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Distilling the Discontent - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Distilling the Discontent
This piece by the San Francisco Chronicle's Washington Bureau Chief, Marc Sandalow, does a good job of condensing the criticisms that have been -- I won't use the L-word out of respect for the people of New Orleans -- directed at the the Federal government and, more specifically, the Bush Administration over their handling of disaster relief. While I can understand why former President Clinton found it necessary to defend his successor against attacks -- he has an innate sense of good-old-boy fairness and a wife running for office -- it rankles me regardless. If you're going to invest billions of dollars in "homeland security," then your first responsibility is to plan for possible calamities and manage them rationally if they actually happen. Clearly, many people had foreseen New Orleans's special vulnerability. Whether the money being wasted on the Iraq War might have done something to lessen the damage from Katrina is a question I don't mind asking but would feel less comfortable answering. What I do know is that I lived through a major earthquake that was initially imagined to have killed hundreds of people at a minimum -- I have the San Francisco Chronicle headline in my archives to prove it -- but ended up killing a little over fifty principally because the state of California's building codes and the people who enforced them actually produced the result they were deployed to produce. Had similar care been taken in the state of Louisiana or nationally with regard to the possibility of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans, fewer people would have died, less property would have been destroyed, and the unrest in a city that always seemed to be on the brink of a war of race and class anyway would have been easier to contain.
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Comments
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: September 2nd, 2005 03:57 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I don't even know what to say or how to deal with my anger about this situation at this point. I'm so utterly and completely dismayed and disillusioned by our government's lack of response and their seeming lack of regard for humane treatment of people. I am so, so, angry. Thank you for being more articulate than I.
From: thewhitaker Date: September 2nd, 2005 04:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
What drove it home for me was an NBC segment that featured what Louisiana folk call a "Bubba," crying outside the Superdome. He swam, he claimed, eight miles with his dog in tow. He kept saying, through tears no less: "It's just not worth it."
When a man like that man is in shock, we can only say that we are in some very deep shit.
I knew a kid like that, a "Bubba," in Savannah. They made their living by taking the wealthy on bird hunting excursions in the bayou. All of them are trained in killing crocodiles by hand. These are not people who cry. It shook my foundation when I realized that the man was in shock and disarray.
mhkrabat From: mhkrabat Date: September 2nd, 2005 09:03 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Like so much if not everything about the present regime in DC, Homeland security is yet another sham that was destined to be a failure from the word "go". The one thing HS does well is usurp the constitutional rights of US citizens. Beyond that it's one of a very long line of porkbarrel projects that lift our collective wallets and give nothing in return to the general public while swelling the bank accounts of a very elite few. Our homeland, if you can stomach calling it that, is nothing resembling secure.

If anything, the primary words I associate with Homeland Security are avarice and neglect
tpratt From: tpratt Date: September 2nd, 2005 12:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm running a bit of a temperature, or maybe I'm just not mentally awake today, but what is the "L" word in this context?

tpratt From: tpratt Date: September 2nd, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
levied?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 2nd, 2005 12:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Right.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 2nd, 2005 12:45 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
"levy"
chefxh From: chefxh Date: September 2nd, 2005 02:04 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
"HUNDREDS DEAD IN HUGE QUAKE"

the eight-page special edition

I have a copy of that somewhere (probably Cheney, WA or Tucson)
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