Thursday, September 29, 2005


Ok so I said a bit back that I would blog on this DVD, and so here it is. WildStyle is a film from 1982 that captured the emerging hip/hop scene coming from out of New York City's South Bronx. It centers around two, real-life, and now legendary, grafitti artists, Zoro (Lee Quinones) and Pink (Sandra Fabara), and their life of creating grafitti murals and "bombing" (grafitti-ing) the city's trains. A female writer who had heard of the scene comes up to the South Bronx to witness and write about grafitti artists, and also learns about the other aspects of the urban hip/hop scene; MC'ing at the street parties with folks like Grand Master Flash, rappers like Busy Bee, the Cold Crush Crew, the Fantastic Five, and incredible breakdancers like Crazy Legs and the RockSteady Crew. The film culminates with a now legendary street party production, captured in the film at a neighborhood park band shell somewhere on the Lower East Side. Here you see the Cold Crush Crew, Busy Bee, the RockSteady B-boys, and many others, put on a genuine display of the creativity of urban peoples, to the obvious enjoyment of the crowds which came to take part in an organic, from the people street party.

What I so like about this film (despite the cheesy acting, but c'mon, these kids were the "real deal", not actors), was probably the first portrayal to the world of the incredible talent that exists in the ghettos and barrios of this country, highlighted here by the kids of the South Bronx. These kids, with very limited resources, put on neighborhood street parties with little more than a few turntables, a place to hold a party, the raw talent of their voices, and in the case of the breakdancers, the pure physicality of their very bodies; one of the very few things that they might own completely outright in neighborhoods where people don't own very much but their own dreams. This urban creativity now has been embraced by the whole world, but this is where it all got started, in a place where poor kids found a way to create their own scene and to revel and enjoy themselves in a world that usually rejects Black and Puerto Rican youth as undesirables to be rebuffed or avoided, at best. It was only a matter of time until the larger world began to recognize the amazing talent of these young people, and the incredible neighborhood scene that they had created for themselves out of necessity, something that the rest of the world would covet for its own once it was clued into the electricity of what was happening.

What was (and is) a little sad is that so many of the early pioneers of this hip/hop scene were never really able to take part in some of the benefits that they had perhaps dreamed of as the scene became increasingly commercialized and corporatized (thereby loosing so much of that early, organic creativity). These kids were genuine street artists, not savy business moguls, and so what eventually occurred is that the private-school educated types like P. Diddy and Tupac Shakur and their mommas, along with their corporate overseers, came along and pimped the scene for profit, moving it out of the 'hood, and later then began to target those CD sales to the suburbs; so that as of now (and for quite awhile) hip/hop is purchased about 80% or so by young white males, buying in to the urban caricatures created by the Diddys and their ilk that portray Black and other minority peoples in the sterotypical ways that so many in the majority population love to see. It is now today largely no more than the old minstrel show phenomenon, updated for a newer audience, where blacks are portrayed as ignorant, dangerous, and something "other", something that many whites love to buy into (and if you don't believe it, witness the Hurricane Katrina phenomenon, where "looting and raping" was referred to again and again and again, with many stories arising without any verification as to their veracity; but babies dying of heat exhaustion in the Superdome seemed to get nowhere near the same press, these babies being perhaps not the "right" complexion to engender any sympathy).

This film dispels all of that, and shows what poor urban kids can do on their own, and with no one's help. They can create something out of nothing; something that the whole world would want one day. WildStyle is the real deal, and it serves as both a remembrance and a model for a newer generation that is rejecting the corporatized bling-bling in favor of a return to credibility and originality, that in this genre, comes up from the street, the neighborhood, and the people, and definitely not from the corporate boardroom.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Gving You The Best That I Got

Here's two I heard tonight, which happened by chance to be two old favorites. This one, by Anita Baker (who is soooo talented, and soooo underated), and an old '70s's classic by Major Harris

Giving You The Best That I Got

Anita Baker

Ain't there something I can give you
In exchange for everything you give to me
Read my mind and make me feel just fine
When I think my peace of mind is out
of reach

The scales are sometimes unbalanced
And you bear the weight of all that has to be
I hope you see that you can lean on me
And together we can calm a stormy sea

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I tell you now that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, baby
Yes I tell you now, that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, honey

Everybody's got opinions
'Bout the way they think our story's gonna end
Some folks feel it's just a superficial thrill
Everybody's gonna have to think again

We love so strong and so unselfishly
They don't bother me so I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, baby
They don't bother me, said I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, listen baby

Somebody understands me
Somebody gave his heart to me
I stumbled my whole life long
Always on my own, now I'm home

My weary mind is rested
And I feel as if my home is in your arms
Fears are all gone, I like the sound of your song
And I think I want to sing it forever

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I made a vow so I tell you now
I'm giving you the best that I got, listen baby
I bet everything on my wedding ring
I'm giving you the best that I got,
givin' it to you baby

Love Won't Let Me Wait

Love Won't Let Me Wait

Major Harris

The time is right
You hold me tight
And love is got me high

Please tell me, yes
And don't say no, honey not tonight
I need to have you next to me
In more ways than one
And I refuse to leave
'Till I see the morning sun
Creep through your window pane
'Cause love won't let me wait
(Not one more minute, baby)

The time is right
Turned down the lights and take my hand
We will take a flight
And spend the night in a wonderland
Now move a little close to me
You owe it to yourself
And I will selfishly
Take a little for myself
And it's because of you
That love won't let me wait

(No , listen girl)

I need your love so desperately
And only you can set me free
When I make love to you
We will explode in ecstacy
And I won't take the blame
'Cause love won't let me wait, no
Love won't let me wait (my temperature's rising)
Love won't let me wait (cause your so tantalizing)

(Oh listen girl)

Love won't let me wait

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Positively 4th Street

Here's one for all of those boring, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-centered graduate student types, who think the world revolves around them. Indeed, what a drag it is to see you.

Positively 4th Street
Bob Dylan

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that's winning

You say I let you down
You know it's not like that
If you're so hurt
Why then don't you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You're in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don't know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, "How are you?" "Good luck"
But you don't mean it

When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I'd rob them

And now I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don't you understand
It's not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bob Dylan - A New Documentary on PBS

On Monday 26th in the evening, PBS is showing a new documentary on the life of Bob Dylan. I've been waiting to watch this for about a month now; although some of the reviews I 've read for the documentary have been a little critical, particularly in that nothing much new is revealed in the film, which is directed by Martin Scorcese. I was never much into Dylan growing up, but I later developed an interest in the history of rock and pop, the surrounding culture that generated this music, as well as the new cultural changes that resulted from it (budding anthropologist), and in pursuing those interests, I found that Dylan was very much a crucible in which all of those interests converged. A lot of the cultural change that occurred between the late, but closed '50's, to the opening up of the culture in the '60's, can be attributed at least in some part to Bob Dylan. Dylan, who like many of his generation, was an Elvis and Buddy Holly fan as a teenager, turned later to the folk music movement in the early '60's, and modeled himself on his idol Woody Guthrie, singing the traditional folk music that dipped deeply into Americana.

The thing that Dylan did though, that changed everything, was to take the poetry of folk music and marry it with the rythyms of rock and roll. Slightly prior to this, Dylan had begun to abandon the traditional American folk music of the past in favor of a folk music style performed with his own lyrics, which proved to be both very poetic as well as powerful. It was after this that he then took this newer style into rock and roll when he went "electric" in 1965. This was all during a time when Elvis had been shipped off to the Army, and rock had been stuck with Perry Como and Pat Boone until the Beatles arrived to save the day. Dylan was influenced by the rock rythym and blues of the Beatles (who themselves were greatly indebted to America's great black rythym and blues artists such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and so on), as well as were they by his now more deeply poetic and personalized folk lyric style.

Dylan merged poetry with rock and roll, and as surprising as this seems today, this had never been done before. All later rock artists say that when this occurred, the doors were open, so that anything goes from that point on. This was how the music went from "Little Suzie" to "Like A Rolling Stone" in a matter of just a few years. And subsequently, the ability of popular music to now express deeper thoughts, emotions, and ideas, all contributed to the emergent civil rights movement, as well as the later anti-war protests surrounding the issue of the war in Vietnam. Dylan, therefore, is a seminal figure in the history of rock and roll music, especially as we know it today (which, unfortunately, is in a sorry state), as well as an important figure in moving the culture to another level.

Speaking of music and culture, I also watched a proto-hip/hop DVD this weekend, entitled "Wildstyle", which was filmed in 1982, when the hip/hop scene was just emerging from out of the mean streets of the South Bronx. Now this film is the real deal, and I think I'll have more about this topic in my next post.

Friday, September 23, 2005

San Francisco

Another "beat" influenced poem.

San Francisco

Ocean breezes float hazily above
the friendly little row houses
snuggling together side by side
up and down Russian Hill

down on Columbus Avenue
on summer afternoons
the Italian men chat
furiously back and forth
in sidewalk cafes
about this and that

and where North Beach meets Chinatown
is a third floor tenement apartment
Kerouac is that you up there?
looking down at me
as I head toward Chinatown
the dragon heart
of ol' San Fran

where grandfathers take for walks
their 4 yr. old grandaughters
adorned with flowers in hair
and shiny black shoes
walking hand in hand
the past and the future
on Golden Gate afternoons

The Lake Shore

Here's one I wrote a while back (as are all of these), with a more Robert Frost sort of theme.

The Lake Shore

The shore of the lake lies rocky and bare
in the dry cold air of January
strands of brown straw grass
loosely matted along the shore
and bullrushes bent in a reluctant acquiescence
to a persistent wind
a knarled tree juts out amongst grayed boulders
devoid of skin and leaves
with endless fingers reaching upward
grasping desperately at a blue, cotton sky

The lake itself itself is a shimmering plate of glass
reflecting the brilliant rays of a midday sun
thick shore ice thins toward the center
and under the icy clear water
rests magical Excalibur
waiting for Arthur to retrieve her
and revive again the glory
of glorious Camelot

And not far from the rocky shore
lies a forelorn black jogging shoe
frozen firmly in a crystalline bedding
awaiting eagerly the spring thaws
when it will set sail again
to lands unknown
and to perhaps other distant shores

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Here's a short poem that I wrote during my "beatnik" period.


Being beat means
sitting alone
in a greasy old diner
with a cup of joe
(no latte's, please)
a scrap of battered writings
and 10 cents in your pocket

looking out at the forelorn world
through a steamed up window

as it humdrum
passes by

heading neither
here nor there

all moving under
an encompassing night sky
full of swirling
blazing stars

Thursday, September 15, 2005

"Yer Doin' A Heck Of A Job, Brownie ! "(Or, I'm Mike Jones!)

I think the title of this post says it all, Bush tells FEMA Director Mike (now universally know as "Brownie") Brown what a great job he was doing as the people died in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast. A Bush appointee with ZERO backround in disaster managemement. That's ZERO backround. But a nice appointment to have if you're a Bush crony, just as long as those nasty storms and such don't blow around too much!

But what does rapper Mike Jones have to do with this? Answer: nothing. But in hearing all about Mike Brown ("Brownie") over the last 2 weeks, I kept thinking about Mike Jones (because of the name similarity, I guess), and his recent hit, "Back Then", which goes a lil' somethin' like this:

"Back then h**s didn't want me, now I'm hot h**s all on me"
Back then h**s didn't want me, now I'm hot h**s all on me - I SAID"...

..."I'm Mike Jones, don't act like you don't know the name
Ain't nuttin changed but my change, I'ma stay the same
I'm Mike Jones, don't act like you don't know the name
Ain't nuttin changed but my change, I'ma stay the same"

I kept hearing that refrain in my mind every time they would bring up FEMA Director Mike "Brownie" Brown.

"I'm Mike Brown, don't act like you don't know the name
Ain't nuttin changed but my change, I'ma stay the same"

I'm Mike Brown, don't act like you don't know the name
Ain't nuttin changed but my change, I'ma stay the same"

Except, I have the feeling that "Mike Brown" is not happy that everyone now knows his name.

Sometimes my mind works in strange ways.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hey, What's Up?

 what this multi-headed fellow (Brahma) seems to be saying. Today in my Theory and Practice class in anthropology, part of our discussion was how Western philosophical and scientific methodology comes from out of a dualistic backround, and how therefore this dualistic outlook creates a number of issues in many areas, and specifically in the area of how development is perceived by Westerners as it is applied in developing nations. The theoretical materials that we read for our discussions today seemed to indicate how theory and practice in development are becoming increasingly a less dualistic phenomenon, and more integrated in its application toward a somewhat more monistic or holistic approach.

I raised the point (Yeah Me!) of how although it seems now that Western thought has increasingly moved from dualistic polarities (good and bad, right and wrong, Republican and Democrat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum) towards an increasing monism (integrated wholeness); that in other cultures and societies, an integrated approach to existence has been a part of life for thousands of years. I used the Hindu culture as an example of this. Some of the great philosophers of the West, Emerson, Thoreau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, are known to have examined Hindu texts and thought as they developed their own philosophies.

Dualistic thought (as in, "I'm good and you're bad") has been the underpinning of a lot of misconception and tragedy in the Western world. If we call ourselves "the good", and therefore make any and all others "the evildoers" by default; well that is just a recipe for disaster. If we examine our own cultural antecedents, one can see that in fact the Christian message is a holistic one, and not a divisive one, as many "fundamentalists" choose to apply it. Ever notice something just a little crazy, a little over the edge, that connects the Pat Robertsons, Jerry Falwells and the Osama Bin Laden's together? Yes, thats right! They take a dualistic stance in their positions, and if all parties claim eternal, yet opposing, truths, then conflict is the only eventuality that will result.

And, when is the last time you heard of anyone committing violence in the name of, say for instance Buddhism, (not counting the Mongols of old, whose Buddhism was only at a superficial level)? As the above multi-headed Brahma represents, all of existence is connected and contingent upon its constituent parts, hence the symbol of a many-headed Brahma representing ultimate Unity, in spite of the many (seeming) multiplicities of existence.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Donnie Darko - A Great American Anti-Hero

Man, do I love this movie. I just searched through for a cheap DVD copy of it so that I can own the movie, even though I've probably seen it about 4 or 5 times now. I forget exactly how I got turned on to it; I think I may have perhaps read a reference to it in something like, and thought, well that sounds quite interesting; some themes and ideas that were right up my alley. So I checked it out from the library, and I was blown away. The film captured so much of my take on the nature of many things, the ambiguity of existence, a favorite theme of mine (and the writer Thomas Pynchon)in a thoughtful and even very moving way. I feel and believe that most other fans would also say the same. The film has a deep spiritual quality or dimension to it, right below the surface, but it doesn't in any way pound it into you. If you're in tune with some of the deeper material, you'll get "it"; if not, you won't (isn't that how life is, though?).

Donnie is a troubled young man (marvelously portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal), who has, let's say "visions" of a prophetic and world-altering nature. The great thing about this film is, you never know for sure what the source of his visionary experiences might be, although there are hints, and probably as many theories or versions of this as there are fans of the film, now hailed as a cult classic (it came out in 2001). As I say, Donnie's visions are of an apocalyptic and global nature; which is something that many schizophrenics experience in their delusions or hallucinations. But, is Donnie a schizophrenic? Is he a visionary prophet? Could they perhaps be one and the same thing? It is left to the viewer to decide, to interpret, to make an always less than satisfying attempt to determine (which I find strangely satisfying).

The film also includes an eclectic cast, including Drew Barrymore as a teacher who is frustrated that her young students may be being "mislead" by today's American society and its culture, as well as a polished Patrick Swayze, an odd choice but perfect in its oddity, portraying a New Age nonsense spewing self-help guru, full of vacuous platitudes and "build yourself up" advice, which the children are forced to listen to, by Swayze and another, "right-wing" teacher, herself full of vacuous, pseudo-patriotic nonsense, mixed in with thin New Age "isms".

Donnie, at one point, challenges the falsities being layed upon the students by an adult generation that is fixated upon the superficiality of our society, a superficiality which is covered over by a false spirituality (I think perhaps , a reference to those "Christians", amongst others today, who follow such things as free-market principles in the name of Jesus, and who would die of terror if Jesus ever showed up at their doorstep. If you see the film, think Pat Robertson/Patrick Swayze, plus their followers, whom we've all met before). Donnie is a student at his school who is somewhat marginalized due to his "strangeness", but it is just that strangeness that you soon find makes him stand above the mediocrity around him. This film is a challenge to just that mediocrity, which if I think about the present, permeates our society from the very top (you know what I mean here, if not look at the banner near the top of my page) to the person that voted for said mediocrity that is eating their ham sandwich at lunch in the cubicle next to yours (not to dis' cubicle life, as I too have been encased in the 4 sided reality before, and may be yet again, but you who have been there know what I mean).

The film operates on so many different levels, the real possibilities of science fiction in our lives, the nature of reality, as a critique of our current state affairs, and so much more. It's set in the late 80's, so there's some great 80's references, and some great '80's music (and, I don't even much like 80's music, so that's saying something!), and being set in the era of Reagan, it's really a subtle (or not so) critique of the present. Above all, its message is a spiritual one, at least in my view. The truth, whatever that might be, lies deeper than what is at the surface, and only those with the courage to dig deeper will ever have a glimpse of it.

Warning: Don't view the 2004 Director's Cut, or at least not first. View the original 2001 version. The Director's Cut takes the storyline along a narrower path, and provides more "answers", if you will, which actually takes away from the power and mystery of the original. At least view 2001 first, then maybe 2004, and then you can decide.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Talking To The Dollar Store Lady

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, where you had no idea as to what they were talking about? By this, I don't mean something like another person addressing a topic that was way over your head, for instance, but a conversation in which you had no real grasp of any meaning or direction, nor even any sort of hint as to where they were coming from, or perhaps going to?

Today I went into the neighborhood dollar store during a bike ride, to pick up a few necessities for the home. I gathered my items, and took them up to the front, where the nice, small Vietnamese lady, began to engage me in a conversation as she checked my items out. It seems that she is becoming less shy about her use of English, and more willing now to speak at some length about the various things that interest her. The only problem is, that I rarely have even the slightest sense of what in the world it is that she is talking about. I usually just knod my head, maybe grunt an approval, or lean back in laughter as I join in with her amusement at the funny story (which I never have any idea as to the content of), and on and on. We laugh, we gossip, we express our fears, our hopes, and our dreams (I think), and it is only she who has any idea of what's going on, as I sure in the hell don't. Today, I caught only, "tired", "8pm to 10pm", "get home", and "hot", all accompanied by a big smile, and a lot of hand waving, as she went into great detail about the tired, hot, home, 8pm to 10pm theme (I was in there around noon today). I did ask her if she maybe saw a movie last night, thinking about the 8pm to 10pm, which perhaps made her tired? But, she just kind of waved off my inquiry; she was way too involved now to stop and answer mere questions, as she continued on and on, and on, providing an extensive description of God only knows what.

I left with my items, giving another grunt of approval, a hearty laugh with a lean back of the head, maybe a "that's right!" (generic enough to always work in these sorts of situations), and a vigorous wave with a "see you next time!" salutation. She seemed happy, content, perhaps even a little proud of her increased abilities in the English language. I too, was happy and content, but maybe just a little bit more confused than I had been only 15 minutes earlier.

I just wonder what we'll talk about the next time. I mean, I really wonder.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


..Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,
Ye who believe in the strength and beauty of a woman's devotion,
List to the mournful tradition, still sung by the pines of the forest,
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy..

I read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's, Evangeline, maybe about a year ago, in part because of my interest in the Cajun people, so similar in many ways to my Spanish people of this part of the country, and also perhaps because there was a New Orleans style Cajun restaurant here in Denver by the name of Evangeline's, which served up some really good blackened chicken, red beans and rice, and other delicacies of the bayou country, but was eventually closed down, to my Evangeline-like despair. I also like the name, Evangeline, so unique and so archetypal of the Cajun people and of Louisiana. I've met only one Evangeline in person, whom I really did not even know that well, but I'm sure she must have been from Cajun country, with a name like that. So, I had decided to read Longfellow's poem, a tale of the sad removal of the peaceful Acadians from their homeland in Canada, resulting in a southerly diaspora that went on for many years, and led to many homeless French Canadians eventually ending up in Louisiana; with Acadians then becoming the Cajuns of Louisiana. In the tumult of the expulsion of the Acadians, a true tale of history, Longfellow captured the pain and sorrow of the many families and of the many lovers who were separated from each other in the confusion of their forced removal; those who were put onto ships which took them away from their green and peaceful home, in the form of a representative and stylized couple, Evangeline and her beloved Gabriel. What followed was the tragic tale of Evangeline's search for reunion and reconciliation with her lost love, over the ocean, over the bayou, and over the vast plain, from Canada to Louisiana, and over the span of many, many years.

I will not tell you the outcome of this tale, as it is best to experience it on one's own, if one is so inclined. But as I think about beautiful New Orleans, and of her ancestral and tragic past, I think also about Evangeline and Gabriel, and of the sufferings of the Acadian and Cajun people, in their forced flight from pastoral Acadie to a new land, Louisiana, and all of the sadness entailed of separated familes and of separated loved ones; events which are only too familiar in the New Orleans of both the past as well as of the present. I will only say that Evangeline one day found peace, and I hope that her descendants, both literal and otherwise, will one day again, be able to do the same.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rome Burns While Nero Fiddles (Or Plucks)

Here are a few photos, courtesy of David Corn's blog,, and the AP news service. In the days since hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf coast region, the president has found a little time to relax and fool around a bit, "strum a lil' gitar", as he might say, and get in a little more "me" time; kind of interesting for a guy who has just come back from vacation and riding his bike all over the place down in Crawford, where he could find no time to meet with Cindy Sheehan. Also, during this week, Condi Rice was spotted purchasing some new shoes at Beragamo's in New York ( a citizen cried "shame" at her for shoe shopping rather than helping to handle the current crisis in New Orleans and the Gulf region, and this female citizen was hustled off by the Secret Service), and she also has had time this week to take in the musical "Spamalot". Apparently, Dick Cheney has still been vacationing up in Wyoming. Do you see a pattern here, people? Do you realize that these people do not care about you?

Is America going to finally wake up to the lies and deceptions that have been put upon them, and that they have bought into for the last 5 years?

Friday, September 02, 2005

We Are With You, Big Easy

All of America is in pain at witnessing the tragedy that has unfolded in New Orleans, "The Big Easy". The city of interesting repute, a city of unique culture in our country, the product of French, Spanish, Caribbean, and Native settlement; New Orleans now suffers through the worst natural (and partially man-made) disaster in our history. If anyone has questioned the ineptitude of our president, there should now be no question as to the pitiful response to this tragedy by our befuddled leader. We have supposedly prepared ourselves for disaster in our cities, waiting for the attack by Al-Quaeda or by its allies. Well, disaster has struck a great American city, and the world witnessed the lack of response to immediate needs, or even any sort of pre-planning for disaster,by our leadership.

What if Al-Quaeda had blown open the levees which have now flooded 80% of the city, instead of the levees being overwhelmed by storm surges? You see the response preparedness that currently exists in the federal government to national disaster, and I would say that you can expect the same amount of preparedness in your own locality, should disaster befall there. People are dying, on a daily basis, due to the lack of response and aid on the part of authorities and government entities. It seems that we have only ourselves to rely upon if disaster should ever visit where we live, and perhaps hopefully each other, as federal assistance will be late to never in coming to the rescue. I sincerely hope that George W. Bush will be impeached and removed from office, upon a congressional investigation as to his derelict and despicable lack of leadership and response to this tragedy. Why does it take several days for the man to visit the helpless and homeless in the Gulf area? Is it because many of those affected, those too poor to escape the area, and especially those of the city of New Orleans, are lower class, and are black? I cannot imagine a predominantly white, upscale community being hit in this way, being ignored in the same fashion. Simply not fathomable.

We pray for you, New Orleans, as well for Biloxi and Gulfport, and the rest of the Gulf area. Those of us who cannot get there to help have sent our money, and I believe that Americans (that is, the people) will do whatever it takes to get the Big Easy and the Gulf region back on its feet again.