Saturday, December 30, 2006

"Riverbend" reports from Baghdad...

"Riverbend" is the psuedonymn used by a young woman who publishes a blog from Baghdad. Many who read her blog have been worried as they have not heard from her lately. Yesterday, after a period of silence, she posted these comments. If you want to know what the Iraqi people are feeling about the American occupation read what she has to say. You'll discover "Riverbend" is very angry over what has happened to her country.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Remembering Gerry Ford...

The Public Television retrospective last night on the life of Gerry Ford opened with his swearing in as President in the Oval Office. On that warm sunny July day I was a member of the crowd that had gathered outside the White House. My friend Betty and I listened to the swearing in on a small transistor radio.

Like many Americans, I experienced a sense of relief that the Nixon years were over. I had a personal reason to rejoice over the departure of "tricky Dick." After his reelection, the Nixon people set about waging war on LBJ's War on Poverty. I was a casualty of their efforts.

One more thing. The pundits are saying Gerry Ford was defeated in the Presidential Election because he pardoned Nixon. My recollection is that people were just sick of the Republicans. Much the same way as a lot of people are feeling at this time.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Edwards to announce presidential bid from New Orleans...

Photo shows John Edwards shoveling with student volunteers in New Orleans Wednesday. Edwards is running for president for a second time, his campaign said yesterday. The announcement will be made today.

The choice of New Orleans to announce his presidential bid is not a surprise since Edwards will be running on the theme of "the two Americas." He will make addressing poverty one of his major campaign issues.

Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Americans continue to die in Iraq...

Photo shows Alexandria Patriot Guard volunteers pausing for a funeral caisson at Arlington National Cemetery.

With three US soldiers killed in Iraq on Monday and three more on Tuesday, the US death toll has risen to at least 2,978 - five more than the number killed in the September 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

With the expected execution of Saddam Hussein within the next few weeks we are likely to see an upsurge in killing. And Bush is considering sending more troops into this mess. Anyone out there have a solution to this problem?

(Photo: Larry Downing / Reuters)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Season's Greetings...

I'm still taking it easy as I recover from by-pass surgery. The good news is that I'm feeling great! I'll resume posting after Christmas.
Season's Greetings to Everyone!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Update to Katrina Memo visitors...

Regular and occasional visitors to this site will know that I post news items and/or commentary almost every day. You will notice that I have not posted since last Monday. The reason: an unexpected visit to Massachusetts General Hospital for by-pass surgery. I am pleased to report that everything went very well and I was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon.

I want to thank my family and my wonderful friends for the support provided.

I'll be staying for a few days in Wellesley, Massachusetts with my friends of many years - Dr. Paul Powers and his wife Linda.

Posting news and comments will resume next week.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Photo shows a jogger on the levee along Lakeshore Drive near the 17th Street Canal in New Orleans, where the water breached floodwalls in Hurricane Katrina. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber for the New York Times).

Update on flood protection in New Orleans...

According to this article in today's New York Times, work to strengthen flood protection in New Orleans beyond its pre-Hurricane Katrina level has slowed. Residents planning to rebuild in devastated neighborhoods are concerned. The Army Corps says the lull in activity is the result of the need for more planning for the next phase.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bad news for New Orleans...

St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc., Louisiana's largest commercial insurance provider, plans to cancel all its commercial property policies in the New Orleans area next year, sparking fears that other insurers will follow and slow the region's economic recovery.

This is very bad news for New Orleans. What business is going to want to locate in the city if commercial insurance is not available? It suggests a lack of faith in the reconstructed levees.

In the meantime, crime is out of control in the downtown area. The city has a tough road forward.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Our Attorney General in action...

Photo shows Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly speaking to reporters in Washington, DC, about the first global warming case heard by the US Supreme Court. Twelve states and 13 environmental groups are charging the federal Environmental Protection Agency with inaction.

Attorney General Reilly has also been active in seeking compensation for faulty work by Big Dig contractors. He will be leaving office in January. His successor, Martha Coakley, is also likely to be an activist Attorney General.

(Photo: Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images)