Sunday, September 04, 2005

No slack for Bush, not from me

A response to: Give him some slack.

I am astounded when citizens of our Republic, our democratic union, do not hold Bush responsible for homeland security, I think he calls it. Born into the presidency illegally, exhalted for his swift presence at Ground Zero, he made a place for himself in history as a War president. Could George W. Bush have been any other kind of president? I don't think so. I don't believe that George W. Bush would know how to fill his presidential time if not for a war, if not for vacations with cronies on his Texas ranch; if not for ignoring war resisters whose children have been killed in a war he started.

Unfortunately for Bush, but not for our nation, Bush can not make a war out of natural disasters; he cannot blame natural disasters on foreign countries or terrorists. In the case of natural disasters, along with equality between the races, along with poverty, a president must pay attention to food in the kitchen, a roof over the kitchen, good schools, a national health care system; conversations on racism and poverty in America, as well as geologic engineering and global warming. Yes, Mr. President these problems are before us.

Have you not seen poverty and racism in the news recently, in those places your helicopter flew over, in our destroyed Southern cities? Tell me Mr. President what does your gaze take in? What do your eyes see? What registers in your particular idiosyncratic Caucasian mind? In order to deal with domestic issues, our homeland if you will, you must show yourself to be a mensch, Mr. President, a human being.

To accomplish this feat of becoming a mensch, and it is a feat - it takes a lot of work - you must not show arrogance or the pretense of kindness by kissing African American heads in front of televison cameras; instead, you must demonstrate that you have the public good at heart, that you are concerned about everyday ordinary people, whether they are living in the Louisiana Bowl, in urban neighborhoods, on farms or on a fault line in the Pacific Northwest. You must demonstrate, Mr. President, that you are concerned about service, about really serving your country.

Perhaps our current catastrophe will lead you on a path to righteousness, as you are wont to say in church on Sunday mornings. Perhaps in learning to deal with domestic issues, you may even learn something about neighborliness and interacting with citizens of other countries, say Iraq.

Until then, you get no slack from me, Mr. President. Nor do your supporters. Nor does FEMA or any other government agency that has not been doing its job. And doing its job means, among other things, not killing people by instructing them to evacuate when they have no cars or money to evacuate. It means not blaming the victim!

Mr. President, you created No Child Left Behind, but you left the children behind, along with their friends, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. You left them to die on roof tops and in stinking contaminated water turned cesspool, which you created by your lack of efficiency and, most of all, your lack of caring for all of our citizens.

Mr. President, you and your team dishonor us. You and your team, including the head of FEMA, Michael Brown, who had the nerve to say, When evacuation warnings go out, people should realize it's for their own good, dishonor us. You and your team dishonor all of us. Shame, Mr. President, shame. You've brought shame inside our communities, into our kitchens and living rooms. I know this isn't the first time ... but, somehow, tonight, it's especially hard to sleep ...

Esther Altshul Helfgott


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

New Orleans’s tragedy is a real shame for all US and its government especially.
Even poor Bangladesh has a much better evacuation system for such disasters. Though they learned it a very hard way. Will US learn from it? Another shame is many people in New Orleans live like in Bangladesh.

Anonymous said...

Dubya and his ilk [No doubt Falwell and Robertson feel this comes from The Lord as a punishment for our support of GLTB rights, universal health care, women's rights, multiculturalism, etc] will never feel shame - not until they're kicked out of their jobs. It may be time to start signing the rolls for an impeachment of the president, folks. Notice how nobody in FEMA, Home Security or Pentagon is getting fired because of idiotic non-planning before this catastrophe?? But no, Bush has Faith in His Team. He says he's NOW "heard/seen New Orleans." Funny how the rest of us heard all about the levees several days before the storm struck, isn't it. But he I guess didn't? And maybe even funnier, how the levees have been discussed in Louisiana and Congress for the past 10 years but it was thought they PROBABLY COULD hold and anyway, it was TOO EXPENSIVE to re-do them? Gosh, everybody in our Congress must be just getting too deaf to serve. Let's get on the move now AND THROW NOT JUST ONE BUM BUT MANY Congress Bums out. I don't think we can wait until 2008. Where do we sign up the For Impeachment petition?

Esther Altshul Helfgott said...

Right here!

Anonymous said...

He and his administration do not care and it is up to us to make them.

Esther Altshul Helfgott said...

from Meghanne -

YES! Why did it take our president 3 days to respond to those in the most dire need? I don't even believe that the Tsunami was as bad as what Katrina left behind. I am angry, hurt and bewildered that such a terrible thing could happen. These people are in desperate need of our help and our president is apparently oblivious. I feel that this man is a poor reincarnate of Alexander the Great and I was appalled that he was elected in the first place, but then again I am a West Coast girl, born and raised by a VERY liberal mother. I know that not everyone has my same political views. I am by no means a socialist, but I do believe in democracy. How coudl this happen? How were we capable of sending so much help to those affected by the Tsunami and so little to those in our very own back yard? I really liked your letter to the president I wish that we could all tell him to his face how we feel, but I don't think it would do any good. The man must be a textbook psychopath to be that unfeeling, uncaring and unsupportive of his own people. I would like to add just one more thing to your letter. I would implore him to see that being the president is not at all about personal finacial gain. The job should be left to someone who can see that and who would act accordingly. I just hope that other countries do not take our presidents attitudes and actions to be those that we would want or would perform if left to our vices.

How difficult would it be to take the west coast out of the loop and become our very own America that does follow the policies and procedures left to us by our fore fathers?

My friend Casie Arceneaux and myself are working on a fund raiser for the Katrina victims. We have decided not to donate through the Red Cross becasue we don't feel our efforts will go to those we want to help. We have chosen to donate via the Lutheran World Relief, they have a low over head cost.

Along with our efforts to donate we are also planning a candle light vigil in quad, by the fountain, for the evening, at Seattle University. We have not yet nailed down a date, but when we do, we would really appreciate it if you could come and speak. Our vigil has turned into a protest of sorts and your voice is a strong one that people will listen to and respect.

Thank you very much for your letter...

I found it very encouraging!

Posted by Meghanne to Esther's Writing Works at 9/06/2005 02:38:24 PM