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I've started this entry over a dozen times with various snarks ranging from "The Peter Principle writ large..." through "Four score and seven hours ago...." to "I've just witnessed the death of the American Dream..." and deleted them all.

Fuck it.

I'm too tired and angry to be funny, so I'll just lay out what I think in plain words.

This governement -- and I'm not specifying just Bush and his cronies here -- has failed the people of this country in an unprecedented fashion. Societies are founded upon an unwritten contract: "We abide within the laws and strictures of this society in exchange for protection via the government of this society." The United States government abrogated that contract willfully this week.

When the fucking President gets on a morning talk show and says "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" he is either incompetent or a liar. Y'know, given that that exact fucking scenario was listed in 2001 as one of the top 3 potential disasters to hit the United States. By FE-fucking-MA (link). Along with a terrorist strike to New York and a 7+ Richter earthquake to San Francisco. SFians, get out, now. Seriously, he's going for the trifecta. Then again, the President seems to have memory problems, so maybe he just doesn't remember. You'd think FEMA would, though, given that they ran the "Hurricane Pam" exercise in Baton Rouge earlier this year, which, coincidentally, featured levee breaches in New Orleans.

When a category 4 hurricane (which, by the by, I suspect will be revised upwards to a category 5 hurricane a la Andrew, since it had the 3rd lowest central pressure of ANY hurricane we've measured making landfall) annihilates a goodly bit of the Mississippi and Louisiana coastlines, I expect the government via organizations like FEMA and the National Guard to step in to assist the areas that bore the brunt of the devestation. I expect this aid to consist of things like the necessities of life, such as food, water and rescue from uninhabitable situations like floods, fires, etc. I do not expect this aid to be there during the storm. I *do* expect this aid to be there within 24 hours. Why? Because we've done it. Repeatedly.

Now, Katrina was extremely violent. The devestation was far more widespread than previous storms. This is why Mr. Intelligent Designer designed us to design such things as "helicopters", "Baton Rouge Airport", "parachutes", and "Army Corps of Engineers". So we could rapidly deploy the aid FROM OUTSIDE THE DEVESTATED AREA. But I digress.

Once the levees breached, we had a relatively short timeframe in which we could do something about it, before the lake and city equalized water levels. A Plan was formed, involving helicopters and 3000 lb. sandbags. Only, due to miscommunication or misappropriation, the helicopters needed for this task were pulled off for another task. Scratch one plan, scratch one city.

So, now we have a new lake in southern Louisiana. OK, time to shift the efforts from "stop the leak" to "rescue as many as we can".

Now, I'm not real clear on the calculus of rescues, but I do know this: These events are supposed to be wargamed and planned for. A former coworker of mine used to fight wildfires out west, and introduced the concept of ICS to me. ICS stands for Incident Command System. When the situation is chaotic and uncontrolled, ICS allows for a clear, measured response. Everyone knows their areas of responsibility. Everyone knows who they report to.

In other words, almost but not completely unlike what we have now.

I also know this -- hours matter in these situations. As do boots on the ground.

So, can anyone explain to me why THE FUCKING U-S-of-A rebuffed offers of assistance from over a dozen countries? Is President's Bush sense of machismo so overweening that this seemed like a good idea to him? Was there nobody that could say "Y'know, these guys would help save lives..."?

And then, Thursday. Here's where I got sick, and spent the day sleeping and watching CNN.

I caught the press conference where Bush 43 announced Bush 41 and Clinton are going to head up a fundraising taskforce. Oh, dear God. The smirk. The "heh, heh, heh". He thinks this is fucking AMUSING. And then I had my epiphany.

Bush is not just stupid, though I think he is. Bush is not just arrogant, though I think he is. Bush simply doesn't care about "those sorts of people". The poor, the black, the distressed.

For the refugees ARE predominantly poor, predominantly black, and ALL distressed. He simply doesn't care. It's reflected in his personnel as well. Most especially, Michael Brown, current head of FEMA.

Ah, yes, Michael Brown. I find myself compelled to start believing in Hell, simply to consign this fucking rotten piece of human scum to it.

CNN interviewed him, Dateline interviewed him, hell *everybody* interviewed him. For a "best-of" collection of his egregious lies and talking points, check out Crooks & Liars for a ton of video clips. Suffice it to say, the man believes the the refugees brought it on themselves by not evacuating.

OK, no bullshit. No snark. No laughter. I honestly, seriously, cross-my-heart believe that viewpoint to be 100% sociopathic. The complete and utter lack of empathy inherent in that outlook is so foreign to me that I literally cannot do the mental gymnastics required to make it make sense.

Has anyone in this government ever been hungry? Ever lived paycheck-to-paycheck? Ever lived on government subsistence? Katrina hit on the 29th. Money doesn't arrive until the 1st. Greyhound closed on Saturday, yet the mayor announced a mandatory evacuation on Sunday. The entire evacuation plan was If you have a car and cash, get as far away as you can. That was it.

What if you are in a nursing home? Prison? Poor? Handicapped?


They were left to die.

Think about that. This is America, 2005. Greatest nation on the planet, IMHO.

And we left 10-20% of a major American city to die.

Oh, we hoped would could rescue them. FOUR DAYS LATER. Do you know what four days without water can do to an infant, or the elderly?

And then, Friday.

Here's what happens when you lose your city and realize you no longer need to worry about reelection, and are thus liberated from the fetters of handlers: Nagin's interview this morning

Finally, the President stopped in MS to "comfort the survivors". And make the most tone-deaf statement I've ever heard out of ANY politician's mouth, ever: "Out of the rubble of Trent Lott's house, will come a fantastic house. And I look forward to sitting on the porch one day."


Can anyone explain to me how this passed a sanity check? I've said stupid things before, sure, but I've stopped myself LONG before hitting this level of insanity. People are DEAD. People lost EVERYTHING. Fucking Trent Lott lost his beach house -- he has ANOTHER.

Anyway, Friday. The day that we would FINALLY see troops, food and water start being distributed to the remaining refugees at the Superdome. But first, they were held up for a time. What was the problem? Mechanical? Spoilage? Manpower?

Oh, they had to TIME THEIR FUCKING ARRIVAL TO COINCIDE WITH THE PRESIDENT'S. He needed the photo-op, after blowing the last one so badly.

There are several reports that some units arrived THURSDAY, but were held until "all the units could enter together". I hope that is untrue. I want to believe it is untrue. But I have my doubts.

I know early on I said this was not specifically aimed at Bush, then proceeded to rant about him at length. That's because he is the PRESIDENT. He is supposed to LEAD this nation. With the help of all the other members of the government. They are not supposed to take the social contract, tear it up, piss on the pieces, and go back to eating cake.

Dammit, the people of this country need help -- ALL of them. Not just the rich donors to political parties. Not just the lobbyists. Not just the special interests.

It's time to take it back.

Impeach the government.

ALL of them.

Democrat, Republican, Independent -- I don't care.

They have failed us. We deserve better.

Impeach the bastards. Today.

Update: Unfriendlocked, and bracing for potential shitstorm.
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December 2007

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