August 31, 2005
-- by Gary Boatwright
"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."
That is the key sentence in Ronald Reagan's first inaugural address, which was titled Putting America Back To Work. We can only hope that Hurricane Katrina demonstates once and for all that callous conservatism is not the solution. Callous conservatism is the problem.
A long line of callous conservatives have been accusing liberals of being soft hearted do gooders because they have genuine concern for the common welfare of the American people. On a long string of issues from Social Security to wetlands to mundane tasks like building levees, conservatives have been riding on Reagan's coat-tails to insist that government is not the solution to our problems.
It is time to drive a stake through the heart of that canard. If it takes a hurricane to wake up the American people, I will not be apologetic for pointing out the obvious. Red state voters have no one but themselves to blame for the excess hardship that will be caused by years of callous neglect from the Bush administration.
For all of the naysayers who wish to accuse me of playing politics with a natural disaster, I will simply point to how President Bush shamelessly politicized 9/11. If telling the truth is playing politics, then we need more of it, not less.
This is exactly the time to remind the American people about the preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Protecting the American people from natural disasters, the National Guard, ensuring adequate supplies of gasoline, energy refining capacity and natural gas, protecting our environment and our wetlands, Social Security and Medicare, bankruptcy, border patrol and public education are all necessary and vital programs and roles for the federal government that conservatives and President Bush have spent decades trying to destroy.
Enough is enough. It's time to take back America. It's time to take back the Constitution. It's time to take back Congress and the White House from America's conservative domestic enemies. I'll say it again and I'll say it now. The greatest threat to America and freedom is not Bin Laden. The greatest threat to America, freedom, our civil liberties and the general welfare of America is President Bush.
The President of the United States is America's greatest enemy.
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It's been obvious for years that the worst case scenario for New Orleans was that its levees could fail if there were a serious enough hurricane. It seems to me that it should have been pretty darned obvious that, given what could happen, and that New Orleans is a key city for our oil supply, it could also be a major terrorist target. Not just because of the oil being pumped out of the gulf, but because of the refineries and the fact that this is a major port for shipping oil and gasoline. It looks like it's going to take years before workers to support the oil industry can even live there again.
Now the long dreaded worst case scenario has happened, and it's obvious that there's no plan in place to repair the levees to save what's left of the city or to evacuate the people still there. Why in God's name hasn't our so-called Homeland Security developed any kind of contingency plan to handle this disaster? WHAT is this administration doing? The only plan for anything, from terrorism to natural disasters, to Iraq, seems to be to just play it by ear!
Don't forget about public transportation.
There's a quote from boingboing that says so much:
The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number -- 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources -- meaning, the political will -- weren't there to get them out.New Orleans was a city where many people could go about their daily lives car-free. Why did the evacuation plans not seem to take that into account?
White per capita income in Orleans parish, 2000 census: $31,971. Black per capita: $11,332. Median household income in B.W. Cooper (Calliope) Housing Projects, 2000: $13,263.
Among the pictures I've seen this morning was an entire lot of now-unusable schoolbuses. I count at least 100 buses visible. Seating 50 apiece that could've made a nice contribution to the evacuation of those without private automobiles.
I find the whole situation heartbreaking.
Posted by: Lis Riba at August 31, 2005 8:19 AM
Callous conservatives? Exacta-mundo. I guess now we'll have to explain the concept of "voting against your own self-interest" in one or two syllable words on TV so that the point will be made with crystal clarity.
Simply amazing. The republican talking heads today were praising Haley Barbour for encouring citizens to shoot looters on sight. Yeah, that's ol' Miss. The scary part is that the Wal-Marts in NOLA were looted for their Guns, so the looters might well be shooting back there.
Posted by: Jo Fish at August 31, 2005 5:54 PM
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