Coats, soothes, relieves

Bye, bye, Brownie. The President pocket-vetoed Mike “Brownie” Brown’s continued service as coordinator of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, by recalling Brown, a man who managed to stand out as an incompetent among an otherwise universally incompetent administration, to Washington.
For the moment, a Coast Guard Vice-Admiral, who presumably knows what the hell he’s doing, will be in charge of federal recovery efforts in the Gulf region. The people have spoken: there apparently is a limit to cronyism and the attendant incompetence thereof. Poll numbers for approval of Bush’s Katrina [mis]handling have approached the stratospherically low numbers for Bush’s [mis]handling of the Iraq war fiasco. Something had to be done– and even if this is windowdressing and Brown really isn’t gone (he is; he had already promised “to retire after hurricane season), its a showing that the President can run, but he can’t hide. The American people have made it clear that evil has a name, and that you are either with them, or against them.
And so we approach the fourth anniversary of the act of gross negligence committed in the first year of the dark era known as “the George W. Bush presidency.” Usually, I link back to my September 2001 archive for those who want to see what the world looked like from my perch yon four years ago; interestingly, this blog came into existence exactly one week after 11 September 2001 (a coincidence; the domain name was first purchased around September 4th of that year.) But as of early September, 2001, the President was slogging along with his “big initiative” being his “compromise” about stem cell research funding, and the big news of summer 2001 were Bush’s five or six week vacation (the one during which he ignored warnings about you know what and you know who) and… shark attacks.
And what followed was a preternaturally clear and sunny Tuesday morning, in which yours truly found himself across the street from history (literally; at 100 Church Street, a block north of the first World Trade Center tower to be struck by an airplane; around an hour and a half later, I was on the Manhattan Bridge, from where I watched that same building implode and crumble), followed by job loss, nightmares, breathing bad crap, fear of follow up attacks, and other experiences similar to hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers, and not experienced by over 99% of the American people, whose fantasies about suffering what they watched on t.v. are and were just that: it happened to someone else. People who lived in one particular place.
Just as we can all fantasize about the victims of Katrina being part of our large American family, while watching first hand that this is nonsense. When push came to shove, it became every man, woman and child for his or her self.
BTW: we in NYC at that time seem to recall an amazing absence of the President of the United States himself, just as the people in the Gulf have recently experienced. He made one chicken-shit appearance on the night of 9-11, assuring us only that we were led bya chicken-shit. While other countries had moments of silence for us, we didn’t have one for ourselves. And President Chicken-Shit than went on to… well, you know the rest.
So here we are, four years later. There are American citizens incarcerated without charge or trial (and for a while, counsel). We are detaining hundreds (maybe thousands) of non-citizens in the same limbo status. We have launched a war of aggression against an irritating, but non-threatening nation not involved in attacking us, while making the apprehension of those who did attack us as low a priority as we have made the infrastructure of vast parts of our own country.
Screw it. As I’ve said to many who would listen, it really is too much trouble to fret about this. Too many of the American people will rally around the President no matter how apparent it is that he’s not worth rallying around, out of sheer knee-jerk partisanship (it’s a sporting event after all, right?) I’ve proposed to myself that my mission is to do my job, raise my child, live my life, improve my writing, maybe see if I can get some more interviews in there, and not get too worked up about too much, on the blog or otherwise. We approach 9-11 + 4.0 four years older, but as a nation, not a jot wiser. As individuals, we’ll have to live with this, and do the best we can.