America's Perfect Storm
I look at this Labor Day Weekend to be an all together different kind of holiday. It isn't the last BBQ before calling it quits on summer. It isn't time to hit the road, pay the price at the pump, and sit in traffic congestion on that last trip to the beach or the mountains. It isn't time to shop and save, go to that weekend sale to stock up for the upcoming season of holidays or school. Instead, for me, it is time to take stock of assets and liabilities, setting goals and accountabilities on progress. And because of Katrina, I can't help but look back at the week that was. For those catching up on their last minute summer reading, the links and quotes below might just be your quick-study:
When Government Is 'Good' (Washington Post)
"I'm sorry to raise this, but can it make any sense that one of the early issues the U.S. Senate is scheduled to confront this month is the repeal of the estate tax on large fortunes when we haven't even calculated the costs of Katrina? And why do we keep evading a national debate over who is bearing the burdens of a war that has dragged on far longer than its architects promised?"
Two from theage.com:
America stripped bare
The hurricane had no target, but in the aftermath it was clear that the victims — who are suffering a horrifying lack of rescue and care — were mostly black and mostly poor, unable to flee the city before the storm because they had no means.
Katrina sweeps away an American dream
It is said there was one America before September 11, 2001, and a different one after it. Perhaps now there will be talk of America before and after Katrina. When President Bush told "Good Morning America" on Thursday morning that nobody could have "anticipated" the breach of the New Orleans levees, it pointed to not only a remote leader in denial, but a whole political class.
And one from the BBC:
The uneasy paradox which so many live with in this country - of being first-and-foremost rugged individuals, out to plunder what they can and paying as little tax as they can get away with, while at the same time believing that America is a robust, model society - has reached a crisis point this week.