Culture of Life: Katrina

Why am I so angry? Obsessed? Read this post:

They would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.

And they would sit on their ass and watch as tens of thousands of poor men, women, children, babies, and elderly bake in the New Orleans heat surrounded by water, sewage, gasoline and an abandoned city, now devoid of anyone with the means to have escaped ahead of the storm.

This is the culture of life. The culture of life wants to save brain dead white women and unborn children. The culture of life wants you to watch endless non-news about the disappearance of one white teenager in Aruba. The culture of life wants you to support your nation as it kills tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in its Quixotic quest against a non-threat. The culture of life wants a zero-tolerance for looters policy to sound authoritative as babies die of dehydration. The culture of life expects you to take care of yourself, and if you can’t, then it is your own fault for getting into that situation in the first place. Fuck off. You had your shot. Station in life, where you hang your hat, and whether you have the $40 at the end of the month to pay for the overpriced gasoline to get out of that home in time is all up to you.

…But none seem to support American Culture. New Orleans, as much as any city, represents distinctly American Culture. A melting-pot of language, music and revelry unlike any other. But it is desperately poor. Over 50% of the children in the state live below the poverty level. But no matter. Mostly black folk down there. They shouldn’t have lived there in the first place. They should have gotten out while they had the chance. It’s their own fault.

Michael Chertoff was interviewed on NPR this afternoon. He was asked if he had heard of thousands of people at the Convention Center in New Orleans, without water or food or sanitation. Elderly dying. Little girls being raped. Mr. Chertoff was eloquent in his cluelessness. Completely unaware of what had been on the television all day long on both MSNBC and CNN. Unaware that he, at the top of the agency charged with bringing relief to the affected areas, had not been informed of something every American with a remote already knew. That the situation there was desperate. That people needed help. And that noone seemed to be providing it. The man in charge was not in charge at all, folks. It took the Bush Administration 4 years since 9/11… 4 years of chasing ghosts and old demons in Iraq to not do a fucking thing about stateside preparedness. To gut the national guard’s responsiveness by sending so many of them overseas. To cut funding for the levee system that allowed Lake Ponchartrain to roll into the city. To put someone in charge of Homeland Security and FEMA that is eloquent, but so impossibly incompetent that he is incapable of establishing a staff capable of letting him know the worst of a situation so large.

Mr. Chertoff said, that he had not heard of such things. That you couldn’t believe every rumor from the streets of the area. That he wasn’t in a position to argue about what the NPR Reporters had witnessed.

Get the people to our staging areas, he stated, and they can get water there.

Donate and bully your family and friends to give some money too.

via Jim

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16 comments for “Culture of Life: Katrina

  1. tas
    September 2, 2005 at 2:54 am

    I heard the Chertoff interview on NPR today and I almost screamed. Right after the interview, they went to an NPR reporter outside the convention center, and he almost screamed, too. The man was practically seething as he gave his report because he heard what crap Chertoff had to say before him, and he couldn’t believe it.

    This is almost surreal. Five days after the storm hits and some people still haven’t seen food or water. Can the incompetency of this administration possibly fall any lower? I’m almost afraid to ask…

  2. September 2, 2005 at 4:16 am

    im amazed and furious and feel completely helpless… thank you for the post Lauren

  3. September 2, 2005 at 8:24 am

    I wonder what red staters have to say about their fearless leader now…

  4. September 2, 2005 at 8:30 am
  5. September 2, 2005 at 9:36 am

    Angry and obsessed – those are definitely two good words to describe the current situation. It’s amazing how something like this can make some of the privileged even more egotistical and self-righteous. I honestly didn’t see this absolute contempt coming. It’s almost worse than what’s currently directed at the Iraqis – yet these are our fellow citizens that are suffering. What sort of monsters are these that call themselves Americans?

  6. September 2, 2005 at 9:36 am

    Angry, obsessed – yes, that sums it up well. My only hope is that this finally exposes once and for all the true ugliness of conservative ideology.

  7. September 2, 2005 at 9:43 am

    Allow me to quote the mayor of New Orleans for what, I think, is maybe the best synopsis of the whole goddamn thing:

    “[To the Feds,] Get off your asses and let’s do something,” Mayor Ray Nagin told WWL-AM Thursday night in a rambling interview in which he cursed, yelled and ultimately burst into tears.

    “They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn — excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed,” Nagin said.

    I don’t have any doubt, and there’s no reason to apologize.

  8. September 2, 2005 at 10:11 am

    Great post, Lauren. This is truly infuriating.

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  10. September 2, 2005 at 12:05 pm

    Ted Koppel leaned into this douche on nightline last night about the same bs, so it’s nice (no, entired f-ed up) to hear he’s still plying his BS ignorance excuse after being corrected repeatedly. It’s hard to keep up their lie & deny defense when the boogyman is weather and real live (on national TV) americans are suffering and calling these idiots on the BS.

  11. September 2, 2005 at 1:17 pm

    Oh my god. I am absolutely depressed by the whole thing.

  12. September 2, 2005 at 1:25 pm

    i think it lets chertoff off too lightly to criticize him for being “uninformed.” i think he lied. a public liar along with bush. “who knew the levees would fail?”

  13. kate
    September 2, 2005 at 2:11 pm

    Shasta – Heliologue is right. Next is the “shoot all the crazed black looters” meme. FWIW, although LA and MS are definitely conservative states, three of the local congressmen who represent the gulf regions hit worst by the hurricane are Democrats. (

  14. September 2, 2005 at 3:25 pm

    I can understand why the NPR reporter nearly went nuts watching Chertoff openly denying the horror in New Orleans right now. I saw the most heartbreaking footage from an NBC photojournalist. I have the transcript. I want to praise Tony Zumbado for going in there and BEING HONEST about what he’s seen.

    We’re not there, and we don’t realize how bad this is. This is an absolute nightmare, and, even if supplies and relief is getting down there now, it’s too late.

  15. Espahan
    September 2, 2005 at 6:08 pm

    Stay angry and obsessed, Lauren, and keep spreading the word. I too am angry and obsessed by the unconscionable incompetence and lies spewing from the current administration. If there is anything good to be had by the horror of what has occurred in the Gulf, it is the knowledge it happened on republican time. Their values were tested, and they failed. I hope people will see this and call for an end to this president and his pack of wolves. Sorry, Wolves have more dignity.

  16. Harrison
    September 2, 2005 at 11:15 pm

    Let me add to the thank yous you’re receiving for this post…

    The word “infuriating” really doesn’t do this situation justice.

    I don’t know if this is true, but…I thought I heard something recently about some Administration suit saying FEMA wasn’t aware of the situation at the Superdome until Thursday?!?! WTF? Um, don’t you people at FEMA have someone monitoring CNN? Or reading the f—ing papers? Hello? Are you Administration people all on crack or something?

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