Tag Archives: responsibility

‘Obama’s Katrina’ is our fault

Comparisons of the Obama administration’s slow response to the current crisis created by corporate greed in the Gulf of Mexico to the unelected Bush regime’s slow response to the crisis created by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005 perhaps have been inevitable, but they miss the point.

Yes, both catastrophes have happened in the Gulf of Mexico, but that’s just about where any valid comparison ends. And by making such clumsy comparisons, we risk the failure to prevent more massive oil spills in the future.

The Bush regime didn’t respond to Hurricane Katrina because the Bush regime didn’t give a flying fuck about a bunch of poor black people in Louisiana. Had the eye of Hurricane Katrina been headed for “President” George W. Bush’s Texas, there might actually have been a response.

What prevented the Obama administration from responding faster to British Petroleum’s disaster, however, is the vast amount of power that the mega-corporations have accrued over the past several decades.

Although Obama has claimed that his administration has been on top of BP from day one of its April 20 oil rig disaster, it seems fairly apparent to me that BP kept the Obama administration at bay for some time, and that only after it became glaringly apparent that BP didn’t have the oil leak — which now is being called the worst in U.S. history — under anything like control that the Obama administration finally stepped up to the plate, under increasing political pressure.

We can make all of the Hurricane Katrina comparisons that we want to, but unless and until we, the people, take back our power that we stupidly and slovenly ceded to the corporations, we can expect more catastrophes like BP’s.

We need to take a long, hard look at capitalism and ask ourselves whether some tasks are too important and/or too dangerous to leave to the profit-driven private sector.

The private sector can do everything better, the capitalist swine snort.

Bullshit. The profit-driven private sector keeps cutting corner after corner in order to continually increase profits until we have such things as the current catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and the actual “death panels” that the for-profit wealth care — er, health care — industry established in order to deny people medical care in order to increase the insurance companies’ profits. (They get filthy rich only if they don’t give you the health care that they’re being paid to provide you when you need it. That’s a great fucking model for health care.) Global warming, too, is a result of corporate greed.

And speaking of global warming, to me the most alarming news today is that meteorologists predict that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which begins next week, could be as bad as the 2005 season, which brought us Katrina.

Right about now is the perfect time for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Never claim that things couldn’t get any worse than they already are, because of course they always can.

But I digress…

I’m all for the private sector making and selling things like cars and iPads and television sets and telephones and clothing and computers and movies and porn. Hell, I’m even more or less OK with the private sector continuing to make and sell houses, although the housing debacle would make me want to put a lot more thought into that issue, since housing is a necessity and not a luxury.

But drilling big holes in the ocean to tap oil reserves and maintaining those big holes? Health care? Education? Ensuring an ample supply of clean drinking water?

These kinds of things are too big and/or too important to leave to money-grubbing weasels. They need to be left to the government. To introduce a profit — and thus a corner-cutting — motive into them is inviting disaster, as the crude-oil-coated creatures of the Gulf of Mexico — and those whose living depends upon the Gulf of Mexico — can attest.

And giving such huge tasks as offshore oil drilling entirely to corporations means that the government doesn’t have the equipment or the expertise to deal with any problems that might occur, because over time it’s the corporations that have taken over those tasks. Cutting out the stonewalling corporate middlemen also would mean that problems could be addressed immediately by the government, because the government wouldn’t have to coordinate its efforts with any profit-driven corporation.

And corporate-crony-loving Repugnicans have no right whatsofuckingever to criticize the Obama administration’s sluggish response to the BP debacle when the eight long nightmarish years of rule by the unelected, oily Bush regime created an awfully cushy environment for Big Oil.

The Bush crime family has had oily dealings in Texas and in Saudi Arabia, Dick Cheney’s oily Halliburton wanted and got its Vietraq War and apparently has played a significant part in the current BP disaster, and fuck, even Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice had had a fucking Chevron oil tanker named after her, for fuck’s sake.

I don’t believe in letting President Obama off the hook for shit that is his responsibility, but we can’t blame Obama for the long-standing socioeconomicopolitical environment that he not only inherited in January 2009, but that all of us have allowed.

We can’t even blame the unelected Bush regime entirely for what it allowed Hurricane Katrina to do to the Gulf Coast in 2005 — after all, we, the people, had just allowed the Bush regime to blatantly steal the White House in late 2000 with no serious opposition from us. We should have been rioting in the streets, should have taken up pitchforks and torches, but instead we sat on our asses, sipping our Slurpees, telling ourselves that this Bush guy couldn’t be that bad. 

Had we acted as the patriotic citizens that we claim to be, “President” Bush, and thus Hurricane Katrina, might have been prevented.

And had we not just allowed our democracy to become a corporatocracy, we probably wouldn’t be witnessing the largest oil spill in U.S. history right now — while a savage hurricane season is just around the corner, ready to spread all of those millions of gallons of crude oil around even more quickly and more widely.

The BP oil spill should be our wake-up call and should teach us a great lesson.

And that lesson is not that we, the people, can continue to pin the blame for our national and global catastrophes on just one person, such as the president of the United States.

That lesson is that we, the people, get the kind of nation and the kind of world that we create and that we allow.

When, and if, we demand — really demand, exerting incredible political pressure — better of the powers that be, we will get better.

For right now, though, we are faced with millions of gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico while Hurricane Katrina’s sequel looms, and the only people we can blame for that is ourselves.

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Assorted shit

Sexy brainiac blogger Glenn Greenwald recently noted that that “Two months into Obama’s presidency, one can clearly conclude” that, unlike how the wingnuts marched in lockstep with the unelected members of the Bush regime, liberals have been “critical of and oppositional to a Democratic president when that president [undertakes] actions in tension with progressive views.”

In that spirit, I fucking cringed when I read that President Obama told U.S. troops today in a speech during his unannounced visit to Vietraq, “It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis. They need to take responsibility for their country.”

I got spitting mad when any member of the unelected Bush regime said anything like that, and I’m no happier to hear Obama say it.

The bottom line is that the Iraqi people did NOT ask for the United States to invade (er, “liberate”) their sovereign nation in March 2003 and to continue to occupy it today even when the “mission [was] accomplished” in May 2003.

In fact, the majority of world opinion was against the idea of the Bush regime invading Iraq, and when the United Nations Security Council refused to rubber-stamp the unelected regime’s invasion like a “good” little Security Council “should,” the Bush regime gave the council — and world opinion — the middle finger and invaded Iraq anyway. (And also at about that time, French fries became “freedom fries.” Shudder.)

About 100,000 dead Iraqis later, here is U.S. President Obama lecturing the Iraqis on taking personal responsibility when not only did the Iraqis NOT ask for the invasion and subsequent occupation of their sovereign nation for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp, but the United States of America still has not taken responsibility for its illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust March 2003 invasion of and subsequent occupation of the once-sovereign nation of Iraq. (Because being an American means never having to say that you’re sorry.)

The United States of America is in no position to lecture any other nation’s people (even indirectly, as Obama did) about responsifuckingbility.

I had considered it but I never commented on this Associated Press news story from March 31:

More than 1,000 retired military officers, including several who were top commanders, are urging President Barack Obama and Congress to maintain the law that bars gays from serving openly in the armed forces.

Obama is consulting with the Pentagon on the issue and says he supports eventual repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits gays in the military from being open about their sexual orientation. A bill that would allow gays to serve openly has been introduced in Congress.

A statement issued by the retired officers … said passage of that bill “would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.”

Among the signatories were Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., a former commandant of the Marine Corps; Adm. Leighton W. Smith, a former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Gen. Charles A. Horner, who commanded U.S. aerial forces during the 1990-91 Gulf War; and Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, a former vice chief of Naval Operations.

The retired officers said they strongly supported the principle that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” and warned that repeal of current law could jeopardize morale and “unit cohesion.” …

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was put in place after President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993. Under the policy, the military does not ask recruits about their sexual orientation, while service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.

Oh, Jesus fuck, where to even begin on this bullshit?

OK, first off, these homophobic military officers are retired. These guys are mostly stupid old white men, mostly Repugnicans, I’m sure. They are relics of the past. They are not the future. They are the past.

Secondly, I’m sure that stupid white men said the same old fucking shit when the armed forces were racially integrated — that allowing blacks (and other non-whites) would jeopardize morale and threaten unit cohesion, blah, blah, blah.

And who would be more likely to do such things as “undermine recruiting and retention,” “have adverse effects on the willingness of parents [to] lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force”: gay men and lesbians who just want to serve in the military — or the stupid white men like those who comprised the unelected Bush regime, who, Vice President Joseph Biden just said today, stretched the U.S. military the thinnest that it ever has been stretched?

I mean, if you were a heterosexual thinking of enlisting or re-enlisting in the U.S. military, would the fact that these days you are sent back to a war zone over and over and over again have less of an impact on your decision than the possibility that — gasp! — one or more of your comrades might not be heterosexual?

If you were a parent, would you be more concerned that your son or daughter might encounter — gasp! — a non-heterosexual in the U.S. military, or that your son or daughter might end up like one of the more than 4,250 of our troops who have come home from the bogus Vietraq War in a box?

No, let’s blame gay men and lesbians who just want equal rights as being the largest threat to the U.S. military. Surely it’s not the stupid white men who ran the U.S. military into the fucking ground the past eight years!

I don’t know why anyone, straight, gay, bisexual or into chickens, would have any interest in joining the U.S. military when the U.S. military has been about war profiteering and keeping military contractors filthy rich more than it has been about actual national defense for many decades now.

Not too horribly dissimilarly, I don’t know whether my boyfriend and I, who have been together for a year and a half now, ever will get married or not (provided, of course, that California gets its fucking act together on same-sex marriage, like Iowa did, and marriage is an option to us). I am not certain that I even believe that marriage is a very good idea.

However, my boyfriend and I should have that option available to us like it is available to heterosexual couples, and anyone wishing to join the U.S. military — regardless of how intelligent I might esteem him or her to be — should be able to do so, regardless of such things as his or her race or sexual orientation.

These bigoted retired military officers need to get themselves some hobbies, because clearly they have too much time on their hands.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tries to protect former ...

AFP photo

Today the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at then-U.S. “President” George W. Bush (who, unfortunately, is fairly agile) during a press conference in Baghdad in December (video grab above; I never tire of posting that image…) — in protest of the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust invasion and subsequent occupation of his nation — had his prison sentence reduced from three years to one year, The Associated Press reports.

One year still is too long for the young man’s “crime” — after all, Bush was a mass-murdering dictator just like Saddam Hussein was, but Bush very most likely won’t spend even an hour behind bars for his war crimes and crimes against humanity — but it’s better than the three three years to which he originally was sentenced last month.

Hopefully, the 30-year-old Iraqi journalist will be released before the one year is up; he already has been incarcerated for too long.

And he should be given a medal for his patriotic action, which has inspired footwear-related anti-imperialist demonstrations around the world, such as this one in Moscow:

Members of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi throw their ...

Associated Press photo

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