Thursday, September 01, 2005

From sorrow to rage in 24 hours: there must be a reckoning

While Katrina was unavoidable, the horrific situation in New Orleans was NOT.

One was a natural disaster, but the other was unnatural - caused by our greed, poor choices and the continued eroding of America by a government that just doesn't get it.

Or worse, just doesn't give a damn.

Since 2002, according to nearly a DOZEN articles written by New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune, despite growing awareness that a storm of the magnitude of Katrina could compromise the levees, Homeland Security funding earmarked for levee strengthening was diverted to the Iraq War.

Roll that sentence around in your head for a minute. Give it the serious thought it deserves. Then imagine a dry, happy New Orleans, still buoyed by Katrina's marked lack of destruction.

Because that is likely what we'd be seeing, had our ELECTED officials acted correctly.

But, dear reader, don't take my word for it. Read this, by Editor and Publisher, one of the oldest and most respected publications in America:

For the lazy, some excerpts:

"When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars."

So, let's get this straight:

Our government, constantly yammering away about how they keep America secure, saw the potential of an entire city underwater -- a modern day Atlantis, if you will -- and took away the funding necessary to avoid catastrophe?

Jesus Christ.

When is enough really enough?

When will we, as taxpaying citizens of this country, demand responsible, protective, proactive government? So much lip-service, so little action. Dark days, dark years, and
an even darker administration that really doesn't care about anything.

When are these charlatans we call our leaders going to be railroaded out of Washington, DC?

It's really getting to the point where it is us or them. And by their actions, we already KNOW which side they're on. And wannabe patriots better not start screaming from the rafters "not to politicize" this disaster.

By s very nature, the failed promise of our country's decision makers to protect us, it can't help but be a political issue. It's fundamental basic safety and life.

Doesn't get more political than that.

In related news, the only solace can be found here in the Rolling Stones' new cd lyrics. How damned fitting:

Sweet Neo Con

You call yourself a Christian
I think that you're a hypocrite
You say that you're a patriot
I think that you're a crock of shit

Unless I'm out of gasoline
I drink it every day
But it's getting very pricey
And who is going to pay?

How come you're so wrong?
My sweet neo con

It's liberty for all
`Cause democracy's our style
Unless you are against us
Then it's prison without trial

But one thing that is certain
Life is good at Halliburton
If you're really so astute
You should invest in Brown and Root

How come you're so wrong?
My sweet neocon
If you turn out right
I'll eat my hat tonight

Life's getting very scary
Yes, I'm frightened out my wits
There's bombers in my bedroom
Yeah, it's giving me the shits

We must (____) more bases
To protect us from our foes
Who needs these foolish friendships
We're going it alone

How come you're so wrong?
My sweet neocon
Where's the money gone?
In the Pentagon

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