Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Celebrities Unscripted

First there was Kayne West, then there was Sean Penn & Operation Red Cup, now Celine Dion gets touchy-feely.

Thank God for the celebs. We need comedy now more than ever.

CNN rush transcript.

KING: Joining us now is an old and dear friend, Celine Dion, the musical superstar. She's in her dressing room at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. She will go on stage in about a half hour. She and the director of her wonderful show, a show I've seen, Franco Dragone, have donated by the way, pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross.What has been your response, Celine, to this? I especially ask this because you're French Canadian from Montreal and New Orleans is a mostly French city.

CELINE DION, SINGER: Correct and I've been there a few times. We've stayed there. I've, you know, filmed videos there and so Rene and I, we've been to New Orleans. And, I have to say, Larry, that and state it as the rest of the world if I may I was watching you behind, there's a television right now, I'm watching and I'm especially waiting like the rest of the world.

I'm waking up in the morning. I'm having a coffee. I barely can swallow it. I come here at Caesar's Palace every night to perform. I barely can sing. But for respect the people who come I am still singing. When I come home at night, my son is waiting for me. I watch television.

Yes, we gave $1 million but what we expect, what I want to look like the rest of the world, I open the television there's people still there waiting to be rescued and for me it's not acceptable. I know there's reasons for it. I'm sorry to say I'm being rude but I don't want to hear those reasons.

You know, some people are stealing and they're making a big deal out of it. Oh, they're stealing 20 pair of jeans or they're stealing television sets. Who cares? They're not going to go too far with it. Maybe those people are so poor, some of the people who do that they're so poor they've never touched anything in their lives. Let them touch those things for once.

(So that means you wouldn't mind if I break into your house & "touch" your designer clothes & shoes. I can't afford the Manolos & Jimmy Choos I love & adore - Thanks Celine :)

The main thing right now it's not the people who are stealing. It's the people who are left there and they're watching helicopters flying over their heads and they're praying. How come it's so easy to send planes in another country to kill everyone in a second, to destroy lives?

We need to serve our country and for me to serve our country is to be there right now to rescue the rest of the people. We need the cash. We need the blood. We need the support. Right now we need the prayers.

You know when I was hearing a couple of days ago that these things are not reachable it's too full of water, maybe I'm too much like my -- I'm not thinking with my head. (You've never uttered a truer sentence, hon) I'm talking with my heart. Nobody can open any roofs? The helicopters flying in take two people at a time, take a kayak. Go into those walls.

There's kids being raped at night. They hear gunshots, big guns, what's that? Those people are praying. They're walking. They're like this, hello, do you see us? We're still alive but we're dying. It's terrible.

KING: Celine.

DION: I do not want to talk to you about money.

KING: How do you explain it to your young son?

DION: Well, I have to (INADUIBLE).

KING: Are you OK?

DION: Yes, Rene Charles knows because sometimes he watches televisions with me and I'm saying to him those people went through a big storm and they will be fine because I know at the end they'll be fine and I hope and we're all praying for them. I'm trying not to put to Rene Charles something so dramatic and that's why I'm sorry for crying so hard because I'm holding it for the last week and I'm trying to tell my son that everything is going to be OK. But I see those mothers over there, they're like (INAUDIBLE).

KING: But look at this thins way, Celine, though a lot of people, we've been doing the show now for two and a half hours. We've been asking a lot of people how they can help, how you can help? A lot of people all over the world want to help. You gave $1 million. You're going to help a lot of people live and survive. You should take great pride in that, one, that you've attained the ability to be able to do that, to be able to give $1 million. You should take pride in that.

DION: I understand it. I understand it's very important because eventually they will need that money but it's just very frustrating that Franco and (INAUDIBLE) and me oh $1 million. This is one thing. In three months, in six months they will need that money. Right now they're praying for water so we need to send them the water. They don't care about my check. So, it's just frustrating because in our part of the world we're trying our best and we're expecting those people -- I'm sorry.

(If you're so upset, why don't you give more than $1 million? In the 2003-2004 fiscal year, you were worth $320 million. I doubt you're fortunes are a lot less this year. $1 million is less then 10% of your net worth. )

KING: Your check will turn into something. I know you got to go on soon but we couldn't spend any time with you without asking you, do you have any kind of thing you would like to sing that fits this moment? Is there any song?

DION: Oh, my gosh.

KING: Even if you did a little of it. I don't want to...

DION: Well, the only song that comes to my mind right now is definitely a prayer. I did sing that song a few weeks -- a few years back with Andrea Bocelli.

KING: Ah, yes.

DION: And I cannot think -- I cannot think about a song but a prayer. I will do my very best and I'll do my best.


DION: God bless them all.

KING: Thank you, Celine. Celine Dion, she'll go on stage in 20 minutes. There's a trooper.We'll be right back. Don't go away.

Hat Tip: Basil, Six Meat Buffet


Another View of the National Guard Deployment

In yesterday's post, I expressed the opinion that the National Guard was deployed too late by the state & local officials. In response, the RTO Trainer, who is taking part in the rescue efforts, offered a differing view of the situation. As I found his comment extremely insightful, I would like to post it.
Here is his comment:

If I may play Devil's Advocate regarding the employment of the National Guard.The Louisiana Guard were deployed well before the storm hit.

The question wasn't of if they were there, but of what they were tasked with.

All indications I have right now indicate that thre was a great deal of confusiuon about what missions were what priority at what time.

The fist thing they did after the storm was to augment the first responders trying to locate and extract people from untennable postions. This however, left teh police, understaffed and shrinking, to handle the security situation alone which begna to spiral out of control. Then the Guard was retasked with security duties but apparently with a very restricted set of options. (Even if I knew details on that score, I could not discuss them.) That drew down the first-respoise capacity. Then a large portion fo the guard were retasked again, with logistical concerns.

It appears that it was not a matter of the Guard not being employed, but that prioritys and missions were not set and rehearsed in advance. The failure of the State and local authorites was not in failing to act (at least with respect to the Guard) but in appreciating the scope of the problems and the sequence of events.

In his blog, he posts The timeline that is NOT being reported. I urge you to read this for more insight into the situation in NO.


American Hostage Freed After 10 Months

Great news.

The U.S. military, acting on a tip, raided an isolated farmhouse outside the capital Wednesday and rescued an American businessman held hostage for 10 months. The kidnappers, who had kept their captive bound and gagged, escaped without a gunbattle...

Roy Hallums, 57, was "in good condition and is receiving medical care," a military statement said after U.S. forces freed him and an unidentified Iraqi from the farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad.

Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, a military spokesman, said the tipster whose information led to Hallums' release was captured just a few hours before the operation....

Hallums, formerly of Newport Beach, Calif., was kidnapped at gunpoint from his office in the Mansour district of Baghdad on Nov. 1, 2004. At the time, he was working for the Saudi Arabian Trading and Construction Co., supplying food to the Iraqi army.

An Iraqi guard and one attacker were killed in the attack. The kidnappers also seized a Filipino, a Nepalese and three Iraqis, but later freed them...
(My Pet Jawa also covers this)

If you follow this link to the AP report I've cited, you'll see how this wonderful news, which IMHO deserved it's own story, is reported. Very sad.


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