Barbara Bush comments latest in series of blunders
Special to USAfricaonline.com,USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
CLASSmagazine, TheBlack Business JournalandIgboEvents
WASHINGTON &emdash; U.S. President George W. Bush is not theonly member of his prominent political family to be drawing criticismfor public utterances about Hurricane Katrina: His mother has raisedeyebrows too. In widely reported comments after visting evacuees atthe Texas sportsarena (Astrodome) former first lady Barbara Bush on Monday September5, 2005, seemed to suggest a silver lining for the "underprivileged"forced from their flooded homes in New Orleans. "What I'm hearing,which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyoneis so overwhelmed by the hospitality," she said in a radio interviewfrom the Astrodome in Houston, Texas."And so many of the people inthe arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this&emdash; this is working very well for them," she said.
"I think that the observation is based on someone or some peoplethat were talking to her that were in need of a lot of assistance,people that have gone through a lot of trauma and been through a verydifficult and trying time," White House spokesman Scott McClellansaid Wednesday.
"And all of a sudden, they are now getting great help in the stateof Texas from some of the shelters," he said. Her son, thepresident, has faced criticism for saying on Sept 1 that no oneanticipated that New Orleans' levees would break &emdash; even thoughvarious federal and state agencies had warned of thatscenario.
In his first tour of the devastated region, Bush also praisedFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Michael Brown,saying: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
Brown has become a lightning rod for criticism over Washington'ssluggish response to Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters tohit the United States, and opposition Democrats have stepped up callsfor Bush to fire him. The president has also come under fire forpaying tribute to ravaged New Orleans as a place he used to visityears ago "to enjoy myself &emdash; occasionally too much," anapparent reference to the days before he quit drinking.
In an effort to raise the spirits of the hundreds of thousands whohave lost their homes, Bush promised to rebuild devastated areasbetter than they were before, but at one point focused on the home ofa powerful lawmaker.
"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house &emdash; he's losthis entire house &emdash; there's going to be a fantastic house. AndI'm looking forward to sitting on the porch," President Bush said ona tour of the region Friday, drawing nervous laughter.
Some Republicans winced, including one disbelievingcongressional aide who said: "Lott? He's focusing on Lott? Surroundedby poor people, he talks about a sitting senator?"
There have also been echoes of the aftermath of the Sept 11, 2001terrorist attacks, when Bush urged Americans to go shopping and livetheir lives as normally as possible.
In some of her first remarks after the hurricane, First Lady LauraBush told Gulf Coast evacuees: "It's very important to get yourchildren in school. It gives children a sense of normalcy."
The White House later put together a plan to help students andschool districts affected by the hurricane.
Barbara Bush had raised eyebrows two days before U.S. troopsinvaded Iraq, when she told ABC television that she was notinterested in media commentators' concerns about the war's potentialhuman toll. "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and howmany, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do yousuppose?" she said. "It's not relevant. So, why should I waste mybeautiful mind on something like that?"
Filmmaker Michael Moore used the remark in his fiercely anti-Bushfilm "Fahrenheit 9/11," leading former president George Bush to callhim a "slimeball" and defend his wife as "a decent, wonderfulperson." (Wire reports, compiled on Friday, September 9, 2005)
AADD: AfricaAttention Deficit Disorder. AU.S. disorder that hurts Africa. By David Sarasohn of NewhouseNews Service: Today's pictures are from Niger, but they could be fromlots of places in Africa, and from lots of times during recentdecades. These children with the matchstick legs, and the eyes biggerthan their fists, could have been from Biafra, a runaway province ofNigeria, in the 1970s, or from Ethiopia in the 1980s, or the Congo inthe 1990s. The hideous massacre stories, this time from Darfur, couldbe from Liberia, or Sierra Leone, or -- most bloodily -- Rwanda. TheAIDS stories come steadily from the same places. Full commentaryhere
2006 CALENDAR, FRIDAY May 5, AND SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006: CLASS magazine, USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York Times as the largest and most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks), will hold the USAfrica 14th internationally-acclaimed 2006 BEST OF AFRICA awards dinner in honor of African professionals and our annual Mothers' Day Honors on FRIDAY MAY 5 and on SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006. Nominate some African professionals and community builders. E-mail: Class@Classmagazine.tv. It will be an invitation-only event. The open annual international townhall meeting, USAfrica Forum, will hold on Friday May 5, 2006. USAfrica was founded in May 1992, in Houston, Texas by television broadcaster and multimedia media executive Chido Nwangwu. Contact USAfrica/CLASS event manager Alverna Johnson and Chuck Obazei at 713-270-5500. or 832-45-CHIDO (24436) - E-mail: Class@Classmagazine.tv
Summary: Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of theEnglish Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in theworld, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions,cultural custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwillambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, theEagleon the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor Chinua Achebe,has recently been selected by a distinguished jury of scholars andcritics (from 13 countries of African life and literature) as thewriter of the Best book (Things Fall Apart, 1958) written in thetwentieth century regarding Africa. Reasonably, Achebe's message hasbeen neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He's ourpathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans andlovers of the fineart of good writing. Achebe's cultural contexts are, at once,pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literarycontextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igboor Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of thetrue essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing anddisposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures)this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce,juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of thevitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality ofChi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... itis a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude whiletaking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, therigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed inmost of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, becauseI share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a briefsentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here,folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle onthe Iroko, may your Lineage endure! Therehas never been one like you!
APPRECIATION USAfricaFORUM: Africa, Blair and United Kingdom's commendable push for development assistance. By Dr. Chinua Akukwe "This is our moment to stand up for what's right,'' U2 lead singer Bono told the audience in London. ``We can't fix every problem, but those we can, we must,'' he said, mentioning malaria, AIDS and deaths caused by dirty water. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, host of the G-8 summit, is making African poverty reduction a focus of the meeting. Performers at "Live 8'' -- including Paul McCartney, Cold Play, Madonna and REM -- want to raise popular awareness of the continent's economic deprivation. The concerts will reach a potential global audience of 5.5 billion people through television, Internet and other media, organizer Bob Geldof said. They occur 20 years after the Live Aid concerts that Geldof also arranged to combat African poverty. Africa is the only continent to have become poorer in the last 25 years, according to the United Nations. More than 300 million Africans live on less than $1 a day, and less than half of children on the continent complete primary school. In the last 50 years, there have been 186 coups and 26 wars in Africa, with more than 7 million people killed, the UN says. These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
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INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. Certain facts and the continuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to why the U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events in Africa's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square miles in size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for a red line to be drawn against the rag-tag army of Arab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops of religio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon the southern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen. Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace; but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans must respect and love each other. Continued here....
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'Live 8' global concerts put focus on Africa, poverty.... Singers from U2's Bono to billionaire Bill Gates called for the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations to relieve African poverty at ``Live 8'' concerts in London and nine other cities. About 200,000 people jammed into London's Hyde Park on July 2 at the start of a week of music and demonstrations to pressure heads of G-8 nations meeting July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland, to increase aid and debt relief to Africa and also rewrite trade rules.
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In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination, USAfricaonline.com Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'
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Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president.
By Al Johnson
USAfricaFORUM: Africa, Blair and United Kingdom's commendable push for development assistance. By Dr. Chinua Akukwe
"This is our moment to stand up for what's right,'' U2 lead singer Bono told the audience in London. ``We can't fix every problem, but those we can, we must,'' he said, mentioning malaria, AIDS and deaths caused by dirty water. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, host of the G-8 summit, is making African poverty reduction a focus of the meeting. Performers at "Live 8'' -- including Paul McCartney, Cold Play, Madonna and REM -- want to raise popular awareness of the continent's economic deprivation.
The concerts will reach a potential global audience of 5.5 billion people through television, Internet and other media, organizer Bob Geldof said. They occur 20 years after the Live Aid concerts that Geldof also arranged to combat African poverty. Africa is the only continent to have become poorer in the last 25 years, according to the United Nations. More than 300 million Africans live on less than $1 a day, and less than half of children on the continent complete primary school. In the last 50 years, there have been 186 coups and 26 wars in Africa, with more than 7 million people killed, the UN says.
These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'