Friday, September 02, 2005

There Is Only One Story Right Now

I'm sorry to go off-topic, but at this time there is only one story in the news. Our local problems are nothing. Right now all that matters in America is the man-made catastrophe on the Gulf Coast. Even now, nearly a week after the storm, there is no help, no supplies for hundreds of thousands of people. Everything else has to stop, and we as a country need to save them.

The federal government was cynically re-organized to accommodate a new Department of Homeland Security, with billions of dollars going to make us safe from disaster. Now we find that FEMA has been cut back, planning and prevention have been abandoned, and when you get down to it, the new Department did not make any of us safer in any way. The idea that this storm took anyone by surprise is absurd -- news stories days beforehand, when the storm was out at sea, predicted it could be the worst natural catastrophe in American history. The flooding of New Orleans was rated years ago to be one of the three most likely disaster scenarios in the country. Much of the devastation along the coast is natural, houses blown down, winds and floods destroying everything, but the greater disaster derives from the failure to provide aid to those stranded people throughout the coastal region, and especially in New Orleans.

The Katrina story, especially in New Orleans, is about corruption, cynicism, greed, and yes it's about race and privilege. Our elected government is on vacation while the people stand in their attics, water up their necks, shouting out to passing rowboats that are too full to pick them up.

I'll blog some stuff about sex-ed later, maybe tomorrow.

By the way, if you want to follow the story, go to the local New Orleans TV station WWL Blog.


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