Saturday, September 10, 2005

Katrina: Bush Orleans 

Last Sunday in the poor old, increasingly disintermediated Times, David Brooks shared his soft-core, treacly vision of a rebuilt New Orleans with us:

It has created as close to a blank slate as we get in human affairs, and given us a chance to rebuild a city that wasn't working. We need to be realistic about how much we can actually change human behavior, but it would be a double tragedy if we didn't take advantage of these unique circumstances to do something that could serve as a spur to antipoverty programs nationwide.
(via Times)

Let me have men about me who are fat...

Of course, Brooks is a winger shill, so his vision is very different from any vision that you, I, or most of the people of New Orleans would have. Republican Representative Baker brought Brook's gauzy dreams down to earth for us (though of course he did a Hastert, and quickly retracted his statement):

We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."
(WSJ via Eric Umansky)

Translation: In the New New Orleans, there will be no poor people, and no black people! In fact, they're going to rebuild the French Quarter just like Disneyland: forced perspectives, and smaller scale. Only kidding!

But, praise the God of your choice, the Republican vision for the New New Orleans is coming true right now! We don't have to wait for it!

Yes, the mercenaries have arrived:

Reports are beginning to surface that New Orleans and environs are crawling with armed private commandos from Blackwater USA, the North Carolina-based security firm that has risen to prominence with its highly visible role in Iraq. The slide show at the top of this entry comes from their Web site.

A Georgia-based doctor and military veteran who blogs under the name Otter has been down in the disaster zone the last few days, and he has seen the private Blackwater security forces everywhere. He wrote yesterday from a police precinct house in New Orleans:

Blackwater Security is here--clean, well-equipped, and armed to the teeth.

The New York Times has seen them too:

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.

(More great work from the on-fire-lately Will Bunch Attytood, via Kos)

Bringing the war back home...

Gee, I wonder if the New, New Orleans is going to be rebuilt for the benefit of the poor, the black, the old, who had to flee; for the ordinary heroes who stayed and saved lives; for jazz, for gumbo, for the Krewes, for Commander's Palace—or for the benefit of the Republican rich fucks who fled, then hired armed guards, rushed back, and are busy seizing as much of the high ground as they can?

Hey, I've got an idea! A new city needs a new name. How about we honor the New New Orleans by naming it after the great man—the Great President—who made it all possible?

That's right—Bush Orleans!

Surely I can't be the first person to have this idea?

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