I've finally published the interview with Ryan, we had some recording and technical troubles. I think the interview went pretty well, it's the first time I've really conducted an interview like this. Anyway, I hope it gives everyone a small glimpse into what really happened down there.
As you can see I've turned the main pic black again, for the victims of Katrina. The hurricane is an absolute tragedy beyond anything we can comprehend.
I feel personally part of it because I am half Cajun - New Orleans is one of the centers of my family’s history (fortunately my relatives that we've heard from are okay). I was fortunate enough to see it a few years ago before it was destroyed. It was a hell of a city, one of the best trips I've ever had... ate some alligator, visited a voodoo shop, drank waaaay too much, and played hacky sack in front of St. Louis Cathedral. Simply awesome.
Now it's gone... I don't think that has completely hit me yet. A city that was a legend to me as a kid and even more as an adult... simply gone. It seems impossible and too hard to believe.
I am soooo angry I can barely contain it. The government screwed up so badly on this... it's an absolute embarrassment in every sense of the word. The same government that has screamed at us about terrorists and homeland security and blah blah blah... And they couldn't even handle a natural disaster that we saw coming a mile away. They say no one saw this coming - utter bullshit.
Experts have predicted this happening to New Orleans for years and years. The levees always needed to be fixed, and the Army Corps of Engineers has apparently had their budget slashed year after year. Yet Bush and Chernoff have said in press conferences that no one saw this coming, this is totally unexpected... Gee if you would have listened to just about anyone who knows anything about it (even just days beforehand) you would have known that this was going to be a huge disaster. New Orleans simply isn't built to handle that kind of a storm and everyone should have evacuated immediately. Part of that blame goes to the New Orleans and Louisiana governments... The evidence seems to say that the feds warned them about it and they still made a voluntary evacuation.
That absolutely doesn't absolve them from the result of the hurricane though. For example, Michael Brown did not even ask for volunteers until hours after the hurricane hit. FEMA says we couldn't move all the operations fast enough - yet states like Florida routinely get aid BEFORE the hurricane - obviously normal procedure. Not in this case though... In this case it took days for them to even mobilize. If only all of our state governors could be the President's brother... and if only we were all as rich and white as Florida, and in an election year... *sigh* Dare to dream.
What happened after that is absolutely disgusting. "We had to get supplies down there and we were mobilizing and helping blah blah blah... Utter and complete crap. I hate to think it, and I find it even harder to believe that there was a big conspiracy to do it, but it seems like our government simply did not care about them until it was so bad the publicity forced them into action. It wasn't that the people in power purposefully let these people rot, or that they purposefully let the situation kill them off... It was just that it never occurred to them to care. That is absolutely clear now. No big conspiracy - just a headless machine that does not care about anything but power and money.
It's not that Republicans actively hate poor and black people, it's just that they simply don't think about them - slipped their mind. Unless it's an election year and they're handing out flyers to minorities telling them to vote Nov. 3.
It's pretty amazing isn't it? The most powerful country in the world, crippled with hypothetical fears about terrorists, can't find the time to help us in what is perhaps our most dire hour of need. Business as usual I suppose. Can't catch Osama, bombed the hell out of one country that is about 3 minutes past the stone age, starting a quagmire of terrorism and sacrificing thousands of American lives in another country that had nothing to do with 9-11 (not to mention the horrible way the "Iraq rebuilding" has gone, wish I had the luxury of 'losing' a few million dollars and just shrugging), reversing every good thing Clinton accomplished, driving our tremendous surplus into deep debt, making the division of church and state a thing of the past, continuously catering to the rich while screwing the poor, spinning everything from gas prices to stealing not one but two elections, protecting their own when they are found guilty of treason itself
Terrorists were never our big problem... well actually, I guess they're a pretty big problem NOW... Our own government was always the enemy. They made us afraid, over and over, told us that we must sacrifice certain freedoms to keep freedom intact. They said they would protect us when the worst inevitably happened. Now the worst has happened as the government has proven to be TOTALLY ineffectual. What if there was a huge crisis like they've been talking about? What if terrorists attacked several cities with nukes and gas and biological weapons and witches and werewolves and vampires? It is now clear that they have lied to us: we are not prepared in any way whatsoever. A terrorist attack might come as a surprise; everyone saw this coming a mile away. Where did all that money go that was supposedly sunk into this giant shield protecting us? Where is this huge glut of cash that they've apparently appropriated to the relief effort going to go? Something tells me it's not going to go to rebuilding New Orleans. At least, not to the people who actually need it.
Why the hell should I be surprised by this, this small little thing that will go down in history as the worst natural disaster to hit this country?
Yet, will this change anything? No matter how much Bush screws up, over and over, the people who voted for him back him unconditionally and lie to themselves that he's doing a good job. It doesn't matter how many facts you bring to the table... they will always spin their way out of it. I certainly hope that there is some good that comes out of this – I hope this disaster is so big that peoples' eyes are finally opened to the utter travesty our government is. I hope the Republicans' glass house will finally be shattered and everyone will really see that the emperor wears no clothes.
Props to a few people who have shown their true colors recently: Nancy Pelosi, who revealed her conversation with Bush to show a President in complete denial (and then subsequently slammed a CNN reporter trying to aggressively ask her clearly loaded questions.. you rock Nancy, keep up the great work); Joe Scarborough, and other Republicans, who despite their Republican roots and tendencies, have criticized the administration and officials running this awful circus; Keith Olbermann, who has been very outspoken about this situation and aired a montage of what officials have said and what was actually happening on the ground; the anonymous Mississippi resident who managed to tell Cheney, on air, on CNN, "F--- yourself" (Cheney said he'd never heard that before.. did he forget that he'd expressed the same kind sentiment to Sen. Patrick Leahy a little over a year ago?). Those are just a few of the heroes proving themselves in these terrible times.
Props also to the NY City Fire and Police Dept., Chicago Police and Fire Dept., the Red Cross, countless volunteers, churches who donated and sent tons of volunteers and supplies, the citizens of LA, AL, and MS who proved their worth and are still rescuing people as we speak. You are all incredible. Hundreds of thousands of lives are indebted to you and forever will be. You are the true definition of heroes.
Bush, Chernoff, and Brown... SHAME ON YOU. You have committed murder, there's no two ways about it... To borrow a phrase/belief you have so adamantly thrust down our throats: I hope you burn in Hell for what you have done. A whole string of morons should be fired for this and brought to criminal trial. This is absolutely inexcusable.
I've been arguing with my roommate about what the results of all this will be. He thinks it will still be business as usual, and by election time this will be a dim memory. I'm more of an optimist I suppose... I hope they lose three of their top red states because of this and lose the election by a landslide anyway. I hope some of the idiots who continue to think Bush is doing a good job will finally wake up and change their minds, and I hope we finally get someone in office that will think about the good of the country and not their rich friends. Dare to dream, reach for the stars.
I'm so sick of this.. I really can't go on talking about this right now or I might explode.
My president lost a city... my ancestors' city... on his watch. That is unforgivable.
I may seem like I'm angry and yelling... hell maybe you'll call me a disillusioned-bleeding-heart liberal... Fine, I really don't care. What I do care about is that this country is built on the freedom of speech and expression, and I am expressing extreme discontent with the current administration. It is not only our right but our duty to question our leaders, no matter how much they might not like it.
Take care everyone, everything will get better and somehow work itself out, despite the best efforts of the government.