Reading through Lucianne and memeorandum last night and today, the inescapable conclusion that one has to reach is that the catastrophe which the American people find facing them today is clearly the fault of . . . our ownselves.
We elect these incompetent legislators, House and Senate, at the federal and state levels. And what do they give us? PORK. One of them, the chief House power broker, manages to say the only really intelligent thing about the city of New Orleans that I've heard so far, and then immediately begins to backtrack because what he said was not "politically correct" or the timing wasn't right, or something. That's stupid.
The newly enacted transportation bill, for instance, contains over 6000 pet projects that had to be included to grease the senators' reelection bids. 6000 individual pieces of PORK! The most egregious example being the $231 million bridge from the Alaskan mainland to an island which conflicting reports tell us is either inhabited by only 50 people or uninhabited altogether. But we couldn't afford to fully fund the flood prevention measures for the Mississippi Delta area which includes New Orleans. That funding requirement was a little over $100 million and they got just $42.2 million. The president for whom I voted slashed the funding from $100 million to $40 million and the Congress added back in a whopping $2.2 million. Thanks. But Alaska will get its $231 million bridge to nowhere. And we elect these fools because they promise everybody something for nothing. That's stupid.
UPDATE: I neglected to add that the section of levee which broke was recently refurbished and considered good as new. So, had every dime requested been recieved, not one penny would have been invested in the section of levee that ultimately failed. I might also add that the requested monies from Washington, had they been received down through the years, would have resulted in Category 3 hurricane protection only because that's all that was asked for. Katrina was a Category 4 storm when she lurched ashore, just a few hours removed from a Category 5, meaning all bets were off concerning the city's survival no matter how much money had been spent. The Corps of Engineers does cost/benefit studies that indicate that the investment required to protect the city against a Category 5 isn't worth the dough. The Corps' studies do NOT include loss-of-life because it has been too difficult to put a $$ value on a human life. Only tort case judges and juries seem to be able to do that. That's stupid.
We elect presidents, legislators, governors and mayors whose first and foremost goal after attaining office is their own reelection. For the majority of the legislators, governors and big city mayors you have to factor in the additional goal of future election to a yet higher office. After, or if, they attain reelection, then their focus shifts to their "legacy". In order to get elected in the first place and then to get reelected again and again or elected to higher office, these representatives of the people have to sell their souls to political power bosses, big money interests and minority special interests. Their hands are tied even if they truly desire to perform their duties as envisioned by the federal and the various state constitutions. And we do this election cycle after election cycle, decade after decade in state after state. That's stupid.
Then we add into this mix the weasels of the press who now boldly pontificate at every opportunity how this thing or that thing should have been done by this person or that person at this time or that juncture and all this heartache could have been prevented. It takes a disgraced ex-president who is clearly on the other side of the political fence from our current White House politico-in-residence to step up and slap down one such weasel. And we the people continue to buy their newspapers, magazines, books and cable channels and the products advertised therein and thereon so that they may continue to spout off about those things of which they know almost nothing. That's stupid.
I'll tell you this. I'm ashamed to be an American, today. Looting food, water and clothing is one thing. I don't consider that to be looting at all. It's survival. But looting TV's, jewelry, guns and ammo is quite another. Animals. Fighting over a seat on a bus headed for dry land is one thing. Shooting at rescue helicopters and evacuation convoys is quite another. Animals. Being forced by physiology and circumstances to perform one's bodily functions in the street is one thing. Raping helpless women and children is quite another. Animals. That's worse than stupid.
I am already weary of the Katrina disaster, the news about the disaster, the opinions about the disaster and blogging about the disaster. The response after the first few hours was mostly commendable with a lot of valuable information being disseminated. But now it has all turned into a cacophony of baying hounds. The slobbering attacks and the knee-jerk defenses and the finger pointing to the left, right, up, down, north, south, east and west all makes me sick to my stomach. And this is going to go on and on and on with no real letup in sight for weeks or months. That's stupid.
If everybody would just shut the hell up until the people affected have been more or less taken care of and the cleanup and recovery is more or less underway then we can sit back and let the experts tell us what the options are for rebuilding or jacking up or moving the city of New Orleans to Montana, or wherever. This was clearly not a natural disaster but a man-made disaster all the way. From the founding of the city in one of the worst geographical locations possible to the destruction of the delta, from the failure to ever face up to the unending and outrageously expensive task of trying to protect a city which cannot ever be fully protected to the evacuation order given too late by state and local officials, from those same state and local officials not providing for the 200,000 or so people who did not have the means to leave to FEMA being rocked back on its heels by the enormity of the catastrophe - it was a man made disaster from the git-go. That's stupid.
And now we'll probably have a massive CYA presidential or congressional blue ribbon commission staffed with blue blooded political hacks who are long on experience in CYA and passing the buck to tell us what The Times Picayune told us already. That's stupid.
I have no interest in listening to anyone who has an opinion or an idea or an attack or a defense if they have not carefully and fully read and absorbed the information contained in The Times Picayune report. Why should I listen to them if they lack the energy and seriousness to even read this exhaustive study and disaster prediction? The level and viciousness of the criticism by those who have no idea what they are talking about is astounding and sickening at the same time. Of course Michael Brown has to spend time in front of the cameras. He is probably getting 2 hours sleep in 24 trying to rescue every living breathing human being possible while his rescuers are being shot at by jungle animals and he is being mercilessly attacked by "experts" from every side. And just as the first of the bedraggled survivors begin to arrive in Houston, guess who else arrives? That's stupid.
Man, we all deserved this. The citizens of New Orleans who elected these officials - who basked in the limelight but can now only cry and whimper - and then buried their heads in the sand deserved this. The politicians whose careers are hopefully ruined deserved this. The federal government whose budget is shot to hell deserved this. The inner city residents who ghettoized themselves deserved this. The American people who will now have to pay $6.00 for a gallon of gas, if they can find it at all, and cough up another $100 billion or so for the recovery deserved this. The president whose legacy is now down the toilet deserved this. I deserved this and you deserved this. It's all our fault. That's fact.
Note: I've edited the original post about 6 times trying to rewrite sentences that even I couldn't frikkin' understand. I'm sure you'll forgive me.
TAGS: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, Mississippi Delta, catastrophe, politics, pork