I’ve tried to keep things light, and keep the mood around me and this blog positive.

But I just can’t hold it in anymore. I’m really upset, and I need to just let it out.

I’m very embarrassed of the American political system right now.

No, I take that back. I’m not embarrassed. I’m disgusted.

I’ve watched the news on TV. I’ve read the news on the Internet. I’ve read blogs of people who lived throught the hurricane. I’ve seen Oprah’s shows. And I’ve seen picture after picture of things that I never thought I’d see on our own soil.

And it makes me cry. It makes me angry.

It makes me wonder why everyone from the media to celebrities to the Red Cross can get to people who need help, but it took FEMA, the military and the federal government almost a week to get there. It makes me wonder why people– adults, children, senior citizens and healhy young people… ALL AMERICANS… have to suffer and die because nothing can be done to save their lives. It makes me wonder why people like Oprah or Chris Rock can roll up their sleeves and help feed and hug the thousands of people who need it, but our President has to send his father, his predecessor, and his Vice President, who has barely even been seen since the “Election” of 2004, to do his “dirty work.”

And if I have to read the words of FEMA head Michael Brown one more time, when he had the GALL to say the following ridiculously ignorant statements (Courtesy of CNN):

“We learned about (The people at the New Orleans Convention Center) Thursday, so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need.”

“I don’t make judgments about why people chose not to leave but, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans,”

“Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans — virtually a city that has been destroyed — that things are going relatively well,”

and my personal favorite, when asked how he could blame the victims for choosing not to evacuate, when many of them were either too poor, ederly, had no means of transportation, or just simply not able to evacuate in time for whatever reason they may have had, Mr. Brown had the nerve to respond:

“Now is not the time to be blaming. Now is the time to recognize that whether they chose to evacuate or chose not to evacuate, we have to help them.”

All of these statements were made on Thursday, November 1. Aid from FEMA and the military did not arrive until at least TWO days later.

If I had the nerve, and believe me, I do right about now, I’d sucker-punch this bozo. Right where it hurts.

But wait, it gets better.

From the Boston Herald, Saturday, September 3:

“The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows.
And before joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a deputy director in 2001, GOP activist Mike Brown had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position.
The Oklahoman got the job through an old college friend who at the time was heading up FEMA. …
… “Before joining the Bush administration in 2001, Brown spent 11 years as the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association, a breeders’ and horse-show organization based in Colorado.
“We do disciplinary actions, certification of (show trial) judges. We hold classes to train people to become judges and stewards. And we keep records,” explained a spokeswoman for the IAHA commissioner’s office. “This was his full-time job . . . for 11 years,” she added.
Brown was forced out of the position after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures.
“He was asked to resign,” Bill Pennington, president of the IAHA at the time, confirmed last night.
Soon after, Brown was invited to join the administration by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh, the previous head of FEMA until he quit in 2003 to work for the president’s re-election campaign.”

As if we couldn’t guess this guy had no business handling the agency that is supposed to protect our contry from everything from natural disasters to terrorist attacks, now it’s been PROVEN.

I am appalled.

But probably the best-yet implication of how clueless this guy is comes directly from the FEMA website itself, in an article published August 25, 2005, just DAYS before Katrina slammed ashore on the Gulf Coast:

“Under Secretary Mike Brown delivered the keynote address at the annual Colorado Governors Conference on Emergency Management this week in Breckenridge, Colorado. He said there is no perfect solution to address every security concern. However, by working together collectively to analyze threats, understand our capabilities, and apply resources intelligently, we can manage risks. …

“The President knows what we at the Department of Homeland Security know, and what all of you know the strength of our response capabilities has the power to take the terror out of terrorism. And when all response entities work together, we provide a stronger, more effective response …”

Here’s the clincher:

“…Our mission as homeland security stakeholders is to ensure that the business of commerce as well as the people who work within it and depend on it within this state and this nation moves effortlessly. We are prepared for all-hazards disasters, man-made and natural.

Bull-Fucking-Shit, Michael. Bull-Fucking-Shit.

It’s this kind of slap-on-the-back, buddy-buddy bullshit that makes me really embarrassed of my country. When the leaders and directors of the the important agencies that are designed to protect and provide safety and comfort to our country are spouting forth words they have no business saying, because they don’t even know what they MEAN, we are in dire trouble.

It simply amazes me that we haven’t been hit by another terrorist attack. If Katrina has proven one thing, it is that we are NOT ready for “the big one” of any kind, whether it be man-made or natural.

George W. Bush, if you have an ounce of dignity left inside that spineless frame you call a body, you will do our country a favor and FIRE THIS IDIOT as soon as humanly possible.

(Of course, we know he won’t do this, since he said, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” right after he said the level of relief was “unacceptable.” Spineless flip-flops like this are just what ol’ W is about. Hm. How about that.)

Finally, I want to share some beautiful photos with you. I didn’t take these photos; they were taken by a very talented member of the Flickr community who goes by the name “Slight Clutter.” Her photographs of the victims of Hurricane Katrina capture the real emotional impact that this disaster has had on the people who have lived through it. Most of the photographs were taken at the Houston Astrodome. Click on this link to view them, then click here to view Katrina-related photos from across the Flickr community. You may need to sign up for Flickr (it’s free) if you haven’t already.