Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

At a loss for words

I've had a hard time posting today because I'm not sure I have anything particularly original to say, and my expressive skills in any case are overwhelmed by anger and disgust. After our 4 year investment in the fascistically named project of Homeland Security, what do we have to show for it? Absolutely no preparation, no plan, and no resources to cope with a disaster that has been widely predicted and fully understood, for years. As anybody who has gone near the Internet knows (although TV watchers and newspaper readers probably don't), officials in New Orleans have been begging for funds to improve the city's hurricane defenses, but funding for projects was cut severely to pay for the Iraq war, tax cuts and oh yeah -- Homeland Security. (Here's the famous E&P story by Will Bunch if you haven't already seen it.)

The ostensible president went on television this morning and said that nobody could have anticipated that the levees might break. That's after he spent the first three days of the disaster eating cake, pretending to play a guitar, and giving speeches about how the war in Iraq was compelled by the 9/11 attack. Meanwhile people are dying of thirst, civil order is breaking down, the nation's fuel supply is in crisis and airports are closing, and the Washington Post is praising the Dear Leader for his decisive action in holding a press conference. The general in charge of the Northern Command -- the troops stationed in the U.S. -- says he's ready to spring into action "if and when" the president asks him to.

Fortunately for frat boy, the disaster has pushed the equally horrible news from Iraq off the front pages. Pretty soon we'll be watching film of what few National Guard members can be scraped up from around the country excavating thousands of bodies of poor black people from attics and debris piles, assuming any photographers can get there to see it. He'll figure it's their own fault for not taking personal responsibility.

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