Plant Trees SF Events 2005 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021



What\'s even more scary is if you look into FEMA\'s budget. Only 6%, count them 1...2...3...4...5...6 100ths of the funding they recieve from the Federal budget (i.e. US citizen tax dollars) ACTUALLY goes into any sort of emergency preparedness plans and supplies for the public. The bulk majority of it goes into building underground shelters similar the one a mile under the Whitehouse for the wealthy elite to escape into when the nukes and other mass-destructive weapons start flying. Make no mistake, FEMA isn\'t there to help anybody but the ruling class to perpetuate its ability to rule after catastrophe. It\'s not there to rebuild a harmonious society, it\'s not there to help the general public. It\'s there to keep those in power in power after it all goes down the drain. And it\'s taking a LOT of money away from helping people that actually do need it NOW, and may even more after Rita, depending on what the weather holds. Most importantly, unless somebody is ready to come up with a way and is willing to examine and countermand executive orders, then there\'s little anybody can do about FEMA\'s existence, its funding or its methods in this day and age. Unfortunately that\'s the sad reality that most people in this society choose to support and participate in every single day. 

O  in response to: FEMA\'S SINISTER REAL PURPOSE  

Although the story lists some near-unbelievable information about FEMA refusing all aid,\'s all true. Here are the sources (not shown in the article): 

FEMA Urged First Responders Not To Respond To Hurricane Areas. While the situation in New Orleans became increasingly worse, FEMA issued a press release urging all fire and emergency services departments not to respond to counties and states affected by Hurricane Katrina without being requested and lawfully dispatched by state and local authorities. [FEMA Press Release, 8/29/05,

FEMA Refuses to Ship Trailers to Mississippi To Help With Relief Efforts. \"Senator Trent Lott called on President Bush to authorize the immediate release of 20,000 trailers sitting idle in Atlanta. Lott said FEMA has refused to ship the trailers because of red tape and paperwork.\" [CNN, 9/6/05] 

FEMA Turned Away Generators. According to Ben Morris, the mayor of Slidell, Louisiana, \"We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators; we\'ve heard that they\'ve gone around seizing equipment from our contractors.\" [Associated Press, 9/6/05] 

FEMA Would Not Let Red Cross Deliver Food to New Orleans. As the National Guard delivered food to the New Orleans convention center, American Red Cross officials said that FEMA authorities would not allow them to do the same. \"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans,\" said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross. [Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 9/4/05] 

FEMA Turned Away Trucks Filled With Water, Prevented Coast Guard From Delivering Fuel, and Cut Communication Lines Of Local Officials. According to Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, when Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water, FEMA officials turned them away. Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish\'s emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA. [New York Times, 9/5/05] 

FEMA Failed to Utilize Navy Ship With 600-Bed Hospital. \"While federal officials scramble to get more military relief to Gulf Coast communities stricken by Hurricane Katrina, a massive naval goodwill station has been cruising offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, underused and waiting for a larger role in the effort... But the Bataan\'s hospital facilities are empty... The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship... The role in the relief effort of the sizable medical staff on board the Bataan was not up to the Navy, but to FEMA officials directing the overall effort.\" [Chicago Tribune, 9/4/05] 

FEMA Refused Amtrak\'s Offer Of Trains To Evacuate Victims. \"Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) accused the Federal Emergency Management Agency of \'dragging its feet\' when Amtrak offered trains to evacuate victims. \'Offers of medicine, communications equipment and other desperately needed items continue to flow in, only to be ignored by the agency,\' she said.\" [Financial Times, 9/5/05] 

FEMA Delays Acceptance of Tens of Millions in Foreign Aid. \"Offers of foreign aid worth tens of millions of dollars -- including a Swedish water purification system, a German cellular telephone network and two Canadian rescue ships -- have been delayed for days awaiting review by backlogged federal agencies, according to European diplomats and information collected by the State Department... More than 90 countries and international organizations [have] offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements, in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.\" [Washington Post, 9/7/05] 

Federal Government Has Neglected Disaster Preparedness, Left Enormous Vulnerabilities. Disaster and emergency experts have warned for years that governments, especially the federal government, have put so much stress on disaster response that they have neglected policies to minimize a disaster\'s impact in advance. Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, said \"It\'s going to be very evident that there were an enormous number of vulnerabilities that weren\'t addressed. There\'s going to be a lot of finger-pointing.\" [Newhouse News Service, 8/31/05] 

Federal Auditors Criticized Administration Emergency Response Plans In 2004. A March 2004 General Accounting Office report disclosed that not one of 23 major departments and agencies it investigated had fully complied with a 1998 presidential directive to develop emergency plans complying with FEMA guidelines. The GAO faulted FEMA for inadequate oversight of agencies\' plans and for a lack of detail in supplied guidance, noting, \"If FEMA does not address these shortcomings, agency... plans may not be effective in ensuring that the most vital government services can be maintained in an emergency.\" [Washington Post, 3/31/04] 

Bush Was Warned That First Responders\' Training Did Not Focus Enough On Natural Disasters. \"A report from the congressional General Accounting Office says the Bush Administration was warned this summer that some first responders were concerned their training and equipment was tilting too much toward combating terrorism rather than natural disasters... The emphasis changed once the Federal Emergency Management Agency lost its independence and joined the 22-agency Homeland Security Department in March 2003.\" [Associated Press, 9/6/05] 

Bureaucratic Reconfigurations Have Stripped FEMA Of Its Focus. When FEMA was folded into the Department of Homeland Security, it became part of the new department\'s prime focus on terrorism, not winds or floods. The result has been shakeups and reconfigurations that have left the old agency stripped of many of its funding programs and some of its money, prompting cries of protest from emergency managers across the country. [Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 8/16/04] 

Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt: Extra Bureaucracy Hindered FEMA\'s Success. Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt told the House Government Reform Committee in 2004: \"I want you to know that I and many others in the emergency management community across the country are deeply concerned about the direction FEMA is headed. First, we are greatly concerned that the successful partnership that was built between local/state/federal partners and their ability to communicate, coordinate, train, prepare, and respond has been sharply eroded. Second, FEMA... is being buried beneath a massive bureaucracy whose main and seemingly only focus is fighting terrorism while an all hazards mission is getting lost in the shuffle. I firmly believe that FEMA should be extracted from the DHS bureaucracy and re-establish it as an independent agency reporting directly to the President... Third, the FEMA Director has lost Cabinet status and along with it the close relationship to the President and Cabinet Affairs.\" [House Government Reform Committee, 3/24/04] 

Bush Tried To Cut Post-Disaster Relief Funds For Victims of Natural Disasters. In 2003, Bush proposed a budget that cut immediate post-disaster relief funds. Bush would put $300 million in the disaster-preparation grants programs. Post-disaster grants averaged more than $380 million a year from 1996 through 2001, not including money allocated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. [The Ledger, 2/6/03] 

Disaster Mitigation Programs Slashed Since 2001. Since 2001, key federal disaster mitigation programs, developed over many years, have been slashed and tossed aside. FEMA\'s Project Impact, a model mitigation program created by the Clinton Administration, has been canceled outright. Federal funding of post-disaster mitigation efforts designed to protect people and property from the next disaster has been cut in half, and now communities across the country must compete for pre-disaster mitigation dollars. [Baltimore City Paper, 9/29/04] 

 * In 2003 White House Slashed Mitigation Programs In Half. President Bush tried to kill the FEMA\'S Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), which provides an extra percentage of federal disaster aid to states and communities so they can prepare for future catastrophes. As a result, in 2003, Congress approved a White House proposal to cut HMGP in half. Such post-disaster mitigation efforts, specialists say, are a crucial way of minimizing future losses. [Gambit Weekly, 9/28/04; The Ledger, 8/18/04] 



By any other name, FEMA remains this nation\'s \"secret government,\" with powers to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant, hold citizens without a trial, seize control of all transportation and communication systems and -- suspend the US Constitution: Sheila Samples 

While everyone bashes FEMA ~ I have always been troubled by the power that it wielded during the Katrina crisis ~ stopping convoys in their tracks , refusing help to thousands, barring delivery of food to those in desperate need and seizing control of all communication and transportation systems.\" 
Then my friend Sheila Samples uncovered the obvious ~ and revealed \" By any other name, FEMA remains this nation\'s \"secret government,\" with powers to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant, hold citizens without a trial, seize control of all transportation and communication systems and -- suspend the US Constitution.\" 
Of course, now it so obvious ~ FEMA has become the enforcer for the grand and sinister designs of the Department of Homeland Security and Patriot Act Two ~ which is why it was totally confused when it was asked to play a humanitarian role in a natural disaster. 
Which is why Brown was replaced by a military type ( Vice-Admiral Allen ) today ~ which is one step closer to its original military purpose. 
Sheila calls it the SNAFU plan and reveals FEMA for what it really is. And this is why the Cheney/Bush administration want to lead the investigation of FEMA ~ and keep it\'s real paranoid purpose under wraps. 
Excerpt: \" FEMA is the Patriot Act on crack. Once its powers are unleashed, Oliver North\'s REX 84 \"exercise\" will become a reality. The Constitution will be suspended and FEMA will have the right to detain or seize the property of anyone even suspected of engaging in, or who might be thinking of conspiring with others to engage in acts of espionage or sabotage. REX 84 also advocated rounding up and transferring to \"assembly centers or relocation camps\" of at least 21 million American Negroes in the event of massive rioting or disorder, not unlike the rounding up of the Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.\" 
 Allen L Roland 

By Sheila Samples 

\"A government that terrorizes its own people can never stop. If such a government ever lets the fear subside and rational thought return to the populace, that government is finished.\" 
 ~Michael Rivero, What Really Happened 

It\'s a good thing President George Bush doesn\'t read newspapers or watch TV. If he did, even he could see that people from one end of this nation to the other are rapidly reaching zero tolerance with his bumbling ineptitude each time he is faced with a crisis. Those who watched in amazement as Bush sat paralyzed in a Florida elementary school on the morning of September 11, 2001 as planes were ramming into the World Trade Center and Pentagon -- who watched in dismay as he zigzagged across the country from one hidey hole to another throughout the day -- were not surprised that he dropped the ball when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast on August 29. 
Bush has dropped every ball thrown to him throughout his life. But he\'s a hell of a cheerleader. It\'s almost like being back in college. In an instant, Bush can whip a crowd into a frenzy, armed with nothing but a bullhorn and a shell-shocked firefighter. He can divert the attention of an entire nation from what is happening on the field by locking it into one massive, cheering \"wave.\" Life is a game. Go Team. 
However, Operation Hurricane Katrina is vastly different from Bush\'s \"freedom is on the march\" game that continues to wreak chaos, death and destruction throughout the Arab world. In the aftermath of Katrina, the homeless, bewildered, abandoned and starving citizens may be poverty-striken, they may be dark-skinned, but they are Americans. And, because they are Americans, the cheering has stopped. The media, led by the shaking outrage of CNN\'s Anderson Cooper and right-leaning curmudgeon Jack Cafferty, followed by the networks and, finally, by the wonderous on-air meltdown of Fox News\' Shepard Smith, at long last is doing its job. For a time, however fleeting, the media has been shocked into telling the truth, asking the right questions and holding the administration\'s feet to the fire. 
Thanks to the media, Bush is out there without a bullhorn -- and without a game plan. 
The best-laid plans 
Of course the neoconservatives who are in control of this country had a plan for Iraq. I\'ve written about it so often I\'m almost embarrassed to bring it up again. In 1992, Dick Cheney, Lewis Libby and Paul Wolfowitz laid out their obsesson for world dominance in a secret document, Defense Planning Guidance wherein they boldly asserted, \"our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region (Middle East and SW Asia) and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region\'s oil.\" 
Although such arrogance caused a furor when released to the media, the war jackals merely retreated into their lair and continued to hone the policy of preemptive war to seize control of the world\'s resources. That was the plan then, it was the plan in 1997 when they established the warmongering think-tank, Project for a New American Century, it was the plan outlined in the September 2000 Rebuilding America\'s Defenses, which included another bold assertion -- to achieve their goal they would need \"a catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor\" -- and it remains the plan today. 
It was a stroke of genius in 2000 to rig the election and put George Bush in the Cheerleader in Chief role. Bush is mean-spirited, vindictive, greedy, incapable of feeling empathy, easily manipulated, desperate for attention -- even adulation -- and has no qualms with playing the God card for political gain. Americans are a forgiving people, and most accepted without question this worthless, former booze-and-drug sodden ne\'er-do-well\'s claim that he was born again -- a man of God. They loved him. All Cheney had to do was select himself as Number Two, slip behind the curtain, and the cabal -- as they like to call themselves -- was open for business, and waiting for a new Pearl Harbor. 
It was not long in coming. If 9-11 taught us nothing else, we must ultimately concede that George Bush entered office on his way to war with Iraq, and had no qualms about lying repeatedly to the American people and to our allies to get there. Piles of dead bodies, including nearly 2,100 coalition soldiers and marines and tens of thousands of Iraqis, the majority of whom are women and children, are but a minor irritant to Bush. That part of humanity not belonging to the corporate world is invisible to Bush, nothing more than collateral damage, and is not factored into his \"war plan.\" 
Long before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, just as before 9-11, administration officials were warned of impending peril. Although they played out the frightening scenario in rehearsal after rehearsal, when it was \"show time\" they were nowhere to be found. They knew. And they did nothing. Either by incompetence or design, they failed to act, and the death, crippling despair, disease and sheer hopelessness suffered by Americans in our most romantic city is breathtaking in scope and indefensible on any level. 
Bush has repeatedly slashed funds for the Army Corps of Engineers water projects for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In 2003, the money that had previously flowed into the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA), tasked with shoring up levees and building pumping stations, dried up to a mere trickle. With warnings ringing in his ears, in 2004 Bush refused the money requested to raise the levees and rejected a plea for a $15-million project to shore up the banks of Lake Pontchartrain. And, in June, Bush\'s 2006 federal budget called for slashing SELA funds from an already inadequate $36.5-million to a mere $10.4-million, and for cutting the overall New Orleans Corps of Engineers budget a record $71.2-million, which Corps officials say is the largest single-year funding loss ever. 
But all is not lost. The Corps of Engineers managed to get a hefty $100-million for just one water project -- in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq. According to the peerless Ward Harkavy, who writes The Morning Report for the Village Voice, \"On August 15, just two weeks before Katrina slammed into the U.S., the Pentagon boasted of spending $6.4-billion -- so far -- on 2,705 Corps of Engineers construction projects in Iraq, all but 200 of them started since June 2004.\" 
The SNAFU plan 
It looks to me like everything is going according to plan. Chaos, like everything else, is just a matter of perspective. Few people really know anything about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), except it\'s a name that\'s thrown around a lot during times of national disaster. Do not think for one minute that Bush \"gutted\" FEMA by placing it under the control of Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff. By any other name, FEMA remains this nation\'s \"secret government,\" with powers to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant, hold citizens without a trial, seize control of all transportation and communication systems and -- suspend the US Constitution. 
FEMA was created outside of Constitutional law via a President John Kennedy Executive Order, and is subject to no Congressional oversight. It received a \"tune up\" under President Jimmy Carter then, like Topsy, \"just growed\" through presidents Nixon, Reagan, Poppy and Bubba to the present time. Genocide fascists like Henry Kissinger, and greedy patriots like former General Richard Secord and Lt. Col. Oliver North, the architects of both the Iran-Contra scandal and today\'s FEMA, must be laughing their asses off at the juvenile disinformation bait-and-switch scenario playing itself out in the US media. 
We would do well to remember that these jackals are on a mission. No matter how many times they are exposed as liars and deceivers, they continue across the field of life like a hoard of grasshoppers, leaving stripped and broken humanity in their wake. They are roiling the waters of the Mississippi by portraying FEMA as dim-witted, absent-minded, rudderless. 
And it\'s working. The media, Internet, Congress, you, me -- everybody -- all baying for Bush to dump the hapless FEMA director, Michael Brown, a Bush crony and former counsel for the International Arabian Horse Association. We are all outraged, not at Bush for dropping the ball; for being so chillingly disconnected from those he is charged to protect -- but at Brown, who is a perfect lightning rod and, if need be, a fall guy. 
He\'s also a man with a plan. 
Take a look at these headlines -- FEMA refusing all offered rescue assistance from Amtrack to experienced firefighters, FEMA not delivering on promises, FEMA barring delivery of desperately needed food or water to frightened and bewildered victims of Katrina, FEMA telling First Responders not to \"respond\" to the disaster. Does anybody but me see a pattern here? Is it possible for an emergency aid organization to show up at the scene only to refuse all offers of aid? Does McDonald\'s cook up a bunch of hamburgers and then lock its doors to its hungry patrons? 
FEMA is the Patriot Act on crack. Once its powers are unleashed, Oliver North\'s REX 84 \"exercise\" will become a reality. The Constitution will be suspended and FEMA will have the right to detain or seize the property of anyone even suspected of engaging in, or who might be thinking of conspiring with others to engage in acts of espionage or sabotage. REX 84 also advocated rounding up and transferring to \"assembly centers or relocation camps\" of at least 21 million American Negroes in the event of massive rioting or disorder, not unlike the rounding up of the Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. 
The actual number of displaced New Orleans residents is unknown. Overnight, they became \"refugees,\" and hundreds of thousands packed into the Super Dome or sat sweltering in the sun on roads and bridges during a nightmarish week of waiting for help that did not come, while political fat cats finger-pointed and accused each other of playing the \"blame\" game. Finally, their military liberators herded them onto buses and planes, refusing to reveal their destination -- husbands and wives separated, families split apart -- and disappeared to \"assembly centers or location camps\" throughout the United States. 
Bush, who once asked Sojourners\' Reverend Jim Wallis how to talk to poor people because he had never been around one, has once again dropped the ball. Telling Americans whose homes, jobs, loved ones, whose whole lives were washed away in a single night to \"hang in there, and don\'t buy gasoline if you can\'t afford it,\" before cutting out to a birthday party in Arizona falls a bit short of his presidential promise to \"protect the American people.\" 
It\'s unfortunate that it took a tragedy like Katrina for middle- and lower-class America to finally come to grips with where they will fit into the capitalist White supremacist New World Disorder. Americans now know that Bush is incapable of leading. They know he\'s too arrogant and stubborn to follow. They know it\'s time for him to get out of the way -- before more of us are trampled, displaced, abandoned, and destroyed, not only here but throughout the world. 

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at: ? 2005 Sheila Samples
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.