Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Looting or Jubilee?

CNN has been hitting the looting theme so hard in their Katrina coverage, I actually wrote to ask if the psyops folks they got busted for employing back in 2000 were still around. Needless to say, they won't answer. But what's it all about?

Well, first, we have to define looting. Evidently, the mainstream media defines in this way: The taking of items, whether necessary to sustain life or not, without payment in a disaster torn area. Oh yeah...and looters are black.

You think I'm exaggerating, don't you, you optimistic reader, you. Sorry. A poster named "Human" over at Rigorous Intuition made this incredible find. Two pics on yahoo.


And the caption:
Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.(AFP/Getty Images/Chris

Now the second pic:

And the second caption:

A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it made landfall on Monday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Some editor somewhere is going to get a letter, so I can't guarantee that these images will stay in this location captioned in this way for long. But you, clever reader, have spotted the telling differences in these photos and captions, haven't you?

I'm afraid this goes beyond racism, as most issues in our country often do. But racism plays a part, make no mistake.

What are they playing at as we await 10,000 national guard to arrive and keep order by any means necessary? I think it is this: the death toll is known to be high and that it will be higher. Their best chance at limiting the backlash at the obvious lack of preparation, not to mention the possible preventive measures on the levees that have been pleaded for for years, is to dehumanize the victims. And, since most Americans are white and that pic of white people wading in water is one of the few I've seen (unless the white people had a Weather Channel or CNN jacket on) the task is easier. You see, black people are looters.

And I saw on CNN the same footage rolled over and over again of black people coming out of a grocery store. Would I be hauling my white ass to that grocery store if I were in their shoes? You bet your Home Depot stock, sugar. And I'll tell you what else. I might grab a Rolex on the way, if I had a mind to. Seeing as how no one thought it important to prevent the destruction of my entire city/family/life, I'd call it a downpayment on my future. Especially since Fema went around recently asking for their money BACK from victims of the last hurricane.

But now we learn that police have officially me print the official story:

NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets of the beleagured city to stop looting that has turned increasingly hostile.

But it doesn't end with some blatant racism and the protection of property that will likely never be recovered anyway in stores already written off. Nope. You see, what the theme really is, with all these looters "causing chaos" (gee, I thought it was the hurricane and flooding that did that) is that we need someone to come in and bust some heads during times of unrest.

Oh, and my friends, we are headed for some unrest. This attempt to dehumanize the victims will not work. First off, too many are still alive, as are their relatives,despite the best efforts of the Army Corp of Engineers to keep that water flowing into New Orleans. Secondly, the middle classes are going to get hit by the gas gouging fairly soon. In Atlanta, gas is up to 5 bucks a gallon at the moment. Welcome to what is about to become the new standard for discussing economic "ripple effects." Hey that "just in time" delivery system didn't turn out to be so clever after all, did it?

And I think that this anger may actually end up heading in the right direction. Soon, some wealthier pissed off Americans are going to print the picture of Bush laughing it up, eating birthday cake and playing the guitar with the date of the photo in big letters: August 30, 2005.

Any questions?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Rant

I haven't read too much today other than direct (but horrible) CNN in coverage. I SUSPECT that they already know how bad this is going to get. A HUGE theme in CNN interviews and reporting right now is how stupid and selfish the people are who stayed behind (when not talking about how brave their own reporters are). My TV will not survive if I hear another one of these judgmental, arrogant, non-journalistic statements.

People who didn't leave include:

You know, never the fucking mind. Just watch the footage of who is being rescued off rooftops and tell me if you think those folks have a summer home in the Hamptons to flee to. Nevermind the ones who can barely even walk due to age or infirmity. And you know, I don't read lips but I enjoyed imagining that one of those so rescued off a rooftop was mouthing to the camera: "yeah, but at least I'm not trapped in the fucking SuperDome."

As of now: No food, toilets backed up, no electricity... and CNN now says there are 30,000 inside, all of whom must now be evacuated to somewhere else.

What's coming now is a ripple effect that is so profound we've probably seen nothing like it before. It will go beyond 9/11 because it will involve increasing levels of frustration and anger AT BUSH and the whole government structure. They were clearly not at all prepared for this, despite the fact that the levees were specifically built only to survive up to a category 3. Everyone knew this when they were built. It was the best they could do at the time.

Others have pointed out how Bush vetoed money to repair this problem...though I assume other Presidents could have done it as well. But the problem is beyond that. How Bush is perceived to be handling this...well, it will bring down his presidency or bring on martial law.

The guy who is reporting with Wolf Blitzer was actually fairly open here. At one point, he asks Blitzer, "Is Bush still on vacation?" Blitzer, being what he is, took it as a serious inquiry and said, "No he cut his vacation short." then the other guy proceeds to lay into Bush suggesting that with his poll numbers he might want to get on this hurricane thing pretty quick, as last he had heard, Bush was giving a speech somewhere about Iraq.

When the bodies start surfacing, and the ability to get more people out alive recedes (and the coverup begins as well) and especially if things go real bad with the Superdome, it will present a crisis unparalleled in our history. The administration will simply come apart at the seams. They are simply NOT dealing with the enormity of this.

Neither is the fucking media. I thought I was tripping on acid when a CNN reporter (sic) went on and on with a woman from the CDC in Atlanta about the dangers of the next few days. The woman did hit some of the obvious, such as the fact that there are tens of thousands trapped in rising water that is polluted with chemical and human wastes, with no electricity and no communication.

But then they spent half the interview talking about the dangers of WEST NILE VIRUS as mosquitoes multiply due to all the standing water. WEST FUCKING NILE VIRUS. Yeah, I watch my wife pulled off by the water and I'm worried about West Nile. Oh, and here's a little clue...New Orleans has had standing water since it was formed...see, it's basically SWAMP. This is NOT the issue to be focusing on. God almighty help these poor people in LA.

Then they proceed to provide tips to all those in the affected areas about how to survive. Well, I have a little news for you...THEY CAN'T WATCH CNN RIGHT NOW. SEE, THERE WAS A HURRICANE....

And why the levee broke is a mystery. They were out of the woods so to speak. I'll have to assume a natural explanation as I think it would have been hard to have foreseen enough of the circumstances to have some kind of evil plot to destroy one of those sections. Unless you want to go into the "they steered the hurricane and had charges ready" idea. I'm not in that camp yet. But with what's going on, they might as well have as they are no less culpable for what's happening.

Now I'm just waiting for Pat Robertson to say this was God's punishment on New Orleans for being the vice capitol of the world.