Taken from commentary in a Louisiana publication written 8/16/05, again just shortly before Hurricane Katrina.

Only one in four people arrested in the city for murder is eventually convicted, according to a recent study by the New Orleans Police Foundation, a private nonprofit group. According to the study, 42% of serious crime cases reviewed by prosecutors -- about 22,000 -- were turned away between 2002 and 2004 because the cases weren't deemed suitable for court.
District Attorney Eddie Jordan said the lack of eyewitness testimony was one reason for the dropped cases. New Orleans has had such a problem with retaliation against witnesses -- including murder -- that the district attorney's office took the unusual step of starting a local witness protection program.
Witnesses may also be reluctant to talk to police because of allegations of police brutality and corruption.

From commentary in a Louisiana Publication, written 8/16/05 again just before Hurricane Katrina.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco will lead a trade mission next month to the Pacific Rim countries of Japan, China and South Korea. Meanwhile, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Congressman William Jefferson returned over the weekend from a one-week trade trip to Brazil with local business leaders, as well as federal, state and city officials. Louisiana ranks seventh among U.S. states exporting goods to Brazil, says Jefferson, who led a similar mission there in 2002. New trade opportunities cannot come soon enough for jobs-starved Louisiana. "We are continuing to capitalize on New Orleans' natural strengths by expanding into international markets," Nagin said just before leaving for Brazil on Aug. 6.
Unfortunately, Louisiana's notorious "weakness" in the economic development arena -- a decades-old reputation for widespread public corruption -- continues to undercut our efforts in competitive markets. Recent federal corruption investigations only reinforce that image.
Congressman Jefferson, for example, now finds himself at the center of the most sensational federal probe of a Louisiana official since former Gov. Edwin Edwards was convicted of corruption charges in 2000. Days before Jefferson left for Brazil, FBI agents in New Orleans and Washington executed search warrants on his vehicle, residences and offices. The focus of the investigation is not yet clear. Jefferson is entitled to the presumption of innocence and his day in court, if it comes to that.
The Jefferson raids coincide with, but are apparently unrelated to, the recent federal corruption conviction of the congressman's brother-in-law, Judge Alan Green of Jefferson Parish. Green's conviction capped a six-year federal investigation of the parish courthouse that sent others to prison, including former Judge Ronald Bodenheimer.
In New Orleans, ongoing federal investigations of city government have shone a spotlight on family members and associates of former Mayor Marc Morial. Morial's uncle Glenn Haydel, a former manager of the Regional Transit Authority, is accused of diverting $550,000 in RTA funds into his personal accounts. Haydel denies any wrongdoing.
In another federal case, 10 people have been charged in an alleged scheme to skim hundreds of thousands of dollars from an $81 million energy management contract that Morial signed with Johnson Controls of Milwaukee while in office. Among the indicted are Morial associates Stan "Pampy" Barre, a restaurateur, and Kerry DeCay, who served as Morial's property management director.
As of this writing, the feds have taken no action against Morial's brother, Jacques Morial, since crashing through his front door with a battering ram more than a year ago. Jacques Morial, who assumed the chair of the LIFE political organization from his brother late last year, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. The former mayor, now national president of the National Urban League, has declined comment on the ongoing investigations, which also include the Orleans Parish School Board and Traffic Court.
Local U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says the investigations are far from over. And New Orleans is not alone. U.S. Attorney David Dugas of Baton Rouge says a probe of corruption in Livingston Parish has led to the federal prosecution of the parish president and a guilty plea by a parish councilman.
In an apparently unrelated case, both Dugas and Letten are prosecuting media consultant Ray Reggie on bank fraud charges. Reggie reportedly is cooperating with federal investigators in a political corruption probe of top Democratic Party officials.
The FBI says Louisiana last year ranked third in the nation in public corruption cases. Since the FBI sent in extra agents last October, Louisiana is one of only five FBI jurisdictions with two public corruption squads. The feds also hope to establish a presence in North Louisiana in the future. Visit the "inmate locater" link of the federal Bureau of Prisons Web site (, and you can find former Louisiana officials dating to 1982 -- blacks and whites, Republicans and Democrats, from across the state.
All of these developments -- old as well as recent -- give our state the image of a Third World country where bribes and kickbacks grease the wheels of government for a select few. It's not just an image problem; it is rooted in reality. Louisiana traditionally ranks among the most corrupt states in the nation, according to a 2004 report by the Corporate Crime Reporter for the National Press Club.
Our dubious reputation extends overseas, too. For example, the Japanese relocated much of their business from New Orleans to Houston long ago, citing Louisiana corruption as a factor, according to Benjamin Wren, a professor of Japanese history at Loyola University.
Cleaning up our image starts with cleaning up our act. It's encouraging that the feds are leading the charge on that front. But the truth is Louisiana must pull itself up by its own bootstraps -- and be squeaky clean for at least 10 years -- to change its image. We can start by recognizing that our image of corruption costs us jobs. If we don't change things, we will continue to get what we deserve -- corruption, cronyism and a lousy economy.

So while the socialists of America are busy blaming the human tragedy and crisis in New Orleans on globla warming, federal cuts of funding for the levees, the war in Iraq and whatever other sundry issues dear to their hearts, I think it would behoove classic liberalists to take the offensive and point out what created the criminal class that not only looted stores and robbed fellow citizens, but actively interferred with rescue efforts as well as what has in large part supported the black underclass that got the brunt of it all.

This was a tragedy years in the making. One cannot completely dismiss the thinking that allowed the levees to be overwhelmed, but I do think it is a terrible mistake to believe that the rescue efforts were slow in coming. I say that because a dear friend of mine made a trip to Tampa Florida over the weekend in order to get her son who needed her assistance, totally unrelated to the Hurricane, and reported that both on the way to Florida and on the way back she saw rescue vehicles and crews on the highway at nearly every step of the trip. Rescue efforts were hampered by the failure of the levees as well as the behavior many who were stranded. And it is a mistake to lay it all on the door of the Bush Administration.

Though perhaps I should not expect less from people who seem to be much more focused on their own politics than they are on what is needed in the here and now to assist people who are in a situation that can hardly be properly described by words. If we are to properly analyze what went wrong to hopefully ensure it doesn't again as much as humanly possible, than we must not allow only the American Socialists to set the agenda.