September 04, 2005

New Orleans

Posted by DaveSmith

This is largely swiped from Rumblelizard's blog. It's long but well worth a read.

Based on comments that weren't posted, these are all documented with reports on BBC, clips from Fox News (Geraldo crying), the FAQ on Red Cross about how they're not allowed in, The US Army Times, The Washington Post, the AP and other reputable new sites (not saying the Fox is all that reputable).

Southeast America is a friggin mess. The stories are out there, but
they're hard to find.

Photo taken by Lisa Jenkins that I found. It's posted by CraftJunkie on her site. Right where she says Tetnus shots are currently $280 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


First off, apparently, THE RED CROSS HAS BEEN FORBIDDEN TO ENTER NEW ORLEANS AND IS STILL NOT ABLE TO ENTER NEW ORLEANS. Click the link and it takes you to the Red Cross FAQ where they explain how the Homeland Security Department still won't allow them in. Bringing food and water will only encourage people to stay when they aren't allowed to leave.

From Steve Rose, a diarist on The Daily Kos:

...[A]fter reading dKos and the other blogs all week and seeing over and over again comments that that FEMA and the NG were no where to be seen from the people on the ground in NO, I was wondering where the Red Cross was in all this. They were never mentioned. It was like they didn't exist. And, after yesterday's drama at the convention center, the Brown and Chertoff lies, the Red Cross was still MIA. Then, earlier today, I saw a note that the Red Cross was not allowed to enter NO. Hmm, that's doesn't make sense. This simmered for a couple hours.

So I called the Red Cross and asked them if its true....

And, to my surprise, the nice lady answering the phone said it was true and they told/asked/ordered not to enter NO. [snip] Homeland Security (her term, not mine) told the Red Cross DO NOT enter New Orleans and says this still now.

And why, you may ask? Not Security. Not worker safety. Not lack of access. It was because people would be drawn to the Red Cross food and they wouldn't want to go to be evacuated.

So I asked: "The people starving and dying at the convention center yesterday couldn't get Red Cross food and water because they would be drawn to the food at the convention center, where they were, and not want to be evacuated from the convention center where no evacuations were going on or planned and all the while they are dying?" (Actually, it was a couple questions.) She went back into her spiel about all of the other good work they were doing. When I asked again, she said yes, that was true. She seem relieved to admit it.


So, the question for Bushies, why was the Red Cross banned from NO when they knew people were starving? Could it be they were saving the convention center rescue until Bush's visit today? It certainly seems like it. Doesn't it?

Red Cross National Affairs number (202-303-5551)

So then another Daily Kos diarist called the Department of Homeland Security to see if they would confirm the Red Cross story, and well, here's what happened:

I just called the Dept. of Homeland security (202-282-8000) and asked them the following question:

"Is it true what the American Red Cross has reported that they have not been allowed into the city of New Orleans by the DHS since Hurricane Katrina because their 'presence would keep people from evacuating'"?

First, they put me on hold. Then I heard 2 beeps and the click that I assume means they were recording me. Then they asked me my name. (I told them, but now I sort of regret it...) Then they transferred me to Chris at the "Law Enforcement Fusion Desk". I read my question again.

Note: This isn't a verbatim transcript -- I'm paraphrasing. I wasn't smart enough to record the call. But I just called them and this is what happened to the best of my recollection.

He said he hadn't heard this, so I pointed him to the Red Cross FAQ page link that was posted on this diary. I directed his attention to the second bullet.

He said something to the effect that their policy is trying to help get people out and that this is why they don't want more people coming in.

I said I understood that, but that it didn't make sense to let people starve or die of thirst in the meantime.

He responded that this wasn't happening. That as soon as they pick somebody up, they take them out of there.

I argued with him and told him this wasn't true, that it had been on CNN that people had been being picked up and put down at the convention center where there was no food or water.

He said that all he could tell me was that they were picking people up and taking them out of there.... that their policy was to help the people.

Then I asked who at the DHS was responsible for the policy that kept the Red Cross out.

He said that would have to be Michael Chertoff.

I asked him for his own name and position again and then asked if I could make this public that the DHS was confirming what was on the Red Cross website.


After a few seconds I asked if he was there and he said "yeah," and then nothing else.

So I asked my question again and he said "No".


I asked why he had said no to me, and rather than answer me, he asked me what I wanted to do with the information.

I said I wanted to email it to my friends and put it on a blog. I think I heard him scoff at this, but I'm not sure.

I asked him again why I couldn't disseminate it and he said he didn't know who I was. Then he asked me directly who I was and why I wanted to know.

I told him that I was a citizen and I wanted to know because I actually gave a fuck about the people of New Orleans. (I was pissed by now because he was patronizing me and he had already lied to me.)

He said they did too.

I said something like "so you won't confirm what the American Red Cross is reporting then?", to which he said something like "no". (It was short.)

I asked why not and he asked me why I wanted to post it.

At this point I lost my temper and went on a little tirade. I said (something like) "because it's a stupid fucking policy! And people have died because of it. And if Michael Chertoff is responsible, people should be made aware of that. And if you and he think it's a good policy, you should be willing to stand by it and take responsibility for it!" (There was more swearing in there too, but I can't remember exactly what now. I was very pissed. At this point in the conversation, my wife, who was in the room, about fell out of her chair and started motioning to me to shut up.)

After a few seconds of silence, I asked again, so you can't confirm this?

And he said "no".

So I asked who at DHS could.

He told me to call back and talk to the public affairs office on the same number (202-282-8000, although they transferred me to him, so I don't know if that's really his number), but that they wouldn't be back until Tuesday. [NOTE FROM RUMBLELIZARD: THEY ARE TAKING VACATION?!?! NOW?!!? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?!?!]

I am so pissed right now. If Chertoff really did order this, his head should be served up (Cajun style) on a platter to the mayor of New Orleans.

P.S. When I hung up the phone, the first thing my wife said to me was, "Great. Now you'll be drafted for sure!"

People, this is beyond the wildest fucking fever dreams of the most insane lunatic.

But wait! There's more!

Check out the video (scroll down to the heading "Horror Show") of Fox news reporters Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera on the scene in NO, literally crying with rage. And when Sean Hannity tried to spin his usual shit and say, "Let's get this in [the proper partisan] perspective," Shepard Smith shouts, "This is perspective! This is all the perspective you'll ever need!"

Holy fuck. This is an apocalypse.

You know what else people are reporting now? FEMA was keeping volunteer rescue workers out of NO until Bush's Parade of Pity could arrive. To make it look better. For the cameras.

The worst natural disaster in the history of this nation, thousands dead; staggering, hideous, criminal mismanagement; hundreds more dying every day, babies and old folks dying; anarchy in the streets; shootings, rapes, robberies, dehydration and starvation....and for George W. Bush, it's a fucking photo op.

This is info from me, Dave.

The BBC reports the US Army shot a man to death who was trying to report a rape in the Superdome. The lady was also stabbed, and I think that's the case where other people in the Superdome beat the rapist to death.

The US Army Times is also calling the people trapped in NO "insurgents". Insurgents? Christ. That's almost as bad as the pictures that show black people "looting" while white people are "finding".

They're also guarding the bridge that leads out of the Superdome that goes to a nearby city with electricity. Armed guards won't allow people to cross the bridge to safety. That one made Geraldo Rivera cry on Fox news.

Bush and Cheney stayed on vacation and Condi Rice WENT on vacation afterwards.

Northern Command who actually moves the military in the US was ready and waiting but they have to wait for the order from the president. Who happened to be on vacation.

Quote from Admiral Timothy J. Keating. He is commander of U.S. Northern Command:

As soon as the hurricane cleared -- and, by the way, we were preparing deployment orders as we saw Katrina strengthen on the late Saturday, Sunday, June 28, August time frame as she began to approach Louisiana, Mississippi. We alerted various forces to be prepared to move as soon as the situation on the ground stabilized and as soon as the Department of Homeland Security, through FEMA, determined what particular assets we would need.

Keating quote is from CNN.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) said he'd like to New Orleans bulldozed instead of rebuilt. Ex-Pres Clinton responded if they been in the same place when the remarks were made, "I'm afraid I would have assaulted him."

Associated Press reports that at least five people shot dead by police as they walked across a New Orleans bridge yesterday were contractors working for the US Defence department.

A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers said the victims were contractors on their way to repair a canal. The contractors were on their way across the bridge to launch barges into Lake Pontchartrain, in an operation to fix the 17th Street Canal, according to the spokesman.

I'm also seeing reports that say the contractors weren't killed, but criminals shooting at the contractors were killed.

The gunmen were firing at 14 contractors who were traveling across the Danziger Bridge under police escort, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers.

And more info pointed out by the Aussies: The Navy announced yesterday that Vice President Cheney's former company, Halliburton, which has handled much of the repair work as well as support services for the U.S. military in Iraq, was hired to restore power and rebuild three naval facilities in Mississippi that were wrecked by Katrina.

And here's a bit that showed up on Beveltechs, a mostly Australian Ducati list I'm on:

Don't Argue the Obvious

It's taken me a long time to figure out what fascists instinctively know: Don't argue, just attack. Don't debate, just slander and insult your opponents, flatter those who agree with you, and posture as moral or powerful.

But just as fascists instinctively know how to be assholes, many people instinctively know how to be kind and reasonable. So when you're arguing the obvious, appeal to people's empathetic instinct.

For instance, conservative intellectuals will pull out all sorts of crazy arguments as to why rich people are inherently good and poor people deserve to starve, but you don't even have to argue against them.

This is how you respond:
I don't have to argue with you. All good people instinctively know that it is wrong to be rich while other people starve. If you're arguing against that, it's because you're an asshole. There is something wrong with you. It doesn't matter what fancy words you use to support your position, because if you were a decent person you wouldn't even need to argue.

Now the problem is, in most arenas it's not acceptable to call someone an asshole. And that's a problem, because it makes assholes a protected species. It gives them an advantage. Calling an asshole an asshole is not a crime -- being an asshole is the crime.

American Red Cross donation page.

Posted by DaveSmith at September 4, 2005 05:01 PM

I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the fact that the Red Cross is not being allowed to go into New Orleans to give emergency help.

Posted by: deeann at September 5, 2005 05:59 PM

Just to elaborate on my last post a bit- Red Cross is part of a larger support network and would require either assistance into the area earlier or relief pass-off of water, food etc. to whichever gov't agencies are there. The problem earlier this week was there was *no* agency in charge around to help them which should not have happened. As to why they can't help anyone remaining? I don't know I buy the "if you give them water they will stay" thing, but I hope someone currently is giving water and food to those left.

Posted by: deeann at September 5, 2005 08:15 PM

I saw a cool interview via remote with a male nurse in NO who was helping people in defiance of EMS (his phrase) and FEMA. He was asked to talk about a few of the people he's helped and responded by elaborating on each person he could give aid and comfort to. If there ever was a worthy subject for an independent documentary, this guy is it. I doubt they'll show the segment again, since he is "in defiance of EMS."

Posted by: ed at September 6, 2005 01:15 PM

Sent by someone who read this page. He wasn't happy when I pointed him to the "Don't Argue the Obvious" part in a prior message and he sent this. I'm up for bashing the president whether he was Dem or Rep for the 5 day wait while babies died from dehydration. Clinton got impeached over a blow job and this happens. I've seen responses from all over the world about what a screwed up country the US is.


Time to wake up

Bob Williams is a former state legislator in the district of Washington State that was most heavily impacted by the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
He has some very interesting points on the roles of local and state officials vs. those of federal officials. You will hear a number of people bashing the President - its the same old crowd that wants to blame him for everything from hair loss to night sweats. I appreciate what Mr. Williams has to say in the 9/6/05 WSJ and am sending it to several friends.


Blame Amid the Tragedy

September 6, 2005; Page A28

As the devastation of Hurricane Katrina continues to shock and sadden the nation, the question on many lips is, Who is to blame for the inadequate response?

As a former state legislator who represented the legislative district most impacted by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, I can fully understand and empathize with the people and public officials over the loss of life and property.

Many in the media are turning their eyes toward the federal government, rather than considering the culpability of city and state officials. I am fully aware of the challenges of having a quick and responsive emergency response to a major disaster. And there is definitely a time for accountability; but what isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible -- local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The plain fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin.

The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the
supervision of the state governor and his/her emergency operations center.

The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.

In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved.

A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected.

The New Orleans contingency plan is still, as of this writing, on the city's Web site, and states: "The safe evacuation of threatened populations is one of the principle [sic] reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan." But the plan was apparently ignored.

Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation: His office of Emergency Preparedness (not the federal government) must coordinate with the state on elements of evacuation and assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be encouraged by the governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he finally, belatedly, issued the order for mandatory evacuation. And sadly, it apparently took a personal call from the president to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.

The city's evacuation plan states: "The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas." But even though the city has enough school and transit buses to evacuate 12,000 citizens per fleet run, the mayor did not use them. To compound the problem, the buses were not moved to high ground and were flooded. The plan also states that
"special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific lifesaving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed." This was not done.

The evacuation plan warned that "if an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials."

That is precisely what happened because of the mayor's failure.

Instead of evacuating the people, the mayor ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security and no provisions for food, water and sanitary conditions. As a result people died, and there was even rape committed, in these facilities. Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility to provide public safety and to manage the orderly evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans. Now he wants to blame Gov. Blanco and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an emergency the first requirement is for the city's emergency center to be linked to the state emergency operations center. This was not done.

The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an
emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed. She failed to send a timely request for specific aid.

In addition, unlike the governors of New York, Oklahoma and California in past disasters, Gov. Blanco failed to take charge of the situation and ensure that the state emergency operation facility was in constant contact with Mayor Nagin and FEMA. It is likely that thousands of people died because of the failure of Gov. Blanco to implement the state plan, which mentions the possible need to evacuate up to one million people. The plan clearly gives the governor the authority for declaring an emergency, sending in state resources to the disaster area and requesting necessary federal assistance.

State legislators and governors nationwide need to update their contingency plans and the operation procedures for state emergency centers. Hurricane
Katrina had been forecast for days, but that will not always be the case with a disaster (think of terrorist attacks). It must be made clear that the governor and locally elected officials are in charge of the "first response."

I am not attempting to excuse some of the delays in FEMA's response. Congress and the president need to take corrective action there, also. However, if citizens expect FEMA to be a first responder to terrorist attacks or other local emergencies (earthquakes, forest fires, volcanoes), they will be disappointed. The federal government's role is to offer aid upon request.

The Louisiana Legislature should conduct an immediate investigation into the failures of state and local officials to implement the written emergency plans. The tragedy is not over, and real leadership in the state and local government are essential in the months to come. More importantly, the hurricane season is still upon us, and local and state officials must stay focused on the jobs for which they were elected -- and not on the deadly game of passing the emergency buck.

Mr. Williams is president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a free market public policy research organization in Olympia, Wash.

Posted by: Dave Smith at September 6, 2005 11:04 PM

Just noticed your apocalypse reference. One prediction of Nostradamus (sp?) seems to have come true: A powerful nation will make war for no reason and be struck by a major natural disaster shortly before the end of the world. Finis.

Posted by: ed at September 7, 2005 09:44 AM

Hey Dave,

You get a top class collection of weirdos posting here. I'm glad to join them.

I think there should be a New Orleans Corollary to the "Don't Argue the Obvious".

Even arseholes would have taken the people out of the hospitals if there was a flood coming.

Or is that an "extra" under health insurance?

Where is my moonshine? Why isn't Bob Brown rebuilding my ducati? How much is Corona in Mexico?
We're paying $4 per bottle here. Now that's a natural fucking disaster.

Posted by: DArin at September 8, 2005 04:49 AM

I don't know whether flooding would be an "extra" with our whacky health insurance policies in the USA (USA! USA! USglubglub...) but Senator Santorum wants those stuck in NO to pay a fine. Yeah! Between him and Babs Bush, we should tell the monarchy in Great Britain that the colonies have given up and to come on back.
As for corona, who the hell would pay $4 per bottle? My God. There are comparable crappy Mexican beers for way cheaper. (Sol, Chihuahua...) I know it's premium priced here, but have no idea what it costs in Mexico.

Posted by: ed at September 8, 2005 09:54 AM

I'll choke 'em

Posted by: joe at September 8, 2005 04:14 PM

I wouldn`t talk bad about mexico or corona since their army is driving thru texas(haven`t been there since 1846)on the way to big easy.45 trucks with water tanks and food to feed 7,000 a day.I wonder what there gonna feed the big easy???Man i miss rice,beans,huevos and tortillas?Anyways ya can get mad and blame someone..But the best thing to do is donate money or time to an organization ya believe in.I`m sure we can all square off later on who is at fault...Somebody gave Cheney some words of encouragement(sarcasm here)today in Mississippi.I slappin ya on the back New Orleans........Gambette(keep your chin up)..

Posted by: jay at September 8, 2005 11:44 PM

I am so fucking tired of everyone saying we ought to put off the head chopping til later. Brownie needs to go like months ago, same w/Chertkoff (sp) and, of course the whole damned executive branch. Dunno how things look over there in the Land of the Rising Sun, but if one more idjit has the gall to suggest that we can't coordinate rescue efforts AND lop off heads, I believe I might take a cue from Chas Whitman or the Mad Bomber. I can't believe the Jay I know is one of those dang "uhhhh we godda support duh prezdint" kind of fucking YO YOs. Lay off the sauce. It ain't helping.

Posted by: ed at September 9, 2005 10:21 AM

Darin, welcome to the nuthouse!

Ed, you should read Arianna Huffington's column in todays Bee (10/09) Op/Ed section. Also, I don't know if you saw it yet but Keith Olbermann went into some verbal whiplash but good a couple of days ago:

Link to video:

Full transcript:

Jay, we can both donate and we can also (the collective "we") try to figure out what went wrong to prevent this kind of maddeningly slow response again in the future. If you take the WH/McClellan line of "Put off the blame game" when is a good time? Two weeks? 6 months? I think it should be done now before people in general start getting distracted again by fluff like "Bennifer 2" and Britney Spears pregnancy. I think the media and the people need to keep on top of this and stay on it. The whole chain of command needs to be looked at from mayoral to executive and everywhere in between. And the process of starting the examination from the outside won't stop the people who are down there right now in the last stages of immediate rescue efforts and those working the shelters, but as they can they will need to be heard from also with first-hand accounts as they have a much better view than any of us not down there.

Posted by: deeann at September 9, 2005 12:09 PM

Was it Arianna who wrote that, "those of us who watch CSI know that you want to process a crime scene as soon as possible"? or words to that effect? Can't let the evidence get all degraded. That would make it all the tougher. Meantime, they need to plant a shitload of fungus in the areas where there was standing water to get rid of the toxins and crap.

Posted by: ed at September 9, 2005 01:30 PM

Why- yes! And she does mention CSI in this article, but in this case I don't think she literally means stopping the pumps to save the "evidence". At least I hope not...

Posted by: deeann at September 9, 2005 03:05 PM

Maybe i wrote comments wrong but the fema guy just got replaced that was gonna happen.Cheney got some bad words tossed at him while tourin` the destruction.As for bein behind the man ed---ya got me all wrong.In Japan they have an epression called "gaman" which means patience.There also expression for real talk "honne" and fake talk "tatami".So my main point was this...there is an area in states the size of japan just destroyed.Most of those folks are minorties and poor.This needed direct attention no squabbles or this,that.But folks on the top wanted the spot lite..If you don`t have money to donate then volunteer at your local red cross.I have many times in the past and have also learned cpr/first aid.I actually had the slip of paper that said i was legally and obligated to help a person when in trouble.Which leads to this... when the suit and ties and don`t do something--do it yourself...As for the juice Ed---come on man.We seen Ed Fueled/juiced why the insults i always/will consider you a buddy(we had our go`s)..On top of this--the size of this has pretty much put me in shock..I really can`t put 2 and 2 together and buy a $4.00 corona(there $6 in japan)while folks are getting dieases only known in the 3rd world without feeling guilty(or eating ramen).My basic view is this--America Failed-We all Failed New Orleans.Everbody is throwing blame and the victims should be front and center.
Gomen(sorry)ed if ya think what i`m sayin` wrong but there observations.I`m over here and my house has not been looted(if need something go ahead) and i have plenty of drinkin` water so i truly can`t have a true feeling of what.During my Cancer Chemo/Rads--I actually got to feel true helplessness.I say-- i`m sure there was time ya wanted to kick my ass ya should of done it then.Towards the end of chemo the wife had to help me outta bed and to the couch.I hated that.Also Cancer has left me super emo-like so i have gotten pretty depressed/cried over those that have less-fortunate in stories/photos.
Well this is probably pretty mess up...But New Orleans is a lot more messed up...thanks for the pot back then...

Posted by: jay at September 9, 2005 07:03 PM

Hi all you Yanks,
This N.O. shit would not happen here, I am amazed what I an hearing here and on the news, when the shit hits the fan here we all pitch in and go for it, we give our all no matter what race or agenda. My advice to America is to stay home and look after your own country, stop trying to be the policeman of the world. When China comes fully onto the world stage, and it is already here they are going to make everybody look so helpless........remember Russia, it could happen to you. Start electing real politicians, stop calling everything a world championship because it happens in the USA.
Aussie Bob

Posted by: bobbrown at September 12, 2005 02:17 AM

"Stop calling everything a world championship because it happens in the USA." Heh heh heh. That sums up the ugly American attitude perfectly. And, can you believe it? Bush used the phrase "Blame Game" AGAIN. TODAY. The subtext is, "shut the hell up. We are in charge!" It is during times like this that ranting and raving about our corrupt executive (and legislative AND judicial) is most needed. If I can read and walk and smoke all at the same time, I do believe that we can investigate the fact that the Army Corps of engineers has been asking for flood control $ for decades and been turned down while Alaska gets the funding for a land bridge to nowhere on demand. After Bush said Blame Game today, he toured NO in an open-topped truck. My question: Where are the Charles Whitmans of today?

Posted by: ed at September 12, 2005 10:05 AM

American gas prices was the news over here in Japan.The Radio DJ was saying $3.00 a gallon!!!Hell that`s cheap and then she laughed about it.As for dealin` with ourselves(americans) and mindin`are own business--I`m tottally for it.Livin in japan i have no rights--i started a business that`s under my wife`s name(as i can`t have a business/property)..and it`s just find(no responbility)but i do pay taxes/medical insurance here(so there is a little responbility).Being a citizen of a world power does make you alot uncooler and as individual you get harassed but do they know your agenda?Every nation has it`s problems as Australia with ayers rock and it`s native population the aborgines(mispelled??).Japan with the ainu who they have tottally wiped out(they make up .02 percent)and sell trinkets in the ainu village hokkaido.China with uighur/tibet/mongol minorities...Rabbit Proof Fence was an good/informative movie and if any aussie`s have the book...i would like to borrow and give it a read.As for Aussie`s-- the only one i have met was drunk tourist at a foreigner bar.He wasn`t to nice and gave me a bad time for orderin` a beer(i like midnight oil--the early stuff like red sails...).The wife came in a got me before i could see if he had a back pack full of Duff(weapons of mass destruction)..Last nite we had a Gyoza party will some friends..They have a Autummn Beer...Here already round %6 alkie haul...yowza--must of had 5 of those.As they say in japan--shigoto no nomu--nomu no shigoto(working is drinking and drinking is working).We just had an election her the usual won but my wife voted "working class"---She wouldn`t detail who was the working class candidate nor his name.He probably stumbles outta of izakaya down the street and handed his greasy ramen soaked manifesto to the family.That is japnese working class...
As for Chikae`s father he likes to borrow money not from the yakuza or a bank.But somewhere in between with %50 percent interest rate.Me and the wife have a debate if it`s for a girlfriend or gambling...
Red Cross is looking for some 40,000 volunteers...

Posted by: jay at September 12, 2005 05:07 PM

My prediction.......Arnie S is working on being president one day.....he will be like the rest before himself, we have the bomb but by fuck the rest of you in the world cannot have it, it is toooooooo dangerous. (terminate).

Jay, you are right , every country has its problems, my social study teacher in 1964, a Mr Wright filled my young mind with his insite about aborigines and guess what 40 years later his words are still true. We spend billions every year trying to help them. We do not understand their simple way of lfe......we could learn much from them if we would only slow down and smell the roses......can Americans understand this saying???
This site started with the reverend, the right honorable Dave Smith buying a Ducati 250 and thinking he could travel the world on the SHITTER...... it is getting people sexy, thinking, worrying, complexed , wanting to do some good............GO THE DAVE, PRESIDENT ELECT

Posted by: bobbrown at September 14, 2005 04:33 AM

Social Studies was my favorite subject in high school.Bein` a westerner living and workin`as in not teachin` engrish has put me in much different place than $100.00 a day westerner suit & tie teachin` the abc`s.Today i was doin carpenter work and had a crowd watchin` me..It`s like look at the white guy with the hammer and the nail.My japanese is very bad kumamoto-ben(country bump kin)but it gets me free beer once in awhile.Culture it`s still shock and tottally different but a billon bucks here wouldn`t change it either--- even with the western added bonuses it`s still japan(yakuza/holy mountains/drunken horse festival).More Folks should hit the road with shitty bikes and discover the world like dave.Hopefully I will too hopefully soon...As for the Arnies and the lot of americans truly our the joke of world.There is a minority of ex-americans that have denouced there citzenship(a few here in nippon)and i consider them folks to truly have "huevos,nuts,balls"...As for my friend Ed who asked "where the whitman`s are today"--Was he the watch tower guy??C`mon he just shot normal folk that sucks,man.He made no change in the quality of life in our goverment.I tell ya what the sean penn guy did--flew out,got a boat and was rescuin` folk..Gnarly!!!So if i had to pick whitman or penn???Man it`s sean penn---
Monday-is the drunken horse festival DAve!!!--The whole city closes and they get horses riled up and push/pull them down the street..The Crowd and the push/pullers are obilivated drunk..Screaming Destroy!Destroy!--This was an old yakuza festival and the use to get the horses drunk and beat them...Then later probably eat them as kumamoto is famous for horse meat..The yakuza guys used to yell "destroy korea!!!"But they no longer say that as it is wrong..Neither do they get the horses drunk but the push/pull em` pretty good..With Loud Horns blaring and so on..So Monday i shall be intoxicated and Taiyo(my kid) will be pounding Taiko with Chikae..

Posted by: jay at September 15, 2005 07:44 AM

Hi from Australia Dave....where is the Moonshine taht you were sending to everyone???? Mine has not arrived in the post as yet or has my postie gotten down on it. He was booked for drink driving about 6 months ago but that would have been before you sent the shine. Regards Brendan & Alex

Posted by: Brendan at September 18, 2005 02:47 AM

He's Dead, Jim.

Posted by: curt the pilot at October 8, 2005 12:04 AM

Just because he's disappeared off the face of the Earth doesn't mean he's dead. And just because i'm apparently the last person to see him alive doesn't mean i killed him. You'll never prove it in court!

Posted by: mishalunchbox at October 13, 2005 10:19 PM

Nah, the useless bugga isnt dead, he emailed me a day ago offering to send me some moonshine...
BTW Bob Brown, its interesting to see your name on here and your comments, if indeed you are the same "belt dive/bevel Ducati man I think you are. Reading about you when I was a lad put me on the road to 900 Ducati ownership... which in hindsight was a BIG mistake...

Posted by: Dave Lochead at October 23, 2005 05:41 PM