Guest Blog Entries


Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

It's hard to believe, but I think I'm about to defend George W. Bush. Well, sort of. If one takes a step back for a moment, do any of us really think that the situation would have been any different if John Kerry had won the election? Or Al Gore? Do we honestly think that had Katrina happened when Bill Clinton was in office that this wouldn't be just as bad? This disaster represents a failure not of the republican party, but of the U.S. Government and frankly of U.S. society as a whole.

I just hope that voter's memories are as short as they usually are or this tradgedy is going to be an election issue that has absolutely no right to be.

      Mike H.

Take a moment to read this. Then, feel free to change your opinion of Dubya. It's time this man is held accountable for the consequences of his actions and failures to act.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

I am wondering if you or any of your readers have thoughts on this news article about Hugues Cormier withdrawing for the leadership of the Parti Quebecois on Friday after being suspended from his job for soliciting psychiatric patients.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cpress/20050903/ca_pr_on_na/pq_leadership

      Jill

Admittedly, I haven't been following the Parti Québécois leadership race very closely. I don't know Hugues Cormier, but I just read in the Globe that he told Radio-Canada yesterday that he had asked approximately 30 mental patients to become PQ members and support his leadership bid. He confirmed that some of the patients were heavily handicapped. In my books, that's a no-no.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

I agree with anonymous however I disagree that Bush dropped the ball. I don't believe he carried the ball in the first place. This is totally unbelievable from a country with the resources of the United States. My big fear as well is that The United States is exposing its weaknesses to terrorists. It is showing them that the US security is vulnerable.

One other point. Would they have been slow to react if there were white people waiting on roofs in Kennebunkport Maine after a hurricane tragedy.

I know you are waiting for me to end this blog with Go Sens Go, however I have been a Penguin fan for over 20 years. Sens fans I must admit really don;t know that much about hockey.

      Mark from Ottawa

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mark from Ottawa has spoken the unspeakable that everyone is thinking but nobody dares to say aloud. Actually, that's no longer true. Kanye West, during a live benefit show on NBC, said the following. "George Bush doesn't care about black people...America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."

Racism certainly played a role. Watching the footage of people outside the Superdome and Convention Center, every face was black. This is partly what infuriated me this past week. I don't believe the response would have been as slow if the masses in need of aid were lighter skinned. Racism in the American South has always been an issue, and this week it was exposed for the world to see. Condoleezza Rice can deny that race was a factor all she likes, but I don't think anyone's buying it.

What did New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin say the other day? "Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country." You're right Mark, the grossly incompetent Dubya never had the ball to drop. His offenses are legion. It's time to update his resume. This is the least funny joke in the history of the world.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

I cannot believe what I just read from Kristyn regarding the situation in New Orleans & the rest of the Gulf coast. Imagine if this would happen to good ole TO. She is totally disillusional with her thoughts & perception of the rest of the world. We (as the U.S.) live in a country where we are fortunate to have the necessities of life (water, food & shelter) & when catastrophies like this happen we depend on our leaders to help out in these times of need. The U.S. dropped the ball & this has been recognized by other country's trying to help when the Prez says they can look after the situation themselves without foreign aid. It's TOO late Mr. Bush as people have died & are dying needlessly. Kristyn - you are the one that's warped - SORRY!! P.S. it's 2005 not 1900.

      Anonymous

Kristyn, do you wish to defend your insane stance or is it time to repent? Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had the quote of the day. "I think it puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, because if we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" And in a very rare moment of honesty, here's Dubya's response when asked how the richest country on Earth could not meet the needs of its people. "I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results."

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

Kristyn L. - get a life. Your guest blog below seems to be from some bleeding heart person who has NO concept of reality. The message most are trying to convey is that being a 1st world country (the U.S.) it took 4 days to help their own people, not worrying about other countries (which live aid & live 8 tried to help). The G8 summit this past July will hopefully help in YOUR concern of other countries (3rd world) but the PROBLEM today is in the United States' own backyard & there was minimal aid during the first 3 days. Drive to the mall, watch your TV but make sure YOU donate to the Red Cross a little something for the people of the Gulf coast. You have to get a &$#@%*! grip on life.

      Twins From Bolton

Yeah, I let Kristyn L. have it below. She's entitled to her opinion, even if it's dead wrong.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

Well it seems that I also have a strong opinion of the situation in New Orleans. Yes, what is happening is horrible, tragic and will forever leave an impact on the lives of those who have survived it but I am so damn tired of hearing people complain about how the government isn't doing enough to help the people suffering right now. I realize they are in need of clean water, food, clothing, shelter and some kind of protection from the looters and "hoodlums" that have taken over the area. All that is obvious. But to complain that nothing is being done or that everything is happening too slowly is absolutely maddening.

The populations of First World Nations are ridiculously spoiled. There are areas of the world that NEVER have reliable access to uncontaminated water, where starvation is a daily part of life, where a roof that ISN'T made of thatch is an absolute sign of luxury and where the ONLY order is that held up by warlords who rape and kill whenever they see fit. I understand that waiting a few days, even weeks for food and water to be brought in is incredibly difficult but for entire societies to live with these problems for generations is the real tragedy.

I realize that I myself am a hypocrite for saying these things and then turning back to my TV or driving to the mall in my car but seriously, to all those freaking out over the situation in New Orleans. Rip off your blinders, look at what other people have to go through EVERY day of their lives and get a fucking grip. Help is on it's way which is much more than can be said for others in your current position.

/rant

      Kristyn L.

Let me see if I properly understand your argument. Because third world nations often suffer long periods of time without safety, clean water and food supplies those suffering in New Orleans this week should stop bitching? That's absolutely ludicrous. Actually, insane is a better label for your warped logic.

The United States of America is the richest country in the world with the most powerful armed forces. New Orleans is a city in the continental United States, not part of the third world or a country ruled by "warlords who rape and kill". It took more than four days after Hurricane Katrina struck for the National Guard to arrive with food, water and weapons. The planet's only superpower is clearly stuggling with the aftermath of Katrina and you reckon we're over reacting because "other people" have to endure this "every day of their lives". Just as two wrongs never make a right, I hardly think citizens of the United States (or Canada, for that matter) are "spoiled" for having expected a quicker response to these horrors.

In my opinion, it is you who needs to get a grip.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

I'm updating my guest blog from July 21/05 to include Hurricane Katrina & put this disaster at # 4. The loss of life will be immeasurable once all is said & done. The US federal gov't is an absolute JOKE with its miniscule support especially from Dubya who after 2 days decided to cut his vacation short & do something. I cannot imagine how it is in these stricken areas with people doing anything to survive. Let them loot & get water, food & other supplies from stores as all will be not salvagable when they reopen. Lives are at stake & I would probably do ANYTHING to try to survive much like these people are trying to do. New Orleans will become the 21st century ATLANTIS - the LOST city.

      Dale

This article by Kevin Drum does a great job of tracking the fate of both FEMA and flood control projects in New Orleans under the Bush administration. Dubya didn't cause the hurricane but he is responsible for the far too slow federal response. What kills me is that this was not a surprise. 9/11 was a surprise attack, the tsunami was a surprise assault by Mother Nature but we saw Katrina forming and tracked her path. It's as if there was no plan at all, just a flat footed reaction that was grossly inadequate. The whole thing is so damn upsetting.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

I wouldn't for a moment suggest that anyone suffering through the distaster that is New Orleans deserves it. Having said that though, honestly what did they expect?? There was plenty of advance warning, not to mention a mandatory evacuation order. So then everyone takes shelter in a single building, still located in the general vicinity of the disaster. Did no one expect that the power might go off? That the plumbing might not work? The current situation is the result of pretty much everyone from the federal government right down to the general populace dropping the ball and dropping it badly.

      Mike H.

Many a ball was dropped, that's for certain. As I understand it, New Orleans was a city of very poor and very rich and a very wide gap between the two. The rich got out, and may never return. The poor, without automobiles, education or money, were willing to roll the dice and stay in their city.

This article was posted Sunday morning. The mandatory evacuation notice came down Sunday morning and the Louisiana Superdome was opened that day at noon as a "shelter of last resort". The mayor discouraged people from staying at the Superdome because there were few supplies and "people would not have access to power and possibly plumbing". So yes, there was a days warning but it clearly wasn't enough time and the message wasn't completely received. Again, many a ball was dropped. If only we could call a Mulligan and do this over.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

What is happening in New Orleans is disgraceful and something I am not sure I could endure. Being human usually portrays some kind of higher intelligence and ways to cope with life. Yet as I look at the horrific footage of what is going on down in Louisianna and in particular New Orleans I realize how quickly our human coping mechanisms can be lost and how swiftly the animal comes out in human beings. Looting and fighting and lack of respect for each other is very disturbing. Yes the officials have not done a very good job of keeping the citizens fed and comfortable yet I still feel sad that the human aspect of this situation was lost so quickly.

Without order and rules and someone of authority overseeing them people become animals and perhaps less then animals. There have been fictional novels written on this very subject. Fictional novels that became pulitzer prize winners because of their escapism and sensationalism. Yet nothing about the novels I refer to are exaggerated when looking at the chaos of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

      Anonymous

I see right now that a convoy of trucks containing aid are arriving at the Superdome and Convention Center. This type of action should have come sooner. The people left behind already had little, and following the storm they had nothing. With little to lose they feel forgotten. A forgotten people in desperate times tend to act with little regard for order. The result is anarchy, and the only cure is hope.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following entry earlier today.

Hi Mike and readers alike.

With all this talk of radio stations pulling one specific Tragically Hip song from their rotations, I thought I would share my 2 cents on the Hip's superb "If New Orleans Is Beat".

This song always stood out with a big "?" when I tried to figure out what the guys were talking about. Although it may not pertain to the exact situation of the catastrophe...it does say some interesting things. I'm sure you all know the tune, here is a sample:

Your smile is fading a bit so I ration it
don't think about it
here where the Mississippi quits
where its still got a bit of Minnesota in it

The river takes takes takes and takes
it doesn't change and only changes
see it there in a picture with me
there's a caption beneath,
"New Orleans is beat"
and if New Orleans is beat
if New Orleans is beat
if New Orleans is beat...

Do they mean if New Orleans is conquered, or exhausted? (or is that the same?) I'm thinking exhausted... You can only "take" so much then you're done. Downie says everything from Minnesota down is carried to New Orleans; New Orleans is strong, stronger than the rest of us. So if New Orleans is beat...Where does that leave you and me.

The song suddenly does seem extremely relevant. Here is another verse to crunch... Somebody else please share their thoughts.

No one will give you a thing these days
they'd rather kill it or throw it away
you don't 'do' dark American streets so
if New Orleans is beat...

Thanks, Peace be with us all.

      Carter

If you Google "New Orleans is Beat", guess who's number one. Your guest blog has me playing The Hip tune from In Between Evolution right now and it does seem to have a completely different meaning in this context. I'm also reminded of how pretty it is. I've only heard it live once, a couple of Canada Days ago and they played it immediately before "New Orleans is Sinking".

I always thought "New Orleans is Beat" was subtlety referring to their classic beloved "New Orleans is Sinking", but hearing it today it seems to paint a picture of a city that can beat anything but is geographically at the mercy of the bordering Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi River. They're a tough people, and if they're beat...

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