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bear by san

March 2017



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speak truth to power

This will be the last Katrina post.

Not because I'm not thinking about it, but because it's getting on time to stop talking about it and start doing something about it.

From an email conversation with hernewshoes today:

her:How can they possibly think this is OK? are they going to get away with it?

me:We have to not let them get away with it.

This needs to be a breaking point.

Write a letter to your congresscritter.

ETA this is why you need to raise your voice. (via motel666)

And there it is. If you've given what you can in in terms of time and blood and money, and you still feel helpless, there is one more thing you can do.

Write to your local newspaper. Write to your congresspersons. If you feel the disaster was handled well, you can find somebody to single out for praise. If you feel it was a travesty, there are specific demands you can make.

Demand that the DHS regurgitate FEMA, thank you, and put it back nice where it found it. Demand that FEMA be reinstated as an independent entity with a cabinet-level position for the head.

Demand the impeachment, resignation, prosecution, and/or firing of whichever bureaucrats and/or elected representatives you feel deserving of the whip.

Demand that programs be put in place for the assistance of those displaced by the storm, and mention that you are willing to pay taxes to support those programs.

Complain to the people you pay to do something about it. Demand that they listen. Be loud. Write paper letters: they get more attention than emails.

And come next November, base your votes on their actions rather their rhetoric.

And don't even get me started on the wisdom of pumping the puddle of toxic sludge that New Orleans is currently sitting in untreated into Lake Pontchartrain. We'll be paying for that one later.

But I frankly can't see what else they're going to do about it....


Yeah, you know that learned helplessness they're busy bitching about? They're banking on it.


Apparently they're going to start trying to vaccinate people in the shelters for Hep A (the one carried by human feces).

And there are reports of "a cholera-like illness." Here we go. Mainstream media picked up the story about food and construction and housing prices spiking today, finally.

Also, Rehnquist is lying on Lincoln's catafalque. Yuck.

God is an iron.

It's time to speak.
I have been told that since the anthrax scare, paper mail is now the worst way to reach your Congressperson: it gets there months late. Call or fax.

Yup. Don't send paper mail.

From the EFF, http://www.eff.org/congress/ , who are a professional lobbying organization:

Why to Not Send Postal Letters Anymore

Because of the post-9/11 security issues, it can take up to THREE MONTHS for postal mail and package delivery services to get through to legislators and their staffs. All incoming mail and parcels are subjected to thorough analysis for bombs, poisons and biological agents like anthrax. This means that sending physical letters is, in 2002 and for the forseeable future, practically useless for activism purposes. The same goes for sending mail to the White House.

The situation is not as bad for Federal agencies, nor for state and municipal government, but even in those cases, fax and e-mail will probably be more efficient and effective. What a turnabout from the 1990s, when most government bodies and legislators more or less ignored e-mail as a valid communications medium!

Re: Yup. Don't send paper mail.

A minor nit, which in no way devalues the advice given: the EFF is not, and legally cannot be, a lobbying organization. However, they can educate legislators on the issues. If this sounds like a stupid nitpicky distinction, take it up with the folks who wrote section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, with particular reference to paragraphs 3 and 6.

(I mention this mostly to forestall future questions about "why don't they do [x]" since the answer is often "they'd lose their tax-exempt status".)
I get responses to snail mail from Shelley Berkley and Harry Reid within a month. They're form letters, but I get them.

John Ensign apparently can't be arsed to answer my mail no matter how I send it.
When I used to live in NC, I never bothered writing Jesse for some reason or other...


datelined 8/5/2005

"After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, all congressional mail was routed through Washington, D.C., and exposed to high levels of radiation to kill any anthrax spores.

[Reps.] Engel and Lowey said mail sent to their offices through the U.S. Postal Service might not get to them for a month or more."
So if you're doubtful, send email too. Cut and paste doesn't take long.

Those of my friends who do political work are pretty unanimous in saying that paper mail gets taken more seriously than phone calls or email.
And why are you arguing with me rather than sending email to your congress(wo)men? *g*
I sent emails about another issue to both senators and congressperson on Saturday. Heard back from Obama on Sunday, Durbin and Bean today. They may have been form emails--you choose a category for your email, and I'm sure they have canned responses for various subjects--but I'm sure they log the number they get per category and if there's a spike...

I bet Katrina emails are spiking all over the place.
Damn straight.
Just wanted to add that I think there's something else people can do - RL education.

There's a whole lot of information that's circulating on the net, which doesn't seem to be being covered widely in other media. There are a whole lot of people who don't know this stuff, who are vulnerable to whatever spin and cover-up the Bush administration choose to put out.

So I'd suggest that people put together fact files about just what's actually happened and the lies that have been told . Print out some of the stuff that's being covered all over LJ. E-mail it to relatives, start conversations with your co-workers, say "Did you hear that FEMA ...", talk to your crazy uncle who thinks Bush is the greatest thing since sliced bread, whatever. Get the word out, preach to the people who aren't already in the choir.
I've been dealing with that all week. None of them have listened. And every single one of them believe that Bush is some kind of god.
I spent last weekend with assorted in-laws, and even the most conservative among them seem to be thoroughly disgusted with Shrub. I would have enjoyed hearing them go off on him more if it hadn't taken war and catastrophe to bring it about, though.
My congressman (Dingell) is supposed to have proposed legislation yesterday to pull FEMA back out from under homeland security.

I don't think I'll bother writing to him. ;)

except maybe to pat him on the back...
Write him in support!


Praise for them as does right

Yes, please - the stick works best when applied alongside the carrot. So do let the congresscritter who's doing the right thing, even if he/she's not yours, know that you appreciate their voice.

Working at a state agency, I can tell you that more paper letters get handed down for mandatory responses than do emails or phone calls...phone calls are the worst, response rate-wise.
Thank you for your Katrina posting. I hadn't even realized what was going on until I read your stuff last Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you want to read more, a friend of mine here flew Tuesday to Houston to provide tech to the refugees in the Astrodome: mostly so far she's hooking them up with family members. http://badgerbag.typepad.com/badgerbag/
You're welcome, and thanks for the link.

jlassen and twistedchick are doing good ongoing coverage, as is Making Light. There's an article over there now that's got me white with anger all over again.