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Syndi Holmes

Some Thoughts On Katrina & The Passing Of The Chief Justice
By Syndi Holmes
Sep 4, 2005 - 11:07:00 PM

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With all the live television coverage coming out of New Orleans, showing that the majority of those citizens left behind in the city were overwhelmingly black, I found it remarkable that when President Bush visited the devastated areas for the first time, he was able to find a crowd of survivors who were overwhelmingly white in Mississippi -- I wonder if the audience was pre-screened, as is typical of all his meetings with common citizens. Yet he did not go into downtown New Orleans.

The President's inability for spontaneous leadership and immediate ready reactions have been verified with the events occurring post-Katrina; it was not just an anomoly as may have been conjectured in his dealings with the events that occured immediately after 9/11. The President's reliance on briefings rather than reading news and reports for himself, his inability to face adverse facts, and his need to delegate his responsibilities have made and continue to make his "management style" a liability for the country.

I guess on September 11th, the people of New York City should feel grateful that the President experienced only a lapse of 7 minutes after being alerted to the attack on the second tower and that they were not ignored for 5 days as were our fellow citizens in New Orleans and in most of the stricken Gulf Coast areas.

Typical of the post-9/11 Bush apologetics, the post-Katrina apologetics are now asking the public to again consider the ," How were we to know something like this would happen?" defence , despite the overwhelming evidence that the risk factors for the New Orleans' levees and the disaster scenarios had already been postulated by numerous agencies for years.

I am sure the President was grateful that the news of the passing of Chief Justice William Rehnquist took some of the media focus off of his administration's ineptiness in the handling of the post-Katrina tragedy. However, the handling of the Chief Justice's passing further serves to highlight the issue of race and class in this administration. The near immediate response by the President to the Chief Justice's death, is a stark counter point to his tardy response to the victims of Katrina. The President's ordering of the flag to be lowered out of respect for the Chief Justice's passing, is a slap in the face to the unknown thousand(s) of citizens, who even the government suspects to be dead as a result in the aftermath of Katrina, as their passings have not been honoured with an acknowlegement of national mourning by the lowering of the flag and to do so now will be just another afterthought.

Also, the Senate Republicans, who were resistive to Democrats' calls to delay the Roberts' Supreme Court hearing out of deference to the victims of Katrina, are not relunctant at all to now postpone those same hearings out of deference to the Chief Justice's impending funeral.

So much for the honouring of all life, so much for the "American ideal" that were are all created equal ... they are only marketing phrases used to manipulate the public because the actual actions are so obvious and to the contrary.

By, the way, is the war in Iraq over and has Cindy Sheehan gone home to California? --because neither have been in the news - an unintended consequence of Katrina and another unexpected bonus for the President?

Syndi Holmes

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