Thursday, September 01, 2005

And ashamed again

I've been wallowing in Katrina and what wasn't done to prepare and manage this mess all afternoon. Been feeling oh so helpless, despite my monetary gift to the Red Cross. How can people who knew this Cat 4 or 5 storm could come, would come, yet ignored the inevitability and how to properly manage it sleep at night? How can President George W. Bush say, with a straight face, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees"?

Apparently, his face wasn't actually straight--he spent most of that interview smirking. Fortunately, I didn't actually SEE the interview. Might've smashed my TV.

The US has spent millions of hours and dollars on terrorism and homeland security, a nebulous investment at best. At the same time, we've taken away millions of dollars from organizations like FEMA, downsized, made unimportant. As though fighting terrorism was more important than fighting natural disasters. By knocking the legs out under organizations like FEMA, the Bush administration has made natural disasters far more dangerous than terrorism ever could be.

FEMA predicted years ago that a huge hurricane hitting NOLA was one of the three most likely natural catastrophes to hit in coming years. Even with that knowledge, the Bush administration cuts funds to the area Army Corp of Engineers by $72 MILLION.

All accounts from NOLA indicate there is no one in charge. No one seems to be directing rescue operations. No one seems to be directing security operations. No one seems to be directing food and water distribution. This is like a Third World country. Why in the hell should a Mayor of a major city in the United States be issuing an SOS asking for help?

There are over 20,000 people still waiting at the Superdome. Waiting to be warehoused in another dome. But somewhere, anywhere would be better than the Superdome. There are reports that a child was raped inside last night. No food. No water. Dead bodies on the ground. Why in the hell should a Mayor of a major city in the United States be issuing an SOS asking for help? Where is our government?

Busy denying. When questioned about the FEMA cuts, Scott McClellan scolded, "This is not a time for politics." Sorry, but this definitely IS a time for politics. This is a time when politics, when government, should be responsible. Should take responsibility. Should make things work, no matter what it takes. Stop spending time deflecting and denying and save these people in NOLA before more people die.

There are people dying on top of hospitals. There are people still trapped in attics with no food or water. There are people dying in front of the Superdome. How many more have to die before Bush and his administration get their acts together? How can we possible think that, as a nation, we can save other countries, tell them what to do, when we can't even manage our own disaster?

Until tomorrow,


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