More N.O.

Driving in Santa Monica earlier today I heard George Bush on the radio.  He
said to send cash.  To the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

I want to send cash.  But I want to send it to the government.

The head of FEMA took the right wing position yesterday.  He blamed the
predicament of those in New Orleans on themselves.  They just didn’t follow
instructions.  They needed to LEAVE when warned.

But it’s not easy to leave if you’re dirt poor and have no transportation.  I
was just about ready for some Republican to tell those in New Orleans to HELP
themselves.  Isn’t that their position?  Your life situation is of your own
doing?  And you should prepare for the inevitable disaster?  By saving?

That’s not very Christian.

My understanding is Christianity is about being compassionate, helping your

Although I share those values, I don’t happen to be a Christian.  So, I’m not
exactly happy with placing all charity in the hands of a religious
organization.  I’d rather place my faith in the government.

We need a government.  That’s what the tragedy and lawlessness in New Orleans
evidences.  We need a police force.  And services.

Services.  They don’t come free.  You’ve got to pay for them.  And you do
this through TAXES!

The Republicans have succeeded in making "tax" a dirty word.  To the point
where nobody can run for office on a platform of increasing individual financial
liability to the government.  What do they say?  It’s YOUR MONEY?  We don’t
want to take it from you?

Well, why don’t they then say you now won’t get services.  That’s what taxes
give you, a government that renders services.

I’m gonna let you in on a secret.  You can’t spend money without wasting it. 
It can be simple.  You can buy the wrong paper for your printer, one that
doesn’t render the proper finished product.  But does that mean you should shut
your business down, stop printing, because you blew $3.50?

If the government begins a program, money will be wasted.  It’s INHERENT in
the process.  But that doesn’t mean we should eliminate all programs.  We
should do the best we can to eliminate waste, but we shouldn’t throw the baby out
with the bathwater.

The individualist philosophy that has invaded out country has lowered our
quality of life.  Let’s not pay for education in the inner city, we don’t live
there.  Then again, who ends up doing the work in your neighborhood, the stuff
you don’t want to do?

I’ve been paying insurance on my domicile for THIRTY YEARS!  I’ve never
collected once.  But I keep paying, fearful a disaster COULD take place.  That’s
how reasonable people run their lives.  We think about consequences.  But we
can’t protect against ALL disasters.  I don’t have a stockpile of groceries in my
house, of medicines, if an earthquake occurs, I’m counting on the government
to take care of me, at least get me through.  That’s why I’m paying income
taxes and taxes on a whole host of other things.

I’m happy to pay a percentage of my earnings for services, for protection
against disaster.  It’s an insurance policy just like the one I have on my house.

I want to drive the streets knowing that potholes will be filled in a
reasonable time.

I want bridges inspected so they don’t collapse when I’m on them.

I want education funded so people can get reasonable jobs and not become drug
addicts and a scourge on society.  Making me fearful every time I leave my

I want to pay for not only law and order, but a better place for ALL of us to
live.  I want to know there’s a safety net for those hit by misfortune that
is unforeseeable, whether it be a hurricane, earthquake or medical problem.

Contrary to what the rich believe, flying in private aircraft, vacationing in
private enclaves, living in spacious apartments with doormen, we’re all in
this together.  And if the poor people weren’t buying your product, you wouldn’t
HAVE these creature comforts.

Screw collecting for charity.  Raise taxes tomorrow.  On ALL of us.  Because
we’re all going to be affected by this tragedy.  Just watch the price of

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.