September 5th, 2005



so. a week after and they're starting to turn their (in)attention from rescue to collecting corpses.

how many people died, waiting for rescue, there whereabouts known by their family and friends and by the authorities, because the authorities couldn't get their shit together, and actively prohibited civilians from volunteering?

there's stories of survivors being gathered and held in small camps under armed guard, without food or water in the louisiana heat, and when other, luckier new orleans residents arrived with food and water, they were turned away. by men with guns. by the people whose job it was to rescue people.

there's rumors of cannibalism.

there's stories of national guard and military types bullying and intimidating survivors.

interdictor writes:

Law enforcement have absolutely lost their minds. Some guy wearing khaki fatigues and black vests which say Police on them have their faces covered in black ski masks and are touting M4-A1s with front hand grips -- like they're some kind of Delta Force operators waiting to hit the tire house. They're guarding the four corners around the Bell South building for crying out loud. And what, they need secret identities? Come on. You can just tell some of these guys have never gotten out before. Now's their big chance to play Army.

meanwhile, there's been violence in iraq. 5 UK soldiers were killed in separate incidents since saturday. (that's over 5% of the troops they've lost in the last 2 years.) not a word about them on CNN, from what i can see. in fact, CNN hasn't mentioned a thing about iraq - i guess the hurricane came at a convenient time, when the public had started paying attention to the war with growing disapproval, when the network news was filled with reports of casualties of war and news of Cindy Sheehan's vigil and the right-wing attempts to defame her. none of that's on anyone's radar anymore.

and the fact that bush has taken renquist's death as an opportunity to push this roberts bozo into the chief justice role while everyone's attention is diverted does not bode well. i think under roberts we'll see the endangered species act go, civil rights legislation gutted (more), and a dramatic reduction of the federal government's ability to protect the rights of its citizens and to protect what little remains of the wilderness from developers. not that this particular iteration of the government has any such interest, but it is working hard to prevent any future governments from doing so.

there will be lessons learned from this tragedy, but i fear that, just as with 9/11 and with the oklahoma city bombing before this, they will be the wrong ones.


just because we don't share the values that treat non-americans as either resources to be exploited or obstacles to exploiting those resources, and we don't share the values that say that americans with non-european heritage have less worth than those with european heritage, and we don't think that women are chattel to be owned or used as people see fit, because we don't believe that our culture should condone domestic violence and excuse rape, and because we don't think that the environment is something worthwhile because it can be exploited for profit (but instead, because it keeps us alive), and we don't think that giant multinational corporations are more valuable than small and midsized businesses, and we don't believe that multinational corporations really have our best interests at heart, and we don't believe in the Invisible Hand, and we don't believe that profit margins are more important than sustainability, that we don't think that tax breaks for the rich is more important than support for the poor, because we don't think that laws that prevent people from living their lives as they want as long as they are not harming others, because we don't believe that the government and business(!) has a right to tell us which sins we're allowed and which we aren't, because we are not stuck on some bizarre and fictitious myth of a "nuclear family" as the One True building block of social structure, because we don't think that anyone, at any time, is property, no matter what their color or sex or social status or age or net worth, and because we don't believe that people should (ever!) have any religion forced down their throats (even in public schools), and we don't believe that public policy should be determined by religion and what someone believes God wants, and because we don't believe that life is simple and that all problems can be solved with simple solutions, and because we believe that the flag is no more sacred than the politicians who wave it while stripping us of our freedoms, one by one...

just because we don't share those specific values doesn't mean we don't have values.

no matter what the spin doctors say.