Thursday, September 15, 2005

The House of the Rising Sun is Closed.

I initially did not do this because, well, it's not nice to speak ill of the dead. However, that has changed for me, why.... because I believe that, while error has no right, PEOPLE have rights.

So what does St. Augustine have to do with anything? Simple, people have rights, error doesn't.

Which means the mayor and the governor of New Orleans and Louisiana, respectively, are lucky that they never lived in the Soviet Union, because they would have been taken out and shot-- there, people who err had no rights. At least here they do [and you don't joke about assassinating politicians in New Orleans, they're touchy ever since Huey Long].

"But what about Bush? The federal government did nothing until it was too late." If you honestly believe that… well, wait.

But what triggered this? Why did I decide to go off on the Left wing nuts blaming Bush for the weather? Well, someone asked me about it, to start with, and I like to answer in a detailed, somewhat thoughtful manner. However, I have a headcold, so forgive me if some of this is incoherent.

But this blog post was triggered by 9/11. Yes, 9/11. I wanted to do an in memorianum, but I thought it would be too sappy.

But now I’m pissed. Governor Blanco, I’m certain, deliberately exaggerated the 10,000 dead in order to claim that Bush is responsible for more dead than on 9/11, but now we won’t even break one thousand, never mind three.

And I was reminiscing about the day. I had heard about the first crash the minute it happened… someone asked if I had heard about a plane hitting the World Trade Center [WTC], and I laughed, saying that the towers are too damn big for someone to accidentally run into them. I got out of class an hour and a half later, to my next class, and we were all told that class was cancelled… okay, but why? And why didn’t Fr. Caserta leave a note? Or have the theology department post one. I called my father on one of the inter-college phones, and he said “Come to my office.” That’s it, nothing more…but okay. Whatever.

I walk out of the building, across the great lawn, and for some reason, the chatter is oddly isolated instead of University wide. And everyone on God’s green earth has a cell phone out. I felt like I was in Hitchcock’s The Birds [or The Boids for Warner Bros. fans]. “Wow this is odd.”

I walk into my father’s office, and he says that “Planes have crashed into the World Trade Center, they’ve fallen and the Pentagon is burning.”

“Didn’t Tom Clancy already do this novel?”

And everyone and his brother knew Bin Laden had done it. My father said “Of COURSE bin Laden did it!” Then again, when even my campus joke magazine advocated killing bin Laden, I might want to note that we’re biased. My second reaction was “bin Laden is a dead man” [and he might be—his press statements are few and far between, and the language is off, but that’s something else.].

Twelve hours later, Kabul was burning. I heard later that they weren’t our bombs. To quote Ann Coulter, “I wanted them to be our bombs. They should’ve been our bombs.”

I remember… the NY Times calling Rudy Giuliani Churchill in a baseball cap.

I remember NYPD and FDNY going into the fire, knowing they were going to die, but there were still people up there, and they were going to get them out… and they died trying. They had trained for this every Saturday for every week of Giuliani’s administration, and they were ready, and they gave everything.

I remember them staying there for a month cleaning out the rubble.

I remember it all.

And now I remember something different.

I remember how Amtrak offered to send trains to evacuate New Orleans before the hurricane even hit—and the Mayor REFUSED THEIR HELP

I remember the Governor having 65 THOUSAND National Guard troops outside of New Orleans, sitting there, doing NOTHING. Buses, sitting in their docks, not being used for evacuation .

I remember the governor evacuating the rich white tourists from the hotels and letting them cut the lines out of town.

I remember that the levies couldn’t take a level 3 hurricane and that Katrina was a 5, but no one called for a mandatory evacuation.

I remember Louisiana getting TEN TIMES more federal money than California. That New Orleans diverted the funds from rebuilding the levies this past year because “they’ll be fine,” and shifting them to pork barrel projects.

I remember Bush calling for an evacuation of New Orleans before the hurricane hit, and the Mayor only made it voluntary.

I remember that New Orleans had a contingency plan to deal with disasters/hurricanes. Only Mayor Nagin didn't follow it, nor did Governor Blanco. And these are the people complaining about what Bush didn’t do? [PS: In Long Island, they tell you to leave, or you drown. And they’re NOT below sea level.]

I remember that the Red Cross was not allowed to enter New Orleans by decree of local officials.

And I remember the New Orleans Police Department. I remember them well. The stinking cowards ran like river rats, almost a third of the police department abandoned the city before the hurricane even hit. Now half the department has resigned, most in disgrace. The NOPD has dishonored their badges. One committed suicide, as did one PR representative.

The NYPD didn’t run, they didn’t hide, they went to their deaths in the hope that others may live. The NOPD live to die some other day.

And should I start on the looters?

Why bother?

On 9/11, Guiliani was there, on site, and in fact was thrown into a building to escape the debris from the collapse of the South Tower.

Nagin? He bellowed for federal help, complaining that it was the federal government's fault. He did NOTHING. He deserves nothing in return. New Orleans has been known as the big easy, but also as the Big Sleazy. And no wonder, it got taken out by several of the Seven Deadly Sins—greed, pride, envy and anger [hence the looters of the Trinitrons and the rapists].

And then what did he do? He announced plans to give NOPD officers vacations to Las Vegas (all on the tab of FEMA). And he's now bought a house in Dallas. At the very least, send your cops to Houston—they’ve got strip clubs, and they did save YOUR voters.

See, that’s the one problem with being a Republican—the Republican federal government generally assumes that the local government knows enough to take care of itself, and it’ll call when it needs the big guns sent in.

That’s a problem when the Governor’s an ass who doesn’t know that her cell phone won’t WORK in a hurricane, and will need a satellite phone. That’s a problem with the mayor supported the Governor’s opposition in the previous election and the Governor’s still holding a grudge. That’s a problem when the Governor seems more intent on letting New Orleans down the gutter than doing her job.

A message to Governor Blanco—you are the duly represented official of your state, not an impotent weakling. You remember those National Guard troops you had? You can USE them. If you are too gutless to use the national guard in evacuating a city, and sending in those 65,000 troops when the riots break out, then you should’ve called President Bush the day Katrina was declared a category 5 hurricane, and said, “Mr. President, I am a corrupt, incompetent fool. I squandered all of our federal money on anything but the levies, and we’ve known for over a year that they can’t take what’s coming. I need to be relieved of duty because I don’t have a clue.”

Now, in this case, Bush messed up. Oh yes, W. went wrong….. BUSH SHOULD’VE COMMANDEERED THE STATE FROM THE GOVERNOR AND DECLARED MARTIAL LAW THE DAY KATRINA WAS SPOTTED.

However, that’s a problem. In saying the above, it’s basically saying that Bush couldn't do anything about Louisiana without doing something that hasn't been done since the Civil War— use the insurrection acts to usurp the power of the state government.

And now that two incompetents killed over four hundred people—so far—they blame Bush for causing the storm [I didn’t know he was God]. The blame Bush for not personally coming down immediately into the war zone that is New Orleans with a hundred thousand federal employees on his back, bringing in the troops that were in Iraq….

I’m sorry, wait a moment? The democrats wanted Bush, a republican, to declare martial law? With the military? Had that happened, he would’ve been impeached—well, they would try, anyway. And how exactly would Bush say that, hmm? “I, the white Republican male, am going to usurp the authority of the black, democratic, female governor, and declare martial law”?

Then again, Bush would’ve at least had someone competent running the place—I don’t mean the FEMA director, I mean the man the Mayor praised as “John Wayne,” the army General Honore.

Rudy and Pataki didn’t have the President on 9/11. The president was being hidden by the Secret Service in an undisclosed location. Probably several. In any other city, there would’ve been riots and blood in the streets. New York didn’t need it. Had New Orleans been prepared for the worst, the citizens would’ve been moved out of town on buses and Amtrak trains. We may not have needed body bags [although there are always idiots who would’ve stayed—people are STILL staying, until the military comes to their door, M16 assault rifle and all].

And now Barak Obama is calling Bush a racist? Forget the rappers, but this was the guy who spent half his talk at the democratic convention pretending to be a Republican [even the black Lt. Governor of Maryland at the RNC said “I was going to give the RNC platform here tonight, but Barak Obama already did it up in Boston six weeks ago.”]. Now it’s “W.’s a racist,” only said articulately…. Mr. Senator, if W. was a racist, he’d mention that all of the blacks of New Orleans are being saved by white rescuers. I’m told that you haven't figured out yet how the evil "neocons" cooked up a hurricane that targeted only black people. Let me know how that turns out, would you?

These people are vile. Mistakes were made all around, but for God’s sake, Blanco and Nagin, you are the duly elected local authorities. If you can’t have the moral courage to admit you made a mistake, if you can’t have the courage that George W. Bush has already exhibited by saying that he screwed up, then how DARE you try to put this all on him? You failed to protect your citizens. Admit it and move on.

On a related note:

Someone asked me recently if W. was still a hero of mine. Maybe I should tell you why he was in the first place—decisive action. Once he was given proof who was responsible for 9/11, they were gone before the next month was over. Clinton would’ve gotten even MORE indictments ready for bin Laden, as if we didn’t have enough. Al Gore… who knows?

Is he still a hero to me, now that he’s admitted that he screwed up in New Orleans? Even more so. Any other man would’ve been screaming about the faults of others. But he hasn’t. It was his fault that the FEMA director wasn’t qualified. It was his fault for not taking control of New Orleans when the train wreck was coming.

On 9/11, he was a man. He was a man who showed kindness to those who were made victims. A man of stability and reassurance. “I hear you. The American People Hear you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will be hearing from us real soon.”

And now, he says that the buck stops at his desk.

Pay attention, gentlemen. This is the mark of a true man.





“There is
A House
In New Orleans
They call
The Rising Sun.
And it’s been.
The Ruin
Of Many
A poor boy
And God
I know
I’m one.”

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