Many people from many walks of life have been opining on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. We've heard from the likes of Sean Penn and Michael Moore. Robert Kennedy Jr. weighed in to blame Haley Barbour for the whole mess. Katrina, it seems, was born of the failure of the Mississippi governor to single-handedly arrange for the ratification of the hideously flawed Kyoto accords. Aging hippie Nancy Pelosi says its all George Bush's fault, and the NAACP, after having nothing to say following four Florida hurricanes in 2004, is demanding that the Katrina victims get the same cash payments as did the families of the victims of 9/11.
Nowhere, though, will you find a more screwed-up train of thought (if that's what you want to call it) than in this letter which appeared in the Saturday edition of Atlanta's burden, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Monied America lacks moral goodness [ bugmenot]OK ... we're going to give Engle a pass for misspelling "moneyed" and for her failure to realize that "storm waters" are two words. It goes with the territory. And just what territory might that be, you ask? Well, from reading her screed, haven't you already guessed that Sam Marie Engle stalks the halls of academia? Engle is the director of something called the Kenneth Cole Fellowship in Community Building and Social Change and is the senior program associate in the Office of University-Community Partnerships at Emory University. Emory. That says a lot.
Congratulations, monied America: You wanted your gated communities to keep out the poor, to protect yourselves from crime, to separate yourselves from undesirables. You took the high roads and built your gated communities on them so you would stay dry and clean while the stormwaters of filth and despair flooded their neighborhoods.
You did it. You kept out the poor, you concentrated the crime in the poor neighborhoods, effectively ensuring those neighborhoods would remain poor and broken. You separated yourselves from the undesirables.
And then you left them, to die in attics and on rooftops and in the streets and in the disgusting halls of commerce and sports. The richest nation in the world is the most destitute when it comes to true moral goodness. God could not bless this America at all.
SAM MARIE ENGLE
Now let's deal with Engle's rant.
Obviously Engle has a problem with achievement. In a word, she harbors great resentment toward those who have gone the extra mile to achieve success and wealth. Somehow she has convinced herself that the problems that afflicted the poor in New Orleans were due to the existence of gated communities and the presence of the evil rich. If there had been no wealthy neighborhoods in New Orleans the poor, somehow, wouldn't have suffered.
Engle also finds great fault with the idea that people would go to extra lengths to protect themselves from crime. How hideously insensitive of the rich! How very un-American! No doubt were we to locate Ms. Engle's automobile wherever it is parked while she is out there community-building, we would find it to be unlocked; ditto for her home. After all, Engle certainly wouldn't want to do anything to protect herself from crime, would she? That would be a certain indicator of a complete lack of moral goodness on her part. Furthermore, when Engle finally moves on to her well-deserved retirement (and it can't be soon enough) I'm certain that she is going to build her retirement home in a flood zone rather than seek higher and safer ground. After all, if a flood were to occur Ms. Engle wouldn't want to be accused by anyone of actually using her wealth and power of choice wisely in selecting a building location. It's all about demonstrating moral goodness, and you can't demonstrate moral goodness making wise and safe choices in your personal life.
Actually, Engle's letter to the AJC editor is a literary achievement seldom matched in our age. How one woman can get so many things wrong with so few words is something that philosophers and scholars in logic will be studying for years to come.
Shall we do a little picking apart?
Engle feels that the evil rich "kept out the poor" from their high-and-dry gated communities. Sorry, Sam, the poor weren't "kept out" of those gated communities; they just failed to make the decisions in life that would have gained them access. The rich did nothing to them. They did it to themselves. It wasn't the evil rich who decided that the poor would ignore the educational opportunities available to all in America, rich and poor alike. Rich people don't teach poor young blacks that learning is a "white thing." It wasn't some rich family living in their gated community that decided that a poor woman was going to have a child she could not afford to raise at 18, then another at 20 and a third at 21. It wasn't "monied America" that made the choice for the poor that living on the taxpayer's teat was a far more desirable way of life than developing a work ethic and putting it to use in our opportunity-rich free market economy.
And here's something else for you to ponder as you light those votives under your Che Guevara poster, Ms. Engle: It won't be the poor who rebuild those New Orleans neighborhoods, and it won't be the poor who come back to the Big Easy to invest and to provide the job opportunities that some, but certainly not all, of the poor might seek.
Also, Ms. Engle, can you tell us just how those wicked rich people managed to "concentrate(d) the crime in the poor neighborhoods"? Is it because they take precautions to keep the crime out of their neighborhoods? Well, excuse the hell out of them! How dare they sit there in their fancy homes and not accept willingly their fair share of crime? Maybe we need some new kind of bussing program. That can be your next letter to the editor, Ms. Engle; a demand that some court order the bussing of petty thieves, burglars, rapists and murderers to gated communities so that the rich can enjoy the benefits of the culture of predatory crime together with the poor. The culture of the law-abiding should be forced to mingle with the culture of the lawless, don't you think? Isn't that part and parcel of the liberal mantra of multiculturalism?
And now, Ms. Engle, I need to take the gloves off for a moment, you supercilious jerk. How dare you say that "you left them, to die in attics and on rooftops and in the streets and in the disgusting halls of commerce and sports?" You sure told us a lot about yourself with that sentence, didn't you? Commerce is disgusting? This is the label you attach to the one economic system that has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system in the history of civilization? Disgusting? But then, you work in the academic world, don't you? One wonders if you have a job skill that could earn you a comfortable living in the private sectors. My guess would be that you do not.
"Left them to die?" What in the hell are you talking about? When police and firefighters, the fantastic first-responders we all rely on, went in to rescue the stranded they were fired on by roving gangs of thugs from the poor neighborhoods you so love – and this started happening on day one. Nurses and doctors (who very well may have lived in gated communities) stayed on duty in their hospitals moving their patients to ever-high floors as the looters and predators worked their way up from below. Helicopters trying to evacuate patients from hospitals and from the Super Dome were fired upon. Left them to die? These people were risking death to rescue the poor, and you write that the poor were left to die?
Then you say that "the richest nation in the world is the most destitute when it comes to true moral goodness." You mindless, hate-filled leftist, anti-capitalist gasbag. Katrina has brought forth the greatest show of American generosity since 9/11. Many believe that the charitable contributions of Americans will far surpass that of four years ago. From the very day that Katrina hit New Orleans people of means from across the country were writing checks, making pledges and taking action. The total giving to date is nearing $800 million, and will most likely surpass one billion dollars within a week's time. This is the America, an America of compassion and giving, that you say God would not bless.
Oddly enough, though, I do want to thank you for your letter to the editor, Ms. Engle. You have done more to demonstrate the moral decadence of the left with your pompous diatribe then I could hope to do with five years of talking about your type on the radio.
Please keep writing your anti-individualist rants. You're the best thing the right has going out there.
AND MOST AMERICANS CAN'T SEE THROUGH THIS?
Now ... think back. Who were the first people to the microphones to start assigning blame for the Katrina disaster. That answer would be Democrats. And who were the Democrats blaming? Anyone Republican, that's who. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin were virtually immune to any criticisms from Democrats in Washington.
Now here's the best part. The Democrats manage to sharply divide the country with their finger pointing, and then they come up for a solution to that division. (Oh this is rich.) The left's solution to the divide that they caused with their hysterical finger-pointing is for George Bush to (1) appoint a Supreme Court Justice who is "mainstream" (as defined by Democrats) so that the appointment won't cause any rancor on Capitol Hill; and (2) abandon any plans for making the tax cuts permanent or for the repeal of the death tax.
Wonderful -- just wonderful. These Democrats bring this country to turmoil with their "blame Bush" hysterics, then tell Bush that the way to bring the country back together again is to raise taxes and appoint a liberal to the Supreme Court. What gall.