Friday, February 29, 2008

Finally I'm Getting Help!

Just couldn't wait until tomorrow to share my good news!

This afternoon I had my appointment at the neighborhood clinic. The doctor was not only a very nice guy (which is always good in a doctor) he was very helpful. He listened to what I had to say and gave me a couple of mood and symptom questionnaires to fill out. The sort of thing Ed at the Human Service Center should have done.

And best of all, he gave me a couple of prescriptions: one for Zyprexa, a mood stabilizer, and the other for the generic form of Prozac. The Kroger next door charges only $4 for generics.

Also, he said I could get free counseling from the counselor in the clinic. I also need to get bloodwork done next week, because it needs to be done at a separate lab. And I've another appointment to let the doctor know how things are going on Fri., Mar. 14th.

So while I know it's going to take a long time for the meds to work, or maybe even to find the right combination of meds, I'm glad I'm finally on that road to feeling better.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oscar-Winning Performers

During this weekend when Sunday night the Academy Awards will be handed out, we must all or most all be recognized as Oscar-winning performers. That's what we more often than not feel we have to be in the movies of our lives.

I mean, emotionally-speaking. Because from the start, unless our parents are care-free regarding this sort of thing, they tell us we must never cry or otherwise break up in public. Or not get angry. Or otherwise display the fact that we may be hurting inside.

So we put on our Oscar-winning performances. If we work, we do so because it would not be "professional" to burst into tears or get angry. If we're with our friends, we do this so they won''t feel uncomfortable. And in public we do this so people won't stare at us. And even if we're at home, our acting skills may have been so ingrained that we don't give our Oscar-winning performances a rest. The show must go on.

But even though our performances are Oscar-winning, we don't get little gold statuettes. Instead the emotions simmer inside until we get things such as ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. And if we're already biologically predisposed to do so, because we're keeping our pain inside become depressed and/or bipolar--which makes it harder to keep putting on our performances.

I recall a blog from about a week ago where the writer said she wondered how the people around her could be so happy--like the moms she saw who'd be picking up their kids from school everyday. What I read made me wonder if they were really this happy--or if they were putting on Oscar-winning performances.

I've been putting on Oscar-winniing performances for much of my life (I'm 50.) I've been depressed since my late 20's, and had been keeping it well-hidden thinking I could hang in there. But lately my acting talent has begun to fail. In my last year in my job I'd started getting emotional--for example, crying or getting angry or becoming agitated--in certain situations. I'd thought in spite of this I'd been doing O.K.--but my last report before I was let go was a bad one. Which means I won't be getting an Oscar this year.......

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do I Have To Kill Myself So They'll Help Me?

The "they" refers to the Human Service Center in Peoria, Illinois. Monday morning I first called the local mental health association, describing my depression, etc. and asked for resources. I was referred to the Human Service Center.

The Human Service Center in Peoria, Illinois is to helping people like me who need help what FEMA has been to helping New Orleanians after the federal flood. It's run by the Fayette Companies. Here's a link to their corporate/public relations bullshit.

The first time I called the Human Service Center, the receptionist said she was putting me through to Bill, the intake guy. All I got was his voice mail. I think this happened three times--after which I'd started crying. Because I thought an agency supposedly helping people in distress should provide human beings to talk to. I asked to be able to talk to a human being.

Then, the receptionist said she was connecting me to their Emergency Response Services. Again, all I got was voice mail. So I called again and was instructed to call back in a half-hour, which I did--and got the same results. Except that when I called again after that, I was instructed to leave my phone number so Bill could get back to me. I left my cell number--then had the presence of mind to ask for the Human Service Center's address.

Fortunately it was easy to get to by bus, so I took the next one there. During which, I never heard back from Bill. The receptionist asked if I'd been told to come down there. I said No, then told about all the calls I'd made. By that time I was feeling terrible--which I also told her.

She asked me to wait--and soon Bill appeared. I told him about the depression (no chance to bring up the bipolar--he was so hurried) and how it had gotten so bad I knew I needed meds for it. He said the first opening for an appointment would be at 12:30 Feb. 29th, after which I told him about my clinic appointment for that day. So he said I should keep that and if they thought I needed help they'd refer me to the Human Service Center. He did mention that I could talk to someone in Emergency Response Services if I wanted to.

So I did. Bad idea. Because the person I talked to was an extremely clueless jerk with an artificial arm named Ed. (The jerk--not the arm!) Now, I know it must seem politically incorrect for me to mention his arm--but believe me, I would never have brought it up, had I been able to get the help I need. For if he knew what he was doing, this would not have made a difference. But for a reason I'm bringing up below, I'm mentioning it.

And Ed is the actual first name he gave, me, folks--I only wish I also knew his last name because this asshole deserves all the bad publicity he can get. I'm singling him out for criticism because he's the only person there I dealt with at length.

I told Ed everything--about my depression/bipolar, which I'd had for years, that in the last couple of years had steadily gotten bad enough for me to need meds, how this had affected my job and I now need to apply for disability. He asked me a few questions like if I was having trouble sleeping, which I have been. And I showed him the symptom checklist I'd filled out.

Ed told me in effect that the Human Service Center has no interest in helping someone like me--who has no history of mental health treatment. This in spite of the fact that I had been crying and had told not only him but Bill and others there that I desperately need treatment including meds. He said the Human Service Center is only interested in helping what it calls a "target population" of people who've already had mental health problems and been getting treatment for them.

He also wouldn't give me any info about applying for disability, saying people can only get that when there was a history of being disabled. (He was wrong--I just read in a book on bipolar yesterday that you can get disability if you've either had a disability for a year or more, or have a disability that's expected to last for a year or more--which depression or bipolar would.) I had no chance to tell him that due to low energy I don't feel up to the effort and the stress of looking for a new job.

And at any rate--suppose I was being properly treated with the combination of meds (once those that would be effective for me were found) and counseling I need to be getting? Perhaps I'd feel well enough to seek employment and work. But until this happens, I don't know.

More about Ed--I wonder what his qualifications are and how he got hired (affirmative action because of the arm, maybe?), because of the obvious disconnect between the way I've been feeling and what I know I suffer from and the meds and other help I both need and deserve. And what he thought I'm going through and his not thinking I need help.

For a while I had the surreal feeling of being in a commercial, in which Ed would come out and say, "I'm no counselor--but I did spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express." Or, "I'm not a counselor--but I play one on TV." Or, "We can't help you--but I've got some good news--I just saved a bundle on car insurance by switching to Geico!"

In short--Ed is incompetent at dealing with people who really need help for their mental problems and are reaching out for it. He's to people like me what FEMA's Michael Brown was to the people of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Heckuva job, Eddie!

And, considering how they feel about mental health care, I wouldn't be surprised if Ed were somehow involved with the Church of Scientology or some other anti-medication cult. Because here's where I imagine Ed and Tom Cruise would see eye-to-eye: he said doctors are often too quick to prescribe medications. Perhaps in some cases this is true--but it wouldn't be in my case.

Ed also gave me a new Emergency Response Services number to call if I ever needed to call a hotline--but I don't think I'll call that one. I'd probably get someone's voice mail. He also suggested that I ask the clinic I'd made the appointment at to move the appointment up--which they weren't able to.

Then Ed, after I'd told him I enjoyed being online, suggested that I "journal"--which I told him I've been doing, in the sense of blogging. In fact, one of the more clueless things Ed said was that he thought I was sad Monday because the library was closed that day and I couldn't get online and was missing my support network!

So I told Ed I would be blogging--because little did he know I was way ahead of him. Unknown to him, I was already mentally going over what I was going to say in my diary about this experience incluuding Ed--which I'd been planning to diary on, whether I got help out of my quest for help or not. So others could learn from my experience.

And little does Ed know he's going to get his 15 minutes of fame out of this diary! I mean, you can't make this stuff up! The only good thing about my session with Ed, aside from material for this diary, was that it was free--so all I wasted was my time.

Lastly about Ed and Bill, the intake guy--I also wonder how big a role sexism played in the way they gave me the shaft. I wonder if both just saw me as a complaining, whining, neurotic woman who wanted attention. They just patronized me and treated me as if what I'm going through was no big deal. How seriously would they have treated what I had to say and the problems I was struggling with, had I been bearing a penis and balls? And explained the fact that I hadn't sought treatment for so long because I'd manfully been fighting to deal with my problems on my own? Had I been a man, I imagine they would have been far more helpful--even if they were unable to help me, they probably would have given me places I could go for what I needed.

Where does one go if she suspects she's been subjected to sex discrimination or disability discrimination (I also wonder if I hadn't been taken seriously because of my speech disablilty), anyway? And above all, do I have to kill myself so they'll help me?

Ed and everybody else at the Human Service Center should get out of the business or at least reform as an agency prepared to help people who realize that they're afflicted with major mental problems that have been adversely beeh affecting their lives and are reaching out for help for the first time. If there were any justice in the world, Ed would be fired and have to go without health insurance--then start suffering from depression, etc. the way I have and be denied help by the Human Service Center.

I mean, what good is the Human Service Center if they won't even help people who due to lack of insurance or whatever reason have been forced to let mental problems go untreated. Aren't they even aware that this could be when such people most need help because their problems have gotten worse due to lack of treatment? And don't they know that when people's mental ills go untreated, more often than not, they'll get worse?

Here's something I need help with: I'm planning to crosspost this on depressiontribe, Docudharma, and have posted it in Daily Kos--but does anybody know of any mental health care consumer blogs (or health care consumer blogs in general) where consumers can post their bad experiences getting or trying to get mental health care? Or other website/blogs for people with depression, etc., who might benefit from reading about my experience? I think the word about how unhelpful Ed and the Human Service Center have been in my situation needs to get out in order to alert others.

And I've an idea: Here's the phone number for the Human Service Center. (309)671-8000. If this sort of thing bothers you, call them and tell them that they're very wrong to be rejecting people seeking mental health treatment who haven't already been getting this treatment. Maybe if they're flooded with irate phone calls on this topic, someone there will listen.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Last night I was feeling really tired, having had trouble sleeping the night before, and went to bed around 6:30. But still I couldn't fall asleep.

Then, deciding I wouldn't be able to wait until my Feb. 29th appointment, I called a Hot Line number I'd been e-mailed earlier that day. I tried their line for at least an hour--it was busy. So I started wondering if I'd been given the right number and took a short rest from calling.

I was also worried about others who'd been trying to call the hotline--if I, who was looking for information on a place to make an appointment for treatment was constantly getting the busy signal, what about people in even worse trouble, like someone thinking of suicide?

Then, I tried again. I got through on the second try.

The woman I spoke to sounded kind and pleasant when I told her about my depression and possible bipolar and need for treatment because I don't have insurance--and was very helpful--steering me towards a couple of places I could call on Monday. She also asked me qujestions about my living situation and was also kind enough to ask me if I'd be O.K. that night--which I'd thought I would be.

So now I'm counting the hours until Monday morning--hoping they will steer me towards the help I need. Wish me luck! I won;t be online Monday because the library's closed for President's Day, but hope to have some good news by Tuesday.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wish Me Luck!

After the 2 blogs I wrote yesterday, I've some better news.

On the way home from the library, I'd been planning on stopping at the Kroger in my neighborhood. Next door to this store is a clinic.

So I wondered if they'd be able to help me, and after I'd done my shopping, stopped there to ask the receptionist what they charge since I've no insurance. She said it's based on income.

But I don't know what I was thinking (especially in light of my having felt so desperate for help and relief earlier) because the clinic had been about to close for the night, but I procrastinated on making an appointment.

A decision I later that night regretted--because I just couldn't fall asleep thinking of how dumb I'd been to put something like that off.

So first thing this morning, I went back to that clinic. They gave me an appointment for 1PM on Fri., Feb. 29th. So wish me luck!

Though, if I decide I can't wait until then, I can always try calling the crisis help line, which my friend who'd been able to get the Cymbalta suggested!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Her Happy News Made Me Cry, Or Tired Of Not Knowing Where To Turn

Just this afternoon I read a few blog posts from the past few days by one of my friends on this site. She had some good news: after having gone for some time without treatment, she'd gone to the free clinic and was able to get Cymbalta. And now she's been having side-effects such as drowsiness, nausea, etc.--but the Cymbalta has gotten rid of her back pain, and she's otherwise feeling much better.

I know I should be very happy for her--she's very lucky to seemingly have found a way out of her suffering--but instead I've been crying on and off. Because I know I need meds and other help. In fact, this morning I posted the same blog ("I Hate Writing About Myself") I posted earlier this afternoon on another website where I'm a member, and received all sorts of kind, helpful replies--many of which suggested that I get treatment--and soon.

But I just don't know where to turn, I don't know where I can find a free clinic, for openers. And this is making me very sad.

I Hate Writing About Myself....

when it comes to personal problems. They're difficult to write about. And I know there are folks who've far worse problems and who are in far worse shape and in far worse situations than I am. And I'm grateful that I'm not in their shoes.

And more important things are going on in the world--things about which I've often been writing and will be writing more. So I'm not a whiner.

But currently I'm in a situation where I can use some support and friendly advice...

About a month ago, I lost my job. Others were also let go. But I got a bad write-up at the end of 2007 that said in effect that I hadn't been fitting in well, hadn't been doing my job right or in a timely manner or following directions well, hadn't been showing much creativity (when this had been the sort of job you couldn't show much creativity in--if you did, you weren't following directions!) And that I hadn't been showing a positive attitude or been pleasant or shown an optimistic outlook. Or been playing well with others. (O.K.--the last is made up, but you get the picture.)

This was all news to me because I'd worked at that company for 20 years. While it wasn't the perfect job and I hadn't been perfect, I hadn't thought I'd been that bad, either. I'd never heard or gotten any complaints. The write-up I got at the end of 2006 had been much better.

I've been wondering if some of the problems in the latest write-up at my old job could have been due to untreated depression and/or bipolar symptoms. I've been at least mildly depressed for much of my life--though I've never had it looked into or been treated for it. Or I may be bipolar--I'm not sure because I can be at times irritable and impatient, not have much tolerance for frustration, and get angry easily. In fact I nearly got into trouble (by almost being kicked out of a group I'd enjoyed participating in) because I'd blown up. While I most often feel "down," I've occasionally felt very "up"--not the sort of mania you hear about where one runs out and buys a flashy sports car and does other wild things--but just enough to be feeling unusually good.

For about the past 2 1/2 years up to now, the depression has been at its worst. This is due to the emotional impact on me of a certain event and its aftermath with which I've been obsessed and that I want to go into in more depth at another time when I feel up to it, because it's a separate diary in itself that will be difficult to write. I hadn't seen anyone for this problem when I was working because I doubted that the company's health plan would have covered mental health treatment. And now I don't have any sort of health insurance.

I also have AD/HD, which had been diagnosed in the Dark Ages of the late 60's when it was called a "learning disability" Interestingly, cases of bipolar can be confused with AD/HD and vice-versa, because of similar symptoms such as low frustration tolerance, irritability, and impulsivity. Or one could have both. As Jon P Bloch, Ph.D, writes in ....The Everything Health Guide To Adult Bipolar Disorder,
Frequently, bipolar children are misdiagnosed as having AD/HD. What makes this especially unfortunate is that the medication often prescribed for this are stimulants that exacerbate the bipolar symptoms. It is also possible for a child to be both bipolar and to have AD/HD.
Ritalin didn't work for me so I was prescribed Dilantin and phenobarbital for it for about six years. And I've mild cerebral palsy that makes my speech sound strange and affects my motor skills. I often have trouble with pain and fatigue. In spite of these things, I managed to hang in there at my old job, where accommodations had been made for me and most of my co-workers had been kind and understanding--but I guess I hadn't been doing as well as I'd thought I was.

Now I feel physically and emotionally wiped out. I just haven't been feeling up to the stress of job hunting (nobody around here with the sort of work I can do is hiring, anyway.) or the demands of a full-time job. Low energy. When I had been working, I'd come home with so little energy left I often didn't even feel up to making myself dinner--all I felt up to doing was reading or watching TV or a DVD.

I also don't think I'd be very good at a new job because of some of the symptoms (besides having a short fuse, I've lost it by crying over little things or nothing. This has happened pretty often lately.) So I've been wondering what there is out there (about 2 1/2 hours from Chicago) when it comes to getting disability or other sorts of help after my current means of support (details confidential) runs out after a few months.

I also wonder--how legitimate are those websites there are ads for that offer work online? I don't own my own computer--are they worth investing in a computer for? Can one really make a decent living from them, or are they the equivalent of those envelope-stuffing and other work-at-home ads you used to see in magazines?

Also, sometimes when working on this blog, I see this little ad that says you can earn extra money from having them place advertising on your blog. I don't recall the company name offhand--in fact, when I tried to have it come up, it didn't. But "Google" was part of it. Is it really affiliated with Google," or a soundalike company? Also, how well does something like that pay, if the blog doesn't get much traffic? I mean, I don't think anybody's been reading my blog because nobody's posted comments or anything. And since my daily computer time is limited, I haven't had time to add too much to this blog yet. It's only about three weeks old.

Well, thanks so much for reading this far. I hope I haven't bored you--at least, this isn't yet another campaign diary. Hoping for some good suggestions, advice and ideas....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Where Was Obama Thursday?

In spite of the fact that Louisiana is holding her primary today, Williams somehow has managed to maintain his and "Nightly's" news blackout on New Orleans. He had nothing about Obama's appearance in that city, which should have focused new attention on her and on storm and flood recovery. Nor did Williams air anything about Bill Clinton's appearances there yesterday.

An Open Letter to Brian Williams follows--if it doesn't appear on Daily Nightly, it's been censored.

Dear Brian,

My NOLA friend recently said that Louisiana had turned out to be important due to Super Tuesday's not being conclusive for the Democrats--and added, "Maybe there is justice after all."

Sadly, so far she has been proven wrong because you and your newscast don't seem to be into justice. Your campaign coverage has sucked because of the way in order to maintain your self-censorship and news blackout on New Orleans you've been spinning Washington State as the big contest instead of covering in depth the lead-up to Louisiana's primary.

Were you even aware that Barack Obama campaigned in New Orleans Thursday--and Bill Clinton appeared there yesterday, in his wife's place? You did not even cover Obama's appearance at Tulane--where Obama said his administration would do a much better job rebuilding New Orleans than has the Bush administration. This would have been an excellent opportunity to cover Obama's Gulf Region plan. And yesterday you could have done what CNN did--aired a piece on how frustrated New Orleanians are that New Orleans and Katrina haven't been treated as valid campaign issues. That would have been far more important and newsworthy than last night's coverage out of Washington State--which has been spun as the "biggie" for obvious political reasons.

Or, on Thursday when you could have covered Obama's Tulane speech, were you too busy covering the CPAC wingnuts nostalgic for Ronald Reagan, regarding whose successors, as Michael Eric Dyson says in his book "Come Hell Or High Water: Hurricane Katrina And The Color Of Disaster,"
"...As the ideological children of Ronald Reagan, Bush and his adminstration have thrived on tax cuts, downsizing, the neglect of civic infrastructure, the shredding of the safety net, the will to privatization, the drgrading of the public sector, and advocating Reagan's idea that government is the enemy of the people. The Bush administration's incompetence in Katrina was the most devastating indictment of such a philosophy...."

Your support of these CPAC whackjobs, the Bush administration, and the party that drowned New Orleans and doesn't want to rebuild her is showing in this coverage decision.

I saw your Mardi Gras newsbrief Tuesday--but since that was a newsbrief and not a story, last night's newscast is the 31st since you last aired a full report out of New Orleans. You need to reopen your New Orleans bureau permanently and bring back full coverage out of that city.

Louisiana 1976

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Don't Give To The Red Cross

If you want to donate to the tornado survivors in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, a better bet would be to make your donation to the Salvation Army. Links to that organization along with other info can be found in this diary.

Because the Red Cross is actually an organization which, per a commenter under the above-mentioned diary,

is thoroughly politicized, the Bush hacks who aren't competent enough for government work are corralled there.

There are too many worthy charities to waste money on that quasi-governmental mess.

by lgcap

What has gotten me riled up about this topic was reading about the Red Cross in remarks under that tornado diary and remembering how, when I used to post under another blog, one of the commenters who's a physician said that as a Red Cross volunteer he'd wanted to go into New Orleans after the flood and had been told at the time that he couldn't--the city was too dangerous.

This didn't make sense to me--I mean, aren't places where disasters have happened usually dangerous in some way or another? But the Red Cross' reasoning comes to light in this following remark, also under the above-linked diary:

I'm sorry, but Red Cross... an organization permanently lost me for their support after their horrendous performance during Katrina in New Orleans and their "buy in" to the whole racist theme that the city was too dangerous to enter and that rendering help would mean residents wouldn't be evacuated....even as 10s of thousands were suffering and in need. There was no excuse for that.... That was really F'ckd up.

by LakeSuperior

And it's not just anonymous Daily Kos bloggers who say something's "F'ckd up" in the Red Cross--here's more:

While many were outraged that the Red Cross failed to enter New Orleans, unsafe conditions and reports of shootings and lootings may have informed the decision. The Red Cross is not chartered to conduct search and rescue operations.

We "will not put [our] own workers in harm's way," Red Cross spokesperson Renita Hosler told RAW STORY.

Hosler explained that the Red Cross was "at the table" with "Emergency Management" numerous times while conditions deteriorated in New Orleans and that a decision was reached that if the group set up shop within the city, it might encourage others to come back, creating a secondary crisis.

Hosler confirmed that authorities turned down repeated offers by the Red Cross to enter New Orleans with supplies. New Orleans, she asserted, was considered too unsafe for the Red Cross to enter.

The article also says that the Red Cross,

although mandated by its Code of Conduct to remain independent of government, is officially part of the Bush Administration's national security apparatus.

Hmmm. This means that the Red Cross, at the time New Orleans flooded had been, instead of the helpful, rescuing charity its proponents paint it as being, a partner in crime with a BushCo which had been imposing its Final Solution in Louisiana. This makes the Red Cross, like BushCo, is guilty of genocide--standing idly by as poor people in Louisiana drowned.

And it was also mentioned under the tornado diary how the Red Cross' response to the wildfires in California had been good and that its being under new management could be the reason. Maybe so--but then, maybe that area of California doesn't have a large concentration of poor people of color that BushCo wanted to ethnically cleanse.

Back to Louisiana--there should be some way bereaved families, knowing that the Red Cross' inaction had contributed to the loss of their loved ones, could institute legal action against that organization--and I don't mean by merely filing a lawsuit. That would be too kind. Instead, those responsible for the Red Cross' decision not to go into New Orleans should be charged with murder.

Where's Mark Geragos when you need him?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Blink Of An Eye".....

by Rexanne Becnel is an emotionally-gripping love story about a woman who survives both Katrina and her own inner demons.

When we meet Jane she's 47 (and I easily identified with her because I, too, was 47 at the time Katrina hit.) The love of her life is her brother Clark, who's like a 5-year-old trapped in a 42-year-old body because he has Downs' Syndrome. The institution he's in is evacuating to Baton Rouge.

At this time Jane is planning on committing suicide--and because she knows Katrina is coming, she decides to do this by drowning in the hurricane's surge. But, as she's in her car going under, she sees a black-and-white dog against the windshield. So instead of killing herself, she decides to rescue him. The tag on his collar says "Lucky." (This I could also relate to, because that's my cat's name.) Soon she meets Lucky's owners and they become friends. Lucky's owners then evacuate to Memphis and leave Lucky behind with her because they can't take him where they're going.

Then, in the storm's aftermath, Jane meets Ben Comeaux, a Cajun doctor who's helping out. Jane had been a nurse before she'd embarked on her downward spiral--so she also volunteers. But she's afraid about what will happen when her story comes out--about how she'd become addicted to prescription drugs. And lost her license. Especially in light of the fact that her boss is a real jackass who has it in for her.

So--will Jane and Ben get together? How will Clark fare? And how will everything turn out regarding Jane's nursing license? You'll have to read "Blink Of An Eye" to find out!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Open Letter to Brian Williams

Dear Brian,

Last night I found extremely annoying your reference to China's severe winter weather and how her government has been responding to it as "China's Hurricane Katrina."

This would not have bothered me, and I wouldn't be writing, had you and "Nightly" regularly and in detail been covering recovery efforts and other news out of Louisiana and Mississippi. But since last night's was the 27th newscast since you last aired anything out of New Orleans or elsewhere in the Gulf Region, this use of "Hurricane Katrina" is one of my pet peeves.

The terms "Hurricane Katrina" and "Katrina" need to be copyrighted. For their use to describe other disasters trivializes the storm and the manmade levee failures its surge brought about. It's especially insensitive to both survivors and their supporters aware of how you haven't been covering the remaining devastation from and lingering hardships and suffering 2 1/2 years after 8/29. Or such hopeful signs of recovery as this year's Mardi Gras.

Please permanently re-open your New Orleans bureau and bring back full, regular coverage of the aftermath of and recovery from the real Hurricane Katrina.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Over two weeks ago I'd signed up to join MyDD but hadn't received a response.

Today in my e-mail I finally found confirmations from them--hooray!

So to anybody else who's been trying to join MyDD and not heard back yet, hang in there....

Politico Stole Two Elections

Note: Originally I'd planned on posting this Friday, but the library was closed due to bad weather. But it's still current...

Below the fold is how Politico screwed Katrina/Rita/flood survivors in Louisiana and Mississippi, and their supporters, out of having a question relevant to their plight asked during last Wednesday's and Thursday's debates.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, I diaried a way, per, to vote on Politico for the following debate question:
Two years after Katrina and Rita and Gulf Coast schools, hospitals, police stations, roads and flood protection still lie in ruins, keeping displaced residents from returning and communities from recovering. Will you support H.R. 4048, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, as President to rebuild community infrastructure and create job and training opportunities for residents?

At that time, that question had been among the top five for both parties' debates. When it hadn't been asked the Repubs, I'd thought it would be asked Obama and Clinton....

Then, Thursday afternoon, I found an ominous, urgent email that had arrived Wednesday afternoon, after I'd left the library, from the man spearheading the effort tp get this question asked. He said that the vote totals for debate questions had been
"reset to zero"
by Politico and that voting for Repub debate questions would be reopened at 7:55 PM EST Wednesday. And the questions mixed up so anyone wanting this question asked would have to scroll through 150 questions to find it. This is why we didn't hear this question asked of the GOP candidates.

And there was going to be the same set up for the Democratic debate--with the vote totals
"reset to zero"
and voting reopening at 7:55 PM EST Thursday, and the questions mixed up. So, in the Democratic debate, neither the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act question, nor anything else having to do with New Orleans or Katrina, was asked of Obama and Clinton.

So our votes for this question didn't count--because they were just thrown out when the vote totals had been "reset to zero." And I hadn't been able to vote either time because I have to go to a library to use a computer and can't go there that late in the day (6:55 PM CST). Nor was I able to diary this Thursday so others could vote, because I'd found out about it after I'd already posted a diary that day.

This snafu begs several questions:

1.) Why did Politico chuck all the previous votes they'd received for debate questions and reset the vote totals to zero before the debates?

2.) Why did they mix up the questions so one had to hunt for the Gulf Coast Civic Works question? And,

3.) Why wasn't voting reopened until 7:55 PM EST each day?

These questiona are rhetorical because the answers are obvious. It's because of undemocratic dirty tricks on the part of Politico. The
"reset to zero"
of each vote and flat-out dishonesty are obviously a deliberate act of sabotage by supporters of BushCo's genocide in Louisiana to keep New Orleans and Katrina from being brought up in what may be the final presidential debates before the fall.

The wingnuts at Politico stole these "elections" because they want to perpetuate the BushCo-friendly media's Big Lies: that Katrina and New Orleans are old news, don't matter, aren't valid campaign issues, and are just "black issues."

These despicable individuals, having noticed that the Gulf Coast Civic Works question has been so popular (#3 for the Republicans, #1 for the Democrats by Wednesday afternoon), decided to disenfranchise all who'd voted for it by throwing out all the previous votes to ensure that it would never be asked.

And these slimebuckets must have assumed that many of the people who'd voted for this question were ones whose only access to a computer would be at a library or at their day job, who wouldn't be able to get online at 7:55 PM EST. In other words, they weren't interested in having the candidates address issues of interest to those who aren't as well-off as they are--so they wanted to make it vwer4y difficult, if not impossible, for people who can't afford to have computers in their homes to vote.

So only blissed-out rich fucks who've neither experienced disaster nor supported people who have were permitted to let their voices be heard by Politico. Hence the fact that all previous votes had been chucked and voting was reopened at 7:55 PM EST each day.

Politico's having done all these things to guarantee that the Gulf Coast Civic Works question would not be asked is a shameful collusion with those who would keep New Orleans and Katrina from being discussed in debates and otherwise keep them out of the news. Because silence will allow BushCo, out of sight and out of mind, to continue implementing its Final Solution in Louisiana.

Whoever decided in the first place to "reset" Politico's vote to zero and throw out all the previous votes is a loathesome, unAmerican piece of scum who needs to be held accountable. He'd fit right in in a country where election results are pre-ordained--not in America.

We all need to visit Politico, sign up, and post remarks wherever we can to let them know how we feel about how they so dishonestly ensured that the question on the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act would never be asked. We need to raise such a stink it drives home to them the fact that New Orleans and Katrina, which many people are still dealing with 24/7, today, are valid campaing issues and we need to know where our candidates stand. We also need to spread the word about what Politico did to keep Katrina and New Orlean from coming up in their debates, so others will know what they're about.

About Me

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Midwest lover of New Orleans and of all things having to do with Louisiana.