Michael Brown's B-rated performance before the congressional investigative committee provided some welcome relief from an otherwise depressing week of bad news. It was like watching Suzanne Sommers play Lady Macbeth; poor Brownie was in way over his head. The ex-FEMA chief stuck close to his Karl Rove script and didn't give an inch to the... Read More
Don't be Surprised Who Shows Up in New Orleans
Weather can wipe out cities forever. It's what happened to America's first city, after all, as a visit to Chaco Canyon northeast of Gallup, New Mexico attests. At the start of the 13th Century it got hotter in that part of the world and by the 1230s the Anasazi up and moved on. As the... Read More
It Wasn't Supposed To Be This Way
I was traveling in China when pictures of the looters in New Orleans began to appear on CNN. They were black of course. Looting and raping and burning are what blacks do when the lid loosens. Yes, I could phrase this more cautiously: These things are what some blacks, etc. or, more cutely, not all... Read More
If You have Nothing, You are Nothing
Racism in America doesn't dress up in a cowl and flowing white robes anymore. Instead, it dons an immaculate blue suit and tie and conceals itself behind the lofty language of democracy, freedom and human dignity; but, it's racism all the same. We've seen an explosion of racism in America since George Bush took office.... Read More
Briefly, but dramatically, the political failures that turned New Orleans and many other Gulf cities and towns into a human catastrophe, shattered the bonds of conformity between the mass media and the government. Introduction Critical reporters described the failure of the government?s Homeland Security to evacuate vulnerable poor people and the absence of basic food... Read More
Nature really kicks the door down once in a while, and let's us know how humans have made a mess of things. A few years ago Hurricane Mitch laid waste much of Guatemala and neighboring countries. The hills crumbled and topsoil sluiced into the sea. There was politics, class politics, in that sluicing, same way... Read More
Blame It on the Looters
The full force of the Bush catastrophe is finally beginning to be felt. Currently, New Orleans is flooded with tons of chemical contaminants and hydrocarbons "that will continue to poison the Gulf of Mexico for more than a decade". (Democracy Now) An official from the Environmental Protection Agency told the Washington Post, "This is the... Read More
It is ironic and tragic that at a time when the Federal Government is spending tens of billions on ?homeland security?, employing an army of 100,000 functionaries, hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans have died because of the absence of homeland security. Let us be clear, the hurricane, the exceptional sea surge and the inevitable... Read More
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