Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Quick Note

Some of you might know that I've been guest-administering the Peking Duck, a high-volume, China and progressive politics blog while the site owner, Richard, was traveling in Asia. It's been fun, a challenge and mostly, a real honor that Richard entrusted me with his blog.

I can't say that my posting here has fallen off in any way because I've cross-posted the stuff I've written here and at the Duck. But the rest of it - posting other guests' posts, patrolling the comments for trolls (the curse of popularity) and defending my own opinions against, how to put it?

Oh, wingnut asshats will suffice.

Anyway, it's kept me pretty busy. For some reason I still have the mental wherewithal to post lovely, brutal comments on the Duck, but not to sit down and compose thoughtful posts on my own, which I dearly would like to do. I think a few days rest and consideration will put me back in that frame of mind. I do appreciate your indulgence in the meantime.

But following up on the Katrina controversy, here's the comment I just posted to the Duck. It was in response to a post claiming that the White House is, and I'm shocked, SHOCKED to hear this, trying to keep the press out of the devastated region:
Okay, let me start this comment by saying that I didn't put up the post, so all you wingnuts who've been slagging me the last two weeks? Ummm...bite me, okay?

Now that I've gotten that out of the way.

First, for all the laziness and collusion and negligence of the American press in recent years - well, I'm not gonna take all that criticism back, but god bless the press. They've recaptured their critical faculties and their outrage, and if it weren't for their coverage, who knows what we would actually be learning about the disaster in the Gulf?

The one here in the States, I mean.

What Josh Marshall (the post Richard linked to) reports here doesn't surprise me in the least, unfortunately. And here are a few more examples.

One of the reasons that the Federal Government was so slow to authorize additional National Guard troops was because they wanted to Federalize the entire disaster control/relief effort, and the Governor refused to cede her authority. The locals had some very real fears that if this had happened, the White House would use the opportunity to cover up and blame the local governments for everything that went wrong. This was reported in that wild, lefty journal the Washington Post.

I'm not saying that local governments are blameless here. A disaster plan in a city of poor people that did not adequately plan for getting said poor people to safely is obviously flawed. This still doesn't in any way explain or excuse the delays, incompetence, disorganization and downright criminal negligance of the Federal response.

And right now, the White House is trying to spread outright lies about who did what when. They are saying that the Governor of Louisiana didn't declare a State of Emergency as of Saturday August 27. This is simply not true.

Here is a good timeline about who did what when.

So am I surprised that they would try to hide the truth of what happened in the Gulf? Not one little bit. If the American people were to realize the depths of venal incompetence of their leadership, their moral and ideological bankruptcy, and what the logical consequences of their "leadership" are, thousands of wasted lives, old people, sick people, poor people,dying while Bush played golf and air guitar, why, who knows what might happen? They might start wondering if the leadership that claims to represent their moral values actually gives a shit whether they live or die, and if they live, what the quality of their lives might be.

I'm not generally a conspiracist (and I'm waiting for the howls of outrage from our wingnut contingent for that statement). But I've been compulsively watching this disaster unfold. And I can tell you - there are thousands of bodies in the rubble, ruins and sewage of the Gulf Coast. 10,000 is pretty plausible. And if we start getting reports that, oh, not so many folks actually died, it wasn't so bad, FEMA didn't turn away help, your government didn't fail you, really, we didn't...

Well, I'm getting out the tinfoil hat.

Actually, let me rephrase that. Those of you who still don't want to believe it? I'm donating my tinfoil hat to you. You're going to need it.

No comments: