Thursday, February 15, 2007


This is one of the most important articles I have read lately. It is extremely fitting as an example of what is wrong with our country these days.

We supposedly have "Christians" in power in Washington as well as in our own state of Mississippi who purport to believe they are "right" and are doing "good" things for "the people." However, they apparently do not truly believe in the ethical principals stated in this article. It would do them all well to take these truths to heart in order that our country may begin to get back to what it is supposed to stand for – Liberty and Justice for ALL.

Justice or Charity - by Brigitte Frase –Recovering a Sense of Fairness

From the article: " Compassion is too fickle a virtue to base laws and conduct on. Mercy is always strained; it “droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven” perhaps, but unequally, leaving a lot of people to suffer drought.
The concept of justice has fallen on hard times, reduced to a narrow meaning of judgment. It has become synonymous with punishment; we bring criminals to justice, we mete out justice. We (American citizens and the leaders we have chosen, at least since Reagan) are not, as far as I can see, much interested in the greater and more honorable role “justice” has played in philosophy, religion, and public policy—from Plato and Aristotle, through Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, and John Stuart Mill, and continuing in modern times in the work of Simone Weil and John Rawls.
The rich don’t need justice. They are charitable to each other and may on occasion let some loose change trickle down to the deserving poor. The wobbly middle class is out of breath trying not to fall down. And the underclass have only justice, their government’s willingness to play fair, to count on. But, like the poor and black victims of Katrina, they are counted out. After a brief period of hand-wringing rhetorical acknowledgment, they fade back into official nonexistence."

"The first and second reigning Bushes value charity over justice. “A thousand points of light” and faith-based charitable organizations are supposed to take care of the hard up. Not only are there not enough religious and other helping organizations for all the needy and mistreated people out there, there is something fundamentally patronizing in the relationship of helper and helped."

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POVERTY USA - Budget for Family of 4

Check this site out, please. These are the decisions that people are forced to make everyday when under the hand of poverty.

Then think really hard the next time you say things like "If you work hard and take advantage of our "free" education system, you can do anything you want to in "this country." For all of you pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps "Christians" -- get real!

Poverty USA Tour

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


As of February 7, 2007 – PHASE I

* 10,303 Mississippi families have received grants for recovery and rebuilding
* closing packets have been sent to 13,538 households
* administrators expect that about 14,000 homeowners will ultimately qualify for assistance

Under this grant program, recipients legally agree that any rebuilt structure on their property must have:
* flood insurance
* be elevated out of danger
* built to the International Residential Building Code

* targeted to low and moderate income homeowners regardless of insurance or flood zone status
* approved by HUD shortly before Christmas
* grant notification packets to eligible applicants will be distributed in the first quarter of this year and the financial counseling and closing process will begin at that point

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FEMA recently announced an extension for residents living in FEMA-provided travel trailers and mobile homes. People now have until AUGUST 31, 2007 to find permanent housing. The original deadline was Feb.28.

Currently, approx. 80,000 Mississippians are housed in 29,000 FEMA travel trailers and mobile homes.

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The Governor's Office is currently finalizing plans and policies for the Mississippi Alternative Housing Program, which is intended to exhibit a better way to deliver emergency housing following major natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. FEMA will allocate up to $281 million for the construction of three alternative housing units: the Mississippi Cottage, Park Model and Green Mobile.
Approximately 5,000-7,000 FEMA-provided travel trailers located in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties will be replaced with the new units. An application process is currently being developed for current travel trailer tenants interested in moving into an alternative model. Informational meetings for potential tenants will be held in late February, and application announcements will be made through local media and the Governor's Office of Recovery and Renewal website.

The state plans to begin placing the new housing on the ground in June 2007. Design specifications for the housing units are currently being refined, and modular builders will receive bidding information for the program within the next few weeks. The Governor's Office will hold a pre-bid conference for interested manufacturers.

In March 2006, Governor Haley Barbour proposed a pilot program to Congress that would provide more temporary housing options for the next major natural disaster and remove Mississippians from the cramped conditions of FEMA travel trailers. Congress appropriated $400 million for the Alternative Housing Pilot Program, which solicited competitive proposals from five Gulf Coast states. Out of 29 proposals submitted from the five states, Mississippi's three proposals were ranked #1, #2 and #5. The state's top two proposals will receive up to $281 million in funding.

INFO and UPDATES - MS Alternative Housing Program

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Monday, February 05, 2007


This is my letter to the Editor of The Sun Herald - Biloxi, MS - sent Feb. 1, 2007 -- as of today, unpublished

Silence is not so golden –

I am writing in reference to the Editorial – "The president's silence on Katrina speaks volumes."

FINALLY, I thought, someone spoke out on the president's flagrant snubbing of Katrina and to all people affected by her. However, after reading and digesting the piece, I don't see much that was offered by that writer at all.

The editorial mentioned several specifics concerning New Orleans and their legitimate and tremendous problems which seem to be mounting even higher.

Mississippi Gulf Coast communities also have legitimate problems and issues, but the writer gave us the mentioning of only ONE – insurance, and with that, the news about State Farm settling and insurance costs being a reason that businesses (he only names Oreck) are departing our state. He could have Googled two words, Katrina Mississippi, and written a truly beneficial editorial.

Beyond what I've just said, though, is the FACT that Bush did not mention Katrina issues . . . I watched and waited for the words, Katrina Mississippi. That didn't happen and I was infuriated to say the least!

Bush’s so-called State of the Union "speech" was nothing but air. His smirky face and his "doing good" talk made me want to hurl. I was and still am appalled that he left out Katrina and ALL of those affected by her. We ARE a part of “the Union.” Perhaps he feels everyone down here is just fine and dandy since casinos are operating and condo developers are flocking like vultures to every nook and coastal cranny they can sink their greedy claws into.

We have enough problems with people forgetting that individuals and communites STILL NEED volunteers and HELP to rebuild. His failure to talk about Katrina at this time most likely gave those who were listening and didn’t know any better the idea that we are doing fine. His silence on Katrina issues is a huge disservice and an insult.

Bush needs to take a trip to Pearlington. I dare him to flash that smirky smile.

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