Friday, March 31, 2006

An Imperfect Birth-body


Many things in our world seem radically unfair. People voluntarily incarnate, on a soul-level, to learn many things, including humility and compassion. Being born with an imperfect body is a great way to accelerate this learning. For example, I was born with a genetic defect that led directly to being blind.

People who are challenged are challenged to find their interior treasures. They usually are too limited in some way to get highly involved in sports, or in even wealth, or other antispiritual (because time-draining) pursuits. So, they do not become lost in these dead-ends and materialistic pursuits, wasting many lifetimes paying for ignorance.

Selfimage is also strongly challenged. We must base it on Love only; but most are tempted to find other strong physical or personal foundations for selfesteem. We are too proud of our "good looks," or our strength, or charisma, intellect, or skills and talents. All these are invalid reasons for ultimate authentic Selfesteem. The ultimate reason for Selfesteem must be the deep interior "higher Self" of the Soul, and the "highest Self" of Spirit. Anything that blocks this realization is an obstacle that must be removed. Those who are physically challenged must find their good in their own minds, rather than in physical pursuits or in their bodies.

It is at once both a lesson in realism and humility. The body is a bad basis for selfimage because even the most perfect body will get old and break down in several ways. Love wills that we derive selfesteem from It, from God, not from the personal self, body, or ego.

Then, of course, there is the karmic factor. A single life that is "messed up" is no big deal to the soul. For an entire life on earth is but a few minutes in soultime. So, if we voluntarily and deliberately misuse, abuse, or harm anyone with a deficiency of any kind, it is a guarantee that, next time around, we will be born with that same limitation. If we mock or make fun of any condition, it is very likely that this act of callous disregard will also result in our being born with that same condition. If you hate gays, you will definitely be gay in your next life. If you hate white or black people, you will definitely be reborn as a member of the despised race. This is the only way that some people can learn.

Besides this "reflective" karma, some few souls also have "optional" karma. This is karma that results, not from cruelty, but from a decision made by the soul, before we are born, that it needs a certain limitation. It chooses this to overcome, to become wiser and stronger. This is a rarer karma, but it explains some cases of selfchosen limitations, in which, for example, enlightened saints/mystics have had a biodysfunction. To make the mind/soul strong, it is but a "tiny" sacrifice to select an imperfect body. Many saintmystics have made this kind of choice. Since the soul lives for countless billions of eons, it does not take much time.

If you really wanted to discover what a thorn-stick feels like, you might penetrate a finger with a thorn. That is about the suffering-level created in the soul by a physically dysfunctional life. Many saints and mystics used this optional karma to make themselves superspiritual, or at least, to increase their empathy and compassion.

A New Pneumarium Family?

Your chart is that of a potentially great and delightful person. It is one with many potential gifts. It is true music to the ears to hear that you are going to revive your dormant spiritual Self. This is the very best decision that you have ever made, or can ever make.:)

It is also more "music" to hear that you want to start a Pneumarium study/discussion group locally. This is very easy, and it is another decision that you will never regret. To make it easy, if you want, you can use Journey as a basis for discussion, if you wish. What a sweet celebration of "family" this would be, and how all our local Pneumarium family would enjoy it! Sounds wonderful, exciting and delighting!

There is no better way to make friends-- and no better friends possible, than through the establishment of an "extended spiritual family," which is how we see our "Pneumarium family." You can then join our other new or proposed Pneumarium-groups in Vermont, South Dakota, Columbus, and Darjeeling (India). If we can do anything to help or assist, just please let us know.

I am thrilled to hear of your renewed interest in spirituality. It is no mere coincidence that your social conscience has been revived at the same time. Re your politics, I think that you must be true to yourself. If you pretend to be what you do not feel sincerely, your bodymind will exact a cost for this. [Your husband] does not love you for your politics. He should (and will) love you anyway. The days are long gone (good riddance) when a wife was only an "extension" of her husband. It is not always pleasant to live with an "opposite" politically, but Love can overcome any differences. You need to become your "authentic Self." Pretenses will not work, in the long run. And you do not want [your husband] to love an illusion, but your true self. The Way requires courage as well as honesty, and the Spirit is giving you a rather challenging beginning to your spiritual Way. Again, if there is any way that we can help, I, and the whole Pneumariumfamily, are one hundred percent behind you.

Urge Canada's new Prime Minister to stop the seal hunt

With the recent election of Prime Minister Harper, we have a new chance to convince the Canadian government that the price of continuing the seal hunt is too high to pay.

Send a message to Prime Minister Harper and tell him that you are joining the international boycott of Canadian seafood.

Let him know that your dollars will not support the slaughter of baby seals, and that you will not purchase Canadian seafood until he ends the seal hunt forever.

Join the Earth Day March

About Earth Day Virtual March:

After pocketing massive political contributions, Representatives Tom Delay, Richard Pombo (House Resources Committee Chair), and their
Congressional cronies have launched an unprecedented attack on all species in America, including us!

The Virtual March is our way of fighting back. With your help, we can block corporate special interests from being the loudest voice in Washington. We can push Congress to protect our wilderness, wild animals, and our own health.

To learn more about Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund:

To learn more about

Impeachment actions sweep the country!

The Impeach Bush movement has drawn in millions of people in this country. The mass media tried to not cover this story. We have placed full page newspaper ads from in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe and other newspapers and the results from this “media attention” has been overwhelming. A mass movement has been ignited from the grassroots. Now impeachment deadlines are being generated daily in response to actions from people at the local level.

In the next weeks this momentum will keep growing through more newspaper ads, radio spots, mass rallies, petition gathering, and growing participation in the People's Impeachment Lobby and the Impeach Bush referendum.

Donate today to help place more newspaper ads and radio spots.

The results of this grassroots campaign are visible everywhere. The Washington Post had to acknowledge this reality in a front page article
entitled, “Near Paul Revere Country, Anti-Bush Cries Get Louder:” The article reads, “To drive through New England's mill towns and curling
country roads is to journey into its impeachment belt. Three of this state's 10 House members have called for the investigation and possible
impeachment of President Bush.” Four townships in Vermont voted for impeachment in early March. And it is not just Vermont. From California to North Carolina to Wyoming, in New Mexico and New Hampshire impeachment resolutions are being introduced and adopted from one end of this country to the other! The City and County of San Francisco voted for Impeachment at the end of February.

ImpeachBush signs were visible in demonstrations around the country on March 18 and March 19, marking the third anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq. members and volunteers held banners, passed out petitions, and carried signs. We aim to bring the message of impeachment to every upcoming antiwar activity, which requires significant funds. Click here to contribute to the production of leaflets, signs, and banners.

The number of people who have voted in favor of impeachment with is now over 700,000. People are not only voting in the on-line referendum and getting their friends and families to do so, but are circulating and collecting signatures for petitions among their neighbors, and in their unions and schools, and places of worship. You can download the petition from the web site.

We are not waiting for the politicians. Every historic mass movement started at the grassroots. The corporate-owned mass media tried to
silence the movement by refusing to provide honest coverage. But thousands of people generously donated so that we could purchase full
page newspaper ads around the country and tear the down curtain of silence. The huge response is just what we expected as people have
learned how to join the movement. Now there is Impeachment activity in every state in the country.

If you have never donated to please consider doing so now. If you have contributed in the past we urge you to make another donation. The Impeachment movement can keep up the momentum with your help.

We can only continue to place the newspaper ads through the commitment and continued support of those who understand that Impeachment is the fundamental Constitutional method for holding officials accountable for criminal conduct. Please donate today.

Impeachment news digest!
1) The Impeachment Resolution adopted in Newfane, Vermont:
whereas George W. Bush has:
Misled the nation about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction;
Misled the nation about ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda;
Used these falsehoods to lead our nation into war unsupported by international law;
Not told the truth about American policy with respect to the use of torture; and
Has directed the government to engage in domestic spying, in direct contravention of U.S. law.
Therefore, the voters of the town of Newfane ask that our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives file articles of impeachment to
remove him from office.

2) New “Secret” Bush-Blair Memo Reveals Plan for Unprovoked war The New York Times published a front page story on Monday March 27th about another internal British memorandum, written in 2003 prior to the invasion of Iraq, that completely unmasks, once again, Bush’s repeated lying assertions that he went to war against Iraq as a “last choice.” The article shows that the Bush was dead-set on going to war and was mainly worried about how to proceed with the war even as Iraq was complying with UN weapons inspections and even as the inspectors were finding no nuclear, chemical or biological weapons program in Iraq. Below is a partial excerpt:

Bush Was Set on Path to War, Memo by British Adviser Says Published on Monday, March 27, 2006 by the New York Times
by Don Van Natta Jr.

LONDON — In the weeks before the United States-led invasion of Iraq, as the United States and Britain pressed for a second United Nations
resolution condemning Iraq, President Bush's public ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was blunt: Disarm or face war.
But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.

"Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Mr. Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six of their top aides. "The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March," Mr. Manning wrote, paraphrasing the president. "This was when the bombing would begin…."

The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was "unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups."
Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating
Mr. Hussein... At their meeting, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair candidly expressed their doubts that chemical, biological or nuclear weapons would be found in Iraq in the coming weeks, the memo said. The president spoke as if an invasion was unavoidable. The two leaders discussed a timetable for the war, details of the military campaign and plans for the aftermath of the war… Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised three possible ways of provoking a confrontation.”

More Evidence of Duplicity

Something remarkable happened Monday: the Corporate Media finally got sick of bush's endless lies about Iraq, and started to tell the truth.

The immediate cause was a front-page New York Times story about the "White House Memo," a 5-page report on the White House meeting between george bush and Tony Blair on January 31, 2003 - seven weeks before the invasion of Iraq.

At that time, millions of us were protesting around the world. We all knew [that] bush wanted war - that's why we were protesting! But bush insisted publicly that he did not, and the Corporate Media let him get away with his lies.

The "White House Memo" proves that bush was lying - saying one thing in public while saying the opposite in private. In private, he told Tony Blair that war was inevitable, and that it didn't matter if WMD's were found or if the U.N. adopted a resolution actually authorizing the invasion.

In fact, bush was so desperate for war that he proposed painting a U.S. spy plane with U.N. colors and flying it over Iraq to provoke an attack. But even if Saddam refused the bait, bush told Blair, the bombing would begin on March 10. bush wanted war, no matter what.

The Times article caused White House reporters to challenge Scott McClellan at the morning press gaggle. And in the evening, the "White House Memo" was featured on key cable shows.... Why is the truth finally breaking through? Because of us-- all of us. We marched by the millions before the war and predicted misery and horror, and we were right. When the Downing Street Memos proved [that] bush planned war all along, we created our own media ( to tell the story the Corporate Media refused to tell. When we got tired of being ignored, we commissioned our own polls and began a grassroots impeachment movement ( to tell Congress and the media that we would ultimately hold bush accountable for his lies.

And now we have reached a turning point in our "long march" for Truth. Everyone in the world knows in their heart that bush lied. Soon everyone will say it out loud:

bush Lied.

When millions of Americans say those two simple words-- and the media finally join us-- bush's reign of fear will come to a crashing
halt. That day cannot come soon enough for the people of America and the world.

Our message is simple and clear: bush Lied, so he must be Impeached. The bush Era must end so peace and justice can finally begin. To honor the thousands who have died for bush's lies, we cannot settle for anything less. Now is the time for truth.

(Thanks to Mick Gallagher)

Go Republicans

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, but our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include, of course, banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need
our prayers for your recovery.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

(Thanks to Mick Gallagher)

Religious Right Being Naughty

For years, the leaders of the Religious Right have attacked the freedom of women to control their own bodies, waged war on gay marriage, and fought to erode one of the central tenets of our Constitution: the separation between church and state.

Now it turns out that leaders of the Religious Right are knee-deep in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. After years of condemning gambling as a social ill, they’ve been caught in pro-gambling campaigns hatched by the indicted lobbyist.

Send a letter to Ralph Reed, James Dobson, and Lou Sheldon and tell them to start practicing what they preach.

They have claimed the moral high ground, asserting the right to tell people how to live and condemning millions of Americans for actions they deemed immoral. But former Christian Coalition Director Ralph Reed made millions from Indian gambling interests, rallying religious conservatives to oppose competing casinos. James Dobson of Focus on the Family recorded anti-gambling ads that a casino-operating Indian tribe paid to air. And Lou Sheldon’s Traditional Values Coalition was paid $25,000 by online gambling outfit eLottery to lobby congress on its behalf. It’s time to stop the hypocrisy. Millions of Americans have taken their moral cues from these morally bankrupt men only to find out now that they are in bed with the very interests they’ve earned their living condemning.

Let's make sure that these religious figures know we're on to their corruption. Send a letter - tell them to practice what they preach.

Michael Lawley,
Care2 and ThePetitionSite team

(thanks to mick gallagher)

Stop the Madness

You've got to see this movie—"King George's Flying Circus," a funny take on an anything but funny matter.

Tax cuts are no laughing matter. Watch King George's Flying Circus and find out why.

Watch the 30-second film now.

Each year for the past six years, President Bush and the Republican Congress have voted to increase tax cuts for the rich. How are they
paying for it? Watch the movie to find out.

Then, help spread the word about the horrific impact these tax cuts will have on the vital programs that help the elderly, college students and
working families. Let people know they can do something about it.

(thanks to Mick Gallagher, from an email message from Tracey Conaty AFSCME e-Activist Network)

Country in Disaster

We want America back., March 24, 2006
Reviewer: Duke

The rise of the Christian Right in our country and government since 2000 has been truly frightening. It is unbelievable what has transpired in our country since the Bush administration. Our government has been hijacked by the "Christian" Right, blurring the lines of church and state, and pushing for a semi-theocratic government. I am not a Christian; and [I] recognize [that] many so called "Christian values" are not moral or godlike at all. So where does that leave me and millions like me.

This doesn't seem like the United States any more. The secrets, the king-like attitude of our president, cracking down on dissent and the press. The list goes on. We are truly heading down a dangerous road.

I was born and raised a Christian, but, thank God, I left that long ago. I believe in God, but recognize Christianity as mostly fiction like any other organized religion. I know the history of Christianity, the creation of the Bible, the how, and the why. Most Christians are incredibly ignorant of their own religion and how it came to be. (That goes for any organized religion.) People do not want their belief systems shattered. They go into "Christian shutdown mode" when confronted with lies, contradictions and inaccuracies of the Bible. It is just too disturbing for them; and they [also] go into automatic defensive mode. There is no critical eye, [but] just blind faith. [Organized] Christianity is man made, not God made. It is truly a primitive belief system. God wants you to question and discard the myths.

Hopefully [It is hoped that] someday, if humanity survives, we will learn to let go of our primitive and stone age belief systems.
They are killing us.

...God help us.

(Thanks to Mick Gallagher)

Monday, March 27, 2006

High Spirits - Now On Radio!

The first show, the pilot or premier of "High Spirits", was Saturday, March 25, at 8 PM.

High Spirits is on every Saturday night at 8 pm.

Listen in at am 1530 WCKY near Cincinnati or online:

Here we are on the weekend lineup.

Feel free to call in, and say hi at 749-1530

Happy listening!

Robot Bartender

A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot bartender. The mechanism serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, "What's your IQ?"

The man replies "150" and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituality, bio
mimicry, environmental interconnectedness, string theory, nano-technology, and sexual proclivities.

The customer is very impressed and thinks, "This is really cool."

He senses that the cyberlogic does not have facial-recognition capacity, and decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink. The robot serves him the perfectly prepared drink and asks him, "What's your IQ?"

The man responds, "about one hundred."

Immediately the robot starts talking, but this time, about football, NASCAR, baseball, supermodels, favorite fast foods, guns, and
women's breasts.

Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He heads out and returns. The robot serves him and asks, "What's your IQ?"

The man replies, "Er, fifty, I think."

And the robot says very slowly, "So.............. ya gonna vote for Bush again?"

For those who care: George Bush's IQ has been measured at 80-- considerably subnormal.

(Thanks to Mick Galleghar)

Greedy President Smile

It Makes a Greedy President Smile

President Bush was awakened one night by an urgent call from Dick Cheney.

"Mr. President," said the Vice President, barely able to contain himself, "there's good news and bad news."
"Oh, no..." muttered the President, "Well, let me have the bad news first."
"The bad news, sir, is that we've been invaded by creatures from another planet."
"Gosh that is bad. And the good news?"
"The good news, sir, is that they eat reporters and pee oil."

Gator's Den web site

Thanks to Ty Scharrer.

HR 635 to Impeach

Please join us in cosponsoring House Resolution 635, for the first step in impeaching bush.

Go to:

(Thanks to Mary Butler)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Bush Knew about Katrina Threat - and Let it Happen

Dear Friends of the Heart,

The president has added more to his record of the absence of compassion, and the result has been more innocent lives lost. His reputation for being not only dumb, but uncaring, continues: It is a dangerous and terrible combination.

This evening, the Associated Press released secret transcripts and video footage showing President Bush being personally briefed the day before Hurricane Katrina hit land. The predictions he heard were shockingly precise and accurate—including the failure of the levees. He knew exactly what was coming.

The article is a smoking gun on Bush's unpardonable failure to keep us safe. In just a few hours, the White House will be filling the airwaves with spin, so it's important to reach out right now to pass on the straight story to family and friends.

The full AP article is quoted below as it was sent to me by
Can you help get the word out to at least 5 friends?
Send them this link


At the August 28th briefing, the president was told exactly what to expect:

The chief scientist of the National Hurricane Center warned that a major levee breach was "obviously a very, very grave concern." Bush lied to the entire nation about this point just 5 days later. Michael Brown told the president that if New Orleans flooded, the Superdome emergency shelter would likely be under water, and short on supplies, creating a "catastrophe within a catastrophe."

Experts and officials implored the President to prepare for, as the AP described it, "devastation of historic proportions." President Bush didn't ask a single question during the briefing. In the next two days, he campaigned, attended birthday parties, and played guitar, while the worst natural disaster in American history killed over 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

There can now be no mistake: President Bush had a chance to lead, and he failed to keep us safe.

In the next few days, we'll be tracking this story carefully and coordinating our response with partners in New Orleans and around the nation. The survivors of Katrina deserve to know why the president left them to suffer the storm. And the people of the United States deserve leadership we can trust to keep our families safe. We'll work hard together until we have both.

Here's the full article from the Associated Press.
March 1, 2006
Video Shows Bush Was Warned Before Katrina

WASHINGTON (AP)—In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief, before Hurricane Katrina struck, that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome, and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

The footage—along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press—show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

Linked by secure video, Bush's confidence on Aug. 28 starkly contrasts with the dire warnings his disaster chief and a cacophony of federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm. A top hurricane expert voiced "grave concerns" about the levees and then-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown told the president and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that he feared there weren't enough disaster teams to help evacuees at the Superdome.

"I'm concerned about ... their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe," Brown told his bosses the afternoon before Katrina made landfall.

Some of the footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 conflict with the defenses that federal, state and local officials have made in trying to deflect blame and minimize the political fallout from the failed Katrina response:

  • —Homeland Security officials have said the "fog of war" blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show [that] federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans, and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. "I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done," National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast. "I don't buy the 'fog of war' 'defense," Brown told the AP in an interview Wednesday. "It was a fog of bureaucracy."
  • —Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. But the transcripts and video show [that] there was plenty of talk about that possibility—and Bush was worried too. White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and Brown discussed fears of a levee breach the day the storm hit.
    "I talked to the president twice today, once in Crawford and then again on Air Force One," Brown said. "He's obviously watching the television a lot, and he had some questions about the Dome; he's asking questions about reports of breaches."
  • —Louisiana officials angrily blamed the federal government for not being prepared; but the transcripts show that they were still praising FEMA as the storm roared toward the Gulf Coast-- and even two days afterward. "I think a lot of the planning FEMA has done with us the past year has really paid off," Col. Jeff Smith, Louisiana's emergency preparedness deputy director, said during the Aug. 28 briefing. It wasn't long before Smith and other state officials sounded overwhelmed. "We appreciate everything that you all are doing for us, and all I would ask is that you realize that what's going on and the sense of urgency needs to be ratcheted up," Smith said Aug. 30. Mississippi begged for more attention in that same briefing. "We know that there are tens or hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana that need to be rescued, but we would just ask you, we desperately need to get our share of assets because we'll have people dying—not because of water coming up, but because we can't get them medical treatment in our affected counties," said a Mississippi state official whose name was not mentioned on the tape.

Video footage of the Aug. 28 briefing, the final one before Katrina struck, showed an intense Brown voicing concerns from the government's disaster operation center, and imploring colleagues to do whatever was necessary to help victims.

"We're going to need everything that we can possibly muster, not only in this state and in the region, but the nation, to respond to this event," Brown warned. He called the storm "a bad one, a big one" and implored federal agencies to cut through red tape to help people, bending rules if necessary. "Go ahead and do it," Brown said. "I'll figure out some way to justify it. ... Just let them yell at me."

Bush appeared from a narrow, windowless room at his vacation ranch in Texas, with his elbows on a table. Hagin was sitting alongside him.
Neither asked questions in the Aug. 28 briefing. "I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm," the president said.

A relaxed Chertoff, sporting a polo shirt, weighed in from Washington at Homeland Security's operations center. He would later fly to Atlanta, outside of Katrina's reach, for a bird flu event. One snippet captures a missed opportunity on Aug. 28 for the government to have dispatched active-duty military troops to the region to augment the National Guard.

Chertoff: "Are there any DOD assets that might be available? Have we reached out to them?"
Brown: "We have DOD assets over here at EOC (emergency operations center). They are fully engaged. And we are having those discussions with them now."
Chertoff: "Good job."

In fact, active duty troops weren't dispatched until days after the storm. And many states' National Guards had yet to be deployed to the region despite offers of assistance, and it took days before the Pentagon deployed active-duty personnel to help overwhelmed Guardsmen. The National Hurricane Center's Mayfield told the final briefing, before Katrina struck, that storm models predicted minimal flooding inside New Orleans during the hurricane; but he expressed concerns that counterclockwise winds and storm surges afterward could cause the levees at Lake Pontchartrain to be overrun.

"I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not; but that is obviously a very, very grave concern," Mayfield told the briefing. Other officials expressed concerns about the large number of New Orleans residents who had not evacuated. "They're not taking patients out of hospitals, taking prisoners out of prisons, and they're leaving hotels open in downtown New Orleans. So I'm very concerned about that," Brown said.

Despite the concerns, it ultimately took days for search and rescue teams to reach some hospitals and nursing homes.

Brown also told colleagues that one of his top concerns was whether evacuees who went to the New Orleans Superdome—which became a symbol of the failed Katrina response—would be safe and have adequate medical care. "The Superdome is about 12 feet below sea level.... I don't know whether the roof is designed to stand, withstand a Category Five hurricane," he said.

Brown also wanted to know whether there were enough federal medical teams in place to treat evacuees and the dead in the Superdome. "Not to be (missing) kind of gross here," Brown interjected, "but I'm concerned" about the medical and mortuary resources "and their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe."

Support our member-driven organization: Political Action is entirely funded by our 3.3 million members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support our work, you can give now at:

The Plan of the Cosmos


Love (God) does indeed have a "divine plan." It is for the full enlightenment in Love of every living being. This is the time prophesied by Paul, when God will be "all in all." That is, every thought in every mind, throughout all the galaxies, will be of only Love. In time, every being will become an incarnation of purest Love.

All karma will have been erased, and forgiven, all sins obliterated by this infinite Love. Then, creatures will live in perfect joy, bliss, ecstasy, and harmony for countless billions of years, or eons, into the indefinite future.

Every creature will find total wellness in Mind, and unending, irreversible joy in simple being, in the act of just living. Materialism, greed, violence, and fear will all have become only illusions from the "past." In fact, the "past" itself will drift away as illusion.


Oppose Public Land Sell-Off

Bush Budget Puts Our Public Lands on Blue-Light Special

Have you heard about the Bush administration's plans to put our public lands on "blue-light special?" Bush's proposed 2007 budget includes
provisions to sell off as much as 800,000 acres of our public lands to the highest bidder!

This is not the first time the anti-public-lands crowd has attempted to sell off America's public estate. Just two months ago, similar attempts to sell off millions of acres of land were made, but conservation-minded Republicans and Democrats alike balked at the idea. The Wilderness Society needs our help to stop this latest scheme in its tracks.

Will you join me in speaking out against this absurd proposal?

Click here to send a message to your Members of Congress now!