I spent all 3 days of this long weekend indoors. No, I did not go hiking, nor biking, nor shopping, heck the only time I stepped foot outside my apartment is when I had to go to the dumpster to dispose the mountains of empty beer bottles I had steadily been amassing throughout this period. All 3 days, I was either glued to the television or glued to my computer, devouring information, steadily becoming more and more aghast at what was happening in New Orleans. And after whittling down this information into coherent thoughts, these are what I was left with.
Many among us have had this sneaking suspicion all these years, and now it's been proven to be true. Mankind is Mother Nature's bitch, not the other way around, no matter what the Jesus freaks tell you. Mother Nature will take you from behind at every opportunity she gets, repeatedly and violently, then cast you aside hurt and bleeding, and there's not a fucking thing you can do about it.
Well, actually there is something you can do about it. How about strengthening the levees? Or stopping the destruction of coastal wetlands, which used to be a convenient hurricane buffer? Just a suggestion.
Just before the hurricane struck, I remember sitting at home, watching the weather channel, being informed by the weather guy that New Orleans was predicted to be, on an average, under 5 feet of water, maybe even 18 feet in some areas. I remember thinking to myself, goddamn, thats a lot of fucking water over my head, so I hope the government's on the case. But apparently, the government wasn't. If a fucking idiot like me, sitting in his apartment could realize that it was a lot of water, what prevented the fucking idiot in the White House from realizing the same thing?
George Bush is either a liar or an incompetent bastard or both. There is no way he can be neither. When he says "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees", when everyone he should have been asking questions to was saying the exact opposite, namely that it was well known that the levees could only withstand a category 3 hurricane at the most (Katrina was a category 5), that means that he either knew about it and was lying through his teeth, or there exists a total disconnect of communication in this administration between the people who know something about something and the people who have the power to do something about something.
The only scenario I can envision in which the right wing media and blogosphere would have stopped carrying water (so to speak) for George W Bush and would have held him responsible for this total failure of government machinery during this crisis, is one in which George W Bush would been caught on live television, personally hacking away at the levees of Lake Pontchartrain with a pickaxe while clad in the flowing white robes of the KKK.
George W Bush values the public's image of him more than the public itself.
"ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time."
Heck, even when CNN was talking about the president's photoshoots, it used words like "carefully choreographed" while describing them.
Three facts about America :
1. Poor folk in America are basically fucked.
2. Black folk in America are basically fucked.
3. Poor folk in America most often also happen to be the black folk.
So, when the main stream media fails to point out the obvious correlation between the race and class of the victims of the hurricane and the inexplicable delay in relief efforts by the most technologically advanced country in the world, a country which managed to send a robot to Mars, yet was incapable of sending choppers to drop food and water in downtown New Orleans a few hours after flooding began, when it is left up to rappers like Kanye West to hijack television fund-raising events in order to point this fact out to America, it is safe to assume that not only have media standards deteriorated, but in fact, the media, no longer being the fourth estate, has been converted into a lackey of the establishment.
Henceforth, whenever the word "cronyism" will be used in a sentence during any spelling bee contest it will be used thusly :
"Cronyism is when George Bush appointed his long-time crony from Texas, Joe Allbaugh to the extremely important position as head of FEMA, the organization in charge of disaster management. Cronyism can also be defined alternatively as when Joe Allbaugh, in turn, appointed his college chum Michael Brown to this post, who had no experience in disaster management either, after he was done with his term."
Speaking of cronyism, everything bad and terrible that happens anywhere in the world, Halliburton always seems to profit from it.
Price gouging, as I understand it, is when companies take advantage of a short-supply of goods to raise prices of that good. When right-wingers define it, price-gouging can also be called as a market stabilizing factor (via *shudder* Instapundit). Ok, granted, my knowledge of economics is but rudimentary, and I can understand what it means in theory when you say that when something is in short supply, the only way to avoid running out of it is to raise prices so that it is only consumed by people who demand it the most, who would be willing to pay more for it, this reduces the demand and the amount sold, thus giving the supplier an incentive to increase the supply in order to reduce the price, which would, in turn increase the demand, thus increasing the amount sold. Yes, I fucking get it. But, this is my point. When I look at price gouging, this is what I see : When you increase the price of gas, only the rich can afford it, the poor have to do without it and the oil companies, who are already up to their necks in cash, get paid extra for selling the same amount of gas. Explain that to me.
The age old question "Where the fuck does George W Bush get his cold, callous indifference from?" has been finally answered.
When America becomes so economically destitute trying to rebuild other nations that she can't even afford to rebuild her own devastated self, when she has to rely on so-called "enemies" of America, as well as third world tsunami-devastated countries like Sri Lanka to offer aid, America basically relinquishes her moral superiority as well as "Leader of the Free World" status.
Conservatism dictates that you do not think twice about allocating funds in order to rebuild Iraq, but balk at rebuilding your own fucking country.
Jonah Goldberg of NRO (via Atrios):
"Lots of readers ask why national taxpayers should be asked to foot the bill for the reconstruction of New Orleans. I think that is a perfectly legitimate question, even if I'm leaning toward reconstruction. It seems to me there are good arguments on both sides of the issue."
God has a poor aim. God is also extremely incompetent. God was trying to destroy the decadent homosexual population of New Orleans, but only managed to destroy the indigent poor who were neither homosexual nor decadent. God needs to work on His destroying skills.
The best way to cure hunger and thirst in the wake of a hurricane is to dispatch a truckload of bibles to the affected. (via Pharyngula)
Apparently, there is no difference between hurricane survivors in New Orleans and suicide bombers in Iraq.
"While some fight the insurgency in the city, other carry on with rescue and evacuation operations. Helicopters are still pulling hundreds of stranded people from rooftops of flooded homes."
Even after having had a ring side seat in George W Bush's disaster management circus, if Americans can give him a 53% rating of fair or better in his handling of the hurricane aftermath, it basically means that Americans are stuck in stage 2 of battered woman syndrome. Or is it stage 3? Who the fuck knows. Anyways, what matters is that they will forever refuse to accept the fact that they have elected an incompetent nincompoop as their leader.
And finally, Bill Clinton looks so goddamned old and tired, but he can still come off more compassionate and genuinely concerned about the tragedy than both George W and George H W Bush combined.