Katrina and the Yankee Doodle Boy

August 28, 2010 at 2:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


This morning, Myrtle & I made a trip to the grocery store. As I loaded our purchases into the car trunk, she was amused that I was whistling “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. To be specific, I was whistling the version from the old Jimmy Cagney movie, which is a biography of the life of patriotic songwriter-entertainer George M. Cohan (the actual title of Cohan’s song is “The Yankee Doodle Boy”).

In the early 20th Century, Cohan’s popularity made him known as “the man who owned Broadway.” One of his other songs is the well-known, “You’re a Grand Old Flag”. As I told Myrtle, when I was about 5 years’ old that was probably my favorite song and I repeatedly pestered my mother & two older sisters to sing it with me. As I grew-up I admit that, as corny as it sounds, I was so proud of the USA that such patriotic songs, the sight of the flag flying proudly, or the reading of documents such as our Declaration of Independence would give me misty eyes & a lump in my throat.

Although I never believed America was perfect, I did believe our nation & its leaders were basically good-hearted, rational, and genuinely striving for what the Constitution called a “more perfect union.” All but a tiny percentage of citizens were willing to play by the rules in order to assure no American’s rights got trampled. I got in more than one heated argument where I took the position that our system was the best ever devised by humankind.

I tell you these details to illustrate a point: That I am not by nature completely skeptical of American business & government’s motivations & thoroughly disgusted with our political, economic, & social systems. Quite the contrary, I came by those viewpoints after a) studying the nation’s true history, b) witnessing the duplicity & cheerful hatefulness of the U.S. toward both foreigners & my fellow-citizens and c) experiencing firsthand the awful abuse, neglect, & stupidity our culture heaps upon all who are not on Fortune magazine’s list of the richest people.

What caused me to board this train of thought? Being reminded that in a couple days the 5th anniversary of the Katrina disaster arrives.

Many evil deeds have been perpetrated in recent years by the scum we Americans consider to be our “leaders.” None have been worse than the initial destruction & continuing neglect of New Orleans & surrounding area. Arguably, the U.S. now has many decimated cities: Detroit, Gary, Cleveland, Buffalo, and even my own beloved Dayton. But those cities have been slowly starved to death by seemingly incompetent economic policy, whereas New Orleans was quickly mortally wounded and then left to die while the whole world watched. The horror of those events 5 years ago & the continuing lack of healing are etched into the national consciousness and would, if it had taken place in any other country, be labeled for what it is: genocide against the poor!

Can’t you see the elite saw an opportunity to drive out or drown the riff-raff & then grab their land? As the storm approached, I heard a television report that many residents were refusing to leave because they were fearful that, once they were removed from the city, their homes & land would be taken by the rich. I remember that report because I instantly felt they were correct! Prediction: New Orleans will eventually be rebuilt… but not until the wealthy can get all that yummy real estate declared abandoned so they can steal it.

Do you think President Obama has devoted even 15 minutes’ of real thought to helping the Katrina victims? And what steaming pile of bullshit will he serve-up on the anniversary? Will he promise again, as we have heard 2 Presidents do over these past 5 years, that New Orleans will be rebuilt? I am betting he will try to avoid mentioning it at all, just sort of hope the electorate will continue to forget.

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1 Comment

  1. john said,

    Thanks for sharing. I will bookmark your website.

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