Monday, September 05, 2005


Let me say that the Bush White House is only a particularly toxic example of American Administrations that have always represented a system that consistently puts profit before people, before the environment (our HOME) and before the future. This so-called "free market system" is far from free. As we all see from Katrina it is very costly to regular folks, especially the poor. White House Administrations (regardless of party), Congress and their corporate patrons share goals and objectives that are often at odds with what is good for the American people in general. The free market system by nature, and its boosters, are amoral, unconcerned with right or wrong. Its goal is to maximize profits without regard for consequences. By not spending the money that was known to be necessary to protect New Orleans the Administration could better afford to conduct an illegal war in Iraq and pass tax cuts for billionaires. The free market philosophy is what directs car companies to aggressively market gas-guzzling SUVs in an era of proven declining crude oil supplies. Scoop up big bucks today, the hell with tomorrow. Its what's behind pharmaceutical companies rushing to market potentially dangerous drugs that have not been fully tested. Drugs that earn them billions but have human casualties along the way. Deaths that they have already calculated and consider "acceptable losses".

Of course, the free market system also promotes "individualism" and "self-reliance". On the Gulf coast that translated into "you folks with no way out, you are on your own". Bush and them call that getting government out of peoples lives. I call it criminal. It may not be too far fetched to understand Bush's delay in sending help and getting himself down there as his way of underscoring his view that government's role is one of backup, rather than first responder. His remark this weekend, referring to the Red Cross as the nation's primary giver of comfort, seems to support this notion. As does his initiative to get his father and Clinton to shake the corporate tree for disaster relief money. Put it on volunteer agencies and the private sector.

Nature brought the hurricane but the decisions and policies of Bush and former Administrations are responsible for the failure of the levees, the lack of a coordinated emergency management plan and the resultant increase in loss of life and devastation. The neglect and incompetence become even more of an outrage when one learns that last year, when a very powerful hurricane hit Cuba, the Castro government, in coordination with neighborhood citizen committees and local Communist party cadres, evacuated 1.3 million people without a single loss of life!

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