Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina, Katrina 

I've been too appalled by the disaster that is Katrina to really comment regularly, especially when so many other bloggers are doing it so regularly and so well. But the issues that have arisen because of this disaster should be the subject of national debate; first and foremost because, even if they were to set off a nuke in a major city, terrorists could not achieve one one-hundredth of the chaos and devastation that nature hath wrought. And yet, in their short-sighted focus on "homeland security," the current Administration has failed to keep the homeland secure at all. All the airport screeners, all the wiretaps, all the intrusive rapes of the Constitution, could have done nothing at all to prevent what happened.

And the degree of stupid after the fact has been stunning. Bush's "No one could have predicted the levees would break" bullshit. Brown's (or was it Chertoff's?) fantasy headlines that claimed New Orleans had dodged a bullet. The rightwing game of Blame the Victims. Barbara Bush's utterly appalling, classist comments that just prove she comes from another planet, if not another galaxy.

And now, beyond all that, New Orleans is being forcibly evacuated, which makes me wonder why. It seems the focus should be on rescuing the trapped and injured, and getting supplies to the rest. At this point, give people informed consent: "You can stay, but if you get sick, you waive all claims." The important job is repairing the city, not making sure every last building is vacant. It's particularly ridiculous to evacuate areas that were not innundated, and (oh look, a liberal is going to say this) absolutely wrong that authorities are taking firearms away from people in a time of disaster. Seems to me that that move is more aimed at protecting the civil authorities than it is at restoring order. And, trust me, if I were cut off in a post disaster LA, with the Federal government doing jackshit to help, you can be damn sure I'd have the trusty ol' 12-guage at my side 24/7.

On the bright side, someone (probably a pissed off Republican) threw Dick Cheney's words back in his face today, and it's gotten major play on the Net and in the (so-called) Mainstream Media. And, in his reponse, Cheney came across as an even bigger asshole than he has in the past. Major league asshole. Big time. But, I echo that sentiment here. Mr. Cheney, go fuck yourself. And take Halliburton with you.

Ah yes, Halliburton. They may or may not have gotten the lion's share of juicy contracts in rebuilding the area. We don't know because the relief bill rammed through Congress was proposed by Republicans, and Democrats weren't even allowed to read it. The media has tried to call it a bipartisan effort, but that's bullshit. And, as always, the Republicans cheat when they know they can get away with it, because no politician on the planet is going to vote against such a bill with the explanation that, "I wasn't allowed to see it before voting." A very valid reason not to vote but, unfortunately, an unwinnable position, since it so easily turns into Senator So-and-So refused to help Katrina victims.

But... the silver lining in the cloud seems to be that this disaster is forcing the Republicans to reveal themselves as they truly are, and people are finally seeing it. The heartless, craven, greedy, compassionless bastards behind the red ties are being exposed to the light of day, as if everyone suddenly picked up those magic sunglasses that reveal the aliens. The Mighty Wurlitzer is seeming more shrill and ridiculous in its pathetic support of BushCo -- and another hurricane is lurking in the Atlantic.

Which makes for an impending no-win situation for the Administration because, if another devastating hurricane hits the US in the near future, they're fucked. If they respond in time and properly, it makes the Katrina debacle look worse. If they don't, it makes them look even more incompetent. Which is a good trick, since they've appeared utterly incompetent so far.

And, oddly enough, through all of it, it seems like all the solutions and aid and help have come from... the American People themselves. Which is what makes this nation great. It's not the government that is the country. It's the citizens.

Time to band together and get rid of the misfit bozos in charge, upon whose hands lie the deaths of thousands in the Gulf Coast states.

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