Budget cuts kill people - a man drowned yesterday – as firefighters and first responder just watched from shore

More unfortunate news of how irresponsible budget cuts kill people. A man drowned yesterday – as firefighters and first responder just watched from shore. The firefighters couldn’t help the man because they didn’t have training or cold-water gear thanks to budget cuts back in 2009. Earlier this year – deadly fires were sparked in Chicago and New York with first responders showing up late also because of budget cuts. So as our nation is learning these painful lessons – guess what Republicans in the House of Representatives are doing?

Cutting funding for first responders!

The House Appropriations Committee stripped $1 billion in funding for first responders last month in another heavy-handed attempt at starving the government and lopping off its security arms. After all – if you get rid of the police – then you can hand security off to private corporations like Blackwater that can make a huge profit patrolling our streets like they do in Baghdad and did in New Orleans.


gerald's picture
gerald 11 years 42 weeks ago

God speaks to all of us in silence. Our problem is that we fail to listen to Him. When we hear the conservatives say that God speaks to them, I am skeptical because these same people cling to an anti-life agenda to drop most Americans from safety nets that would help them as they age.

There have been family and friends who have encouraged me to run for political office. God spoke to me and I listened to Him. He said, “My son do not run for political office because to be elected you will have to sell your soul to the Evil One.” I did not run for a political office and I feel better because I listened to my God.

Thom, thank you for your words on Michelle Bachman (one n or two n’s)! She is a hypocrite. To be a true Catholic a person has to be a true Christian. To be a true Christian a person must value the words of Jesus and the person must also make Jesus’ words a way of life. Michelle Bachman and all the other conservatives remind me of a KKKhristian! An anti-life agenda by conservatives is contrary to Jesus’ values and words.

gerald's picture
gerald 11 years 42 weeks ago

I would like to share with you a story that was relayed to me by a friend. Joe and John were very close buddies. They both loved baseball. They would spend many days in the summer visiting major league games and stadiums. They both wondered if there was baseball in heaven. They would talk about if one of them died to try and find a way to let the other one know whether or not there is baseball in heaven. Joe died and John was saddened by his friend’s death. John prayed to God to have Joe visit to let him know if there was baseball in heaven. There came a day when Joe was given permission to visit John. John asked Joe if there was baseball in heaven. Joe said that there was good news and bad news. Joe said to John that the good news is that there is baseball in heaven and the bad news is that John will be pitching on Friday.

gerald's picture
gerald 11 years 41 weeks ago

Prayer is our conversation with God. God enjoys hearing from you and me. Please try to make it a habit to pray to God every day.


Lord, please make me a channel of your peace!


Remember when love was all we knew!


I keep going over and over the United States I knew.


David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 11 years 41 weeks ago

Recall all republicans. Which is what will happen as more people realize that there is no republican party. What calls itself the republican party is just a bunch of sociopathic corporate hacks, vicious fascists, morally deficient frontmen and frontwomen who are incapable of rational thought, and hyper-wealthy sociopaths who only feel happy when they make other people suffer.

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 11 years 41 weeks ago

They have a large Coast Guard Station there. Why not just call them. With the CG so close, the $40,000 would be better spent somewhere else. Also, what did they do in 2008?

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 11 years 41 weeks ago


THEY believe the government should help the rich live long and prosper. THE government should allow the rich to exploit the working class until they die from hard work and exhaustion. AND the government should just let the poor die off from disease and starvation because they will never amount to anything anyway and are just a drain on the rich.

WITH the republicans - no matter what the issue is - health care, education, energy, someone has to get rich - usually at the expense of the working class and poor.

THE ""FINAL SOLUTION"' was the extermination of the JEWS of GERMANY. THE first solution was to make it difficult for them to earn a living by restricting the occupations in which they could work. THE second solution was to force immigration by enacting further restrictions making it impossible for JEWS to live in GERMANY. REPUBLICAN governors want the poor to immigrate out of their states by cutting social services, cutting education budgets, and increasing taxes on the poor making it impossible for them to live in their states.

jaykaygee43's picture
jaykaygee43 11 years 41 weeks ago

When I was in my 20s, I answered the call of the leaders of the Flower Generation who were as much Anti-
Vietnam War and Civil Rights activists as they were rebellious believers in "sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll".

I think the time when it might have been useful to form picket lines and hand out information pamphlets has may be passed already. I also think we must observe the course of the "spring" in the Mid-East and issue the call to lobby, face-to-face, the men and women for whom we voted and to whom we gave time and money to achieve their election. Fortunately, it still holds true that even the richest contributor can only cast one vote.

That said, remember Ross Perot and remember the Philadelphia Inquirer's series, later published as a book titled, "America, What Went Wrong," and Bill Moyers' television documentary about the book, written by Barlett and Steele, who have continued to write. Corporate media are flagrantly ignoring - as far as they dare - the later work of these fine investigative reporters. Perot paid for TV broadcasts explaining the economic issues of that election that put Bill Clinton in office. And Perot was right about unemployment of American workers, and the loss of industrial independence that has resulted from our leaders' signing of trade treaties that leave our nation incapable of making its own electronic consumer products.

Our president has recited the words we wanted to hear. His tragedy and ours is that he hasn't taken up the task of public education about how our national economics works. He has abandoned the real power of the bully pulpit in favor of going along to get along. Somebody must step forward to lead the way.

gerald's picture
gerald 11 years 41 weeks ago

If I Was President

This is an open letter on If I Was President.

  1. I would carry on more dialogue and less talk of shock and awe bombings or nuclear destructions.
  2. I would see to it that our troops would have the equipment to fight a war but I would not start a war. Loved ones would have decent housing, schools, and recreational area.

Our troops would be well paid and if they are killed or maimed their loved

ones would receive full military pay of their husbands. If they had children money would set aside for financial aid to go to college or a trade school until the sons and/or daughters were 25 years old. Medical plan would the same as the Congressional medical plan or even better.

Every time Congress receives an increase in salary, the minimum wage would increase and so would the increase in soldiers’ salaries or for their loved ones if the soldier was killed or maimed in the military service.

I would have a mothers’ committee of no more than twenty mothers to give recommendations about going to war or not going to war.

  1. I would have Cindy Sheehan and Karen Kwiatkowski in my cabinet as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense respectively.
  2. I would eliminate the Supreme Court because they are irrelevant. States have their Supreme Court and they are closer to the people; plus, the justices have to run for an elected position.
  3. Congress would be given more say in passing laws.
  4. I would tax the rich more because they have the most to lose.
  5. If the military draft would be reinstated, the sons and daughters of the rich would be drafted first.
  6. All athletic contests would be stopped in time of war because overpriced athletes should also sacrifice.
  7. I would eliminate financial television and radio stations in time of war because I have heard too much talk about is war good for the economy?
  8. The Supreme Court building would be renovated into a museum for the holocaust victims of Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine.
  9. I would match the money that is given to Israel with Arab countries but not Saudi Arabia.
  10. I would eliminate offshore tax shelters for the rich and for corporations.
  11. I would tax religious organizations like those of Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, and Dobson.
  12. Corporations with rigged electronic voting machines would be tried for treason.
  13. I would work closely with countries and governments so they would improve the quality of life for all their citizens.
  14. CEO salaries would be similar to the CEO salaries in Japan.

Our beautiful environment will be protected and a quality education will be available for all students, K-12 grades. Higher education and trade schools will be affordable for all students.

Employers who hire illegal immigrants would be heavily fined, such as $250,000 per illegal immigrant. Employers would also receive a jail sentence of one year per illegal immigrant.

I would put Christ back into the word, Christianity. I would not be afraid to say the word Jesus because it might offend someone. People who came to the White House during Christmas would be able to see the Christ child in plain view and not given an obscure setting. Our soldiers in Saudi Arabia would be permitted to show the Cross on Saudi soil.

  1. I would encourage Israel to be the Light to the World. I would also encourage the Palestinians to work closely with Israel because they could transform their land in a similar way to be beautiful. I would also hope that Lebanon could again be the Paris of the Middle East.
  2. I would help to end America’s perpetual nightmares and I would help America dream again of love, mercy, justice, and peace.

These are some things that I would do If I Was President.

gerald's picture
gerald 11 years 41 weeks ago

Information is power!!!!!

Our fascst-Nazi leaders must curtail information that gives power to the people.


gerald's picture
gerald 11 years 41 weeks ago

My wife heard it this morning (June 3, 2011) from Alan Greenspan that America cannot spend any more money. When Americans reach a certain age ALL BENEFITS AND SAFETY NETS WILL BE TERMINATED!!!!! But, the American rich and American corporations will remain exempt from paying any income taxes and they will be able to hoard their money. THERE WILL BE NO SHARED SACRIFICES FROM THESE LOW LIFE ENTITIES!!!!! But, there will be more money for the killing of God’s children through immoral and wrong wars. Yes, there is an orchestrated effort to kill Americans. The United States of Mortal Sin does not have a future for the poor and for working Americans!!!!!

dlittle75@earthlink.net's picture
dlittle75@earth... 11 years 41 weeks ago

Tom- My only thought was that the Democrats need to take your message (s) (ie about cutting funding for first responders )and build a platform that is the real Republican platform- Republican policy kills US citizens! I can't respond to the comment above because I can't relate to it. Is this the proper place to comment on your column? Please advise. I do appreciate getting your blog.

David L

bluangel's picture
bluangel 11 years 41 weeks ago

From reading this tragic story, it seems obvious considering the amount of time it took for this man to eventually drown himself, that he was hoping for someone to stop him. He kept looking back at the shore, possibly thinking that someone was going to try to talk him out of this. The fact that no one did, and that he could see firemen watching him from shore and not trying to assist him might have led him to think that no one really cared, so why should he? Obviously no one cared enough. They said it was budget cuts that kept them from going into the water, and maybe that's true, but budget cuts or or not, the right thing would have been to make some kind of effort to talk this man out of what he was trying to do. Eventually a private citizen went in to the water to pull him out, too little, too late. I just don't know what is happening in this country when the people who are supposed to protect us let us drown, and let our houses burn down, and take too long to respond to our 911 calls for help. Now our Republican legislators want to cut more money from our first responders....Police, Fire, Rescue, Lifeguards because they want to privatize those services. It's all about MONEY. So, if that happens, when someone invades my house, or my house catches on fire, or my child needs an ambulance, if I haven't PAID whatever fee is required to this private corporation who will be in charge, will they say, SORRY, we can't help you, and let someone assault me or steal my belongings, or let my house burn, or LET MY CHILD DIE? Well, as you can see it's already happening. The only thing I can think of to do, is what you, and we here are already doing, Thom. Let readers know at every opportunity just what these horrible people in the Republican congress are trying to do.

jstrahan's picture
jstrahan 11 years 41 weeks ago

For those of you who have for years swallowed the Republican Kool Aid and bought into their long standing contention that what is wrong with America is that Democrats want to take away from the white people and give to the colored people it's finally time for you to make a choice as to the way of life to be available to the average American citizen. This is real. Our way of life is at stake. If you vote for the Democrats you vote to repeal tax cuts for the wealthy, to end subsidies for the oil and gas industry, to take away tax incentives given to companies exporting 8 million jobs and give them to U.S.companies who hire us in this country, to find reasonable solutions to strengthen Social Security and Medicare such as increasing payroll tax for Social Security above $108,000, reduce the staggering amount spent on the military, and stop for profit health care companies from rationing health care and breaking the bank. Vote for Republicans and you get unregulated Wall Street, unregulated banking industry, total loss of protection of our land, water, and air, ridiculous trade agreements costing us jobs, and increased taxes for middle class and reduced taxes for the wealthy. The real enemy just may be the guy in the mirror who fails to do the right thing for all of us.

dinachap's picture
dinachap 11 years 41 weeks ago

At the end of the day, our happiness is entirely dependent on 'the manner one person treats another,--and on whether or not we feel we've done a good job'.

Life is an art! "It is something to be able to paint a picture, or carve a statue so as to preserve some beauty. But to be able to paint and carve the atmosphere in which we live so as to affect the quality of the day, which we all morally can do. This is the greatest of the arts."--Thoreau

Our American ancestors were artists. Environmental and behavioral truths that always existed entered human reality as though from another dimension.

Today, we stand idly by---waiting for directions to come down from above. Why? Because where we corrected pieces of human reality that were inaccurate,--we failed to recognize the source of that ability?

dnarnadem 11 years 41 weeks ago

Coast Guard, Huh? I guess when you drown they'll call the Special Navy Seals Team! Just hope you're family isn't with you.

Let me guess - you're a repug!

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