A bunch of incomplete blog-able blurbs archived during the server transition — which, of course, took place while a major American city disappeared under the sea, American media actually sat up and noticed, and the Bush administration was exposed as the lying sack of incompetent cronies they are. Oops.
* Some surprisingly good reporting about the TV reporting (“available online”:http://www.crooksandliars.com for us TV-free folks) on Katrina comes from Maureen Ryan’s “Watcher” TV column, notably “this recap”:http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-tribtv,1,3096468.htmlstory#katrinatv of “a week when everyone’s mask dropped and raw honesty was everywhere.” Meanwhile, Oprah’s “endless well of empathy”:http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-tribtv,1,3096468.htmlstory#katrinaoprah boiled over into anger: “When it comes to what happened, and didn’t have to happen, to children, it’s pretty overwhelming. It makes me so mad. This makes me mad! This should not have happened.”
* Todd Purdum in “the Times”:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/03/national/nationalspecial/03voices.html reports on the “outrage at the response” from the viewpoint of a revered big-city mayor. “Andrew Young, the former civil rights worker and mayor of Atlanta who was Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to the United Nations, was born in New Orleans 73 years ago, walked on its levees as a boy and ‘was always assured by my father that the Army Corps of Engineers had done a masterful job.’ But, Mr. Young said, “they’ve been neglected for the last 20 years,” along with other pillars of the nation’s infrastructure, human and physical. “I was surprised and not surprised… I think we’ve got to see this as a serious problem of the long-term neglect of an environmental system on which our nation depends.” Mayors, more so than any other high-profile elected officials, know the minutiae of infrastructure and know how important it is to the proper functioning of a great city, state, or nation. Too bad that 30 years of anti-government rhetoric from Washington has deprived our nation of the chance to do some great things with its infrastructure.
* The National Review’s “Rich Lowry”:http://nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry200509021731.asp offers up a grand bargain that my New Urbanist conscience thinks acceptable: “If the tableaux of suffering in the city prompts meaningful soul-searching, perhaps there can be a grand right-left bargain that includes greater attention to out-of-wedlock births from the Left in exchange for the Right’s support for more urban spending (anything is worth addressing the problem of fatherlessness).”
* The “NY Times”:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/08/opinion/08thu1.html has editorialized against Congressional pork in light of the disaster, particularly the “Sprawlway”:http://www.sprawlway.org/news/nytimes090805.html, er Hastert Highway, er, Prairie Parkway.
* Geoff Canada’s “latest idea”:http://nytimes.com/2005/09/09/nyregion/09promise.html is to bring Slow Food ideas to Harlem on a public-school budget: $5.87 a student buys two meals and two snacks a day of fresh, healthful food.
* Charles Shaw, who somewhat “confusedly conflates”:http://www.planetizen.com/node/148 public housing redevelopment, New Urbanism, the war on drugs, and the Creative Class, has “gone out of commission for a while”:http://newtopiamagazine.net/articles/58?POSTNUKESID=9d6121b529292a6621e24b12b2c46c02. It all makes more sense now, or maybe not.