Crisis in New Orleans

Here you are, like me, online. Probably in the comfort of your own environment, listening to your favorite music, a warm summer night – surfing the web.  Everything’s normal.  But no farther than a plane ride away, hundreds of thousands of people are enduring what no one should ever have to go through – sheer chaos, death and devastation while the government sits by idly, gathering in meeting rooms to plan the next mindless spin.  The President returns early from his vacation to provide this bit of insight: “I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this — whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud,” Bush said.

Insurance fraud?  Far from it.

Anger, Desperation Mounts Amidst Inadequate Help And Supplies
New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday, as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out and storm survivors battled for seats on the buses that would carry them away from the chaos. The tired and hungry seethed, saying they had been forsaken.

Why the Levee Broke
Washington knew exactly what needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans from disasters like Katrina. Yet federal funding for Louisiana flood control projects was diverted to pay for the war in Iraq.

Waiting for a Leader
It would be some comfort to think that, as Mr. Bush cheerily announced, America “will be a stronger place” for enduring this crisis. Complacency will no longer suffice, especially if experts are right in warning that global warming may increase the intensity of future hurricanes. But since this administration won’t acknowledge that global warming exists, the chances of leadership seem minimal.