Thursday, September 01, 2005

Making Things Up
I can't remember the last time I made three posts on this blog in a single day. Maybe Election Day, I don't know. But this hurricane aftermath story, it's huge--and I'm probably not done. (The post I wanted to put up today, the one I started composing on the way back home after this morning's bagel run, is still in draft form.)

So anyway: A fleet of hundreds of buses is finally moving people from the Louisiana Superdome this afternoon, after delays of several hours. Various news reports highlight the tension among the people waiting, and it may be a miracle if everybody gets on the road before something horrifically violent occurs.

From Facing South:
One hates to second guess overwhelmed officials, but one must also wonder why 475 buses could not have been mustered last Saturday before the storm. This is just one of the many questions that will be asked over the coming weeks and months.
Asking such questions, however, has been officially declared beyond the pale. This is not a time for politics, as Scott McClellan told reporters this morning.

When will it be time for politics? "Well, how about never?" McClellan said. "Is never OK with you?"

All right, I made up that last quote. But it's got the ring of truth even so. There will never be a good time for questions in this matter as far as the Bush gang is concerned, because the uncomfortable answers to the most important questions make them look like less like the big swinging dicks who rule the world, and more like people who couldn't direct traffic for a one-car funeral.

Not time for politics? The hell it isn't. If it can be demonstrated that failures of some sort led to or exacerbated this disaster, those responsible for the failures need to be held accountable for the unfolding of it. At the very least, they need to be called liars or ignoramuses, whichever is applicable whenever it's applicable. Start with the statement from Bush himself this morning that no one anticipated that the levees would break. At least three news reports filed yesterday mentioned expert warnings made long before Katrina that a big-ass hurricane could do just that.

And even if you are the kind of person who remains willfully ignorant about a lot of things and so you missed the warnings entirely, you can't look at a city lower than sea level and surrounded by levees without understanding instinctively that such a place will be screwed if the levees break. Further, you have to understand a Category 4 hurricane is one of the likeliest things to break them.

Unless of course you're a complete dumbass who reveals the emptiness of your head every time you open your mouth, and you're just making things up as you go along.

Quote of the Day:
From Facing South, quoting an article it published a year ago, after evacuation orders were issued for New Orleans due to Hurricane Ivan. Mike Davis, who's written some great stuff about the decay and transformation of cities, noted that most whites had the resources to flee, so those left behind were disproportionately black: "The evacuation of New Orleans in the face of Hurricane Ivan looked sinisterly like Strom Thurmond's version of the Rapture."

Comments Wanted: What are your thoughts on what you're seeing from down there--and how we're dealing with it?

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