A horrible natural disaster in which thousands die, millions in property is destroyed and the coastlines of the Gulf of Mexico (including the ninth largest city in the country) are laid to waste.
Isn't it in these times when some of us don't feel so bad about the government's powers? Shouldn't these be the times when their far reach and almost unlimited resources (as long as we all keep paying taxes) should swiftly be brought to bear in aid of the citizenry? Isn't in these times that that, for all the rights that they take and suppress, the government should ACTUALLY do something to help people?
Well, it seems that this didn't happen in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Civil society and the rule of law crumbled, the government at all levels was "caught unawares" and the toll in lives and assets grows daily. Now inevidably come the questions. Who is to blame? Who dropped the ball? How come the response was quick and decisive on 9/11 but not now?
With the crumbling of order, the example of Rudy Guiliani on 9/11 must have been forgotten in New Orleans. What was needed was a decisive, hands on leader who will be among the people, telling them that the situation is under control and bringing the forces to bear to make this so. This was not done by the Mayor of New Orleans, the Governor of Louisiana, any of Louisiana's Congressional delegation or by anyone at the White House. This crucial first step frimly cements the rule of law (with the muscle to back it up, naturally) and helps to stem the tide of helplessness while aid can be mustered.
It seems to me that this is another case of the government not really caring about its citizens. When it comes time to force you to pay taxes, obey inane laws or fight in ill-concieved wars, they cannot do it quick enough. When, however, it comes to helping the victims of a natural disaster, they seem to run around like the proverbial lion with the thorn in its paw. They play dumb, pretend that they are as shocked as everyone else, and finally get things together a week later just in time for New Orleans to become a corpse recovery mission.
The people of Louisiana and Mississippi were betrayed by those who are supposedly charged with protecting them. No wonder they rioted, took to the streets, armed and desparate. They thought, and rightfully so, that they were being left to die. Seems to me that that innate death instinct, good old thanatos, is a powerful force and can lead normally rational people to do irrational things.
Still feel good about trusting these people with your rights, life and safety?
Can you sleep at night knowing that these people are at the helm?
When will we stop being so trusting of those with the power to tax and destroy?
How many more dead Americans is it going to take?
"Check the Box Sunday"
4 weeks ago