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Sunday, September 04, 2005







The good writers ...

Despite the horror of it all, some semblance of sanity is beginning to return. Spent the morning reading the Sunday NY Times; Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, and Anne Rice. Last night I read a brilliant piece by Rick Bragg (Miami Herald). In the words of those giants of the written word I found solace. Truth is having its day; if "truth" is defined by those words that confirm something buried deep inside me; clicking into what I already know.

As in the days of Vietnam, the scenes of such human misery and neglect coupled by the lack of connection with our institutions as represented by government sources, is not be believed. The dissonance is so pronounced that one wonders if the entire world isn't seeing what is inexplicable even to the most uncaring among us. There appears to be as many conservative as liberal voices screaming for help for those poor souls suspended in hell! It is difficult to imagine the level of incompetence we're witnessing. That may be the scariest of all.

Maybe it was easier to yield to those conspiracy theories that insisted that brilliantly evil forces had taken over the nation, and that they'd been working toward the complete takeover of our systems of governance over a period of the past forty years. That was hard enough to confront in the dark of night when paranoia runs rampant. But the Ship of State in the hands of morons? That's an incomprehensible nightmare!

Is it possible that the man in our White House is simply so ineffectual, so frightened, so unknowing and ignorant that -- as he sat paralyzed for that long period reading to children on 9/11, he sat frozen in space too stupid or terrified to move? He repeated that performance for 48 hours last week; frozen in space, unable to move, distracted, "too stupid or terrified to move?" Is this possible?

Reports of the whereabouts of the rest of the administration leadership was equally as insane. No one has yet reported on the status of the vice president. Strange? No words of caring or condolence? No sign of taking charge even at a second level position? Sitting in a bunker somewhere deep under NORAD? Do you suppose he was out readying the forces of Halliburton to get into position for the rebuilding of New Orleans, only this time with seafront villas and casinos, hotels and resorts, and NO black folks except for those willing to play "slaves" for visual effect of a "reenactment" of the Old South?

Heard Randy Rhodes (Air America) posit the notion that the difficulties confronted by that beleaguered city were caused by the fact that this is a Red state with Blue leadership. The senator, the governor, the mayor are all Democrats (Blue). In the deep south, Black folks are notoriously committed to the Democratic party, therefore are politically expendable. Could the situation be that cynical?

I do know that here in California the energy crisis that toppled Governor Gray Davis proved to be motivated by the fact that our legislature is predominantly Democrat, our congressional delegation the most liberal in the nation, and that we paid for it by the administration's withholding help until Davis was overturned by a celebrity Republican in a special election. Enron figured heavily in the destruction of our energy system by manipulation of the regs. Remember folks, Ken Lay of Enron is a close friend and ally of the president. Political retaliation is surely likely to be a factor in what happened in the wake of Katrina.

Surely an investigation should expose the fact that political vengeance may have played a part in the refusal of the administration to fund the reconstruction of the deeply flawed levee system in New Orleans. The fact that 30% of the Louisiana National Guard is currently on duty in Iraq. The highwater vehicles (Humvees) that would have been needed to save lives at home were also overseas. The deep cuts in funding for the levee reconstruction (despite years of warnings by the Times Picayune and reinforced by the mayor's pleas) were quite possibly effected by political vengeance as well.

By the weekend, we will have word that literally thousands will have lost their lives. Some will be children. It is highly likely that some will be relatives I've been unable to locate after endless hours of searching online ... .

Now it's back to haunting the Red Cross online "We're safe" listings, Craig's list, CNN pages, and more phone calls to busy signals from broken telecommunications systems in faraway places in a putrid, water-sogged, hot and humid South reeking from the stench of dead and rotting flesh.

Let me know if you're still reading ... my only company this weekend has been the ghosts of my past.

It's lonely ... .


Photo: New Orleans Mardi Gras Ball of 1924 - the debut into society for young Creole women. Cousin Vivian Allen sitting 3rd from far left; Uncle Raleigh Coker 2nd from right standing. He was physician, graduate of the nation's only black medical school, Meharry.


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