Human Rights

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Tenet to create new network in New Orleans

David Koenig, Associated Press, October 24, 2005

Dallas - Tenet Healthcare Corp., whose two major hospitals in New Orleans have been closed since Hurricane Katrina and which is under investigation into patient deaths at one of them, says it will spend "hundreds of millions of dollars" to build a new health care system in the region.

"We were a major health care provider here before the hurricane. We still are after the hurricane," Reynold J. Jennings, the company's chief operating officer, said from New Orleans. ... Tenet

We need your help!

We need to collect 100,000 signatures by November 15, 2005 on a ballot initiative petition to bring home the Massachusetts National Guard!
You may be aware that we (Military Families Speak Out) recently met with Governor Romney requesting that he do all in his power to bring home the Massachusetts National Guard from a war based on lies. Two Massachusetts National Guard families came to this meeting, including the wife and eight-year-old daughter of a National Guard soldier who in his civilian life teaches English at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School and is a member of the Massachusetts Teacheres Association, and the daughter of a National Guard soldier who in her civilian life works at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Her mom is the grandmother of two and currently running convoys in Baghdad. Joining them at this meeting were two military families whose loved ones died as a result of the war, and our family (Joe is now out of active duty, but a member of the Individual Ready Reserves, eligible for call-back). While Governor Romney admitted to us that the war was based on "flawed intelligence," he said it was necessary to stay the course in order to preserve world order and protect Americans.

Arrests likely in Katrina patient deaths

Doug Simpson, Associated Press, October 21, 2005

Baton Rouge, - More arrests are likely as authorities investigate at least 140 patient deaths at nursing homes and hospitals during and after Hurricane Katrina, including allegations that some patients may have been euthanized, the Louisiana attorney general's office said Friday.

Six hospitals and 13 nursing homes in Louisiana are under investigation. ... Arrests

Aide Says FEMA Ignored Warnings

Testimony Covers Communication as Levees Breached.
Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, October 21, 2005

For 16 critical hours, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, including former director Michael D. Brown, dismissed urgent eyewitness accounts by FEMA's only staffer in New Orleans that Hurricane Katrina had broken the city's levee system the morning of Aug. 29 and was causing catastrophic flooding, the staffer told the Senate yesterday. ... Aide

Staff at New Orleans hospital debated euthanizing patients

Investigation continues into what occurred during Katrina ordeal.
Kathleen Johnston, CNN, October 13, 2005

New Orleans - Three days after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, staff members at the city's Memorial Medical Center had repeated discussions about euthanizing patients they thought might not survive the ordeal, according to a doctor and nurse manager who were in the hospital at the time.

The Louisiana attorney general's office is investigating allegations that mercy killings occurred and has requested that autopsies be performed on all 45 bodies taken from the hospital after the storm. ... Staff

Doctors' essays describe Katrina chaos

Linda A. Johnson, Associated Press, October 12, 2005

They sang gospel songs, held a talent show by flashlight, ducked sniper fire and scavenged drugs and diapers from a flooded pharmacy besieged by looters.

In a collection of essays in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, doctors detail the harrowing ordeal of being stuck inside crippled hospitals and shelters after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. ... Doctors' essays

Excuse me, but has anyone seen the Democratic party?

Jim Hightower,, October 8, 2005

An outrageous war of lies rages in Iraq, nearly 2,000 American troops have died there, Iraq itself is spiraling down into civil war and theocracy, a growing majority of Americans now see Bush's policy for the disastrous deceit that it is, and grassroots America is alive with a burgeoning peace movement. But where are the congressional Democrats?

AWOL, that's where - cowering in indecision and fear. ... Excuse me

New R&B song about Hurricane Katrina creating buzz

Sung with emotion by newcomer & soulful singer Allen.
EURweb, October 7, 2005

Long Beach - Kanye West said it first. Jay-Z agreed, and now there's an official song circulating on the Internet that confirms it - "President Bush Does Not Care About Black People." The song can be heard online for free at ... The lyrics are very emotional and graphic; the words paint an extremely dismal picture of what it was like to be a victim of Hurricane Katrina. The song is so intense that many are asking whether or not the singer was a victim who was actually stranded for days on a rooftop. ... New R&B

Feingold leads way on Iraq war

Robert Kuttner, Boston Globe, October 8, 2005

President Bush, faced with plummeting support for the war in Iraq, keeps turning to an old standby. In another high-profile speech on Thursday, Bush warned Americans to be terrified of terror, and tried once again to tie Iraq to Al Qaeda and the attacks of 9/11.

The public isn't buying it. A large majority - 64 to 32 in CBS polls - opposes Bush's conduct of the war.

Yet the opposition party has been mostly missing in action. ... Feingold

US poverty: chronic ill, little hope for cure

Bernd Debusmann, Reuters, October 5, 2005

Washington - Four decades after a US president declared war on poverty, more than 37 million people in the world's richest country are officially classified as poor and their number has been on the rise for years.

Last year, according to government statistics, 1.1 million Americans fell below the poverty line. That equals the entire population of a major city like Dallas or Prague. ... US poverty

New Orleans sheriff disputes flood account

Doug Simpson, Associated Press, October 5, 2005

Baton Rouge - The New Orleans sheriff on Wednesday disputed allegations from a human rights group that inmate corpses were floating in the city jail after Hurricane Katrina and that prisoners were left for days without food or drinking water in cells where the floodwaters were chest-high.

Human Rights Watch has asked the US Justice Department to investigate treatment of prisoners in the jail, accusing Sheriff Marlin Gusman of abandoning inmates in ground-level cells, unattended by guards, as the floodwaters rose. ... New Orleans

Melee of the Young Republican Berserkers

Desperation at Holyoke.
Vijay Prashad, CounterPunch, October 3, 2005

The scene has thoroughly changed. The late September anti-war demonstration comes at a time when nation-wide support for the War on Iraq plummets. Calls for a troop withdrawal escalate among the political elite, as the warmongers shift their rationale for the war shamelessly. We went there to prevent a 9/11; if we leave it might provoke a 9/11. The shadow of 9/11 is itself being overrun by the floodwaters of Louisiana. ... Melee

New Deal, Raw Deal

How Aid Became Affirmative Action for Whites.
Ira Katznelson, Portside, October 1, 2005

Hurricane Katrina's violent winds and waters tore away the shrouds that ordinarily mask the country's racial pattern of poverty and neglect. Understandably, most commentators have focused on the woeful federal response. Others, taking a longer view, yearn for a burst of activism patterned on the New Deal. But that nostalgia requires a heavy dose of historical amnesia. It also misses the chance to come to terms with how the federal government in the 1930s and 1940s contributed to the persistence of two Americas. ... New Deal

A New New Deal and the Old New Deal - Reckoning With Catastrophe

Mark Solomon, Portside, October 1, 2005

A month after Katrina and in the wake of Hurricane Rita, the magnitude of the disaster and the consequences of the criminally destructive policies of the Bush administration are still strongly felt. Never in recent memory have crucial issues that define our daily lives been thrust so forcefully into public consciousness: the role of government, murderous racism, environmental breakdown, widespread poverty flushed from the shadows, the reality of social class, the painful costs of the Iraq war. ... A New New Deal

Permanent Occupation

Representative Barbara Lee, In These Times, September 29, 2005

If you are inclined to believe the president, we will be in Iraq, in his words "as long as necessary, and not a day longer." Members of the Bush administration, including the president, have been at pains to dispel any notion that they have plans for a permanent military presence in Iraq.

On April 13, 2004, President Bush said, "As a proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation and neither does America." ... Permanent

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