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Posts Made By: Rod Kaufman

September 2, 2005 05:41 PM Forum: Politics

More on the Disaster

Posted By Rod Kaufman

I see the LA Times has now reported the following:
1. The Bush administration diverted money from a levee project in New Orleans to fund priorities within the departement of homeland security.
2. FEMA no longer helps prepare communities for disasters-it just responds to them.
3. The N.O. newspaper stated three years ago:"Survivors will end up trapped on roofs, in buildings or on high ground surrounded by water, with no means of escape and little food or fresh water, perhaps for several days."
60 million barrels of oil are headed our way, courtesy of the...Europeans! That's twice the amount promised but not yet released by the Bush administration, glad to know someone's responding...

September 3, 2005 04:32 PM Forum: Politics

A Wake-Up Call

Posted By Rod Kaufman

I view the disaster as wake-up call for my family. I live in earthquake country and I am stocking-up. The government simply can't be trusted in the event of a disaster.
I view the causation of the disaster in the relief effort to be multi-factorial. The local government has it's obligations but lacks resources. The feds have the resources but have reacted at a snail's pace for four days post-disaster. When Bush called the relief effort, "unacceptable", that's as unanimous as you're going to get. The Bush administration's diversion of the mission of FEMA away from PREPARING communities for natural disasters to a primary role for terrorism and a response-role for natural disaters is one factor. The diversion of funding for levees by the Bush administration for priorities in homeland security is another. When you have a N.O. newspaper predicting three years ago what has now occurred, it's painfully obvious no one was listening.
Some of you guys can believe the feds are not at fault here but that's incredible when you see bodies drifting down a street and people stranded four to five days post-disaster.
The bottom line: a major disaster has happened with a response from our government that would mimic that of a third-world country. It's no wonder other countries are offering aid to America... Wake-up!

September 4, 2005 03:59 PM Forum: Politics

Fort Apache: N.O.

Posted By Rod Kaufman

It appears the N.O. police department is going off the deep end if the early reports from CNN are correct.
The PD has put up a sign on one of their stations calling themselves Fort Apache. The police have reportedly armed themselves with Gurka knives among an assortment of other weapons.
Earlier in the day, the PD said it had killed five or six men carrying guns along a bridge. The army corps of engineers is now reportedly claiming these men were their contractors.
Perhaps it's time to get the local PD out of there and bring in federal marshalls...

September 8, 2005 12:11 PM Forum: Politics

Cheney: On Scene, Sort-Of.

Posted By Rod Kaufman

It appears Dick Cheney has emerged from his bunker to tour Gulfport, Mississippi where he called the relief effort "very impressive."
One passerby hurled an expletive at the vice-president who retorted," First time I've heard it."
That's not surprising since Lynee Lofton, whose house was wiped-out, stated, "I think this media opportunity today is a terrible waste of time and taxpayer money."They've picked a nice neighborhood where people have insurance and most are republicans."
Even in disasters, the Bush people seem to attempt to pre-screen their venue just as they do when Bush gives a speech...

September 10, 2005 04:17 PM Forum: Politics

Halliburton, Again.

Posted By Rod Kaufman

CNN is reporting,"Firms with White House ties get Katrina contracts."
"Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts..."
The companies include Shaw group and Halliburton's subsidary Kellog Brown Root.
These are corportate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, Bush's former campaign mamager and a former head of FEMA.
A watchdog group issued the following statement on the matter,"The government has got to stop stacking senior positions with people who are repeadly cashing in on the public trust in order to futher private commercial interests."
Halliburton alone has made more than 9 billion in Iraq. Pentagon audits released by democratse showed one billion in "questioned" costs and another 422 million in "unsupported" costs for Halliburton's work in Iraq.
A fertile field indeed for Halliburton...

September 15, 2005 12:24 PM Forum: Politics

Re: imperial president needs a wee-wee

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Look, Bush's approval rating stands at thirty-something percent in the latest AP poll, the lowest in it's history. But you can't say he doesn't communicate with his staff.
Some guys get their best ideas while sitting on the can and I have every confidence Bush will be concentrating very hard whenever and wherever he goes, so this can only be a good thing as he deftly steps in. To it.

September 16, 2005 07:52 AM Forum: Politics

National Disaster Insurance

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Bush has committed to a re-do of N.O. at an estimated cost of 200 billion. Senate republicans are said to be balking at it due to the cost of the war in Iraq which has reportedly escalated from 4 billion per month to 6 billion per month.
Enter John Garamendi, an insurance commissioner and /or regulator from California. He is reportedly preparing a proposal to be reviewed next week for national disaster insurance. It appears he will propose the establishment of a fund to insure against future mega-disasters like the current one in N.O.
It sounds like an idea whose time has come to be borne.
An interesting side note reported on KNX news radio, truck drivers are reportedly receiving $1000.00 per day from FEMA for sitting around while the governmental agency tries to figure-out what to do with all of the bottled water it has on an army of trucks. That's just a tickler of what's coming in the rebuild, and all the more reason for disaster insurance...

September 19, 2005 02:03 PM Forum: Politics

Palistinians and the Gaza

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Israel took a major step in removing settlements from the Gaza and the West Bank in order to move forward on the peace process.
The Palistinians took the following steps in response:
1. Burned-down evacuated synagogues.
2. Looted 14 million worth of equipment in abandoned Israeli greenhouses that could have been used to feed their own people.
3. Increased arms smuggling from Egypt.
4. Dramatically increased infiltration of militants.
5. Provided areas for demonstrations with 12 year old boys armed with AK 47s.
The question really is whether or not the Palistinians can govern the Gaza or any land for that matter. Thus far, the Palistinians have demonstrated their willingness to govern with the Hamas as their duly elected representatives. The Hamas, of course, are listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization.
If there's any meaningful attempt tp proceed forward in the peace process as well as govern the Gaza peacefully and effectively, the world has yet to see it...

September 21, 2005 09:31 AM Forum: Politics

Rebates From Big Oil

Posted By Rod Kaufman

That's what a couple of senators are planning to do if the bill they are going to introduce actually passes and is signed into law(fat chance with Bush as president).
As one senator remarked, the oil companies are making profits in excess of 7 BILLION PER MONTH and this exceeds the amount the US spends in Iraq every month by one billion dollars.
These are the same oil companies that claim they do not have enough incentive to build more refineries...

September 23, 2005 10:04 AM Forum: Eyepieces

5mm GSO Superview

Posted By Rod Kaufman

The last thing I need is another eyepiece but as an avid eyepiece junkie...
GSO has produced a new 5mm 65 AFOV five element ocular. The price was right from Owl so I've ordered one today. If I receive it before my dark-sky outing next week, I will test it and report if it's ghostless/flareless or not. Perhaps I'll have a chance to compare it with Floyd Blue's 5.2mm pentax XL.
I see Owl also has a 2" 38mm monster for about $25.00 less than the competition and it appears to be similar to the Burgess eyepiece that did fairly well in some reviews I've read. Hmm...