"What comes next? Having turned the page on Mr. Bush, the country hungers for a vision that is something other than either liberal boilerplate or Rovian stagecraft. At this point, merely plain old competence, integrity and heart might do."
Actor Sam Neill has blamed President Bush's economic policies for contributing to the disaster that engulfed Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit, reports The Associated Press.
In a speech Wednesday night attacking New Zealand opposition leader Don Brash ahead of the country's general elections on Saturday, Neill, a supporter of the ruling Labour Party, compared tax cuts proposed by Brash to Bush's election pledges in 2000.
'Perhaps we should look at somewhere else where they recently used the time-old bribe of tax cuts, and see how it worked. In 2000 George Bush, under the reasonable sounding `compassionate conservatism,' offered huge tax cuts. And he delivered,'' Neill told an audience in Oamaru, 200 miles east of his home and vineyard on New Zealand's South Island.
''Take a look at America now. The rich are certainly richer, but the economy is in the tank, a healthy surplus has been converted into a massive deficit, and the U.S. is a place that cannot even afford the basics. Like maintaining levees in low-lying Louisiana. Might I suggest that tax cuts led indirectly to the flooding of New Orleans?'' Neill added.
He also heavily criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Brash, a former central bank governor, would have sent New Zealand troops to Iraq in 2003 while Prime Minister Helen Clark refused.
''The greatest achievement of this government is that they kept us out of the war in Iraq. Let's make no mistake about this -- this war is a bloody mess, and a terrible blunder, with disastrous consequences for the future,'' he said.
Bring Them Home Now Tour - Part One Notes from the "Bring Them Home Now" bus tour, which stopped in Syracuse NY on September 14.
Mike Ferner was the first to speak.He is a freelance writer from Toledo, Ohio, and a member of Veterans for Peace. Encouraging all to attend the March on Washington on September 24th, he commented it should have come as no surprise when a powerful insurgency emerged in Iraq. He asked all to consider that if a foreign power had invaded our country, that we would have fought back, and we see the same level of violence in Iraq today. He said, "We need to get the hell out of Iraq – and the sooner the better. I have a two-word exit strategy – SHIPS and PLANES. Get our troops on them and bring them home now."
Tammara Rosenleaf of Helena, Montana spoke on behalf of Military Families Speak Out - tearfully, she described how her husband is soon to be deployed to Iraq and how he is willingly going to Iraq for “his buddies.” She knows that when she wakes in the middle of the night, scared to death that her husband is dead or injured in Iraq - or if he really is injured or killed, that the military is not going to be there for her as they claim they will be. She hears many people say that it's demoralizing to troops when Americans speak out against the Iraq war. Ms. Rosenleaf's husband tells her that he does not believe it’s demoralizing to troops at all. She assured the group of about 150 people that her husband and most troops would agree that our constitutional right to free speech was living in each person that was in attendance at the rally. In her words: "Who needs a free speech zone? We ARE a free speech zone." While in Crawford, she had seen a photo display of wounded soldiers that deeply disturbed her - their pain cannot be understood unless you really look at their eyes. She says that our leaders need to take a close look at those men and women before committing another soldier to die.