Can something good come out of this tragedy?
Okem 4,617 Posts
edited September 2005 in Strut Central
I don???t know about the news coverage in the US but here in the Uk, in the last few days, the editorial has shifted towards what some have called ???the hidden shame of the worlds greatest super-power???.Basically they seem to be focusing on the plight of the poor, and mostly black, residents of the areas hit by Katrina. (Obviously so.) Now there are the obvious questions; the government, must have known that the poor in the area, lacked the ability deal with, and escape the destruction. But they failed to come to their aid. Also, how the aftermath was dealt with in such a shambolic way. But more importantly, (imho) they are looking at the bigger picture. Of how, America, the riches most powerful country in the world. Who will spend billions, going across the world to fight wars, to further its economic interests. And, importantly, selling its ideas of democracy, and freedom. But, before this turns into another lefty anti-bush rant. When the pictures of the 1000???s of destitute black families were beamed around the world, the world got to see the truth that lay behind the American dream. Now I know this is no big revelation to most, if not all of you. But never before, has it been shown on this scale. And not only to those who care enough, to be informed, but to everyone. The whole world. It???s on, every news channel, 24 hours of the day. Pictures that illustrate the extreme gulf, that exists, between the rich (or just comfortable) in America, and the millions, of ghettoised minorities. And just how little the government cares for these people.It???s a situation that everyone knows exists. But, because no easy solution is available, many choose to ignore it. Well, right now you can???t. The whole world is watching America, could it possibly force some kind of change.Jus some thoughts.
i remember having the same hopes 4 years ago... hoping that 9/11 would provide some type of jolt to our system... to make consumptuous societies and individuals realize that their actions have consequences all throughout the world, but that is definitely not the lesson our country learned from that terrible day.
honestly, i'm not that optimistic. there's been corruption, inequality, and injustice since the beginning of our first civilizations, and i don't think katrina will make a lasting or meaningful difference. that said, i'll be glad if this fucks with the gop in the 2006 (and maybe 2008) elections.
this is getting picked up in Aust too - one news program interviewed Washington reporter Christopher Hitchens last night, and he was saying that if people were shown that footage without any indication of where it was from, they would proably presume that it was from either the Carribean or a country like Somalia ..
that was tipped as well - someone else could confirm this, but I think the majority of the affected states were won by the GOP last time around (where did that acronym come from anyway!?!)
9/11 hasn't changed NATHAN. to think that the flood (fewer white/rich people dead, far less prestigious/economically-important landmark effected) will produce lasting effects is whishful thinking. there'll be another congressional hearing, another "report", another couple of scapegoated bureaucrats, and then life will go on.
anyway I hope I'm wrong.
GOP = "grand ol' party"
my bro and I were talkin about the political consequences. theoretically, this could be a boon for the dems (even if they can't seem to capitalize on anything) because the republicans are so lock-step that a big fuck-up by anyone important makes everyone look bad. this is a perfect opportunity for a populist southern dem to stand up and take over in MS, AL, TX and maybe even relatively unaffected states like AK and, god I fucking hope, MO. I'm pretty sure all these states have senate seats up next year.
Well, that would mean that the Dems would actually have to get off their asses and show some real leadership. I am not holding my breath.
no shit...haven't seen it yet.
Seriously, could DR. Howard Dean get down there and work some of these triage centers like Frist did in New Orleans? I mean, when are the Dems going to get even a little bit savvy? Photo ops are OPPORTUNITIES, you knuckleheads! Show the people you are there! Even lip service is SOME service. I swear, I think the Democratic leadership these days is as limp as a box of overcooked cup 'o noodles. Fucking sad for real.
SHOW US SOMETHING!!
I don't understand the eagerness of politicians to sell off things that were painstackingly build over many decades with money that came out of citizens pockets. You know, you and me hope something good will come out of this. Finally we see the consequences of neglected public works, yeah? But paying as little tax as possible and relying on (expensive) insurance for the happy few in case the shit hits the fan, has become a religion. I can see Dutch politicians actually getting horny and red faced when they talk about privatizing all kinds of things including healthcare and talking about how many billions this will generate, selling off infrastructure that's actually worth much more and will be neglected as soon as it's in private hands. They get horny to see a couple of billions flow in at their watch. This money is from the people but it will be spend on bullshit megaprojects with massive amounts going "missing in action" and straight into the pockets of contractors. Or that money will be blown away helping another country bomb the shit out of Iraq. Any alternative will be labeled "socialism" and that's a dirty word also here in the Netherlands nowadays.
You know, in the Netherlands the important dikes have a calculated risk of breaking once every 10.000 years whereas those in Mississippi have a calculated risk of breaking every 230 years. This, of course, is a matter of budget. The weakness of the Mississippi dikes, worsened by the erosion of the delta, the selling off of swamp land and the land actually sinking due to the digging for oil, should have been a scandal long before this happened. But nowadays it seems pretty much impossible to mobilize even a small amount of people to turn against such ugly affairs. What's up with that?
My guess is that the organizational structure of Fema will be sold off to Bechtel and this whole scandal will have very little impact on your president because he and his palls know much better than we do that the comfortable majority puts up a weeping face but really doesn't give a shit in the end. We have no clue as to how ugly the thoughts may be with Bush's electorate. I wouldn't be suprised if they were wanking off on Abu Graibh pictures. The Netherlands are not there yet but I think we will be following soon, within maybe 10 years.
Sorry if this doesn't make sense or if it's besides the point.
Do you know what sickened me a lot a few days back? Some official encouraged people to give money and volunteer because "voluntarism is one of Bush's pet themes."
Okay, I'm gonna hit the continue button now.
I feel it's like this all over Europe these days. "The people" (whoever they are) have two new enemies - socialism and muslims. Every day I hear people talk about the muslims like their were all nazis. We have all heard what happened in the Netherlands, and there's also a lot of talk about France and their problems, and all this creates very strong prejudices in everyone who reads a newspaper - that means basically everyone. Now they talk about a new racism - toward whites. It's all just bullshit. It's hypocrisy, and they don't see the big picture. If people don't see this soon something big is gonna happen. Real big. I fear for our future. People don't understand their responsibility in life. They talk about freedom without thinking about how much responsibility there is in freedom. The more free-er we get the more chaos is around is, and it's only because the people is not aware of the responsibility in freedom. Freedom is freedom to act. Act is responsibility, not just for your own actions but for whole mankind. Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana in "I Have a Dream". He called out to people and told them to get to their homes because things can and will change. That was more than 40 years ago. Still it doesn't seem like things has changed that much as most people believe. That's both sad and really disturbing. When will people be aware of themselves? Aware of their responsibility in this world? I'm just sick of people giving a shit about everything. It's all about less taxes and cheaper alcohol. That's not right!
to be somewhat telling. If 12" Collector (YH) is any indication of how folks in other countries are viewing this tragedy...I don't even know what to say.
To say nobody saw this coming is completely disingenuous.
People are pissed.
I saw interviews with Canadians who were saying very much the same thing. People wondering why they should give to such a rich country; a country that can spend billions to murder overseas, but not to save lives in its own backyard. The sentiment was that America doesn't need money, but a re-assessment of priorities.
My dad made the same argument this weekend. I tried to tell him that this was not the time to make a point - that the US gov't obviously could not be relied on to take care of its most needy, so we have to step in, as we would want others to if it were us. He wasn't really buying it.
But didn't it take a huge disaster back in the day for the Netherlands to build this system? I can't remember the date off hand. People always turn and try to do it right after the fact. Very few do it right the first time... It almost always takes something crazy to make people do the job right.
Not saying it's right... It's just like alot of people didn't want to leave the city, cause they've seen so many storms come and go with nothing really big happening. I'm sure many didn't even think it would get anywhere near this and just thought they would chill at home and wait it out.
I am surprised the amount of people that won't leave the city right now. I've been watching people showing up and telling them they have to leave and people saying no way... Floating around on a tire... Dude... The water is fucked up.. Get out before you become a toxic advenger swamp monster...
true, but that was 1956 (if I remember correctly), what strikes most people here is that NOLA was a disaster waiting to happen (whole city surrounded by water...below sealevel etc.) and the government just ignored it (as far as I can see) even though they had numerous warnings from different organizations. Is that because they underestimated it or because they just didn't care?
You're right. It was in 1953. A huge disaster with many deaths and displaced people. Pretty similar. The Netherlands got the Deltaplan working after that, a plan that was set in motion and designed before the disaster to be accurate, but only got the urgency to be actually realized after the disaster had happened (undoubtly with huge international aid, not in the least American). The calculated risk of 1/10.000 years was installed after an almost-disaster in the nineties, I think. plus, I think the whole concept of dikes is much more imbedded in our culture and much more alive and thus better to sell to politicians in charge, but for how long...
I tried to be as critical to our own culture as to that of the states.
The article National Geographic is pretty scary... from 2004.
"Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States."
It's pretty accurate... I hope the number of deaths isn't.
I hope Day didn't get pissed off by my remark on voluntarism being Bush's pet theme. I just meant to say it feels like he contaminates effords because we know help is comming despite Bush, not because it's his "pet theme".
Anyway, press coverage is emphatic here.
No offense taken in the least.
I just think what bothers me the overall attitude that the U.S. "had it coming" and maybe in some ways, karma wise, we did. But now isn't the time to say "well, your army is raping and killing in Iraq so what's the difference? How do YOU like it?" etc. I'm mainly speaking about the dude on the Stones Throw board.
It's like, you try to do what you can and you're met with ignorance every step of the way.
Nobody deserves what happened to these people.
Except maybe Bush.
Kinda like "Your boss is a fuck wad, so... I don't care if you die" type deal?
What I couldn't understand about that guy on the ST board was, it's not like your giving money away to the cause. It's just like ur buying a record. What do you care where the money is going. Why get all negative when people need help? Just sit at home and keep downloading your mp3's and turn off the TV...
the real irony that reading this made me realize is that those in Iraq can at least believe in the spectre of American rescue. what the fuck can dying infants in the superdome look to?
Telegram from Osama to G.W.: "Thanks for doing my job for me."
A little analysis of possible outcomes.