Could any warning have been more specific?
Drowning New Orleans from the Scientific American


Q: What is George W. Bush’s position on Roe vs. Wade?

A: He really doesn’t care how people get out of New Orleans.

Compliments of Jonathan Larson


Many people are uncomfortable with the class issues that were stirred up by the wind and water of Katrina. People are talking about the deathly impact of class in a way rarely heard in the U.S. It’s a raw and festering truth that doesn’t set well in the SUV McMansion world.


Usually we focus on the visible identifiers and distinctions of race, gender, and as a capitalist nation, we rarely discuss class, as taboo a topic as any in our culture. We try to ignore the growing gulf between those who have and those who have much much less, but that gulf is growing larger through horribly regressive tax policy at state and federal levels. Yes, Melissa, that is a fact, the very richest people pay a far lower percentage of taxes than the middle class or poor. Reality bites, and it bites the poor hardest of all — we cannot retain the illusion of equitable policy.

Katrina blew that away. We got the story of what is really happening in the United States right between the eyes. We got the story of how poor people live and are treated in this country by watching them suffer and die. We got the story because it happened so fast, and right in front of our faces, and no one could put a spin on it quickly enough. We got the story because television reporters were openly outraged on camera. We got the story because reporters asked real questions and demanded real answers, rather than throwing softballs and settling for the fluff and the spin that pass for news. It was raw, it was awful, and it slid under the skin of our sleepy, numb, feel-good lives.

Midweek, a guy working out next to me at the gym leaned over and said, “Can you believe this?” I only shook my head, but what I wanted to say was, yes, I can. Because here, finally, was the truth. Unavoidable. On TV. Later, I felt so anxious and miserable, I started to cry on the street.

From Nora Gallagher: Katrina blew away the gloss of business as usual on TV (link added).


ANN McFEATTERS: The lessons of Hurricane Katrina

One more thing: No more across-the-board tax cuts. We need to get rid of the deficit and put aside money for the next catastrophe.

Hope is not enough.

It’s time to change the face of capitalism as we experience it in this country, recognizing that we are a democracy, which is a different focus than capitalism and its “one dollar = one vote” equation. It’s time make the changes necessary to bring the social and political reality more in line with our country’s grand illusions of equity and justice. My personal optimistic self says that “it’s never too late.”

face of capitalism.jpg

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