Archive for September 13th, 2005

Improbable, or not?

Sep 13, 2005 in Current Events

Today, President Bush personally accepted responsibility for the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina. In other news, unusual reports of a flying creature resembling a pig have been pouring into rural police departments across the country, and scientists have reported a sudden drop in the Earth’s core temperature. “It’s almost like hell has frozen over,” remarks one scientist…

Right now, I’m a little less angrier than I have been at our government. In the wake of Katrina, the institutions that were supposed to assist and protect our citizens against the horrors that took place had failed… miserably. The system, for whatever reason, had broken. I place most of the blame at our federal government, mainly for bureaucratically crippling FEMA and installing a politically connected incompetent as director. But heads have begun to roll. FEMA chief Michael Brown was forced to resign, our Fearless Leader has finally accepted responsibility, and the relief effort is going ahead at full speed.

However, the award for Assholes of the Year has to go to the Gretna, LA sheriff’s department, who refused to let hundreds of stranded tourists exit the city. The large group then formed a community and constructed a safe encampment on the elevated freeway, until the camp was broken up by sheriff’s deputies:

“From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. “Taking care of us” had an ominous tone to it.

“Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, “Get off the fucking freeway”. A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.

Verbal recollections from witnesses in the group were broadcast on NPR’s This American Life this past weekend. (Real Audio here, Act Two). Once things are cleaned up in Louisiana, someone in Gretna should be losing their job over this.