I wanted to post collating some of the thoughts about New Orleans and Biloxi, but my brother has already beaten me to it in a very good post. I’ll admit that I’ve been steaming mad about the whole white people “find”, black people “loot” syndrome.
Now is a moment of grief and rolled up sleeves for relief. Soon, very very goddamn soon, I want an accounting from my government why they have been diverting the money from fixing the known dangers of the levees in New Orleans to invading countries that pose hypothetical and ultimately non-existent threats. Don’t tell me that I want the real dangers in my own country addressed before fake dangers across the world because I hate freedom. The time for the easy evasion is over, time now for those accountable to answer the questions. Time for the conservatives to live up to their talk and take some personal responsibility.
Update: In comments, Rob S expresses dismay at me playing politics with the disaster. He asks “Is the state responsible for the maintenance of each levee or is it the federal government?” These were not hypotheticals, there were people on the ground in New Orleans who had been trying to guard against this day, and found their money previously earmarked moved to other priorities. Here is the quote that made my head boil, via the Daily Kos:
It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.
— Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.
Rob, read that whole page at Kos and tell me if you think I’m overreacting or playing politics.