The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Excuse me, but did part of America just fall off and drop into the Third World?

Maybe I'm missing something, but from here there seems to be a gulf between the news reports and the framing of them. What it looks like is an ever-expanding disaster that could eventually have a body count in the thousands. Lack of clean water and electricity could do that on their own. The rescue efforts look awfully piecemeal, brave though each one is. In New Orleans the water is still rising. Thousands are still stranded. Tens or hundreds of thousands in the Gulf coast states are homeless and without electricity or communications. The news networks are maintaining a remarkable calm. The reporters sound stressed, the anchors sombre but unfazed. It's unreal.

To stop this from turning into major national catastrophe would seem to require a massive mobilization of ... oh, never mind.


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