John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica



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Thursday, September 29, 2005
Blaming Katrina Poll




The extremely scientific Thunderstorms in the Imajica poll, "Who to blame for Katrina deaths", has revealed that most people don't blame any of the political leaders at the federal, state or local level.

The majority of people blame "no one" because "shit happens."  A few people blame everyone in the political food chain and a few blame God.

Here are a few of my own blame game observations.

George Bush was on vacation and relied on his cronies to handle the situation.  To his credit and likely from his experience with hurricanes in Florida, where his brother is the governor, he cut through some red tape by declaring a state of emergency before it hit.  But then, Bush was caught sleeping at the wheel when his minions failed to get the job done after the hurricane made landfall.

Another thing no one has picked up on, in my humble opinion: during many of the televised walk-through tours with governors and FEMA officials, Bush constantly referred to his location as "this part of the world," rather than anywhere specific like the Mississippi Gulf Coast or New Orleans.

To me, this seemed like Bush was so incredibly disconnected from the facts on the ground -- like he often is concerning Iraq, talking about "the broader Middle East."  I'm fairly certain that some black Americans didn't appreciate being called "refugees" from "this part of the world", as if they are not part of the United States.

FEMA director Michael Brown gave sworn testimony to a congressional committee, the other day.  In perfect Bush administration demeanor, he took no responsibility for his own failings, but instead blamed state and local government leaders in Louisiana.  If things went so well in Mississippi, then I imagine Dick Cheney's obligatory tour of the Gulf Coast being marked by a heckler following his entourage around screaming, "Go fuck yourself," was just how people in Mississippi greet each other.  Bottom line: Brown is just another arrogant and self-deluded Bush administration political weasel.

Governor Blanco will not be Louisiana's governor the next time people get a chance to vote.  I honestly can not point to anything that she did to help the people of her state.

No one blamed Mayor Ray Nagin in the poll, but Nagin himself blamed "being in the moment" for his angry comments toward his political chain of command.  His police force faces a long and nasty review process in the coming months.  GOP pundits trying to defend Bush and Brown point out his failings, but I wonder if they would be blaming him so much if he was a republican?  Perhaps.  I think I heard that the battered republicans are eating their own trying to hang on to power in Washington, D.C, nowadays.

All of the above was a choice I thought would have received more votes than "No one".

God smote them.  Although God was unavailable for comment at the time of this entry, his spokesperson issued a terse statement: "What the hell do you want?  Smiting is his job!"  But, in all seriousness, the other night by chance, I heard something even more troubling on the CBN channel than Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of the Venezuelan president, Chavez.  I heard an evangelical pastor say, "God has swept away all the evil in New Orleans and the Armies of God should take back that city."

Yeah.  Of course this pastor was a fat white guy, hiding his southern racism behind his bible and the new code words of compassionate conversativism.  Funny though, he looked more like Karl Rove than Bill Bennett.


[updates] Here's an interesting article: "25 Questions about the Murder of New Orleans" by Nation writers, Mike Davis & Anthony Fontenat, via Yahoo.

Also, concerning Katrina and the media: "From Deference to Outrage: Katrina and the Press" by Jay Rosen on ThinkPress.







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Posted at 05:19 pm by John Furie Zacharias

chibigarrett
September 30, 2005   07:48 PM PDT
 
Yeah, that disaster was a very unfortunate series of circumstances. :( But lately, I've been becoming increasinly angry at the media. Those people are still in distress, and the only thing the media is whining about gas prices. Ah, it just bugs me.
J f Z
October 1, 2005   12:32 AM PDT
 
Well, most of the TV media have websites also. On them, they are still being helpful with lost/found sections, housing, and personal stories.
RaisingOrleans
October 3, 2005   06:28 PM PDT
 
Interesting take..I have a similar post.
Penny
October 4, 2005   11:36 AM PDT
 
Interesting results there, JfZ. Not what I would have expected.
Akira3099
October 4, 2005   10:18 PM PDT
 
I was whining about gas priced the day after Katrina hit. Cameras and reporters really just get in the way, in the long run. The thing that's bothering me is, why did the National Guard left so soon?

It's sick that more people voted for the friggin' President than the Mayor of New Orleans. Heh, what was that.. 3 to... nothing.
jan&Mikey
October 13, 2005   01:22 PM PDT
 
The US shd not be obligated to rebuild a city that is under sea level - let those that want to do so do it - Holland (my grandparents) had to all pay their way - that works better
 

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