Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Date: January 17, 2006

Form Letters…

I received an email from Joanna Stoll, Assistant for Representative Lehman. I’m posting it here for others to use as a guideline. When you’re responding to an issue email make sure that the letter that will be sent in your name is going only to your representatives AND check and make sure that your representative isn’t co-sponsoring the bill all ready.

Hi Julie,

Just FYI. We’ve gotten quite a few of these form letters from all over
the state in support of your bill. I’m not sure where they are coming
from, but it would be helpful to their cause if they: 1) didn’t write
the sponsor of the bill — since we will support it and 2) wrote to
their own legislator.

When legislators receive a lot of form letters like this from all over
the state, they tend to just ignore them. Staff doesn’t have time to
sift through and look for the ones from their district, so they just
delete them all. If reps receive them only from their constituents, the
point hits home a lot harder and they pay attention. I don’t know if
you can track down the group who is doing this, but if you can, you
might want to share with them how they can better make their voices
heard with their representatives.


More Finger Pointing

There is nothing I can’t stand more than someone confusing the facts to make it sound like a liberal said something wrong or incorrect.

Case in point is News Max’s article from 12/12/2005, from which Republican Vet quoted in his blog on 1/9/2006. In the article, from which I will quote directly:

“On Wednesday, Congress heard dramatic testimony from black Katrina survivors, who complained that racism drove the federal rescue efforts and resulted in an unnecessarily high number of African-American deaths.

“People were allowed to die,” storm survivor Leah Hodges testified, telling a House panel that black residents of New Orleans had been victims of “genocide and ethnic cleansing.”

But preliminary figures compiled by the morgue in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, which is the primary facility handling the bodies of Katrina deceased, show that a majority of the dead in New Orleans and surrounding parishes were actually not black.

Of the 883 bodies processed so far by medical examiners at St. Gabriel, 562 have been identified by race. Slightly less than half that number – 48 percent – are African-American.

Forty-one percent are white, 8 percent unknown and 2 percent Hispanic.

Okay, even I know that 48% doesn’t make a majority, but the survivor they interviewed didn’t say the word majority, so I don’t think the fact that the “majority” of the victims were black matters. The government (and by government I mean New Orleans City, the State of Louisiana and the Federal Government) failed these members of society. That is truly what matters. From my belief, I don’t think it was race, it was status that harmed these people. Those who are on the wrong side of the poverty line were the ones that suffered the most from Hurricane Katrina and the “government” failed them.

To assume that any of the victims somehow refused to help themselves is a mean and cruel statement. If you’re poor and do not own a car, how were you suppose to flee New Orleans? Where were the buses? Where was the help to get out the elderly and infirmed?

Further, there were still more African Americans dead than any other race. Look at the facts the News Max article states:

562 victims identified by race.
48% or roughly 270 people are African Americans.
41% or roughly 230 people are white.
8% or roughly 45 people are of an unknown race – so how could they be included in the count of those identified by race?
2% or roughly 11 people are Hispanic.

Let’s see, if you take out the 45 people who were NOT identified by race, and total the whites and the Hispanics, you get just 241 people compared to the 270 African Americans. 270 + 241 = 511/2= 255 would be half and a majority just has to be higher than half. 270 > 255, so it’s true, the majority of the victims who were processed by the morgue in St Gabriel, LA were indeed African Americans.

So, now that that is settled, can we turn our attention to a few things that are really more important?

Let’s work on rebuilding all the places ravaged by Katrina. Let’s figure out how to create evacuation plans in our entire hurricane alleys, so a travesty such as this never happens again. And, finally, let’s work on getting along and working together. Finger pointing by both sides isn’t getting any work done.

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