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Katrina

I’m writing from the Czech Republic. Came back here after the going-home-at-the-beginning-of-September thing proved too expensive; Ema’s parents have been nice enough to offer to host me again.

I’ve been somewhat obsessively reading news on Katrina on the internet today. What an awful, Biblical-scale disaster: no food and drinking water, overflowing toilets at the Superdome, bodies floating in the streets, no coordination of response. I’m feeling sad for all the people abandoned there. The British press has been very hard on Bush and the federal government; the American press, though unusually tough on Bush, seems quite a bit less critical. My view is that the press should always go for the jugular of those in power; and in this case, it seems like quite a lot went very wrong. I’ve been hearing about New Orleans’s pending death-by-flooding for years now–at least since I went there for my spring break senior year at Cornell–and now it’s come.

As we might expect, the left behind are the poor and the powerless. It sort of makes the good time I’ve been having seem kind of hollow; I find this all more disheartening than the bombings earlier in the summer. They were bad, but this feels worse.