I am deeply appreciative and extremely humbled by this act on the part of Iraqi soldiers:
|::::::::||TAJI, Iraq, Sept. 9, 2005 — Iraqi soldiers serving at Taji military base collected 1,000,000 Iraqi dinars for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Iraqi Col. Abbas Fadhil, Iraqi base commander, presented the money to U.S. Col. Paul D. Linkenhoker, Taji Coalition base commander, at a Sept. 5 staff meeting.
“We are all brothers,” said Abbas. “When one suffers tragedy, we all suffer their pain.”
The amount of money is small in American dollars – roughly $680 – but it represents a huge act of compassion from Iraqi soldiers to their American counterparts, said U.S. Army Maj. Michael Goyne.
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of their generosity,” Goyne said. “I was proud and happy to know Col. Abbas, his officers, NCOs and fellow soldiers. That amount represents a month’s salary for most of those soldiers.”
My thanks to those men. That they would think of helping us while fighting their own very real battles shows they mean what they say about brotherhood. I’m proud to call them allies and friends.
Hat Tip: LGF
No, I don’t mean holding someone responsible for the fact that a hurricane formed and hit the coast. (That seems to be the area of expertise for the MoveOn, Daily Kos, and Democratic Underground crowd.) As I mentioned yesterday, however, it is becoming apparent that the federal agencies – FEMA, Coast Guard, etc. – aren’t where the problems lay in the immediate aftermath of Katrina’s landfall. FEMA’s not the party responsible for keeping the Red Cross from providing assistance to those poor souls who relied on the Superdome for shelter at the Mayor’s suggestion. The idea that the problem was positioned a little closer to the issue than Washington is supported more each day as the facts get examined. Peter Ferra writes:
|::::::::||A few basic facts will help to detox the political environment:
(1) FEMA is not an agency of first responders. It is not the agency responsible for bringing people bottles of water and trays of fresh food, or transporting them out of harm’s way. It also has zero law enforcement authority, or personnel.
These first-responder jobs are the responsibility of local and state government — city police and firemen, city transportation and emergency services personnel, state police, and ultimately the state National Guard.
FEMA has always been primarily a federal financing agency, providing funding to the locals after the crisis hits to help them respond and rebuild. That is why FEMA’s Web site baldly states don’t expect them to show up with their aid until three or four days after the disaster strikes.
(2) Moreover, the National Guard is under the command of each state’s governor, not the president. The president can federalize control of a state’s guard on his own order, but doing so without a governor’s consent to deal with an intrastate natural disaster would be a supreme insult to the governor and the state. In addition, using federal troops for local police actions is against the law and has been since the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.
His commentary continues with an examination of who actually did what (or didn’t do, as the case may be) in the aftermath of Katrina. I’ve already covered some of it here, but he’s got a good article you’d be well served reading.
Interesting op-ed piece in the Washington Times this morning is titled “Malfeasance of citizenship.“
|::::::::||In assessing the events on our Gulf Coast over the past fortnight it is necessary to note that thousands of Americans in News Orleans showed almost no sense of self-reliance and personal responsibility. Some, of course, were sick, infirm or otherwise helpless. But many were not. This malfeasance of citizenship is as damaging as the failures of government officials, and rectification is just as crucial.||::::::::|
In the wake of 9/11 I prepared my family with some capability for self-reliance. I took the Department of Homeland Security’s suggestion to lay in enough supplies to provide for ourselves in every respect for 3 days. Have you?
Update: I’ve been thinking about this today a lot and I want to make 1 counter comment. It’s not fair to automatically assume that everyone who was sheltering at the Superdome had taken no action to provide for themselves. It might have been a situation where their emergency supplies were located at their homes and they were unable to transport them to the Dome when they went there. I don’t know of any specific instance where that’s true, but it’s a possibility and I wanted to say so.
Former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was fined today as part of his sentence for mishandling classified documents. The going rate for knowingly stuffing secret documents into your pants and jacket and totally contravening security measures you’ve sworn to uphold? $50,000.
That’s right, folks. The Nation Security Advisor for the President of the United States – arguably the single most cleared person in the country and the one most familiar with both the security process and the ramifications of compromise of that process – deliberately stole classified documents and smuggled them out the door hidden in his jacket and pants and he has to pay a fine of $50,000. Oh, and 100 hours of community service and 2 years’ probation. And let’s not forget, he had to “surrender his access” to such classified documents for a period of 3 years.
Want to know what would have happened had a political nobody such as myself had done such a thing? There would have been no fine at all, because depending on what documents I took, I’d be strapped to a gurney and have a needle full of a very toxic cocktail stuck in my arm. At the very least, I’d be going to jail for decades, if not for the remainder of my life. Sandy Berger should have been held to the same standard. It’s not like he didn’t know what he was doing. It’s not like – in spite of his earlier lies to the contrary – he made an honest mistake. He knew full well what he was doing and he knew equally well it was against the law not to mention his oath to do no such thing. Berger should have been sent to jail for a long time. As for his “access”, it should have been revoked, on a permanent basis, not “surrendered” for 3 years. Who can trust this man with classified documents again?
Certainly not me.
Diabetics who must give themselves insulin had better be either not afraid of needles or able to get over it. I’ve worked with several people who are required to give themselves insulin shots several times a day depending on what they eat. It’s a tough situation for those of them who, like me, are seriously scared of poking holes in themselves with a steel pin. So today’s announcement of approval by an FDA panel for an inhaled delivery system for insulin is some welcome news.
The stuff’s called “Exubera” and it’s just what I described: insulin that is inhaled rather than injected.
|::::::::||Federal health advisers yesterday recommended government approval of the first inhaled form of insulin, offering some diabetics an alternative to many of their daily injections.
The recommendation by a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel was made despite questions about use of the drug among people who have lung disease or were exposed to secondhand smoke.
No specific restrictions were recommended for Exubera, but FDA officials said smokers probably would not be able to use the drug. Their blood sugar level could fall dangerously low with Exubera because they absorb much more inhaled insulin in their lungs than do nonsmokers.
Just another reason to not smoke, I suppose. While I’m sure it won’t work for everyone, it will surely work for some folks and that’s a step in the right direction. I hope it works out.