Must-read: The Interdictor. Down-to-earth, no B.S., no purple prose, no self-promotion, no politics. Just trying to do his job while informing the world of the facts as he sees them. Read his blog if you read no other Katrina-blogger.
As for politics… it’s time to start acting outside the Democrats vs. Republicans paradigm.
Doc Searls: “This thing is a huge reset button on politics as usual. Along with everything else.”
Time for some real leadership, by people who might actually serve the interests of the majority of people in this country. I’ve always been a Democrat, but I’ve gotta say, certain liberals who are already salivating at the chance to make political hay out of this situation make me just as nauseous as certain Republicans now making excuses for having gotten their priorities wrong.
Thomas Barnett: “The sheer collapse of New Orleans is shaping up to be a significant System Perturbation all its own.”
A “System Pertubation,” says Barnett, is “a change so abrupt that incremental responses are abandoned in favor of radically new approaches.”
As many are pointing out, Katrina has thrown into stark relief the huge and widening gulf of class and race in America: The disconnect between those for whom the system tends to work well enough (or who can opt out and pay for their own private solutions)… and those for whom the system fails a lot of the time and who have no private resources. Maybe this is the event that shocks us into realizing that we need radically new approaches if we’re going to stop the situation from getting even worse.
Barnett hopes that the “upside” of the New Orleans tragedy will be the asking of some tough questions: “how do you make sure the rural and urban poor aren't permanently disconnected from the future by this tragedy? Does the shock allow us to solve old, seemingly intractable situations such as these, or does it simply exacerbate them?”
I hope the shock will indeed jolt us to stop our leaders’ dithering, delusions of grandeur and special-interest pandering and focus on some real, long-term solutions. Solutions that unite all sane and reasonable people who care about building a better America for all Americans… some of whom have tended to vote Democrat and others of whom have tended to vote Republican.