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Friday, September 02, 2005

Anybody Home?

The first thing one notices when walking along the river in New Orleans is, "Holy shit, why the hell is there a river above me?" I'll assume for the moment President Bush visited New Orleans once or twice in his life, and indeed looked up and saw a river (and lake) above him. Now, regardless of how much faith one has in concrete, a river and lake which surround a major US city--despite the existence of a wall--would seem to warrant some concern by the federal government. Say someone blows up part of that concrete wall, or, say, a hurricane comes and blows it down. It doesn't even have to be a big piece, because as one learns when one pokes a whole in the side of a water jug, lots of water can sure get through a small whole.

The President's response is going to be some sort of commission looking at the intelligence failures in New Orleans. Even if you're for the war in Iraq, it is the president's job to take some precautions to ensure cities of half a million are not completely submerged in 20 feet of water. At the very least, it seems logical he should take such measures prior to liberating another country. Keep a wherehouse with some big sandbags and helicopters close by during hurricane season, for example. Or send some guys to check the concrete wall--shit, maybe even build a second one just in case. Or, if you're really ambitious, even make hurrican and flood insurance affordable for the literally hundreds of thousands of New Orleans' poor black folk.

In 2001 the president took August off and the walls of the twin towers and the pentagon collapsed a week later. In 2005 he spent August clearing brush and the walls of New Orleans' levees fell down. Of course the president is not directly culpable for these events, but with such a track record the claim that he was doing all he could to keep America safe seems rather dubious.